Draw Something offers turn-based gameplay that brings friends together as teammates to draw basic items (and sometimes more-complex ones) to see how long they can continue to guess each others' drawings correctly. Once you've created a game with a friend through Facebook, Twitter, or by registering within the game, you're given three choices (easy, medium, or hard) of objects to draw that your friend will need to identify. Once your friend receives the drawing, he or she is given only a handful of available letters to use for the word (probably to make it a little easier to … Read more
I've written about several iOS apps here that add effects to your photos, but most are just for adding a retro look, tuning your images, or making a photo look hip for social networking sites. I've found some great ones like PhotoToaster, Photogene2, and SnapSeed, but there's another genre of apps that make even more drastic changes to your images.
This week's collection of iOS apps is about taking your photos to the extreme. The first turns your images into line-drawn cartoons. The second fills in your image with words to produce a thought-provoking effect. The third puts your image through a coffee grinder, and brews up a bubbly colorful mosaic.… Read more
Yesterday, I wrote about Luminance, a streamlined-yet-versatile photo editor that I think iPad users in particular will like. Paint FX ($1.99) is a bit more complicated, but for the slightly steeper learning curve, you gain the ability to edit only select areas of a photo.
To get started, tap the load/share button in the upper-left corner to load a photo from your Camera Roll, Photo Stream, or iPhoto (if you have your iDevice set up to sync some portion of your iPhoto library). You can also grab a photo from Facebook. This button also lets you save photos to your Camera Roll or share them via Facebook, e-mail, or the Paint FX community page.… Read more
There are numerous digital painting programs on the market these days, and many of the ones we've encountered have either been short on features or confusing to use (or, in the worst cases, both). MyPaint manages to pack a lot of unique and useful features into a clean, intuitive interface, and we think it's among the best digital painting programs we've seen.
MyPaint is easy to get started with. It has a toolbar and menu bar across the top of the interface, and we appreciated the fact that the program's designers managed to arrange its numerous … Read more
Is there a paint color called "crack in the bridge?"
There could be one day, if Scottish researchers continue to make progress on a low-cost smart paint that could detect microscopic faults in structures such as bridges, wind turbines, and mines.
The paint, under development at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, is made of highly aligned carbon nanotubes, which can carry an electrical current, and a recycled waste product known as fly ash that's usually produced during coal combustion.
When mixed, the paint takes on a cement-like property that makes it hardy and particularly useful in areas where the weather can make regular safety monitoring difficult.
"There are no limitations as to where it could be used, and the low-cost nature gives it a significant advantage over the current options available in the industry," Mohamed Saafi, chair of the university's department of civil engineering, said in a statement. "The process of producing and applying the paint also gives it an advantage, as no expertise is required and monitoring itself is straightforward." … Read more
The Redwood Room in San Francisco's Clift Hotel has long been home to intriguing digital artwork.
Three portraits--a man and two women--hang on adjacent walls. If you watch the "paintings" carefully, the seemingly motionless subjects suddenly shift their gazes and change their expressions. These canvases, you see, are really flat-panel screens displaying videos of actors who know how to stand very still.
The "painted" man comes to life and looks at the "painted" lady across the room; they make eyes at each other and subtly smile. The other "painted" lady, older than the first and hanging nearer the man, frowns. That's all that's needed to telegraph a narrative to the viewer: an indiscretion has taken place, or threatens to; a woman's heart has been (or will be) broken.
We're thinking Scott Garner's "Still Life" would fit in well at the Redwood Room (or another such bar). As he explains on his Web site, years ago he "had the idea of a still-life painting that wasn't so still." And eventually he figured out how to pull off his interactive art piece.… Read more
Paper Camera offers up a unique photography experience using a cute interface to produce simulated hand-drawn results, but you'll need to select your shots carefully. The interface looks like a camera made from paper (appropriately), with hand-drawn arrow buttons for switching effects; controls for contrast, brightness, and line weight on the right side; and a save button in the lower right. You have the choice of taking shots directly with your iPhone camera (showing the effect in real time) or selecting an image from your photo library.
Paper Camera is a neat concept, but in addition to requiring you … Read more
Once Picnik closes its doors for good on April 19, Picnik users will be forced to seek out alternative photo-editing tools. There's always the popular free desktop tools like Paint.NET or GIMP, but true alternatives to Picnik are Web-based editors. Here are a few of them to consider:
Photoshop Express Adobe's Photoshop Express has all the basic editing tools like crop, resize, red-eye, as well as more advanced editing features like fill light, sharpen, and exposure. It also … Read more
MobileMonet lets you make great-looking hand-drawn and artistic representations of your images. Though there are many photo apps in the iTunes app store that let you distort and add effects to images, with MobileMonet you can create truly unique projects using a two-step system. You either start with a photo from your library or you can snap a fresh picture using your iPhone camera. From there, MobileMonet makes a black-and-white line drawing of your image. Touch the screen to use a spray-can tool to add colors back in to your photograph with paintlike effects. You have a number of variables … Read more
If you're looking for a full-featured image editor at a relatively low price, Pixelmator fills the bill nicely. Sporting a smooth Mac-friendly interface, Pixelmator offers a layout much like Adobe Photoshop with separate toolbars offering standard selector and paint brush type tools, a color-picker, a layer manager, and a brush picker with large array of options, from "follow direction" to multiple jitter settings. Pixelmator also has support for Adobe Photoshop brushes.
Also like Photoshop, Pixelmator comes with all the image manipulation tools you might need for adjusting color, saturation, brightness and contrast, and many more. If you … Read more