Sunday, February 24, 2013
Iphoneography: Percolator App
My love of mobile photography continues...one of my favorite apps right now is Percolator. I've had it for a couple weeks and can't stop playing with it. Percolator is an app that transforms your photos into "dazzling multicolor mosaics" (as stated at their website HERE). The circle shapes created give a very modern look to your images. I found their blog and a post there where they offer a tutorial that describes in pretty good detail how the app works...click HERE to see it. I thought I'd talk about a few of my own discoveries with this app...all made simply by trial and error!
Basically, there are three main categories within Percolator that allow you to alter your image: Grind, Brew, and Serve. Each of these three categories has sub-categories that allow you to make further choices on how your image will be altered.
The Grind category allows you to choose how dramatically the circles will overtake your image...the larger the circle, the less detail in your image. I tend to use Fine or Extra Fine because it maintains a lot of the original detail. Once you choose which grind you like, you can tap on the arrow to the right of that grind and the sub-category will open up. This is where you can further choose the size of your circles, and also their effect. Again, I tend to use the Smallest circle size to keep the detail...but, it depends on the look you're trying to achieve. As for Effect, I haven't played with that much and tend to keep it on Auto Adjust. There are several options in Effect that allow your to sharpen, saturate, etc. It's just a matter of experimenting to see what you like.
The Brew category affects the appearance of the circles themselves...depending on your choice, they'll look brighter, duller, more distinct, etc. I tend to use Rings and Treble the most...and another fantastic option within this category is "Full of Stars", which transforms all the lines of your photo into white lines on a solid black background with stars throughout (like a midnight sky filled with constellations). It's striking on its own, but I discovered that if I use the Blender app and layer a "Full of Stars" image over the original (or the original processed in a separate app), I can come up with some lovely results. That's how I achieved the finished results for my ipod, chairs, and coffee mug images above. The coffee mug image was achieved using a "full of stars" Percolator image layered (using Blender) over the same image processed in Glaze, which is a painterly effect app.
The Serve category affects the coloring/tone of your image...black, light & sweet, soy, etc. If you tap the arrow and go into the sub-category, you can then further choose both Tone and Texture. It's just a matter of playing around with each one and seeing how it affects the look of your image. Nothing is permanent until you tap the heart icon and save. I have tended to stick with Black for my Serve choice.
If anyone's wondering how I achieved the bright colors in most of my images above, I got those by first processing my image in iColorama S. I use Flated under the Style section - there are six options to choose from, and I always use 2, 3, or 5 because they dramatically change the colors in your image. I play with the opacity sliders until I get a colorful look I like. I save it to my camera roll, and from there I put it into Percolator and start having fun! I think the bold, unrealistic colors are a really good match for the modern mosaics that Percolator gives you.
I hope I've given you a feel for how fun this app is (and its amazing creative potential). I highly recommend it - it costs $1.99 and is available for iPhone and iPad. If you'd like to see more of my Instagram photos, I'm sherribrannon.
Example of "Full of Stars" effect: