tutorial: using the Snapseed app with appliqué in mind

Or – “how I use Snapseed to alter a photo I’ve already taken so that it is easier to turn that photo into a pattern for appliqué” but that was too long for the title bar.

When you are going to make a pattern from a photo, especially a simple appliquéd portrait, You need to figure out where the darks and lights in the face are. Faces aren’t usually dark and light delineated so running the photo through a filter makes it a lot easier to see.

You can take a photo through the Snapseed App but I find it much easier to take all the photos I want with my device’s regular camera then to import just the one I want to filter.

The very first time you open the app you will most likely need to give it permission to access your photos and your camera. Go ahead and do it.

Now you will be prompted to open a picture. You have options. You can click the camera button and take your own picture right in the app. If you don’t like it you can cancel and try again. I find it quicker and easier to just open a picture I’ve already taken so I choose the first option and “open from device.” Unless of course I see the photo I want on the slider there and then I just tap that.

 

If you tap “Open from Device” you will get the chance to choose which photo album you want. Click through until you find the photo you want and tap it.

Now you see the photo you want all big and pretty. Pretty silly in this case. My little guy has been called monkey boy for ages. He was scaling cabinets and climbing to the top of unreachable places by the time he was a year old. 

Now – we want to turn this silly face into something easily transferrable into a pattern. Click that big pencil icon on the lower right.

This will bring up your Tools. Feel free to crop the image if you’d like. I usually click on the very first tool, Tune Image.

Now you are in working mode. You can change all kinds of stuff here and if you like it you click the check box on the right. If you don’t you click the X on the left. If you want to compare your original to your changes hold the slider icon on the upper right.

Touch and hold anywhere in the photo and a tools screen will pop up. These are all the changes you can play with. Slide your finger up and down to choose what change you want to make, then slide your finger to the left and right to make the change. You will notice at the very top of your screen it will tell you which change you are making and give you a bar and number to let you know how far up or down from the original you have moved. I always start by punching up the brightness.

See up at the top? I’ve now also punched up the contrast by about 51%.

For pattern making it helps to see pure value (light/dark) instead of color so I slide the saturation all the way to the left. I usually head back up to brightness and contrast and sometimes play with shadows as well.

He looks scary now as well as goofy – but I can see dark blacks against bright lights. This is a good place to stop. See that checkmark on the bottom right? Now I click it and I’m back to the home screen with the tools pencil on the lower right that we saw before. If you made a mistake and didn’t want to keep these changes go up to the upper right and click the stack with the back arrow icon.

This will give you the chance to undo just the last change, start over (revert), or take a look at all the different edits you’ve made.

I’m fine with this edit and am done so I’ll click Save. Now I have a choice. I usually Export. This makes a plain copy that is easy to open in another app and doesn’t use up as much data as the second or first options. 

Open your photos and goofy boy is there, ready to print and take to my light box, or to play with in Paper Camera (see this tutorial) or a sketch program (tutorial coming soon.)

apps for artists: waterlogue

 

snowbird7So a lot of people play games on their tablets or smart phones when they have time to fill or kill. It seems that the only time I EVER have time to fill or kill is when I’m traveling. Even then I usually have hand work or something to keep me busy while I listen to an audio book. But sometimes I just want to play. Instead of playing games I end up “playing photos.”


I was cruising Facebook and saw that Susan Brubaker Knapp had posted a picture using the Waterlogue app for iPhone and I was immediately hooked. I had just enough time to download the app before I boarded the plane and spent the whole ride playing.

Here is the original photo, taken at the top of the mountain at Snowbird Ski Resort in ear Salt Lake City, Utah.

Painted in Waterlogue

I learned that the best pictures for use in this app have clearly defined contrast – light/dark etc.

Painted in Waterlogue

You can adjust the setting within the app and try different filters to give it different looks.

Painted in WaterlogueI’m SURE you’ll be seeing more photos here with this app. Enjoy!

 

Apps for Artists: Paper Camera

A fun APP available for iphone or android smart phones that might be of interest is
Paper Camera by JFDP Labs
As an artist, there are so many fun things to do with a smart phone or tablet with a camera. One late night waiting around I spent a very entertaining hour playing around with all the options on this camera app. Things got a little silly as you’ll see.

My favorite is the Sketch-Up filter!

There are a ton of filters to play with – you can take the shot right in the app or process a photo from your camera’s library. You can control the contrast, brightness, and lines for each filter but that’s it. It’s very simple to use. Here are a few more of my favorite filters.

Old Printer

Granny’s Paper

Andy Pop

I can’t remember if this is the Comic Boom or the Bleaching filter.

Neon Cola – bwaaaa haaaa haaaa haaaaa!

Gotham Noir 

As I look at some of these I’m realizing that they might be very good learning tools. In the picture above there are well defined dark and light spaces. Sometimes when I’m drawing features I have a difficult time seeing where shadows lie and instead of filling in dark and light will outline an eye shape or a nose. Taking a few pics here it would be easy to practice drawing simplified eye and nose shapes with dark and light alone shapes.

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