Combo Apps/Making your own textures & backgrounds with Pic Tools

Tonight’s blog is about how to make your backgrounds and textures, using Pic Tools. David told me when he was testing Pic Tools and Be was posting the photos. He told me wanted to make an app where you can add or manipulate your textures. I was kind of excited when he told me about this, because I get bored of the preloaded textures and backgrounds that come with most apps. I’m going to show you how to that, so you can make your work even better with your own touch and signature. I’m really loving the Pic Tools App. The photo that is displayed was edited with those two apps and taken with Qbro.

Now you don’t have to use Pic Tools for overlays, layers and blending. There are other apps that can this type of editing. It’s really your preference in doing this type of editing. I’m just showing you a guide of how I do this type of editing. When you use apps, it’s like Photoshop there are 500 ways to do the same type of editing, the only difference are apps have slight variations of how the end results of editing photos. Photoshop will come pretty close to the same way with doing the different types editing. I think there are a few variations. Reason why is Photoshop is one program with hundreds of tools at your disposal. Apps are made by difference developers with different points of views, no app are made the same, so therefore your results will always come out a bit different. It’s really important you try different ways of editing your photos, so you don’t get bored of the same results. How you edited your photos is up to you, not everyone will like your photo. It’s really important you do this for yourself. Do not, I repeat do not do this for others, unless you work some company and they have a brand way of doing designs, photography and/or magazines. Art is something that is expressive, your own signature of you. Don’t let anyone tell you how to edit your photos. Constructive criticism is fine, but not negativity and bullying !!! I will not tolerate that type of criticism, unless you are planning to sell my work and make money for me. If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say it at all. I’m not better at telling anyone else how to edit their photos either, unless they made a comment to me first. I will argue with you to the death.

Let’s get started with using Live Sketch, I picked up this app because it was FREE for a limited time. The apps is now $1.99 at the App Store. You can buy this app or find any kind of drawing app to make your textures and/or backgrounds. I just like using this app because of it’s simplicity. It’s cut and dry in how it works. The top icon is a trashcan, tap on it to delete or start over with your sketches. The two arrow buttons are undo and redo, they will light up when your start drawing. You can undo what you and it will take you to the last place you at after your done sketching. If you hit the undo my mistake you can hit the redo and it will bring back your sketch. Export is for saving to your camera roll. White button is for background, if you want a textured, grid or different color back ground. Sketch and Erase, pretty easy to explain. You can switch it back and fourth. Black is for the color sketch you want to use. Black is always the default color, just like White is for the background. If this looks like a blank screen shot, this is how the app looks after it’s loaded.

I did this sketch design earlier with Live Sketch. I will warn you that Live Sketch does not save at high resolution. It saves at 320×480.

This is the photo I will be using for the demo editing. It was shot with Qbro and at the mall parking lot. I have a thing for really tall light posts, not sure why…but they always make cool artsy photos with a bold statement. Qbro is a really great camera app for the square format lovers. It’s $1.99 at the App Store if you want to pick it up.

Pic Tools, last week I blogged about this app and how to use it. I’m going to show you a more in depth was of using Overlays and Color. The photo is loaded up and ready to be edited. By the way Pic Tools is still on sale for $.99 at the App Store, pick this app up before it goes up to the regular price. I;m not sure what the regular price is, but get it while it’s on sale !!!

I’ve tapped the “Overlays” button on the app. You will see the preset/preloaded textures that come with the app. I’m not going to use them, instead I’m going to tap on “custom”. After you tap on custom, it will take you to your camera roll. You will pick the image you want to use for you texture. to use as an overlay. I’m going to give you some advice. You might want to make a separate folder for your textures and background. It will save you time and hassle of strolling through your camera roll, if your like me you will have a few hundred to a few thousand photos in your camera roll.

After you find the textured background you want, there is a scroll wheel of different types of blends. They don’t have all the blending types there, but I’m sure in time they will add them in or just keep it the way it is. I use Multiply and Overlay for my blending tastes. It’s up to you with what you want to use for blending. It’s all trial and error. I will go through the whole wheel two or three times before I decide on the blend I like.

Now you will noticed that blend looks a little dark to my tastes. What do I do about this problem ???

Not to worry, I’m going to tap on “color” and mess with the curves. You can add points so adjust your curves and points for details in shadows and highlights. Curves only has RGB option, so I’m going to bring out certain colors to brighten the image up. Now if you learn your learn your colors from photo class you will know what’s opposite color RGB, if not I will break it down for you. This is really important to know your colors of light. They are different from painting class. Red Green and Blue are the primary colors of light. You use this for all your color balancing for negative film. Slide/positive film adds Black to the primary/secondary which is known as K. CMKY is the primary colors in positive processing and printing. They would use this type of film for magazines, because of the contrasty colors that would pop and stand out. One known fact during the 80’s photography, was the color Teal. It was next to impossible to fully capture on positive/slide film, because of the color being close to cyan. It’s still is hard today to really capture Teal with digital photography. The reason is that digital photography is base off positive color processing.

Color Balance
Red/Cyan (light blue)
Green/Magenta
Blue/Yellow

You can tap on the eye button, so you can see how your photo looks after playing with the curves. The over all look to your edit. I like the results of using curves.

Last I want to pick out a border for my photo, they have standard borders for your photos. I always like black borders around my photos. My photo teacher said don’t get seduce by the black borders in Slide Film class. She’s right !!! Black is very seductive and lures you in…that’s why I love Black borders !!!

This is the finished overlay with my own texture…smiles.

If you have any questions about tonight’s blog, please leave comments or e-mail me ashcroft54@yahoo.com. You can follow me on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram @ashcroft54. There is the Combo Apps Group on Flickr if your interested in checking out other people’s edits, just click on Combo Apps below.

Camera Roll-488Camera Roll-486Camera Roll-483Camera Roll-482Camera Roll-481Goldfish
Drive on up...Power Check FireTree...where...over there...!!!What a cutie !!!
The GuardianGlass-GeminiBacklit BeautyG is for Geckophotophoto
Resting under the vinePassing morning train195/365 - The July syndrome; empty city in the mornings, empty parking houses in the afternoons...Walk with meSnapping of the snappers133/365 iPhone - pass me by

Combo Apps, a group on Flickr.

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About ashcroft54

Photographer~Blogger~Artist
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