Monday, January 17, 2011

The art of Boodles

Okay, I'll admit it.

I waste a lot of time on my iPhone but in many ways, it's like a high maintenance girlfriend; it demands my attention.  And it's an expensive damn thing.  I never thought I would be paying about $100 a month for a fancy phone but that's what I do month after month.  In return, my iPhone entertains, informs, keeps me organized and occasionally takes calls.  It has never broken down and I have little fear of it running away with anyone else.  Sadly, I'm thinking about trading it in for a newer model but for right now, this relationship is tight.

If you've never been in one of these relationships, you may not know how cool apps (or applications) are.  I especially like the apps for photo manipulation and I have several that I use on a regular basis.  They won't turn you into a master manipulator but when you're hanging out in the doctor's office or eating lunch or even driving down the 405 at rush hour, it's a lot of fun to turn your friends into vampires or comic book characters.

And since I am a generous and caring individual, I have decided to show you which ones I like the most.

To start, I had to take a picture of Boodles, the clinic cat who is a most wise feline.  If you look into her eyes, she will read your mind.  And then she will screw with it.

Because she can.

Meet Boodles.

So first up, we have ...


This is a really neat program that is especially useful around Halloween.  After you align the eyes to the template, you make your subject into a crazy horror show and the results can be amazingly realistic.  If you manipulate the image too much, you risk losing all the features of the original photo and then the results aren't quite as cool.  Choose add-ons from zombies, vampires, witches, frankenthings, werewolves, demons and ghastly ghouls.  

Some pictures can be quite graphic and not suitable for the young-uns.  

Highly recommended ***** 

Fluid FX

Ever wanted to turn someone's face into GOO.  Well, now is your chance.  With a swipe of your finger, you can make their eyes go this way and that way and turn their mouth into a curvy sneer.  

There are lots of ways to manipulate the images with this program but it never seems to be as much fun as it should be.  The program also includes video effects with dramatic names like Armageddon but they don't seem to hold my interest either.  

I paid money for this app and I still use it to impress kids and drunk friends but otherwise, I don't pull it out that often. 

Fair  **


If you're waiting for someone or something (and you don't think you'll be waiting for toooooo long), this is a good way to pass the time.  

After taking a picture or opening up a photo from your gallery, you can draw all over it.  Add a caption, a squiggle, or a "stamp" which is a fun little graphic that makes a cute noise when you apply it to the image.  

This isn't high art we're making here.  Very cartoon-y stuff and worth exactly what I paid for it.  ($0)  

Good ***

Mobile Monet

This is a good example of an app which I wish I could use in photoshop.  With the right picture, the results can be pretty amazing.  

First it transforms your image into a black and white photo and then you can add in varying degrees of color.  Sometimes you need to play around with the image to get it exactly right but almost any image can be enhanced with this app.  

Highly recommended *****


Very similar to Mobile Monet (and I think it is from the same developers), we have ColorBlast.  The image below of Boodles doesn't quite do this app justice but it allows you to add color to black and white photos.  And then you can change the color.  

There is a bit of a learning curve here and some photos are more appropriate than others for this type of manipulation but this app is well worth the trial-and-error time. 

Highly recommended ***** 

Camera Bag

This was one of the first photo apps that I downloaded and I use it from time-to-time.  

It takes an image and with the swipe of a finger, it will generate a series of manipulated thumbnails with names such as Cinema, 1974, 1962, Mono, Silver and Instant.  

Hmmmm, kinda cool but I always seem a little disappointed with the results.  Some of the thumbnails are a little too similar to each other and some manipulations are just plain ugly and unusable.  

Fair **

Photoshop Express

When will we see the day when they can put a fully functional photoshop program on an iPhone?  

In the meantime, we have this very cool app that does quite a bit.  Crop, straighten, rotate or flip an image.  Change the exposure, increase the saturation or turn it to black and white.  Add effects or a border, it's up to you.  

It's also very handy for adding some finishing touches on images that I have manipulated with other programs. 

I wish it could do more (give me more!!) and maybe one day it will, but until then I am quite satisfied.  

Highly recommended *****  

Movie Costume

If you've always wanted to dress your friends up in a big yellow bird hat, then this is the program for you.  

I really like this app because it is silly and funny and very easy to use.  You simply take an image of someone and accessorize it with hats, hair, jewelry and costumes.  The results aren't terribly realistic (I like the picture of my friend's cat wearing a Geisha outfit) but who cares when you're having this much goofy fun?  

Highly recommended ***** 

Faces Wild

There isn't much to it.  Simply choose a scene and then add a face and voila, you have FACES WILD!

For a Faces Wild Boodles edition, I chose to have her inserted into Edvard Munch's The Scream.  This took all of 15 seconds and I have clearly created a masterpiece.  

I have the free version and so the scenes are rather limited.  I can't quite bring myself to spending money on the expanded app.  Cute but not quite cute enough.  

Good ***


A really cool app that is very well designed.  It takes an image, turns it into a stylized graphic and then you add the color.  

Sometimes the graphic alone is impressive enough and I don't add in the color.  I manipulate the black and white areas to create some very bold images.  

For people who like their pinks and purples, this app can be quite "fiddly" if you want to color within the lines and it can take some time to get things right. I rarely have the patience to color in an entire image but most of the time, a little color goes a long way.  

Highly recommended *****

Thanks to Boodles for being such a great model!

No comments: