Animate (Old) Still Images

Paris Plotagraph

Paris and the Seine

As a Social Media Manager I’m always on the lookout for new tools and software to create surprising graphics or videos that would get my followers hooked while scrolling through their social news feeds.

A relatively new tool I came across last week is Plotagraph, a software that can animate any single JPG and export the result as GIF or MP4. Naturally, I first signed up for the free membership to give it a try, which limits my tool set immensely (no brush, no feathering). Still, the results I can achieve just by setting a few animation and stabilizer points are rather convincing of the power of the tool.

Additionally, Plotagraph is very easy to use. I just had a look at a few edited stills in the software’s tutorial section and understood immediately how to use animation points. No need to watch complex videos or read endless tutorials before I was able to “breathe new life” into some of my old favorites.

Click on the photos below to see what kind of subtle movements you can create with this software.

Plotagraph is available for iPhone and iPad, as well as Mac, Windows and Linux. Waiting for Android!

The software developers also provide Plotagraph fans with a new social platform, which helps photographers exhibit and share their animation work. Now you might think that sharing on any other existing social network might do the trick — and it will — but Plotagraph’s developers were clever by gamifying their tool. The more followers a Plotagraph user gains, the more features they can unlock inside the program…

Did you try Plotagraph yet? Do you use the basic or paid version? Please share your image examples with me. I’m looking forward to getting inspired! :)

If you like this post, you might also like Prisma: Best Art Filters For Urban Shots

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Prisma: Best Art Filters For Urban Shots

I am an art fan. I admire all the Picassos and Van Goghs in this world. And from time to time I try to be like them.

When I recently set out to find new inspiration for old photos in the App Store, I came across Prisma. Within minutes I was surprised I hadn’t heard of that photo filter app earlier. The results are stunning — real artworks.

What Prisma does, is to turn your photos into classic art, imitating the style of well known painters such as Picasso, Warhol, Munch and many more.

By the time I am writing this post I created around 30 unique pieces of art with Prisma. But it didn’t take me 30 tries to cull out my favorite filters, especially for urban photographs. While the app also works fine for any other photo genre, I personally think you can get the most beautiful results with city shots and the following 7 out of the currently 43 filters.

prisma-art-filter-mononoke

Prisma filter: Mononoke

prisma-art-filter-mosaic

Prisma filter: Mosaic

prisma-art-filter-daryl-feril

Prisma filter: Daryl Feril

prisma-art-filter-tokyo

Prisma filter: Tokyo

prisma-art-filter-theta-vaik

Prisma filter: Theta Vaik

prisma-art-filter-curly-hair

Prisma filter: Curly Hair

prisma-art-filter-candy

Prisma filter: Candy

Try Prisma yourself; you can find it on the App Store as well as on Google Play.

Which artistic style would you like to see added in the future? I think I could enjoy a Niki de Saint Phalle filter :-)

For which occasions do you like to turn your photos into artworks? Besides giving old photos a new twist just for fun, I think some of the above examples would make a great art calendar. And if the app creators decide to add more temporary filters like the current “Halloween” one, I could even imagine to make use of Prisma to style my Social Media profile and cover photos for special events.

prisma-art-filter-halloween

If you like this post you might also like RollWorld: Spin It, Warp It, Scroll It, Zoom It ‚ÄĒ Create Tiny Planets And Abstract Art On Your Mobile¬†Device…

Adobe Post: Create Beautiful Free Social Media Images In Minutes

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I think I might have just stumbled upon one of¬†the easiest to use¬†photo apps since a long time to create eye-catching photography event invites, Pinterest¬†album covers, newsletter graphics, text posters, Twitter cover images, Facebook ads…you name it.

With Adobe Post (currently available for iPhone) you are only a few taps away from professional looking designs with your own photos or photos from a huge library of creative commons pics. Within seconds, the mobile app allows you to change sizes, layouts, colour palettes, fonts and photo filters.

To give you an idea of what I am talking about, I took some of my favourite inspirational travel quotes to create a new edition of this old post within 50 minutes (including the research for creative commons images and playing around with my customization options = 10 minutes per image).

