Review: Adult Colouring App

Colouring apps for adults seem to be increasingly popular. I decided to have a look around and see whether I’d have fun with one. Most of the apps that I looked at offer a free version with in app purchases required to unlock additional facilities. Some such as Pigment and Colorfy are subscription-based. But I thought £3 a week forever for something I wanted as an occasional diversion and not an obsession was over the top. I decided to go with Adult Colouring. The name is unfortunate as it suggests something naughty, which, of course, is not the case.

I installed Adult Colouring on my 12″ iPad Pro and worked with the Apple Pencil. I played around with the free version and decided that the price to unlock the full version was fair. [Read more…]

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iThoughts updated for extra awesome (and iOS 7)

I’ve recommended iThoughts before. It is really an excellent mind mapping tool. There’s a new universal version out. It’s a paid upgrade, but 80% off for the time being. It’s a shame that Apple doesn’t have a mechanism for developers to charge an upgrade fee as sometimes customers will be pissed off because they’ve just bought the previous version.

I’ve no hesitation is recommending that you support the developer, Craig Scott. iThoughts is definitely worth the money, even if you pay twice.

Here’s what Brett Terpstra has to say about the new version, for which he was a beta tester.

iThoughts updated for extra awesome (and iOS 7) – BrettTerpstra.com.

How to get the best out of photo apps on your smartphone

Dan Rubin’s 10 best smartphone photography apps

via How to get the best out of photo apps on your smartphone – video | Technology | theguardian.com.

Interesting video for iPhoneographers.

 

Photo Painting: Waterlogue

Since writing about photo painting apps some time ago—see these posts—I’ve been keeping an eye open for other interesting painting apps. I recently stumbled across Waterlogue. Waterlogue shares some of the DNA of Popsicolor as it’s a collaboration between John Balestrieri, Tinrocket and Robert Clair ChromaticBytes. This is what the authors have to say:

We wanted to come up with an easy and fast way for people to create images based on the kinds of aesthetic decisions an artist makes when he or she is painting.

The technology we developed for Waterlogue transforms your photos into spontaneous, unique, and brilliant watercolor sketches that look like real paintings. Waterlogue distills your environment down to its essence—just the way an artist would—and turns even an on-the-fly snapshot into something luminous and sublime.

We designed Waterlogue to create the most authentic and aesthetically true watercolor interpretations available, and we hope that as soon as you start using the app, you’ll start seeing the world differently.

[Read more…]

Apps, Apps, Apps

I admit I’m a bit of an app magpie. I must have hundreds loaded in iTunes—though, by no means, are they all installed on my iPhone or iPads. Many are free and have hardly been used—lots of games fall into this category. They’re free, what the hell? Usually, they engage my interest only fleetingly, if at all. But I can’t bring myself to delete any apps because… you never know…

[Read more…]

Photo Painting: How To Waste Hours (2)

Continuing from Part 1, here are some more apps I played with. One thing, I should have mentioned is that I’m only looking at iPad versions of any apps. Many of them do have iPhone versions, but I expect that I would transfer iPhone pics to the iPad for editing on the larger screen.

SketchMee HD

There is a Lite version of this app, but after playing with it for a little while, I decided to spring for the full HD. There are a number of additional features; key ones for me were the increased picture size (for export) and detail level, and the ability to save direct to the Photos Roll rather than using email or out to social media.

SketchMee Controls

SketchMee Controls

Click on a button to adjust settings. Crop and Save are obvious. Other choices affect technique (pencil/chalk, coloured/not), detail, number of shades, number of overlapped strokes, intensity of shading, tip (levels of hard to soft), paper, paper colour, colour effect and strength of effect.

Somewhere in Rhodes

Somewhere in Rhodes

SketchMee seems to me to give more realistic simulations of pencil sketches than, say, SketchGuru.

Copenhagen Harbour

Copenhagen Harbour

Coloured chalk was fun, though I can’t say how realistic the effect is.

Poppy

Poppy

 

PaintMee HD

I was sufficiently pleased with the results of Sketchmee HD that I decided to press the buy button on one of the developer’s other apps: PaintMee HD. Basic operation is the same as SketcheMee, though obviously the controls are more relevant to oil painting.

The results from PaintMee aren’t as satisfactory as SketchMee.

Somewhere in Rhodes

Somewhere in Rhodes

Copenhagen Harbour

Copenhagen Harbour

There’s not much variation in the direction of brush strokes. This is particularly obvious in the sky in the harbour scene. What works well for pencil sketches does not seem to be so good for oil paints. Compare this interpretation from AutoPainter (Frank Benson treatment):

Somewhere in Rhodes (Benson)

Somewhere in Rhodes (Benson)

 

PhotoArtista – Haiku

The last app in this post, I’ll call Haiku HD because that’s the icon label not the name in the App Store. The output from Haiku is harder to characterise than the other apps. It’s sort of watercolour, but with extra. The website calls it “… a compilation of whimsical stylistic water-colour poetically brushed to aged or artistic paper then outlined in india ink”. Haiku comes with two sets of presets— Abstract Watercolour and Stylised Watercolour—and you can create your own presets. There are sliders for strength, wet edges, paint area, paint variation, ink outline ink outline detail, ink fill, and ink colour. The effect of some of these is obvious, but others aren’t quite so straightforward, plus it seems the effects can be applied to shadows, mid-tones, high-tones or the full image.

I’ve spent some time playing with the presets and adjustments, and haven’t worked out what to expect, so I’ll just present some examples. The output from Haiku does have a certain charm.

Snapseed Before And After Comparison

Snapseed from Nik Software has been named No. 1 iPad app for Photo and Video. Here are a few before and after comparisons. If you click on an image, a larger version will open in a new window — makes it easier to see the differences. These are JPGs straight from my camera (an Olympus E5) that I copied over to the iPad. I edited each image in Snapseed, saved the updated version to the Camera Roll. Both before and after images where uploaded to WordPress using Blogsy.