Friday, August 17, 2012

Photo Friday: Paint it! Now

My iPhone has lots of photo apps that I like to play with from time to time when I'm bored or just want to use for a photo that isn't that great but is also something I'm not yet ready to delete.

A long time ago, I wrote about one of these apps: ColorSplash. I still use that app every once and awhile; most recently to try and reproduce a picture that I shot in Edinburgh—the pint of Belhaven Best from that same post.

This new shot isn't as good as the old photo, but I'm considering using it for an upcoming beer review.

Another app that I've had for about a year or so is one by Corel: Paint it! Now. This app allows you to render a photo to look like a painting. If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen some of these photos used with this app. (Actually, I'm sure I've used some of those photos in The Brown Knowser, but I'm not going to search for an example.)

There are various painting styles that you can apply with Paint it! Now: Modern, Oil, Illustration, Impressionist, and Pen & Ink. My favourite styles are Oil and Impressionist, but for this post I'm going to show all except Pen & Ink. I'm sure that this style would work best for photos of cityscapes, of skyscrapers and buildings with lots of lines. So far, I haven't found any of my photos that are suitable for this artistic style.

In keeping with my marine theme from this week's Wordless Wednesday, I've chosen another photo from our vacation this summer.

No, this photo was not taken with the underwater camera in Key Largo. It was shot with my Nikon D80, at the Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, DC. Because I was shooting moving fish through glass, the photo is not sharp enough for my liking. But with Paint it! Now, I can give the photo an artistic look that masks the fuzziness.

Illustration effect
Impressionist effect
Oil effect
Modern effect

In all of the photos, I love what the program does to the coral in the background. I like how the blue fish was rendered in Illustration mode the best.

I wish that this app had more styles to choose from. I would also like to see the rendering process faster. When you choose the style that you want to use, the app presents a fresh, white workspace, on which brush strokes appear. You can tap the screen at any time to stop the process and accept the appearance at that stage of the rendering. I wish that there was a button that could bypass the interim rendering and just produce the final result.

Sometimes, I don't like to wait.

But because Paint it! Now is a free app, if you like experimenting with your photos to get all artsy-fartsy on them, Paint it! Now is worth adding to your iPhone or iPod (it's not optimized for the iPad).

Happy Friday!

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