It has been a year since I posted my in-depth review of the Loupedeck+ Console. One of my main issues with the unit, was that it was too difficult to keep track of all of the functions it was capable of, in the various applications that it supported. I had created paper overlays to label the functions for each application, and I shared that process in my review. Since then, I have been working with the guys at KB Covers to create a more polished solution, with well labeled plastic overlays, that we can market to other users as well. That product is finally available for purchase, and can be found here.
We have created overlays for Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Photoshop, which are $20 each, or you can get all three for $45. Obviously having all three is helpful if you work in all of those applications, as keeping track of the changing functions between applications is half of the challenge. I have tried to alleviate some of that struggle by making the functionality more consistent between the applications, basing the overlays on a set of custom presets that are available here. You can use the improved preset settings for free, before buying the labeling overlays to go with them. (Mac users may need to zip the Layout folder back up, if your browser automatically unzips downloads, because the Loupedeck utility is looking for zip files to import settings from, or try this version.)
These custom settings are based on the defaults that users may be familiar with, but with some additional functions, and changes to increase consistency. For example, “Enable/Disable Layer” has been moved to button C2 for all apps, from three different places, and the function option is “Duplicate Item” (Layer) for all three. These changes should make it easier to memorize these controls.
Making these presets, I actually learned even more about the Loupedeck’s options, especially in Photoshop, where I had based my knowledge of its functions on the customization options in the Loupedeck utility. Because many of the functions in Photoshop can’t be customized, they are not accessible or listed in that utility at all. I had wondered why I couldn’t assign the dials to do things in that application like I could in Premiere and After Effects, but it turns out this is because they have been hard mapped to adjustment layers. Pressing a dial creates a matching adjustment layer, and turning the dials alters the values of the created or selected adjustment layer. Same with the scroll wheels, which can’t be customized at all. This functionality is all correctly reflected in the overlays, much better than it is in the PDF manuals.
Here is a closer look at all of the labels and functions on each of the overlays:
The main functions are in white, while the blue functions are accessible by holding down the “Fn” key. Pressing “Custom Mode” activates the orange functions. This also makes the red functions available when holding down the “Fn” key, when Custom mode is activated. The functions labeled in [brackets] are activated by pressing the dials instead of rotating them. Most dials reset edited values to defaults when pressed, which are not labeled, as not to overly clutter the interface.The Red, Yellow, and Green HSL buttons control what the scroll wheels to their right do, depending on the context. I have tried to color code them, and include as many labels as possible in the available space. I rarely see my Loupedeck without the overlays any more, but when I do see one, it feels blank and naked without all of the functionality labeled.
I could create overlays for other applications if we discover a big enough market for them, but I started with these three because:
A) They are the ones I needed and use,
B) They seemed like they would be the most popular with other Adobe users.
Audition and Final Cut seem like the most likely other ones people might want to buy, but I will wait until we have a number of requests before I invest the time needed to create those options. Comment below if there is another application overlay you would be willing to buy if it was available.