iPhoneography Apps: iColorama from the beginning – Part 2

Well, I’m back. So says Samwise the hobbit in the seventy-third ending of The Lord of the Rings. Just when you think the movie is finally done, there’s another ten minutes of farewells. Another literary comparison of my returning to the beginner tutorial for iColorama would be Columbo – I’m turning to you as I go and say “Just one thing…”

Last time I took you through the basics of menu navigation; the help file; the differences between iColorama (the iPad version) and iColorama S (the iPhone version); and the all-important Apply button, and how it relates to Steps, the History function. Let’s turn now to a subject that is very dear to me – masking. This is what makes iColorama more than a filter app – the ability to make changes to only part of an image.

I’ve written quite a bit about masking in iColorama, and also recorded a couple of videos that discuss masking technique in this app. But I’m going to revisit it here, in brief. Below you’ll see the help for the masking buttons and the Zoom button. Remember: If the Brush Mask or the brushes found in the Brush menu are active, any touch to the screen will make a stroke. If you wish to move around the screen while a brush is active, you will need to tap Zoom Move.

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iPhoneography Apps: iColorama from the beginning – Part 1

iColorama is a full-featured art app. Do you want to base your art on an image? iColorama allows you to change the tone, the colors, the grain, the noise, the size of the image before creating art with it. Do you want to distort the image? Well, it’s got Distort and Glass to help you do that. How about combining images to make a composite or collage? Blend has got you covered. Artistic treatments? iColorama’s effects run from oil to water and many, many in between. Add text? Yes.

What about if you want to start from scratch? Create something totally new? Well, iColorama can handle that as well, with gradients, hundreds of built-in brushes and the ability to import your own.

With all that iColorama can do, there are two things it just can’t be. Those two things make it necessary for me to write a beginner’s tutorial for this app that I’ve covered so often before. One, it cannot be a simple app. Although it’s possible to slap on a filter and export the saved image to Instagram, that is using less than 1% of its capabilities. Two, it is not a layering app. For those who were introduced to digital imaging with desktop behemoths like Photoshop, this means that you will have to rethink the way you do things. This tutorial will help you make the first steps towards using this feature-laden app efficiently, yet playfully. Yet it’s long; too long, I fear, to be contained in a single article as I would have liked.

iColorama’s splash screen is artwork created in iColorama by various talented artists. The splash screens stay in place for several months, then are replaced as part of a new release that adds multiple additional capabilities to the app.

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iPhoneography Apps: iColorama 3.83 – Can it get any better? Yes.

I had fully intended to write a beginner tutorial for iColorama. Even though this is my twelfth article on iColorama, I have yet to go over the basics of moving around in this marvelous app. But then this past Sunday Release 3.83 was approved by the App Store, and I knew that the new features should be covered first.

So what’s new in Release 3.83? A couple of bug fixes and a preset or two? No, that’s thinking way too small. Let’s take a look at the description of the release.

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iPhoneography Apps: iColorama Procedural – Limitless Horizons

Here’s something I bet you didn’t know: I take requests here on my blog. So when I created the image you’ll see below and posted it on the iColorama Facebook page, a user named Chris Harbinson asked, “Pretty please could you describe how you achieved what you did here?”

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When looking at the steps taken, I realized it would be better as a video tutorial than my standard screenshots-and-text entry. So here is how I created “Limitless Horizon” – set aside about 14 minutes to watch the whole thing. Enjoy!

iPhoneography Apps: iColorama 10 – Procedural – “Music of the Spheres”

Occasionally, while messing around, I’ll produce an image that makes people ask, “how did you do that”? That gives me an opportunity to go from something I’m not very skilled at – producing wonderful images – to a task I am better suited for – explaining the ins and outs of apps. On those occasions, I will deviate slightly from my review/tutorial format to write what I call a procedural. My procedurals take you through the steps to create a particular image, with some side topics brought in to relate the image to iPhoneography topics in general.

Here’s the piece I will recreate today: “Music of the Spheres”.

