News: Making Art on Your iOS Device, Part 4: Cool Visual Effects & Tricks

Making Art on Your iOS Device, Part 4: Cool Visual Effects & Tricks

Sometimes an iDevice is best used for idle, pointless fun. Today's segment of Making Art on Your iOS Deviceis a mixed bag of time-wasting cool effects and random, but useful art-making tools. Below, 10 apps for creating anything from erratic hand-shaken digital effects to your very own DIY Andy Warhol prints.

1. Light Painting

Y Lau's light painting app offers a sufficient substitute for the traditional materials/process used in the practice of "painting with light"/lightwriting. Trade in your torches/lights for your iPhone, it's simple—the process works as followed:

Making Art on Your iOS Device, Part 4: Cool Visual Effects & TricksYou will need one iDevice plus a camera, or two iDevices. The image to the right (though not as impressive as some of the app's other sample images) was created "using an iPhone as a camera while someone waved an iPod touch with the App 'Light Painting' installed."

For more tips and info, check out the website. Specific features include:

  • 3 Different Illumination Modes
  • Color Schemes
  • Masking
  • Light On / Light Off Control
  • Spot Size Adjustment
  • Flashing Mode (helps producing, e.g. dashed line effects)
  • Count Down Alert (alerts user when the exposure time is about to elapse)

Making Art on Your iOS Device, Part 4: Cool Visual Effects & Tricks

Cost: $1.99
Compatible: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad

2. Record Makers

Record Makers is a surrealistic game with cool visual results, created for the French independent music label's 10 year anniversary. All hand-drawn elements are by contemporary artists Mrzyk & Moriceau.

Users can create their own picture combinations by manipulating the different images and saving them as backgrounds for the iPhone/iPad, or exporting them as files via email. Soundtrack includes original music by Sebastien Tellier and Mr. Oizo.

Making Art on Your iOS Device, Part 4: Cool Visual Effects & Tricks

Cost: Free
Compatible: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad

3. Photocopier

Akin to the DIY Warhol app profiled below (#10), PhotoCopier takes famous works of art and applies their visual characteristics as a sort of "filter": "The DNA of these masterpieces [are] applied to your very own images… The color, tone and brightness of the original work are replicated while the texture, grain and detail are simulated."

Simply upload or snap a picture with your iDevice and choose a filter from the large pool of iconic images, including:

  • 91 Academy Award nominated movies such as Apocalypse Now, Blade Runner, Frankenstein, Gone with the Wind, King Kong and The Lord of the Rings
  • 72 paintings from artists such as Cezanne, Chagall, Greco, Leonardo, Monet, Rembrandt, Renoir and Van Gogh
  • 40 photos by various famous photographers including Abbott, Andreev, Cunningham, Fenton, Nadar, Outerbridge, Stieglitz and Weston
  • 30 historical processes such as Ambrotype, Cyanotype, Liquid Emulsion, Kallitype, Palladium, Salt Print, Vandyke and Wet Plate

Tutorials for using the app can be found on the website.

Making Art on Your iOS Device, Part 4: Cool Visual Effects & Tricks

Cost: $1.99
Compatible: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad

4. Pencil vs Camera/Photo to Cartoon

Pencil vs. Camera and Photo to Cartoon are just what they sound like—the first is a Ben Heine-esque take on replacing parts of a photo with hand-drawn elements; the latter converts photos into rotoscope-y looking "cartoons". The latter app has more impressive sample images, but check both of 'em out for yourself.

Making Art on Your iOS Device, Part 4: Cool Visual Effects & Tricks

Cost: Pencil vs. Camera/$0.99; Photo to Cartoon/$0.99
Compatible: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad

5. Sketch Camera - Sketch Harida

Sketch Camera is a real-time image processing camera application that converts images into grainy, hand-drawn looking images. Little information is given on the app's site, but the results are pretty neat and the app is free, so download and start playing around.

Making Art on Your iOS Device, Part 4: Cool Visual Effects & Tricks

Cost: Free
Compatible: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad 2 Wi-Fi, and iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G

6. Fluid Automata

Fluid Automata is a game/interactive visual art application that allows users to manipulate a "fluid system" generated by the user's photos/video. The end result is trippy abstract piece of art that can be exported as 768x1024 still images and/or turned into screensavers. Users can also use the front or back camera for live video manipulation, as demoed in the video below.

Effects include:

  • Tar Pit (high viscosity/low saturation)
  • Gumball (high saturation/high contrast)
  • Milky Way (high angularity/low saturation/creates galaxy-like structures)
  • Jupiter's Moons (rich, moody color scheme)
  • Cubism (low forward momentum creates abstract segmentation)
  • Ice Cream Cake (complex, vibrant color scheme)
  • Kaleidoscope (high angularity/fluctuating rainbow colors)
  • Watercolors (complex/fine color scheme)
  • Nebulae (subtle florescent colors/low contrast)
  • Ice Cracks (low forward momentum/low angularity)
  • Infrared (subtle effect)
  • Rainbow Sherbet (looks like melting sherbet)
  • Propaganda (posterizing effect)

Making Art on Your iOS Device, Part 4: Cool Visual Effects & Tricks

Cost: $1.99
Compatible: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad

7. Büro Destruct Designer

Büro Destruct Designer is a subtle toy for designers—simply shake your iDevice to create random visual creations. The options are limited, but the color combinations and possible compositions are beautifully mellow. When you're finished, save to your Photo Roll as a JPG or send an e-mail with the image as a PNG and/or the color palette as RGB, HEX, or CMYK files.

Making Art on Your iOS Device, Part 4: Cool Visual Effects & Tricks

Cost: £0.59
Compatible: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad

8. Glory Math

Glory Math is an "interactive, generative" art application that allows users to touch and shake to create, randomly and continuously churning out evolving shapes, color noise, merging liquids, spastic color bars, and more. See it demoed in the video below.

"Touch and Shake, See What You Make..."—and then save your photos and share.

Making Art on Your iOS Device, Part 4: Cool Visual Effects & Tricks

Cost: $1.99
Compatible: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad

9. Forge of Neon 3D

Create your own Tron-esque neon virtual sculptures with Forge of Neon's 3D glow painting app. The app includes a large spectrum of colors, 8 different brushes, 32 different symmetries and the ability to animate your strokes.

Making Art on Your iOS Device, Part 4: Cool Visual Effects & Tricks

Cost: Free
Compatible: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad

10. Warhol: D.I.Y. POP

Thanks to the Andy Warhol Museum, you can know "Warhol yourself" alongside the greats. The Pittsburgh institution has launched an app that allows users to create their own personalized "digital screen print", Andy Warhol style.

Use your phone's built-in camera or upload a photo from your library and put the image through the Warhol process in just a few steps: crop, expose, underpaint, print.

Making Art on Your iOS Device, Part 4: Cool Visual Effects & Tricks

In celebration of the new app, users can currently submit their photos to the museum for a chance to have their own personal Warhol portrait displayed. The museum chooses one new photograph every 15 days. Details can be found here.

Cost: $1.99
Compatible: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad

**Tune in tomorrow for Part 5, Photography. Check out the past three segments on Drawing, Painting and 3D Modeling if you missed out.

Did we leave out a cool app you recommend? Please list in the comment section below.

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