On today’s blog post I will be writing in-depth review and tutorial on Leonardo Photo Editor app by developer Pankaj Goswami. Pankaj has also developed two other popular apps a lot of you know and love Photo Wizard and Superimpose. Both apps are very powerful editing tools for the iPhone and iPad, you can also get Photo Wizard HD for the iPad. Now everyone mobile blogger has pretty much reviewed Leonardo and wrote their quick reviews, except for Marty Yawnick on Life in Lofi. He write about the app operates on your iPhone, so when I read the blog post. I made a comment to Marty I would do the iPad version and take it a step further than anyone else has so far…The top photo was taken with Pro Camera and edited with Leonardo. I only used the simple effects features with Leonardo app but I will show you how to do crazy far out editing with Leonardo as the post processes…
Now I’ve loaded up Leonardo on my iPad and I’m going to load up a photo to start my editing demo. This is the default and start page of the app. There’s something important I need to warn you about is memory with this app. Leonardo is like Photo Forge 2, when you leave you flatten and/or unflatten edits on the app it will take up space and slows down your iPad. So it’s best to keep a few of the photo edits you’re still working on for future reference, then when you’re done delete the edits off the app. Leonardo is a memory sucker and will make your iPad lag over time if you do not clean out your edits from time to time. I also tapped on the Tutorials button to show you that you can watch videos on how to operate this app. I watched one video, to see how the buttons function after that I started to play with the app.
I loaded a photo I did on a plain black screen with Deco Sketch. Now I do this a lot with photo and art apps so I can make my own backgrounds and textures. Deco Sketch isn’t the only app I do this with, I’ll also use Flow Paper, Percolator (using a generic photo), Glaze, Tangled FX, Krink and any drawing apps. You don’t really need to take photos or find textured photos on Google or other share and trade sites. It’s more fulfilling to make things for yourself than go looking for something that’s pre-made.
So I loaded the photo I’ll be using to mask in the Deco Sketch image and I’m adjusting the brush to use for masking. It’s different from the normal paint brush apps where it’s usually a slider and you adjust it left to right. This shows you a blue dot and you adjust the tip to your liking…
Now I’m painting along and OOPPPSSS…I made a mistake!!! What do I do…well you can just hit the back arrow and that’s the only option you have. There’s not erase button on this app, all though I wish this app had one. The reason why I would like one is if you go to far and see your mistake later on you can’t undo it after so long. I tested this out, so if the developer is reading this blog post. I recommend adding an erase button instead of using the “undo arrow” button in the near future.
Undo Arrow button is used in this screen shot. Another thing I would like added is the orange/salmon masking screen for masking, the reason why I like that color for masking is I will hardly miss anything that hasn’t been masked and tight spots. The Lasso is a great tool but you can’t always Lasso all the tiny bits out. This is why I always mask my photos manually rather than using the Magic Wand or the Lasso tools. I like to have the control to be able to get into tight spots in masking my photos.
Ok, all my masking is done and I’m ready to edit with more features with this app. One thing I really love about app is the feathering tool, not all powerful editing apps have this tool for masking. I feel this tool should be standard in most powerful editing apps. This was you can blend in better with what you’ve masked out so it looks a lot cleaner and more natural with out looking like cut and pasted photos and images.
What’s really cool is how you can apply the effects on whatever layer you’re working on with Leonardo and just play and play with your heart’s content. This is a mobile photo editors dream. You have a lot of great options and features to play with and the combinations are endless.
Ripples you can adjust and fine tune to the ripple effect to your liking, this way you can control the details of the ripples and not a lot of apps will let you have this much control in the effects.
Light Leaks is really impressive with this turning position wheel, you can turn the light leak around to give realistic effects and position the light leaks to where you like it. This is an innovation in app editing design that sets apart and a new standard on positioning where you want your light leaks to go on your photos. I haven’t seen anything like this in any other editing app. This is one of the many awesome features that makes Leonardo a very powerful tool and innovative in app editing. Oh and this position wheel design doesn’t stop there, you can also move the wheel on different parts of the photo just like Tilt-Shift editing. You don’t have to use it at it’s default spot.
Let’s move onto the Adjustment Filters section of Leonardo, I really like “Improved Clarity” feature. By far this is about as good if not better than what Camera+ has to offer in clarity. You can really mess with the radius, which is something you will use for tone map style editing or fake HDR.
Now that I’m done editing I can save my finished flatten edited photo as a JPEG because I can use the photo in another app for editing later. You can also save it on other file formats, PSD and PNG if you want to load them on Photoshop, other software and/or other formats on the web.
My finished edited creation using Leonardo, looks pretty cool, HUH !!! You can watch the tutorials on You Tube and/or Leonardo’s Website on how to operate Leonardo. The videos are on the fast side to follow so it might be better to watch the videos on your laptop/desktop with your iPad in hand to practice and play along with videos while using the app at the same time. You do this a few times on your own, then you will become and expert on how to use the app.
Here’s another example using Leonardo, I used two photos. One was a regular building photo that I mirrored and put mirror ripples. Then I took another photo, layered it on top and masked everything out but the trolley. Then I edited the trolley to make it look like it was moving quickly and making the building ripple with sound like water.
This next example I used two photos, layers or made up background textures from Flow Paper and Emulsion. Then i took a photo I had of a door and stairs going upward, masked out everything and place and askew the doors and stairs to my liking. Then using the textures to look like the came from the glowing door.
Leonardo is one app that’s very addictive and you can put it down once you start to really play with it. The app has the potential and room for improvements in the future to come. I’m hoping for vector masking in near future to be added to the mix. One thing Leonardo has taken over the spot of two of it’s previous apps, Photo Wizard and Superimpose. I’ll keep Superimpose on my iPhone for stamps and what not, it’s quick and easy to use. Now I recommend you read Life in LoFi’s article on Leonardo on the iPhone version. This app is really made for the iPad rather than the iPhone, I agree with Marty on the sticky parts using it on the iPhone. Like most people who have an iPad, rather use that device for their main mobile editing and sharing. But the problem is not everyone has or can afford an iPad or iPad Mini, so I hope the developer will see that and try to improve the flow on the iPhone and iPod Touch versions. I also feel the app is at a fair price of $2.99 since it’s a universal iPhone/iPad app, anything above that price is too expensive because they’re other app that are powerful editing tools on the market that are below the $4.99 bracket pricing.
I got an update from Pankaj about the erase button with Leonardo, so I’m posting this up: “Tina, regarding the erase button, it is actually there. On the top left corner, there is a cluster of 3 buttons. In the masking section, the middle one is selected. If you select the last, instead of adding mask, you can use any of the masking tools to actually erase it. And if you use the first button, each masking action will create a new mask, instead of adding to the previous mask. And the default middle button, when selected, it will keep accumulating the masks.”
Alright is you have any questions about this blog post please leave comments or email me email@example.com. You can also follow and find me on Instagram @combo_apps and follow me on Twitter. Check out the Combo Apps Flickr Group down below. All apps that were mention on this blog post are linked to take you to the App Store for purchasing…have a great day and see you real soon !!!
Combo Apps: Mobile Extreme Editing, a group on Flickr.