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Retouch Photos

Photo retouching is an area where desktop titans like Photoshop still rule from on high, but some adjustments are possible on the iPad. Although you’re not likely to touch up a portfolio of fashion shots using the iPad alone, it’s possible you’ll want to fix minor blemishes in photos that you plan to share directly from the iPad.


Photogene’s Heal tool fixes errors by cloning related areas of a photo. I recommend zooming the image to make it easier to control how the edits are applied.

  1. Tap the Retouches button to view the Retouches panel.
  2. Tap the Heal button.
  3. Double-tap the area you’d like to fix (4.14). Photogene adds a pair of retouch circles: One covers the area you selected (and is marked with a gray X), and the other copies a nearby area.

    4.14 Identify an area to fix (the scratch above her eye).

  4. Drag the blue anchor points to resize the retouch circle.
  5. Drag the center of either retouch circle to reposition it (4.15).

    4.15 Clone pixels from a nearby area to retouch the spot.

  6. Tap the Done button in the Retouches panel to finish.

TouchRetouch HD

Photogene (and other approaches) samples nearby pixels to apply fixes. Another way to tackle the problem is to make software fill in pixels computationally based on the surrounding area. In Photoshop CS5 and later, Adobe calls this “content-aware” healing. In the app TouchRetouch HD, AdvaSoft uses this type of technology to achieve similar results. It can be especially useful when you need to remove unwanted people or objects from a scene.

In the app, open a photo you’d like to edit, and then do the following:

  1. In the dialog that first appears, pick the resolution at which you’d like to work. Choosing a higher resolution takes longer to process, so if you don’t need the original’s full dimensions, select one of the smaller ones.
  2. Double-tap the image to zoom to 100%, which makes it easier to define the area to be edited.
  3. Mark an object to remove by selecting the Lasso tool and drawing around it or by selecting the Brush tool and painting over it (4.16). Use the Eraser tool to refine the edges. You don’t need to be too specific about defining the area accurately.


    4.16 As you paint an area to be fixed (in this case, a toy in the background), a preview window appears so you can see the area (which is often obscured by your finger).

  4. When you’ve identified the area, tap the Go button. The object you selected disappears.
  5. If the end result isn’t quite to your liking, try painting over the area again. Or, use the Clone tool to pinpoint a similar source area and then paint over the area you’re trying to fix.
  6. Tap the Save button to save a copy of the photo to your Photo Library, to attach it to an outgoing email, or to share it via Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, or Twitter.
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