Tag Archives: TouchRetouch

Hands-on with Handy Photo

Handy Photo was updated to version 2 last month and I finally got around to trying it out. It is made by the same group that does TouchRetouch and AntiCrop and I use both of those, so I wanted to see what it was like.

Handy Photo GUI

Handy Photo GUI on the iPad

The Universal app (currently $1.99) is a full photo editor that allows you adjust colors, tones, textures, and filters on the entire image or just local regions. It also lets you crop, anticrop, and retouch images to remove unwanted elements. As if that is not enough, the app also lets you move things around in your image and cloning tools. I’m really surprised and impressed with how many features are wrapped in this single app.

* APP FEATURES *

– Global and local tone and color correction options
– Partial application option in Filters tool
– Advanced retouching technology for mobile platforms
– Move Me technology for smart objects extraction and moving
– Magic Crop tool with unique photo “un-cropping” function
– High-quality textures and frames
– 100% size image editing
– Up to 36 MP image support
– RAW format support
– Optimized for multi-core and GPU processors
– Stylish and intuitive UI

I first tried the app on my iPad 3 (the first retina screen iPad) and even though my iPad is pretty old, the app felt snappy. After using it a bit on the iPad I went ahead and tried it on my iPhone 5. I was a bit worried that the GUI might feel tight on the iPhone, but it turned out to be just fine. It’s easy to zoom in/out to get close views of the image when you need to and as the menus pop in/out you get a good clear view of your image even on the iPhone.

Here is the before/after that I did on my iPhone. I snapped a photo of myself sitting here in a coffee shop while typing this post. The first thing I did was retouch to remove the artwork above my head. I then rotated the image a bit. The anti-crop (smart crop) filled in the image nicely but left just a bit of excess creases in my sweatshirt, so I once again used the retouch feature to remove it, along with the reflection in my glasses.

I applied the B&W filter but only at a 90% level, so it left a tiny tinge of color. I made use of the channel mixer that goes along with this filter. That is an amazingly well placed tool making it so easy to get a great look on your B&W shot. I used the tilt-shift filter to blur the background. I then tweaked the contrast overall and tweaked the shadow level. Finally, I wanted my eyes to be a bit sharper, so I locally increased brightness and contrast on my eyes. It took me about two minutes to do this (eyes were the longest part…always tough to improve brown eyes with “coffee shop” lighting conditions – it was much easier to see the improvement on the full size image before I shrunk these). I then added a frame to finish it off.

Of course, this picture really does nothing to show off the power of this app. The developer has posted a number of great YouTube videos to help you learn how to use the full power. I watched them and after just a few minutes I learned about some features I wasn’t even aware of. Very nice.

There are far more videos on their YouTube page that cover things such as applying filters locally, dealing with frames, and overall techniques.

One thing that may be a bit confusing is when you first go to change the look of a texture (such as the wood) a selection of different woods will show up, but only one is visible at first. The others all show up with little spinning arrows indicating they are loading. Depending on your connection speed, this can take awhile.

The only other negative on this app is the fact that it uses “destructive” editing. Once you have made several changes you won’t be able to go back and tweak a prior step and have it keep your other steps intact. However, you can go back in time in a nice drop down list, and start your sequence of changes again from that point.

Overall this app is a great app with some unique features. Having the anticrop and retouch features included really makes this app great if you don’t want to have to switch to many apps to do the same thing. If you only want to make really quick changes the auto levels feature will let you do that, but for those that want to do more heavy duty editing on your iPhone you can go ahead and do that in this app. The simplicity of the channel mixer with the B&W filter is one of my absolute favorite features of this app. Well done.

Handy Photo can be downloaded on iTunes.

My Percolator Process

Percolator is one of those unique apps that let’s you get create some really interesting artwork. I really enjoy it. When I show some stuff to my friends they often think it would be difficult or take a long time. It doesn’t. It’s fun!

I was having one of those philosophical “thinking about myself” sort of days so I thought I’d see what I could come up with. The shot below is what I ended up with. I’ll walk you through the very quick and easy steps I used to get this one.

Aware

I started with an image from Picasso. I used Touch Retouch (mostly the clone tool) to remove the red region on the left side, and also the vertical line on the forehead. That left me with a simpler image to open with Percolator.

Initial image by Picasso

Initial image by Picasso

Modified with Touch Retouch

Modified with Touch Retouch

I then used Percolator to create this image using the Treble setting.

Image created with Percolator

Image created with Percolator

At this point I wanted to include some color/texture from a painting my sister did, so I snapped an image of that (which included some glare since it was a sunny afternoon in my living room!).

Snapshot of a painting done by Jala Pfaff

Snapshot of a painting done by Jala Pfaff

At this point I have the two images I want to use so I import them into Image Blender and use the Color Burn blending mode. This image that is very close to what I wanted.

Composite image from Image Blender

Composite image from Image Blender

I now used PhotoToaster to remove a bit of color, do a minor crop, and add a frame. If you look at a closeup of the image you can see the texture and some color from the original painting. Here is a small sample, or you can drop by Flickr and view the full size image.

Closeup of my image

Closeup of my image

I used several apps in the process and ended up with an image that I really like. Since I’m not a professional, that is all that matters to me. 🙂

Here are links to the apps that I used.

Percolator (Universal) [download]
Image Blender (Universal) [download]
PhotoToaster (Universal) [download]
TouchRetouch (iPhone) [download]
TouchRetouch HD (iPad) [download]

Simple Shot, Busy Week

I continue my training for the Chicago Marathon in early October – so far my longest run is 16 miles. Between the extra running and work, I’ve been really busy and pretty tired. As I was getting back from a run the other day I noticed some really big clouds had started to pop up just as the sun was heading down. Despite being rather sweaty I grabbed my iPhone and snapped a few shots.

The original shot looked like this.

Clouds/Steeple

Clouds/Steeple, original shot.

I then used a few apps to make a few changes. I first used Image Straightener to straighten the church steeple. After saving the image I brought it in to Simply B&W to do the conversion. I believe I used the red filter, applied a bit of grain to the shot, and added a bit of vignette.

Once I saved that photo I used TouchRetouch to remove the phone line that ran through the middle of the shot and the bright ‘spot’ between the steeple and the tree. Finally, I used the Silver Gelatin Effect in Camera+ to give it the tint, and also added the frame.

Clouds/Steeple

Clouds/Steeple. Edited with several iPhone apps.

Despite my tiring run, I found it rather relaxing to create the image. Always helps to have a church steeple near your house when looking for a photo.

TouchRetouch Magically Clears Clutter

If you are anything like me I’m sure you’ve taken a photo where you wish just a few things weren’t in the shot, or you wanted to fix a blemish or smudge of some sort. TouchRetouch is one of those apps that you need on your iPhone/iPad. This app was included among my must have apps for 2011 and I realized I’d never bothered to review it. Here is a quick one.

TouchRetouch GUI

TouchRetouch GUI

TouchRetouch is one of those apps that is so simple you barely have to think about how to use it. The tools available are a lasso, a paintbrush, an eraser, the dragging/zooming hand, the action button, and a clone tool. The vast majority of time all I do is use the paintbrush to cover what I want to remove and click the “action” button. Magically, the pixels I didn’t want vanish. Poof! Love it. Every now and then I’ll use the clone tool to help clean up a certain area of the shot that needs a bit more work. The current version (3) is much faster than prior versions.

The brush, eraser, and clone tool all let you adjust the size of the specific tool. You also have the ability to zoom in on the image so you can do all the detailed work – up close and personal.

This video tutorial pretty much sums up all the features and shows how easy the app is to use. A basic video tutorial is also available.

The app always asks what pixel size you want when you open an image (the larger the image, the more time it will take to do the processing). Most of the time the options will range from full size image to three smaller scaled versions. Every now and then something quirky happens at this point. The largest size available is much larger (60% or so) than my actual shot. I always choose the highest resolution. If I reopen the same image it will then show the actual picture dimensions as the largest option. I’ve used the larger than initial shot option and it works with no apparent problems, and does save the image at that exceptionally high resolution.

TouchRetouch has separate apps for the iPhone and iPad on iTunes. Currently both apps are $0.99.

A free version that leaves watermarks on the photos is also available for download.

And for those that want to read the full description while you are here:

TouchRetouch is a revolutionary application that lets you remove unwanted content or objects from your photos, using just your finger and iPhone or iPod Touch. Mark the items you want taken out of the snapshot and hit ‘Go’. That’s all there is to it. Retouching photographs has never been so quick, easy and convenient. Click “…More” to learn why you should download this App today!

You recently got married on a beautiful Caribbean beach. Everything was so perfect. Luckily, you have a lot of memorable snapshots of the crystalline water and white sand backdrop of the ceremony, you and your new spouse silhouetted in the sunset, your guests under a palm tree, that nude sunbather that somehow got included in a shot taken during the exchanging of vows. Yikes!

