Monthly Archives: December 2013

Not Quite Photoshop…but close. PART 29. PATTERN REPEAT USING FRAGMENT AND TANGENT

Right now I’m playing with a new iOS App called “Fragment” by Pixite LLC. You can find out more about “Fragment” on their website here :

http://fragmentapp.com/

I love how the developers describe “Fragment”, as a “prismatic” app. The word conjures up memories of early Science lessons in school, involving a glass prism and the art of bending light and splitting it into its component colours. It’s a pretty good description, but rather than try to explain the effects one can get from it, I’ll show you some images I created based on just 1 image. Of course, the possibilities are many and varied and the 3 I’m showing here are just the tip of the iceberg.

This is the original image. I ran this through another Pixite iOS App, “Tangent” (more fun to be had there, but that’s another story). The mermaid is a piece of graffiti art found in Fremantle, Western Australia. The radiating circle of white dots is from “Tangent”.

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And here are several incarnations of the image, after the “Fragment” treatment.

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I decided to take the last image and turn it into a pattern module. Like so.

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And then, simply placed into a repeated layout, this.

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My verdict? I shall certainly be experimenting more with both “Tangent” and “Fragment”, they are certainly fun to play with, provide some unexpected and surprising results, and if the resulting images can be successfully turned into seamless repeats, then that’s a real added bonus. I’m a great fan of graphic design and these 2 Apps fit right in with my design requirements. I’ve barely scratched the surface with these 2 Apps, and I can’t wait to start exploring and using their possibilities jointly in my mobile photography art.

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Not Quite Photoshop…but close. PART 28. MULTI-COMBO

The Apps used in this tutorial are as follows:

Impressionist Fingerpaint – for the background colour of the bird illustration

AThumb Cut – to cut out the bird image so it can be pasted onto the pattern module or tile

Frax – for the initial image

Percolator – based on another image, unrelated to the Frax image

PicsArt – for combining the Frax and Percolator images

Photo Editor – for replacing the colour and receding some details of the Frax + Percolator image

Photo Effects – for splitting the Frax + Percolator image to its 4 corners

Snapseed – for fine-tuning

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Birdy!

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Frax
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+ Photo Editor
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Then via Photo Effects
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And PicsArt
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Hmmm…too much blue, I think I need to bring out the birds more. Another tweaking on Photo Editor’s fabulous Colour Replace (RGB) and Tolerance filters, et voila, a golden background emerges.

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Nice, and reminiscent of the colours of Gustav Klimt’s painting “The Kiss”. Not quite the look I was after, however…so I inverted the colours and got this image.

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A bit too vivid and saturated, but this does remind me of stained glass windows in grand cathedrals. I decided to go with it, and, instead of trying to bring out the birds in contrast, I decided to let them “hide” from view, so when they were spotted, it would be a pleasant surprise. A nice serendipitious result from this pattern design is the oval outline that can be seen in the middle of the module. Created totally by accident, of course :-).

And finally, here is the result after some minor fine-tuning using Snapseed.

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Not Quite Photoshop…but close. Part 27. PERCOLATED GOODNESS

Percolator is one of those iOS Apps that just gets better and better. I love using it on my iPad, there are dials within dials to ensure that you get the widest range of results possible. For information about the App, please read here.

https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/percolator/id385454903?mt=8

I just wish the developer would release Percolator onto the Android platform. But for now, I’m happy enough playing with my iOS Apps on my iPad 2, and then transferring the images to my Samsung Galaxy S4 to process further. I’ll be the first to concede that the Apple App Store is bigger and better than its rivals, the Google Play Store and Windows, but I believe the S4 to be a better device overall than the iPhone 5. And that is why I am not precious about using the best of both worlds. Purist, I most certainly am not! :-)

So, my purpose for this particular post is to see what happens when I combine 2 iOS Apps, namely Frax and Percolator, and combine them together. And then create a repeating pattern using the universal App PicsArt.

For my initial image, I created this in Frax.

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Then, using Percolator, I got this image.

