Palitra is a compact companion to your graphic tablet

Dec 19, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Palitra is a compact companion to your graphic tablet

Dec 19, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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If you spend lots of time and effort retouching your images, here is an interesting product that could make it faster and more efficient. Palitra is an affordable, compact, configurable retouching module that fits nicely along your graphic tablet and you can use it no matter if you’re a professional or a hobbyist photographer.

Palitra is basically intended for any activity that involves using a lot of shortcuts. It can be used for software development, music creation, graphic design… But we’ll stick with image retouching. It’s a configurable controller that lets you zoom, change brush size, change tool or activate any other shortcut without having to reach your keyboard. Since it’s very small, it will fit nicely next to your graphic tablet.

Here’s how it works: you can configure Palitra with 36 shortcuts at once, and they’re organized in four pages of nine shortcuts each. Each page is assigned an LED button at the top for easy switching. You can use pages to logically divide your tasks, and all shortcuts can be configured at any time. You can save and restore profiles to quickly switch between different applications. And once you’ve saved a configuration to a Palitra, you can plug it into any other computer and your shortcuts will remain the same.

Here are the main features and specs:

  • 36 configurable shortcuts, organized in four pages of nine shortcuts
  • A small 3 x 3 keypad that can be placed on the side of your graphic tablet
  • Four lit buttons allowing direct access to each page
  • Lefty-friendly
  • Fully programmable via a cross-platform desktop application (Win, Mac, Linux)
  • Requires no drivers to work, usable in any application
  • USB-powered
  • Fully open source
  • Small (9 cm x 7 cm x 1.6 cm)

Palitra software and hardware are completely open source, and it’s funded through a crowdfunding campaign. In my opinion, it’s very affordable (at least the basic version, which is a good choice if you have a 3D printer or know someone who does). There are three versions to choose from, all of which have exactly the same hardware, but a different case.

No case: Just the assembled PCB and ABS keycaps for the main 9 keys. If the $50,000 stretch goal is reached, this version will become a black, injection-molded ABS case. It’s available for $25.

Steampunk: A 3D-printed and hand-painted case, limited to 100 pieces. If you have a 3D-printer, you can download the STL files from the project’s GitHub repository. This one is a little bit more expensive and you can get it for $45.

Wood and Aluminum: a handmade case built from premium materials. This is a limited edition of 20 pieces, each piece is numbered, and it costs significantly more: $200.

The campaign ends on 1 February 2019, and you can make your pledge now if you are interested in any of these versions of Palitra. In case the project gets funded, the shipping will start on 15 February 2019.

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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3 responses to “Palitra is a compact companion to your graphic tablet”

  1. Tj Ó Seamállaigh Avatar
    Tj Ó Seamállaigh

    hmm interesting

  2. Liam Avatar
    Liam

    I’m I wrong or could ‘any’ midi controller be set up to perform these sort of functions?

    1. Bitgamma Avatar
      Bitgamma

      Palitra is recognized as a standard USB keyboard which is compatible with any application. MIDI controllers follow a different standard and cannot be used directly with all software (Photoshop does not have built-in MIDI support for example). There might be some 3rd party software to emulate a keyboard, since it is technically possible to do it, but I am not aware of any well proven solution. MIDI controllers also tend to be bulkier and more expensive than Palitra. I developed Palitra exactly because it fitted my needs as a photographer better/cheaper than what was available on the market.