I have added three new prints to my Etsy Shop.
"In the Afternoon" is a digital painting made on the iPad. It includes some of my favorite subject matter - a chair and flowers, and has a feeling of calm relaxing in the midst of some chaos. Here is it's Etsy page.
"Get Down Cat!" is a digital painting also made on the iPad. Again there is a chair and flowers. A mischievous cat is not about to give up her comfy spot on the back of the chair. Here is it's Etsy page.
"6 Doll Heads" started out as a photo of one of my original dolls taken with my iPhone. I manipulated the photo in several photo editing apps and combined six images into one iphoneography photo collage. Here is its Etsy page.
After much frustration trying to figure out why I could not successfully blend a version of a photo that has been worked on in certain apps with the original photo, I found these apps actually reduce the size of the photo when they save it. Then when you try to blend the altered image with the original image, they can't be aligned. Although some of these apps create wonderful effects, their low resolutions decrease their usability. One such app is AutoPainter. Here is an easy fix for the problem. In this tutorial, I will be using AutoPainter, but the process will work with any app that reduces the photo resolution when it saves the photo.
I will use this photo of Boston townhouses and make a painted version using AutoPainter.
Tutorial - Blending Autopainter Version with Original Photo
- AutoPainter HD, AutoPainter, AutoPainter2, or AutoPainter 3
- PhotoSize (Danny Goodman)
- Image Blender
2. IPAD or IPhone
3. Photo in Photos app Camera Roll
1. Open AutoPainter. Click on folder icon at bottom of screen. Select photo. Select artist style (or art style if using AutoPainter2). Here I have selected Benson.
2. (optional) If you want to mask area to retain more detail, click on the brush icon. You are taken to a masking screen, where you can use the brush to roughly mask in areas. You have a choice of three brush and three eraser sizes. When you are finished with the masking, click the check mark on the bottom right of the screen. You are taken back to the painting screen.
3. Then click the green circle icon with triangle. The program will start the painting in the style you have chosen. You can click on the "X" icon at the bottom of the screen at any time to stop the painting process if there is a stage you like. Here I let the program completely finish its painting.
4. After AutoPainter is finished with its rendering, click on the down-facing arrow icon at the bottom right of the screen to save the altered photo.
5. Now open PhotoSize. Choose original photo and write down the dimensions. Then choose AutoPainter photo and notice that the resolution has been reduced.
6. Open IResize. Click on Photos at top left of screen and choose the AutoPainter version photo.
9. Because you have resized the AutoPainter version of the photo, you can now go into Image Blender and both photos will be the same size for blending nicely. Click on the square box on the bottom left of the screen. Then select the original version of photo or the resized rendered version for the bottom layer. Click on the square box on the bottom right of the screen to add the other version.
9. If you want to mask part of the top layer or move it, tap the screen to bring up the pop-up mask/arrange window. Click on mask or arrange to go into the masking or arranging mode. In the masking mode, you can use an eraser to erase areas where you only want the bottom layer to show. In the arrange mode, you can move and resize the image. Here I am leaving the top image image as is.
10. As you are working in Image Blender, you have more options. If you click and hold on the screen you get another pop-up window with copy, switch, and flatten options. You can switch the top and bottom layers, copy the image you have blended on the screen, then flatten the layers. Then you can add a third image or add the copied image by clicking on the bottom right square. One of your options will be to select from pasteboard. That option will add the copied version. For this image, I am leaving the photos as is.
11. Moving the slider at the bottom of the screen will determine the opacity of the top layer. Moving it to the right will make the top layer more opaque. Moving it to the left will make it more transparent. Clicking on the Blend button at the top left of the screen gives you many different blending options. You can go down the list selecting them and saving the versions of any you like.
Here is my finished blended photo incorporating the original photo and the resized AutoPainter version.
Although there are several app options specifically for blending photos and creating photo collages with the iPad, I like using PhotoWizard in conjunction with PhotoForge2 because of the control and accuracy I feel they give me.
IPad Photo Collage Tutorial
For this tutorial, you need:
- Photogene - optional (for adding shadows)
- PhotoSync or Photo Transfer - optional (to get photos into iPad if they are on iPhone)
3. Two or more photos in your Photos app Camera Roll for combining for the collage
I will be using a photo of a sheep and one of a man in a park. Here is a photo of a toy sheep I made with batting, pipe cleaners, and embroidery floss. I took the photo with my iPhone, then transferred it to the iPad using the Transfer Photo app.
I want to add it to this photo
1. First I import the sheep photo into the PhotoWizard app. Here you can delete the background, leaving a clean selection of the sheep.
PhotoWizard has powerful selection tools, similar to ones in Photoshop. Click on the little mask icon in the top tool bar to enter the Masking mode. A large tab appears at the right side of the screen. Tapping on the tab will bring up a menu with the selection tools.
Masking mode selection mode menu
The Magic Wand will select neighboring similar pixels to mask. Color Range will mask pixels that match the color of the pixels where you tap. There is also a lasso selection tool and both rectangle and ellipse selection tools. The lasso tool is also very useful.
2. Here I use the Magic Wand to select most of the background. Tap on Magic Wand to select it, then tap on photo in area you want to delete. The Magic Wand will select areas in the photo that are similar to the pixels you tapped on. These pixels will be masked and appear transparent.
If you click on the settings symbol at bottom right of screen, you get a pop-up box with settings for the selected tool. Here you see the settings for the Magic Wand. I leave the settings at the default to start. Then I can reduce the threshold as I get closer to the object to try to avoid masking parts of it. Reducing the threshold reduces the number of pixels selected.
Here I have started to tap on the background. A tap will select areas of the photo that have similar pixels to the ones you tapped and mask them so they don't show. Any areas showing the grey and white checkerboard have been masked. This selection method will pick pixels that are right up against an object giving a cleaner, more accurate edge than just using the brush by itself.
3. Use the Magic Wand until you start getting masked areas in places you don't want. In the photo below, you can see part of one of the front legs is missing.
4. Then click the Undo button (left facing curved arrow) at the top left side of the tool bar. Keep clicking the Undo button until the desired part of the image shows again. If you do too many clicks, you can click the Redo button (right facing curved arrow).
5. You can also use the lasso selection tool to draw around an area to mask. (See below.). This is especially helpful for large background areas that can be selected all at once or a background area with a lot of small patches of pixels to be masked. All pixels within the lasso will be masked. When I feel I can't use the Magic Wand any more without masking parts of the sheep, I try to capture large parts of the background that have little areas of still visible pixels with the Lasso tool.
Showing Brush settings in the Masking mode
Because I will be working up close to the edges of the sheep, I decrease the size of the brush and increase the softness. This gives me more accuracy and makes a softer, more realistic edge around the sheep.
I start brushing in the background using my finger or a stylus. Then I gradually move closer to the object edge moving my stylus in a parellel direction to the object edge. This way, when I get close to the object, I can gradually shave away the background until only the object is showing. I do a pinch out with my fingers to get a magnified view of the area I am working on. (A note - doing a pinch out usually takes you out of the brush mode, so you then may have to reselect the brush and redo any brush settings you have made as they will have reset to the default settings.)
7. After you are satisfied with your selection, click on the filters icon (looks like two horizontal slider bars) at the top of the screen. This takes you back to the main screen mode where you can save the photo as a masked ping. I use export at maximum size.
sheep mask complete
The saved photo will show in the photos app as having a black background, but the background will appear transparent in programs supporting .png transparencies.
8. Now I go into the PhotoForge2 app where I can add the sheep to the photo with the man in the park. I import the man photo.
A Brush and an Intensity icon will appear. These adjust the size, softness, and darkness of the Burn brush.
15 . Paint in the shadows. I added a shadow for the man, also. A low intensity makes a more realistic shadow here. When you are happy with the shadows, you can save the photo.
Here is the finished photo collage of the man walking his toy sheep in the park. You can use this technique as a start for more complex photo collages.
I recently got an iPhone and have been trying out lots of photography apps. A new favorite is ToonCamera. You can shoot movies or take photos in a few cartoon and sketch styles. There are also basic adjustments you can make to the styles. The view finder shows the cartoon style, so you can see what the finished image will look like as you shoot. A very fun, easy-to-use app reasonably priced. Here is a short video I shot of our dog Chloe.