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I then transferred the image from my iPad 2 to my Samsung Galaxy S4. In PicsArt, I ran the image through 2 distortion passes, 1 via the x-axis, the 2nd via the y-axis. (Experience tells me that as long as I run my image through at least 1 pass on each axis, the image will repeat seamlessly).

This is the resulting image.

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Using this module or tile, I created a layout of 4 images on a grid in PicsArt.

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As you can see, it’s a seamless repeat and capable of being repeated again and again. Like so.

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And so.

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And here are a few other patterns I created using the same technique.

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The developers of Percolator have recently released a new App called Waterlogue. I can’t wait to try it out!

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Not Quite Photoshop…but close. PART 25. PERANAKAN-STYLE TILES

Growing up in Malaysia, with a father mad about collecting antiques, I was as a child exposed to an inordinate amount of Blue-and-White Ming porcelain, Rosewood furniture, Celadon bowls, ivory sculptures, mother-of-pearl inlaid tables and chairs, Dutch dressers, opium beds, chime clocks, ornate silver and tortoiseshell haircombs and such like. But my favourite things were the vividly colourful, even gaudy Straits Chinese or Peranakan porcelain.

Here is the Wikipedia entry which explains who the Peranakans were (and are), and their legacy to the world today. It makes for fascinating reading.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peranakan

Peranakan porcelain, also known as Nyonyaware after the Peranakan ladies who used them, fetches premium prices these days. So much so that there is a thriving industry in creating and selling replicas…aka fakes. Read this blog by travellingfoodies for an interesting insight into the world of Nyonyaware.

http://travelling-foodies.com/2011/12/16/on-the-trail-of-the-phoenix-nyonya-porcelain-ware-the-peranakan-museum/

The Peranakans also utilised their designs on other household items, such as tiles and beaded shoes. The fabled Phoenix motif appears prominently in designs, as do peonies, leaves, bats, birds, storks, lions.

And so, when I put together this pattern design, I was reminded strongly of the Peranakan porcelain. And, seeing as I was creating a repeating pattern, I thought to myself, why not have some fun and create a modern version of a Peranakan tile?

Using Pic Mirror, I created 4 incarnations of the same image.

Original image:

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The 4 reflected incarnations of it:

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I know, gaudy, right? But these are exactly the type of vibrant colours the Victorian Peranakans were attracted to.

I then used A Beautiful Mess for its grid layout. Now, in PicsArt and another fab App Photo Grid you can change the size and colours of the borders. I used A Beautiful Mess as I was feeling lazy and also because I thought I might add some embellishment to the image using the same app. Turns out I decided not to.

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The above is the image I created simply by loading in the 4 incarnations of my original Frax image. I played around with the placement of the image, not looking for perfect symmetry, but curious to learn what may construe in the act of repeating the module or tile.

But first, to alter the colours and make it more Peranakan. One of the rarest colours found in Peranakan porcelain is mint green. So, in Photo Editor, I tweaked the colours and tolerance levels, to create a mint green background and recede some of the Frax elements. This is the result.

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Next, I processed the image on Snapseed to tweak the hue and give it a bit of a very subtle vintage feel. We are talking about antiques, after all :-)!

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In PicsArt, I processed the module/tile into a 4-rectangle repeat, to get this.

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And here it is again, repeated 4 times more.

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I found if I placed the images within a 4-square grid, the result was different, but equally interesting.

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You’ll notice of course that my design has no phoenixes, peonies, bats, birds or any of the Peranakan motifs mentioned earlier. My design is purely abstract geometric, but perhaps the pink plumes could hark at the tail feathers of a phoenix? I reckon I’ve managed to capture the colours of Peranakan porcelain, in my modern take.

Posted from WordPress for Android.

http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow

Not Quite Photoshop…but close. PART 26. DECO SKETCH PATTERN REPEAT

I was playing with the universal App DecoSketch (excellent App, by the way, for anyone interested in graphic design and loves geometrical shapes). The purpose of my experiment today was to see how well DecoSketch translated into a repeated pattern. Very well indeed, I must say.

First, using a blank slate, and several geometric shapes in varying sizes, opacity and colours, I drew a design in DecoSketch. Now, I’ll be the first to tell you that I cannot draw to save my life, but doesn’t this look awesome already?

