I do primarily photography editing and post-production, and more than once I’ve found myself wishing there was a way to edit without having to look at the adjustment panel in Lightroom while I made adjustments to the image, and then back at the image, and back to the panel, etc.
Then I discovered that Canadian homeboy Dave and his team at Motibodo had already had the same issue, and came up with a solution.
What? Seriously!? SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY
I was pretty pumped to try it out, and truthfully, I don’t know what I did all this time without it.
So, what is it really?
As I mentioned, the Motibodo software allows you to make adjustments to images in Lightroom without having to use a mouse and look at the adjustment panels. It does that by basically hacking into your computer’s keyboard commands (when the program is running) and using the keyboard to make adjustments on the image.
So for example, to increase exposure, I press the ‘K’ key on my keyboard, and to decrease exposure, I press the ‘J’ key. And each basic slider in Lightroom is assigned it’s own keyboard key shortcut, taking your computer’s mouse pretty much out of the picture.
What do we like about it?
Everything. And the fact that it was made by a Canadian.
Ok but seriously. The ability to watch the image during adjustments is wonderful, and really speeds up my editing time. The shortcuts are easy to understand, and since it’s built on top of a keyboard, it’s just like typing any other email or letter, etc.
You also have the option of purchasing either a keyboard overlay for the keyboard you already have, or purchasing an actual keyboard with the shortcuts printed onto it. I chose the second option because I actually wanted a second keyboard so I could use my laptop basically in clam mode, so for me purchasing the physical keyboard, while a little more expensive, killed two birds with one stone.
The software is also pretty smart, in the sense that if you have the Motibodo software running and you’re in Lightroom, it functions as the adjustments panel. But if you open up a web browser and start typing words, it switches ‘off’ and behaves like a normal keyboard. Until you switch back to Lightroom – then it’s back to adjustment panel mode. Pretty slick.
What don’t we like about it?
Well…it doesn’t do my laundry for me. Or my taxes. So. The developers should get on that.
Besides that, I really don’t have that many complaints. I wish it could recognize text inputs within Lightroom, so that when I go to export images and name the folders and whatnot the letters come out instead of random adjustments.
I also wish the HSL panel was somehow built into the keyboard so I could do those adjustments from the keyboard as well. And honestly for all I know there might be a button to push to switch over to the HSL panel and I just haven’t found it yet. Though truthfully I don’t use the HSL panel all that often so it’s not a huge deal.
Setup was also a tad confusing, however, the Motibodo team has a whole page of video and image tutorials to help walk you through the process. So if you decide to do it the right way first and use the documentation they provide instead of the ‘I-don’t-need-no-one’s-help-I-can-figure-it-out-on-my-own-dammit’, you won’t even run into this. (Aka don’t be like me, ha.)
In the end…
The gripes I have about it are so minimal compared to the benefits, they’re like nonexistent. I really have no idea how I functioned before I got this. I love it.
Seriously. Get one. You won’t regret it. With the time you’ll save editing, it will pay for itself (and mine already has, and I’ve had it for like, a couple weeks?).
You can also purchase a keyboard (or keyboard cover) for Photoshop as well, and easily take care of things like retouching and head swaps. (I’m not sure how he made it possible for the keyboard to take care of that, I’m pretty sure it’s voodoo magic actually, but regardless, it’s super cool.)
Dave and his team have been awesome enough to give a 10% discount to the CPC audience with discount code CPC10 – head over to Motibodo and check out their shop!
Article by Beth Teutschmann.