The easiest way to get started with Adobe Post is to make use of one of the suggested templates, which you can personalize to your liking.

adobe_post_templates

Once you get hooked, you will probably go ahead and see what Adobe Post can do with your own photos. You can upload them from your camera roll, Lightroom, the cloud or take a new shot with your mobile device’s camera.

After finishing your edit — and this is the cool marketer’s stuff — you can easily change the (social media) format of your creation¬†and switch with one tap between Facebook cover image size, Twitter post size, YouTube thumbnail size, LinkedIn cover size, Instagram square format etc. Most of the time the app works really neat and crops¬†your¬†image or¬†relocates¬†your texts and shapes in a way that won’t require further adjustments.

adobe_post_social_media_marketing

Here are a few tips of app features I discovered by chance (no tutorial):

  • zoom in and out of an image with the pinch-to-zoom move
  • rotate an image with the two-finger-rotate move
  • the last¬†item you create will be the foreground layer; previous items move in the background¬†(creating with that in mind will save you time if you want to overlap text and shape layers)
  • tap several times on a single colour palette icon to try all its different looks
  • tap several times on the “text spacing” to resize shapes you may use
  • tap on “text align” to switch between all caps and big/small letters
  • you only need to share the app once on social media to unlock exclusive fonts and shapes
  • you only need to email the app once to a friend to remove the #AdobePost hashtag

I hope you find the app helpful for all your coming social media endeavours!

If you like this post you might also like¬†RollWorld: Spin It, Warp It, Scroll It, Zoom It ‚ÄĒ Create Tiny Planets And Abstract Art On Your Mobile¬†Device

Adobe Lightroom Mobile Available For Free

As you might know, I am an advocate for Snapseed, Google’s free image editing tool for mobile devices. But¬†when Adobe announced yesterday that¬†Lightroom Mobile for Android 1.4 is now available for¬†free (following the iOS version going free in October already) I simply had to give the App a try. After all, the Lightroom desktop version is THE photo software par excellence¬†built with Adobe Photoshop technology.

After playing around for an hour, I decided to place the freshly installed¬†Lightroom Mobile directly beside the indispensable Snapsee App — what a great addition to my all time favorite editing tool!

As you can imagine, Adobe’s mobile version of Lightroom does not cover all aspects that the (paid) desktop version covers. Which is completely fine! It still¬†gives you a good amount of¬†handy tools to get hooked on if you love to post-process your (mobile) photos on your iOS or Android device.

I strongly recommend to get the App and have a look yourself. Even without any tutorial it is very intuitive and easy to use if you are not completely new to mobile editing.

These are the 3 Lightroom Mobile features which I personally consider as neat addition to all the wonderful editing options Snapseed already comes with:

  • Dehaze
  • White Balance
  • Noise Reduction*
lightroom-mobile-dehaze2

DEHAZE: Recover details hidden by mist, fog or dense rain. Of course you can reverse the feature and add some moody feeling to your shots if that’s what you’re after.

lightroom-mobile-whitebalance

WHITE BALANCE: You can either let the App auto correct your white balance settings, or choose the selector and pick a part of your image which is supposed to be white. This feature is super handy for all those shots when you didn’t had time to manually set up your white balance. My photos often tend to look a bit redder than the real live version.

lightroom-mobile-noise-reduction

NOISE REDUCTION: Lightroom Mobile comes with a bunch of Presets. Under “Detail” you can adjust clarity and noise (low, medium, high). This is a neat feature for high ISO shots or mobile photos taken in low light. But it can also give your photo a smoother look, like on this image example (take a close look at the sand).

Do you prefer Lightroom Desktop or Mobile?
Which editing options are essential to you, and which ones do you apply each time?

*Please click on the images to see them bigger and in better quality.

If you like this post you might also like¬†RollWorld: Spin It, Warp It, Scroll It, Zoom It ‚ÄĒ Create Tiny Planets And Abstract Art On Your Mobile¬†Device

RollWorld: Spin It, Warp It, Scroll It, Zoom It — Create Tiny Planets And Abstract Art On Your Mobile Device

It seems like ages ago when I read some first tutorials on how to create “tiny planets” thanks to advanced photo editing tools, good graphic skills and a lot of patience. I tried once. It took hours. Now I have RollWorld!