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Next, I wanted to change the background of the DecoSketch image. This was done easily using the App Pic Editor, and the “colour replace RGB” filter. I adjusted the colour for the background. By using the built-in “tolerance” slider I receded some elements of the design and brought out others. I really like this filter in Pic Editor. In fact, I think I shall be exploring this filter more…so watch this space!

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I really like the edgy, futuristic, sci-fi look here. The grey of the background looked too flat, though, so I ran the image through Pixlr Express (another great universal App) and was pleased by this image I got.

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Now we’re talking! Isn’t this just trippy? In fact, I liked this image so much I decided to put my digital signature on it and keep it as it is. Maybe I could use it as the CD Album cover of ElectroCelt’s next music project? At any rate, I think it needs to go into my Society 6 online storefront.

But, to go on…I ran the image through PicsArt’s “Mirror” filter and got this image.

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Which I just repeated using PicsArt’s frame layout system in its Collage section. (A word about PicsArt – Fab!!)

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Now I’m off to do more exploring of DecoSketch meets pattern repeats! HAPPY CHRISTMAS 2013, folks! :-)

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Not Quite Photoshop…but close. PART 30. PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

Happy New Year 2014! Here is my first post for the year. Hope 2014 is Your Best Year yet!

Right, now that I’ve created over 200 pattern repeats in my personal quest to master the various techniques and methods I’ve discovered on my Samsung Galaxy S4 and Android as well as iOS Apps, it’s time for the next step.

I have posted some of my designs separately on my Society 6 shop, and will do likewise with Red Bubble, Zazzle, Fine Art America, ArtOfWhere etc. You can find them on various different products in dimensions that you choose.

But for now I’d like to give you an idea what those pattern designs can look like when montaged together in a grid or frame layout. For the layouts, I used my workhorse App PicsArt. I kept it simple, to just a couple of layouts. I was curious to see whether they would look good montaged together, rather than just as repeat patterns in their own right. I must say I’m really delighted with the ones I’ve put together so far.

I will post these up for sale on Society 6 et al, so you can share in the enjoyment of them. These would look soooo good on cushions, as wallhangings, giant canvas wraps or used as tiles, multiplied a thousand times over!

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Enjoy!

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Not Quite Photoshop…but close. PART 24. A NEW SPIN

Yet another experiment of mine in creating pattern repeats. Here I have used Frax and PicsArt to create this repeating pattern.

Original Frax image. Love the sweet candy colours!

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Firstly, I used Pic Mirror to create the 4 reflected incarnations of the image. Which are: up-down, down-up, left-right, right-left.

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I used the long mirror images (up-down and down-up) to create a repeating pattern in PicsArt like so.

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I then ran this image through PicsArt’s various frames layouts, getting the following images.

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Above: a straight repeat of 4 times.

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Above: top half repeats horizontally, bottom half repeats vertically.

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Above: now I’ve turned the bottom half one turn clockwise, so all 4 repeats are identical.

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Above: in this last one I decided to use the top left image quarter as the starting point. In the next frame, to the right of the top left image quarter, I rotated the image 90° clockwise. Then I moved to the bottom right image quarter and rotated that 90° clockwise too. Finally, I did the same to the last quarter. Notice how a new flowery pattern emerges in the middle like a windmill, purely by chance. I love randomness and chance!

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Not Quite Photoshop…but close.PART 23. DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE

When I started processing these 2 little flowers, I had no inkling of what delights lay ahead. I wanted to create a different image than just 2 pretty flowers.

Here follows my little adventure down the rabbit hole.

Original image.
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I used PicsArt to crop the image and bring out the edges of the bigger flower, using the Watercolour and Cartoon filters. (I thought I might cut out the flowers later to use as clipart for a pattern design). Then, I ran the image through Repix, adding some Drips, Daubs, Freshen, Hollywood and my favourite brush – the Undoer!  ;-).

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The colours looked a bit flat, and you know I LOVE bright, translucent colours. So next I used Photo Editor to play with changing the background colours. I chose a blue-purple colour to substitute the grey-green of the background. This immediately brightened up the image considerably.

