14
Nov
10

color control panel for the ipad

Steve Hullfish and Bob Sliga blasted the FCP-L and ColorList with announcements about the new Tangent Devices vWave-Lite, a new solution to somewhat control Apple Color using your iPad.  Mr. Hullfish even posted a video of this slick new app

According to Tangent Devices website,

And while I agree with the general “Cool!” consensus out there, and while I realize it is amazing that Tangent Devices is putting this out there for FREE, I’m not sold on this approach as a viable solution for color grading because of the lack of tactile feedback from the iPad.  But Mel Matsuoka beat me to the punch, posting a nicely articulated review late last night to the FCP-L:

vWave is definitely fun and cool for what it is. I myself am hoping that they bring a “soft” version of the CP200-S and K panels to the iPad, so I can use it along my existing CP200-TS/BK panels. I cant justify another $10,000 just to get additional knobs and buttons that I wish the TS/BK panels had. Having a virtual button/knob control surface that can be mapped to every Apple Color function (and even more necessary, Davinci Resolve) would be a godsend. I wont hold my breath for this to happen, though 😉

That said, I think having a literal representation of a real world control surface on an iPad is a mistake, and not as useful as some are making it out to be. It’s cute and pretty to see the joyball and rings on the touchscreen, but the whole point of using a hardware control-surface is that you don’t have to look down at your controls while grading. And without a tactile control for your fingers to grab onto–especially in the case of the rings–you are flying half-blind on something like the vWave, because you cant tell if your finger is touching the ball widget or the ring widget onscreen. And the moment your eyes look down to find out which is which, you’ve defeated the very purpose of having a control-surface in the first place.

If I had the ability to design my own touch interface for a colorgrading control surface, it wouldn’t have balls and knobs like the vWave. it would simply be divided into 3 vertical columns, and be mapped so that any touch input that happens in the upper 2/3 of each column would affect the color-offsets, and any input that happened in the lower 1/3 would affect the lift/gamma/gain offsets.

This way, you could use your thumbs to affect the lift/gamma/gain, and your fingers to control the color offsets, and never have to look down to see if you’re touching the right control. And your hands would be positioned in a much more natural way, as well (which would could possibly be an improvement over a physical control-surface)

This is an excellent article discussing the folly of “shoehorning” real world UIs into a digital world, which I think applies here as well:

http://aaronweyenberg.com/699/is-realistic-ui-design-realistic

Interestingly enough, Aaron uses the example of an iPhone rotary-phone dialer app as an example of misguided “real world” touch-interface design.

I’ll let your own Googling inclinations veer you off topic and into the land of realistic UI design.  Back here at pro•active•ly, it comes down to the point that you are paying for knobs and tactile feedback when you invest in a control panel.  A device that comes short of providing these two key components isn’t serving you any better than mousing through Color.

proactively • it is cool though • peter

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1 Response to “color control panel for the ipad”


  1. November 19, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Hi there,

    I’m the technical director of Tangent and as such welcome your comments. There’s a few things I’d like to discuss with you that you can publish as you wish. But I’d rather do it over email as I suspect it’s rather too much for a short reply on here 🙂

    Cheers,

    Chris


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