Sunday, October 9, 2011

Image Texture

It seems every new photo app popping up in iTunes is adding some sort of texture. While I enjoy the ease of editing in a single app, I'm finding I get better results by mixing the effects from several apps. This is a process I often use, although the apps frequently change depending on the exact texture I'm looking for. This tutorial takes a look at how to edit a photo using three separate photo apps: snapseed, ScratchCam Lite and PhotoToaster.

1. First of all, open the image you want to work with in an editor to crop it to size. I find that cropping an image before applying effects helps choose those elements in the image you want to highlight. I usually choose an app that lets me crop and straighten if needed. In this case I began with snapseed.

2. Once you've cropped your image, apply the first layer of texture. For this image I used snapseed's grunge filter. I swiped left or right to choose the exact look I was looking for. By touching the image, I was able to select the area of focus. By pinching and zooming, I increased the area in focus until satisfied.

3. Next, apply your next layer of texture. For this image I saved the image to my camera roll and then opened it in ScratchCam Lite. I kept hitting the refresh button on the lower right-hand corner until I got a texture/color combination I liked. Then I lowered the opacity of the effect to get the perfect look. One of the important things I look for when looking for texture apps is the ability to choose the amount of the effect I want to apply.

4. At this point you could save out the image and be done or take it one step further. Something I've noticed when editing and applying effects is the image can loose some clarity. That's why I usually finish an edit with an app that can add back some of the sharpness I've lost. My app of choice lately has been PhotoToaster. The most recent update has really turned this little app into a real workhorse. For this photo, I began with the basic Tune Up setting as a starting point. Next I selected the desired sharpness and finally added a final layer of texture.

Here's the final image. By adding layers of texture from different apps you can do the same. Happy editing.

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