Before showing your mom those photos, take a minute to remove that accidental guest from an otherwise great picture. Open your TouchRetouch app. Using your finger, select the Brush or Lasso tool to mark what you don’t want in the shot, then hit the ‘Go’ button. Okay, you’re done and it’s now safe to share your picture-perfect memories with everybody.

TouchRetouch isn’t just for exotic or wedding photo touch-ups, of course. Use this easy yet ingenious application on any photo, newly snapped on your iDevice or taken from your gallery. Remove those wires that are in the way of an otherwise wonderful view, take banners off of buildings, get rid of people, eliminate spots and other imperfections. All without distorting the final image.

You can even have a little fun with TouchRetouch. Take away the bicycle from under your brother and it looks like he’s cycling in mid-air. You can make it look like people are flying, jumping or posed oddly, by removing whatever was supporting them.

Do everything mentioned here and more, in mere seconds without any special equipment.

Check out some of the things that you can do with TouchRetouch:
* Remove spots from sky or other backgrounds
* Remove wires from your picture
* Remove banners from the buildings
* Remove human-made objects from nature views (bridges, buildings, tents, ships etc.)
* Remove your shadow from self-made picture
* Remove people from the photo
* Remove ghosts and flare
* Remove surface breaks
* Smoothen and retouch the face
* Create funny pictures: for example, remove parachute and leave the guy flying in the sky

This app is just so versatile! It comes loaded with great features and functions that you’re going to love using and appreciate having, especially in an easy-to-use, portable medium that goes everywhere you do.

Features
* In-app video tutorials
* Unlimited Undo\Redo actions
* Smart image background recovery techniques
* No distortions in final image
* Easy to use interface
* 1:1 view
* Facebook, Twitter, Picasa, Flickr sharing
* Finger move hint

Download TouchRetouch now and start creating amazing or funny photos. It’s easy, fun and always ready to edit your images in a tap or two – no matter when, no matter where.

Creating ‘Tiny Planet’ Artwork Using Several Apps

I recently posted a shot over on Flickr (Tiny Jesus 1) that used several apps to create something interesting (at least in my own private world). I’ll walk you through that process for anyone that may be interested.

The first thing is that I was taking a few shots for possible use with the Tiny Planet Photos App. One thing that helps to get interesting shots with that app is to have matches on the left and right side of the image. When the spherical filter is applied in the app the even edges allow for a smooth connection in the image.

Here was the original shot I took (using Pro HDR).

Original Shot

Original Shot

I trimmed the image a bit so that when using Tiny Planet the cross would not get chopped off on the top.

Initial Crop

Initial Crop

I used Photogene to tweak the levels a bit. Then, since there was a chuck of wire in the image near the cross (click on image above to see it clearly), I used TouchRetouch to remove the distraction (TouchRetouch is a rather amazing app!). The touched up image is shown below.

Removed wire near cross.

Removed wire near cross.

You can see that the left and right sides of the image are lined up. I then put the image through Tiny Planet and got this output.

Used Tiny Planet Photos App

Used Tiny Planet Photos App

At this point I wanted to increase the “space” above the cross, since I didn’t want that to be directly next to the edge of the image. I used one of the MANY transformations in PhotoFactory to increase the image size. That feature begins to mirror the image on every side. This image shows the control for that feature, and the other image shows the output from PhotoFactory.

Option in PhotoFactory

Option in PhotoFactory


Output from PhotoFactory

Output from PhotoFactory

I used TouchRetouch once again to get rid of the extra cross at the top.

After using TouchRetouch

After using TouchRetouch

Then I cropped the image a bit on the left/bottom to center the church with Photogene.

At this point I used ToonPaint to create a new black & white version of the image. In ToonPaint I use the Size controls with settings of L, S, and S for the three parameters. I then tweaked the Shading a bit to create this image.

Result from ToonPaint

Result from ToonPaint

At this point I fired up Image Blender (another superb app). I placed the colored image on the bottom and the B&W on the top and selected Luminosity for ink. I then tweaked the slider until I was happy with the image.

After using Image Blender

After using Image Blender

And finally, I pulled the image into Camera+ and selected the frame option, and applied an effect that I liked (I actually saved multiple versions using different effects since I liked a few of them). And after all those apps I ended up with the image I put on Flickr.

Tiny Jesus 1

Fun! I also did a version where I used PictureShow to apply some noise and filter. That one is also on Flickr.

Tiny Jesus 2

You can do a lot with a single app, but often a few are needed to get the shot you really want. Now…if only I had a bit more artistic talent. At least I’m having fun 🙂