Archive for September, 2011

Friday, September 30th, 2011

An apple a day – Labelbox for the iPad – Day 11

LabelMaker ipad apple An apple a day   Labelbox for the iPad   Day 11

Today I took yesterday’s apple painted from a photo in ArtStudio and I added a label to it using LabelBox for the iPhone and iPad.

This is an unsophisticated program but it is free and fun and easy to use. It operates from a small screen because is is for the iPhone and you are prompted to log in to an online site – I just click X heaps of times till it is done.

Then you can click to start the program, click the camera to take a shot or get one from your gallery – since I exported my apple from ArtStudio to the gallery it is there for me to use. Then select your label style. Luckily the only one I really love is free with the app and it mimics black Dymo tape. Drag it onto the image, type your text and move it into position, save it again and you’re done.

LabelMaker ipad screen An apple a day   Labelbox for the iPad   Day 11

It is a fun app and one which I will use occasionally and it is free – find it here: LabelBox free label maker for iPad and iPhone

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Thursday, September 29th, 2011

An apple a day – ArtStudio on the iPad – Day 10

artstudio ipad drawing apple An apple a day   ArtStudio on the iPad   Day 10
OMG this program, ArtStudio is totally amazing and it is only $2.99. It has so much in it’s almost impossible to know where to start telling you about it.

It has layers, and you can add heaps of them and blend them in lots of different ways. You can also edit photos and paint photos using it. In fact this next few days I will be working with this one apple I painted in ArtStudio. But, for now here you can see the layers on the left, including the original photo layers and the layer tools:

artstudio ipad drawing layers An apple a day   ArtStudio on the iPad   Day 10

And here are some of the tools in the program:

artstudio ipad drawing tools An apple a day   ArtStudio on the iPad   Day 10

It even comes with some lessons to show you how to draw using it.

artstudio ipad drawing learn how to draw An apple a day   ArtStudio on the iPad   Day 10

I am taken by how much potential there is to use this program in innovative ways.

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Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

An apple a day – Inkpad on the iPad – Day 9

apple inkpad1 An apple a day   Inkpad on the iPad   Day 9

Ok, I love vector drawing and Inkpad on the iPad is a great tool to use. Like most apps you need to check out the instructions – in particular I had problems moving handles without moving both ends – turns out you have to start dragging then touch the tablet and the handles then break apart so they work independently.

This took an hour or so to draw as I wanted to use a gradient fill and it took a while to make everything work as I wanted it to work. The program has layers which rocks and gradients as well as text tools and other cool stuff, check out the graphics below:

inkpad features ipad 2 An apple a day   Inkpad on the iPad   Day 9

inkpad features ipad 3 An apple a day   Inkpad on the iPad   Day 9

inkpad features ipad 1 An apple a day   Inkpad on the iPad   Day 9

inkpad features ipad 4 An apple a day   Inkpad on the iPad   Day 9

I’ll be revisiting this program later on as I love it and you end up with image you can email in a range of formats including vectors to use in other applications including Illustrator. Inkpad costs $7.99 but I think that is actually pretty good value for this app considering what you can do with it.

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Monday, September 26th, 2011

An apple a day – Recycled Paper Bag – Day 8

20110924 151703 An apple a day   Recycled Paper Bag   Day 8

an apple a day - paper version

Ok, today I am trying two new things. First of all, this apple a day post is a paper handmade apple. Michelle got given a birthday present in this cool black and white bag which struggled under the weight of two mugs and some other cool stuff so it clearly wasn’t going to last in its present form. No problem. A pair of scissors and some glue and voila – today’s apple of the day. Proof positive that apples don’t have to be red – or green!

The other thing I am testing is how to blog to a self hosted WordPress blog from the iPad – I want images and a blog post all from the iPad and – yeah! I have it working a treat – it really is ridiculously easy. A post on that alone is to come.

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Sunday, September 25th, 2011

An apple a day – Day 7 – Pixlromatic

pixlr apple An apple a day   Day 7   Pixlromatic

Ok today I did a one click wonder for my apple. Actually it was more than one click but it was very simple and it was done on the iPad with the Pixlromatic app. This app is free and when I first got it I loved it, then I fell rapidly out of love as the save function was horrible and either didn’t save or saved without the effects… and I couldn’t believe it was rated as a 4+ star app especially as it is an Autodesk app.

A few days later an update arrived which fixed the problem, now I love it again.

It is simple to use – you can snap an image, use one from your camera roll or use a demo image. You then choose a color filter then a lighting effect and then a frame and you’re done. You can export to your photo library, iTunes, Facebook, Flickr,, Dropbox or Email the image.

The effects are cool and interesting and combined you have plenty of options to use to convert the most humble of photos into something much more interesting. The big downside is that it works only in portrait mode but I can forgive it this because the rest of it is great. It is what I imagine Instagram might one day look like on the iPad minus the social media aspect of sharing and voting on images which I can easily live without.

pixlromatic interface An apple a day   Day 7   Pixlromatic

It is going on my new – apps list as a 5 star – “Run, don’t walk” to get it app, it rocks!

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Saturday, September 24th, 2011

An apple a day – Back to SketchBook Pro – Day 6

sketchbookpro apple32 An apple a day   Back to SketchBook Pro   Day 6

Today I am back in SketchBook Pro and working with the brushes there.

If you buy the Pro version make sure to go to the store – click Info then choose Store to find and download the additional brushes. In addition to the built in brushes like the new  smudge brush you will also find some half tone brushes and some fine art pencils too and they are free if you have the pro version.

Here I just messed around painting cross hatched colours. I sampled some colours from the apple photo and others I just got from the palette of colours down the right of the painting window. You sample colours by opening the Brushes tool, click the Eyedropper tool on the far right then drag the circle with crosshairs in it to a place on the image to sample the colour from.

sketchbookpro sample color An apple a day   Back to SketchBook Pro   Day 6

This painting has splashes all round it from using one of the new splash brushes – yum..

sketchbookpro brushes palette An apple a day   Back to SketchBook Pro   Day 6

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Friday, September 23rd, 2011

An apple a day – ArtRage again – Day 5

Artrage apple21 An apple a day   ArtRage again   Day 5

Ok. so it’s not like anything I’ve done so far in this apple a day post. But it is so much fun. I grabbed my photo and added it to a layer just as I explained yesterday. What I wanted from it was its colour and nothing else.

So I added a new empty layer and selected this to paint on but I could see the photo underneath. So I clicked the eyedropper to select it then clicked on the image to sample the colour at that point. Then I clicked the paint tube and dragged my finger over the image to add paint. I did this a few times till I had paint colours all lined up to use. Then I hid the photo layer so I could paint my apple.

artrage place image on layer to sample colors An apple a day   ArtRage again   Day 5

To paint, I chose the Oil Paint brush and clicked the Settings button. Apart from Size, the Thinners and Insta-Dry settings are important here. You want Insta-Dry disabled because you want the paint wet. You don’t want a high value for Thinners if you want the oil paint to look lumpy. If you look at the finished image in the bottom right and left middle areas the paint is smoother – that’s because the Thinners value was higher when I painted those areas. Keep an eye on how the brush looks in the preview at the top of the settings dialog to see how it will look when you paint with it.

Artrage OilPaint Brush An apple a day   ArtRage again   Day 5

I then painted in circles to make the apple and spread the paint out.

So, using ArtRage you can paint your subject freehand but take advantage of being able to sample colours from an image to do so.

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Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

An apple a day – ArtRage – Day 4

Artrage apple11 An apple a day   ArtRage   Day 4

All I can say is Oh Yum! I worked with ArtRage desktop recently for an upcoming issue of PC User magazine and I totally loved it so I was curious to see how the app would work on the iPad. I wasn’t disappointed at all.

This app comes with a hefty price tag for a painting app $4.99 but it is well worth the expense. The painting tools are similar to the desktop ones so you can smear the paint around as well as paint dry strokes.

Here I imported one of my apple photos and painted it. This is easy by adding a new layer then click the Layer menu – this is the trickiest part of the process – it is a button with 3 lines on it then click Import Image. This way the image goes into a layer not onto the page as a reference image which is something quite different.

artrage menu button An apple a day   ArtRage   Day 4

artrage import photo into layer An apple a day   ArtRage   Day 4

With the photo as a layer in the file you can then paint on the photo by grabbing a tool like the Oil Brush or Palette Knife and paint over the photo to blend the colours in it to make a painted image from it.

Using the pixels from the photo makes it easy to turn a photo into a painting. There is so much to this app, I’ll be returning to it again tomorrow I know.

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Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

An Apple a Day – OmniSketch – Day 3

Omnisketch apple41 An Apple a Day   OmniSketch   Day 3

This might be the best $1.99 you will ever spend. I cannot say how much I love this app. If you need convincing check out the app on iTunes and see the drawings done with it.

What makes this so powerful is that there is no such thing as a simple line anymore. Lines are automatically enhanced with patterns so a simple drag on the canvas and you look like an artist. You simply can’t fall fowl of this app.

To introduce it – because I know I will be returning to it frequently for this blog, I just made some simple shapes for my apple, selecting different brushes and different colours for each.

Here is what the brushes look like:

omnisketch brushes An Apple a Day   OmniSketch   Day 3

So those of the 24 shipped brushes that show lines on them like the first and second in the first row and the third and fourth in the last row all draw with shapes inside lines – these change thickness as you draw. Some draw as bubbles, some like trees and others like driving rain.

Seriously you should run (not walk) to get this app. And, if you have an iPhone it works on it too.

I’ll be sharing tips and tricks for using it in later posts, for now can I hint at blend modes, mirror and kaleidoscope drawing?

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Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

An apple a day – Pencil Sketch HD Lite – Day 2

pencilsketch apple51 An apple a day   Pencil Sketch HD Lite   Day 2

This app is a one hit wonder. It is free which is good because in terms of creativity it sucks because it does all the work for you. The only thing you get to do is to choose the paper for the background if you want a background.

I made this image a bit more interesting by using a screen capture of the site where this apple came from rather than using the photo alone, hence the interesting effect at the top of the image.

The big problem with this app is that the free version puts this copyright text over everything so it’s not totally useable – that said, this image doesn’t have the copyright text and I am just not sure how I got rid of it. I certainly didn’t shell out the $2.99 they want for the full version. You can’t save, print or email the final image created using this free version so it’s only useful for testing if you like it. Added.. I have since talked to the developer folks at Apps4U about the inconsistency in the copyright text appearing. Apparently the text appears when you aren’t connected to the web to get the advertising content on the page. So it runs with ads or big wads of text over the screen depending on your being connected or not. That explains why the text is there sometimes and not others – and kudos to their support team for clarifying this so quickly.

I wouldn’t buy this app because it doesn’t let me do anything or make any choices, however the sketches/drawings do look good so, if that’s what you want, then it is a simple application that anyone can use and which gives usable results if you pay for it.

iPad 2 Bonus Tip

To take a screen shot from your iPad 2, press the Home and On/Off switch at the same time, you’ll hear the click of the camera. The image is now in your Photos collection.

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