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iPhoneography Apps – iColorama 3.81: Paint, Plane and Bound Brushes

There are some features which are very difficult to convey in the normal text-and-screenshot methods, and brush work is one of them. The new release of iColorama really boosts the painting capabilities within the app, and so I thought a video was in order so you could see the brush strokes. This 12-minute video barely touches on the new Paint, Plane and Brush brush types, but it will probably give you enough knowledge to want to try out these features yourself. After the video, take a look at some examples that use the brushes below. If you have any questions, post them at my blog, enthusiasm noted; at The App Whisperer; at the iColorama Community page or iColorama group on Facebook; or at the YouTube page for the video.

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iPhoneography Apps – iColorama Compose: A video tutorial

As I promised last year, I am going to do a number of video tutorials. These tutorials will necessarily not be as detailed as my normal tutorials, with 50 or more screenshots that cover all the ins and outs of an app. They will tend to cover only a single feature of an app, and I am going to try to limit them to under 10 minutes for easy viewing.

I’ve changed my method of creating the tutorials. I no longer use my DSLR shooting down at the iPad itself. I am, instead, feeding the input of my iPad screen and a separate microphone into the recording. This should result in better sound and image, but it also means that you will no longer see my finger pointing to various parts of the screen, or touching the controls. If I can figure out a way to do that, that will be implemented in future videos.

My first video will be on a feature added in release 3.8 of iColorama, which is due to be released sometime this week. It’s a very flexible image creation feature called Compose, which uses the color picker and 306 patterns to make your images into something new. The title card for the video shows Compose in action.

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iPhoneography Apps – iColorama Masking Revisited: a rewrite of the first iColorama tutorial

One year ago I wrote my first tutorial on iColorama. It was on masking, a favorite topic of mine. It’s a step up in your thinking when you first realize that, rather than applying edits to an entire image, it’s possible to edit just part of an image.

iColorama’s masking potential already set it apart from other photo/art apps a year ago. In the past year, however, it has changed radically. The main change is in the ability to export and import masks, making them both reusable and modifiable. The number of available brushes has grown from about 200 to over 1000. The “Show Mask” button allows you to see the mask now. In other words, it really is an entirely new way of masking compared to that first tutorial.

As I look back at the tutorials I’ve written in the last 16 months, there is certainly a lot of potential for the tutorials to become obsolete as the apps change. This one, however, is the only one I feel compelled to rewrite completely. The old one is nearly useless now.

So let’s get started, shall we? For the first part of my tutorial, I will be using a background made with the new Preset>Pattern feature. The patterns available (nearly 200 as of this initial release) are in black and white, with the capability of changing them to other colors. Here I’ve got two nearly identical shades of blue, which lowers the contrast.

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iPhoneography Apps – VectorSNAP and iColorama: Step-by-step pop art

About a week ago, a friend alerted me to the app VectorSNAP, which creates a black and white version of your images – solid black and white – with smoothed edges. This image can either be saved as a normal image file or as a vector file that can be adjusted with desktop products like Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape. However, the first thing I thought when seeing her image from VectorSNAP was not “Vectors!” but “Masks!”. I have done an earlier video tutorial on creating black and white masks from your image in iColorama, and I realized a series of masks would allow you to layer colors, textures and patterns, resulting in “pop art” images like the one below.

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iPhoneography Apps – iColorama 7b: Exploring Release 3.7 continued

As I said last time, the latest release of iColorama has too may features to cover in one article. As a matter of fact, by the time this tutorial is published, yet another release should have come along, bringing new goodies.

If you haven’t read the first part of the tutorial, you should. It describes how to access the Multibrush and Photo brush capabilities. We’ll start with some further description of these new features, and follow with the new Deform and Tile presets.

In the first tutorial, I used the new brush settings in the Brush>Artist function. But they can also be used in many of the other Brush functions. Below, I am using the red-green gradient and I’ve loaded my arcs image as the Photo brush, with the Basic large square brush head. This time, instead of the Artist brushes, I’m using the Edged brushes.

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