Now before I start off with Ben’s keynote about Union. I wanted to let you know that during the beta testing I did struggle with trying to make the app work for me. The top image up above was after the second build in beta testing. It seem to click for me at the time, of course I got super excited about it. Everything seem to be working together then the Magic Wand builds was the next build and that’s where it fell apart for me. This is probably one of these rare moments where I’ve really struggled with an app. And the first time I struggled through a beta testing process, just nothing seem to work for me blending the photos together.
Then another Magic Wand build was sent out to the testers. This time I told myself I’m just going to play and not think about what I’m doing and mix some layers that were editing with other app. After not thinking and just playing with the layers, blending and masking, Union started to come together for me. There is something I’m going to say that Ben Guerrette told me. “Union is not going to be an app for everyone.” I have to agree with Ben on this one because I’ve struggled with the app myself. This app is made for people who really want to push their editing skills. You really have to find the right photos in order to make good match. The best way to find the right photos to blend them to perfections is one photo with a lot of details and the other photo has to be plain. If you do mix two photo with lots of details, they tend to get lost in the editing process and looks really messy. For some people that would be great for making crazy abstract images but for me it’s not my cup of tea at the moment. Union has a lot of learning curves and will challenge your artistic editing skills like no other app…so sit back and read Ben’s keynote and introduction to Union.
San Diego, CA – April 17, 2014 – The all-star Pixite LLC photo app suite gets an impressive boost this week with the launch of Union, a pioneering photo enhancement app designed for intuitive, high-level image stacking, editing and masking. A natural extension of Pixite’s established photo editing apps, Fragment and Tangent, Union lets users quickly and easily replace backgrounds and combine photos in unique and creative ways.
Union’s design appeals to professional photographers and hobbyists alike, featuring a clean, intuitive interface and the latest technologies in mobile graphic design.
“It’s a brand new take on the entire masking procedure, changing the way you’ll think about layering, blending, and combining photos,” said one of Union’s creators, Ben Guerrette. “But it’s also easily understandable, ushering you through the steps without having to be super explicit.”
Union artists can create superimposed, silhouetted, and double-exposure edits from their iPhones or iPads by combining images for surreal and sometimes radically creative compositions, while retaining uncompromising professional quality results.
To begin, Union users load a background image, color fill, or transparent layer. Then, users load a foreground image or color fill that can be composited onto the background image. During either or both processes, users can make adjustments for brightness, contrast, color temperature, and saturation levels with a precision-focused slider.
In the final step, users add a mask layer that dictates the parts of the foreground to be erased to create the final blended image. Since the mask layer is non-destructive and separate from the foreground image, users don’t have to worry about permanently erasing or losing any parts of the foreground. Additionally, users can swap out the foreground and retain the mask that they have been working on. Editing supports both broad and minute adjustments for foreground image position and size, creating tight, smooth blending for an organic finish. Highly precise tools erase unwanted image sections for seamless background and foreground integration.
One of Union’s tools that has been optimized for mobile editing, the Magic Wand, is unique among those offered by other apps by allowing real-time adjustments, which drastically reduces time-consuming back-and-forth editing. Using Union’s Magic Wand, photo artists can complete both larger-scale sections and minute erasures with simple tap-delete functionality.
For up-close detailed work, the brush tool’s solid, gradient, and square brush options coupled with zoom-adjustable brush size give the users unmatched flexibility and precision. Used together with the Highlight tool, which clearly shows the masked areas using a semi-transparent red overlay, Union allows users to achieve pixel – perfect blending.
On top of its exceptional masking tools, Union brings a whole new level to blending by including shape and image loading for masks. Instead of starting from a blank mask layer, users can select from various geometric shapes or convert any photo in the Camera Roll into a high contrast black and white image to be used as a mask, offering opportunities for silhouetted compositions that weren’t previously possible. Finished Union images can be saved in full – resolution format, exported, and shared on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or via email.
Union can be used on its own or in tandem with other apps in the Pixite suite, including Tangent and Fragment. Both have already created big footprints in the iPhoneography community–Tangent was named one of App Store Best of 2013 and Fragment topped the Photo & Video category charts–earning a loyal following while pushing the limits of mobile artistry.
To function more symbiotically with Union, both Pixite apps received fresh updates — making room for Tangent 1.6 and Fragment 1.3.
Overall, it’s a powerful vote for Union’s clean, uncluttered interface that gets out of the way so that users can focus on editing artistry and creative vision.
Among Union’s enhancement options:
• Combining background and foreground images, then isolating a desired section
• Advanced real-time masking with specialized, high-precision erasure
• Both shape and image based masking with image adjustment, scaling and blending tools
• Easily produced superimposed, silhouetted, and double-exposure effects for radically surreal, spacious compositions
“It’s super easy for the hobbyist, but it has the deep tools a professional expects,” Guerrette said. “It covers both spectrums. There are both commercial and recreational possibilities.”
Union’s design features were created based on direct feedback from photo aficionados.
“Much of what we do is inspired by the community of artists on Instagram,” Guerrette said. “We’re constantly pulling inspiration from them. We look closely at what they do in order to create tools to make their job easier.”
I highly recommend you watch the video tutorials that come with Union. All you have to do is tap on the “?” button and this will give you the option to watch all of the video demos.
Another recommendation is tapping onto the support page. This is something where you can put in your honest critical feedback, vote for up coming update tools and other nice forums. Please take a look at the support page. You all know by now telling me you honest opinion about an app is not going to get the results you want, going to the support page will help get the results for future updates with Union. Also leaving review at the App Store if you bought the app is another way of leaving your opinions. You need to be detailed and keep track of when things go wrong on the app.
Here was an image I was working together with Union on my iPad. I did all the testing on my iPad because I wanted to see the full details of what I’m working on. I blended a mirrored image of Boyce jumping across from wall to wall. I used a cloud photo I took to but some details in the blue boring sky.
After I got the blends I wanted, I saved the photo and load it onto LoryStripes and a few other apps to get the finally results of this image. It’s titled, “Light Streamers” and it’s part of Project 365. I really love how this image came out in the end.
My overall opinions is this, Union will be a work in progress. This app is only a start of what’s to come in the future. Union will go through a lot of dramatic changes and additions. I know Ben is still looking to make a better Blending, Layers and Masking app. Union is probably the closest thing I’ve seen close to Photoshop standards when it comes to blending, layers and masking. I wanted to let you all know something else before you start saying how Juxtaposer, Photo Wizard, Leonardo, Image Blender, DXP and other apps in the genre are better. When we were beta testing Union, we all had to do a detailed survey during the testing about the apps we use for editing photos. Ben wanted detailed answers from us, so he has an idea of what we were all looking for in an powerful blending, layers and masking app. This version of Union is only a taste of what’s to come in the future.
You can pick up Union for $1.99 at the App Store. It is universal to the iPad and has full resolution output. Device Requirements are iPhone or iPad with iOS 7.0 or later, so you have to be running iOS 7.O to be able to use Union. You can follow Union on Instagram @union_app and use #unionapp for the hash tag, so you can get a change for your creation to be featured on Instagram. If you have any questions about this blog post please leave a comment or email me firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a good evening and see you soon !!!