iPhoneography Apps: Hallows Eve, and a two-year celebration

On November 7, 2012, I published my first tutorial on Hipstamatic. As I approached the anniversary, I had a request from The App Whisperer site, which also publishes my tutorials (since late July 2013) to do a large set of tutorials in the new app Pixelmator. That will follow in ensuing weeks, but I needed to mark the anniversary first; therefore, I am “celebrating” a bit early. At the end of the article you will find a list of the apps I have covered in the last year. You’ll find that my weekly tutorials have resulted in fewer than 52 apps covered. That is because I had several multi-part tutorials, several procedurals, and quite a few additional tutorials on apps I covered the year before, such as iColorama and Paint FX.

Last year on the anniversary I covered major changes to several apps, because those updates, while not making the tutorials obsolete, required additional explanation. Snapseed, Big Lens, and the Brain Fever apps like LensLight and LensFlare had changed substantially in 2013. There were no major updates among the apps I’ve covered in 2014, so instead I’ll talk about Hallows Eve, a new entry by JixiPix that you might get a chance to use in the next few days before the holiday is upon us.

Hallows Eve is not a subtle effect; but by judicious use of blending in other apps a subtle effect can be achieved.

Hallows_01

JixiPix has been working hard to make their user interface consistent across all their apps, and Hallows Eve uses that same interface. At the top left is a backward arrow used for undo; the dice at the upper right is for randomizing the effects. The white bar near the bottom is the top menu; the bottom dark gray area is the options for the item selected in the top menu. Below you’ll see that the only options available before loading an image are Get Photo and Info.

Hallows_02

The Info button takes you to their help page on the web. This is opened within Hallows Eve itself, not in your browser. Scroll down read more and see ads for JixiPix’s other apps; tap Done when you want to return to the app.

Hallows_03

When you load an image, you are taken to the Home menu selection (the little blue house). This contains Crop, Save and Original options in addition to the Get Photo and Info options already discussed.

A default effect is applied when you open the image. This default effect includes Details and Clouds, which affect the entire image. It does not include Objects, such as ghosts, tombstones or text – those are added in Presets or Objects.

Hallows_04

Tapping Original will show you the original image, which in this case is a midday photo of a tree sculpture in Palo Alto, CA. I’m using a midday image to show you that Hallows Eve’s effects are strong enough to turn a bright image into something sinister.

Hallows_05

Tapping the Randomize icon in the upper right affects the Details and Clouds settings. Once again, it does not add or change Objects placed in the image.

Hallows_06

The Star icon on the menu bar is the Presets option. Hallows Eve has 16 different Presets that come with the app, and you are able to add your own. Presets are a combination of Details, Clouds and Objects that can jump-start your sessions. Presets are fully adjustable, and you can apply a preset and then add, delete or move Objects.

Hallows_07

Below I’ve added the Scarecrow Pumpkins preset, which has added (by my count) five objects.

Hallows_08

Just by tapping the Torch Light preset, I’ve changed the look of the image entirely. I would probably delete the flying bird from this, as it doesn’t say spooky to me. The vulture that ends up on the fountain is a little much, as well.

Hallows_09

If you like the Details (tone) and Clouds settings from the Preset, but want to completely redo the Objects, you can do the by tapping the Pumpkin icon (Objects).

Hallows_10

The icon down in the dark gray area that is two arrows in a circle is the Reset Objects button. Tapping it clears the objects entirely, as seen below.

Hallows_11

It is probably easiest to adjust the tone and clouds before adding objects, so I first tap the icon in the menu bar that looks like three dot-dashes. This is the Details menu item, and shows three options: Tone, Darken Scene, and Contrast. Tone is a slider and a color picker, which controls how the image is tinted.

Hallows_12

Below I’ve changed the color to a brown from the bright blue, and increased the amount of tinting with the Tone slider. I’ve also made the scene darker by increasing the Darken Scene slider and the Contrast slider.

Hallows_13

The Cloud icon on the menu bar displays two options: Cloud Strength and a list of Cloud textures. There are 20 Cloud textures to choose from.

Hallows_14

I chose texture 14 and increased the strength. It’s looking very gloomy indeed.

Hallows_15

Below I’ve tapped the Pumpkin (Objects) icon again and tapped the thumbnail to choose among the over 130 different items included. As you select an item from the list, it is added to the image and the picker disappears.

Hallows_16

The object is placed somewhere on the image with a bounding box surrounding it. The X at the top center of the bounding box deletes the item; the four corners resize and rotate the object; and the center dot moves the object.

Hallows_17

Below I resized the ghostly figure using the corners and moved it using the center dot.

Hallows_18

I dded some rocks next and placed them in front of the fountain. (Please ignore the Volume control; sometimes I hold the iPad strangely when taking screenshots.) The rocks cut across the front of the figure!

Hallows_19

We already discussed the Reset All Objects button above. The other two buttons, from the left, are Move Up and Move Down, respectively. I tap the Move Down button and the rocks move behind the figure.

Hallows_20

The final slider is Object Blend. This determines how much the Details sliders (Tone, Darkness and Contrast) affect the object. Below I’ve added a tree and moved the Blend slider all the way to the left (off). Then I deselected the object so you could have a look undistracted by the bounding box. The brown Tone and high Contrast are not added to the tree object.

Hallows_21

I reselected the tree, pushed the Blend slider all the way up, and deselected the tree. Now you can see a brown tinge and there’s more contrast.

Hallows_22

After adding a text object, I’m ready to save the image. I do that by tapping Home on the menu bar, then Save in the options. I save to the Camera Roll, and I also have the opportunity to save the edits as a Preset.

Hallows_23

And here’s my completed image. The effects, as I’ve said, are rather intense, and could probably be helped by texturizing in a grunge app like Distressed FX or Stackables to draw the elements together.

Hallows_24

As I said when we started though, blending the image with the original can produce more subtlety. My last image is one of the set of my most recent acting stint, taken in Provoke. I added the figure in Hallows Eve, then blended it back with the original and added the text in iColorama. The figure is just visible, and suitably eerie. Enjoy!

Hallows_25

Look for an in-depth look at Pixelmator starting next time!

These are the apps I have covered in the last year, in alphabetical order:

  1. 645 Pro MK II
  2. Background Eraser
  3. Blur
  4. ColorLake
  5. Deco Sketch
  6. Distressed FX
  7. Dramatic Black and White
  8. Etchings
  9. Flood
  10. Fragment
  11. LayerPic
  12. Lo-Mob
  13. LoryStripes
  14. Matter
  15. Mobile Monet
  16. Painted Camera
  17. Paper Camera
  18. Pencil Camera
  19. Pencil FX
  20. Phonto
  21. PhotoCopier
  22. PhotoToaster
  23. PicGrunger
  24. PopAGraph
  25. Provoke
  26. Reflect
  27. RollWorld
  28. Superslides
  29. Tangent
  30. VectorSnap
  31. Vinylize Me
  32. XnRetro
  33. XnShape
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2 Responses to iPhoneography Apps: Hallows Eve, and a two-year celebration

  1. You so rock, Jerry! Look at all this work you’ve done!!!! What a wonderful contribution to this community and to the whole field you are! My deepest thanks for your commitment and your generosity.

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