The¬†App for iPhone and iPad¬†is so much simpler; it’s intuitive, offers different distortion settings, comes for free and allows you to create your own mini world¬†in under a minute (ok, under 5 minutes if you play with all your options). Let me give you some examples before listing a few tips:

Tiny world of Paris edited in Rollworld

Planet building in RollWorld (Paris)

Tiny world of Auckland edited in Rollworld

Tunnel building in RollWorld (Auckland)

Tiny world of Maisons-Laffitte edited in Rollworld

In between planet and tunnel building in RollWorld (Maisons-Laffitte)

RollWorld tips:

  • the App works on both photos and videos (videos require a one time in-App purchase)
  • even if you start with 1 photo only, the App can make a video of your morph (tap the + icon at the bottom of your image)
  • loading an image will bring you by default a tiny planet — play with all sliders to spin, warp, scroll, spiral and zoom your creation to your liking
  • play with the spiraling effect to create abstract art¬†(droste effect)
  • for better results, straighten your horizon in Snapseed before opening the image in RollWorld
  • apparently, the iPad version offers more settings than the iPhone version (to be confirmed)
  • you can reverse your last edit by tapping the bottom left arrow
  • you can save your creation to your camera roll or directly publish to a big choice of¬†social networks by tapping the top right arrow
  • you can change the default saving settings from 1024x1024px to 4000x4000px

My final example is a sunset photo which I processed 3 times with the RollWorld sprialing effect. Admittedly, this doesn’t even come close to a tiny planet, but colourful creative compositions are maybe just what you were after!

rollworld art

Spiraling effect in Rollworld:
Top left: source image
Top right: 1st processing result
Bottom left: 2nd processing result
Bottom right: 3rd processing result

I truly enjoyed playing around with RollWorld. Give it a spin yourself and let me see your creations. You got nothing to lose with this free App!

If you like this post you might also like¬†Snapseed 2.0: Does Google Plan To Pit The App Against¬†Instagram?¬†…

Do Photo Filters Have An Impact On You?

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Original

I recently came across the¬†article “Top 5 Instagram Filters”.¬†It wasn’t the first text¬†I read about¬†the impact of Instagram filters on the amount of photo likes and comments. But I admit I hadn’t paid attention to that so far simply because I don’t make use of Instagram filters or any editing software promising you the ultimate grunge or vintage look.*

However, the article got me thinking. The next time I visited Instagram I noticed I tend to swipe past images which seem to look completely over edited. Can there be too much HDR? I think so!

How about you? Would you say that photo filters have an impact on you? Do you prefer more or less drama, bleached or glowy look? Does a certain style cause you to like or comment on a photo for sure? Are you a #NoFilter ambassador? Or do you consider the image theme or caption as most important motivator to engage with the photographer?

It clearly boils down to personal taste I guess. As someone being on Instagram on a daily basis I would refrain from saying there is a¬†best or¬†worst filter. It’s interesting though how Social Media Analysts seem to spot a pattern.

Here are a few edits to keep you thinking. Any favorites?

edit02-colder-vibrance

Temperature filter

edit02-grunge

Grunge filter

edit02-warmer-vibrance-glow

Vibrant glow filter

fisherman-rarotonga

Original

filter02-cooler-vibrant-vignette

Temperature filter

filter05-glow-vignette

Glow filter

filter09-vintage-vignette

Vintage filter

*Don’t get me wrong; I do edit most of my photos. I might adjust the¬†brightness, contrast, or saturation. I just don’t apply a pre-fabricated set of filters.¬†

If you like this post you might also like Track The Success Of Your Instagram Content Strategy

Update: People kindly answered also on Facebook and Google+. My Facebook profile isn’t public, however, I was told there “the more drama, the more likely I’ll like a photo”. And here you can have a look at what’s been said on my Google+ profile as well. Many thanks to everyone who joined the discussion!¬†