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I thought I’d introduce some other elements to this image, so back it went into Repix. I added some delicate flying dandelions, a bit of dust and I freshened up some dark areas too.

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At this point I thought to myself “Now what?”

I didn’t want to destroy the flower images by simply mirroring them in PicsArt, which would have abstracted them to geometrical shapes…pretty, but now what I had in mind. Instead, I wanted to preserve the image but still be able to use it as a repeat. I ran the image through Pic Mirror and saved all 4 incarnations of it – UpDown, DownUp, LeftRight and RightLeft.

Here are all 4 incarnations, in case you’re wondering what I’m on about.

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I wanted to keep the flowers big in my repeat design, so I chose the biggest frame layout in PicsArt. I used the 2 biggest images that Pic Mirror gave me, i.e the UpDown and DownUp reflections. And combined the 2 results to create this module/tile.

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I noticed, to my great delight, that I’d somehow managed to create a half-drop repeat design. (Which means I’ll be experimenting more with using Pic Mirror to try an work out a formula for it to work each time. I love solving puzzles). Half-drops, by the way, are notoriously hard to do well without resorting to Photoshop on the computer.

I wanted a little bit of abstraction to the colouring of my pattern repeat. PicsArt has a nifty Solarize filter that solarizes the right side of an image, thus giving the image a pleasant gradient effect.

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This was getting more and more exciting by the minute. I next put this image through various frame layouts in PicsArt’s Collage section, until I came up with this repeat that I loved.

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This gave me not only a half-drop as well as a brick repeat, but also a closely-knit, self-repeating geometrical tile effect, which could be repeated again and again. It would make a great mosaic-effect wallpaper for a room, blown up big. Or on a bathroom floor as tiles. ♥

Here it is repeated as a double, horizontally.

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Note to self (and anyone else interested in these ramblings of mine) re: important steps to remember in selecting frame layouts in PicsArt…

1) first create a mirror repeat in Portrait mode – use the “2 long verticals” layout, load in 2 identical images (created in Pics Mirror previously as UpDown or DownUp) and flip one so it mirrors the other.

2) next, do the same for the other image. So, if you processed the UpDown image first, now do the DownUp image. Remember, if you flipped the right side for the 1st image, flip the same side for this image too.

3) now, choose the Square collage mode in PicsArt. Use the “2 verticals” layout. Load up the processed UpDown Mirrored and DownUp Mirrored images. Play around with moving the images within their frame until the image appears seamless. It’s important to load an image done in Portrait mode into a Square layout, as (and here’s the science behind the magic) it allows you to move the images within the framework.

4) congratulations, you have now created a module or tile that will repeat and also give you the illusion of a half-drop. If your image is multi-directional, i.e can be viewed from either vertical or horizontal points of view equally well, then if you turned your module or tile 90° and ran that as a repeat, you’d get a brick repeat. (Half-drops = vertical shifts, Bricks = horizontal shifts).

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Not Quite Photoshop…but close. PART 22. SERENDIPITY

In this tutorial I shall share with you how I came about to create my “Moth & Pupa” design. By pure accident, actually.

I was playing with the apps Frax (on iOS), A Beautiful Mess (on Android) and Litho (on Android) and decided to try out the “Glitcher” filter. The image I’d created in Frax was this.

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And the background I used was also a Frax image, which I’d already turned into a pattern repeat.

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After putting the together in the app A Beautiful Mess, and after tweaking the colours in Photo Editor, I arrived at this.
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Then, I ran the image through the Glitcher filter in Litho. This filter basically introduces imperfections i.e glitches into an image. (Rather like the apps Decim8 or Satromizer in iOS). In Litho the results are unpredictable and not adjustable. Here are some of the results I got from the original.

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All rather beautiful in their imperfection, don’t you think?

Anyway, I chose the last glitched image above, and put it through its paces in PicsArt. The results were most surprising. In one incarnation, using a grid layout, I arrived entirely by accident at this repeating pattern. And hence the design “Moth & Pupa” was born.

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Here it is in repeated form.

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And to think, this was arrived at entirely by pure serendipity!

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