Thursday, June 22, 2017

Playing around with Little Planets in PicsART

There is a yet another trendy filter photo application poping up all over the place called PicsArt. I've downloaded it to my phones (the free version has those annoying ads, thgat tend to take over the screen) and to my computer as a windows play store app (which also has ads but they seem less intrusive just at the bottom of the screen). I got interested because their "Magic" filters looked a lot like neural networks trained to look for the image styling, colouring etc. I'm not certain that is the case and they don't offer the ability to use your own images as a guide/filter. Not to worry they are generally garish and whilst a few have potential, but not enough to encourage me to buy the pro version.

The app however does offer many other image manipulation and sharing features. It seems particularly geared to sharing on social media and selfies in particular (again I'll pass on this). It has decent collage, cut-out and stickers features not to mention a lot of more conventional "one click" filter based photo "enhancements" as well as a range of the basic cropping, tonal and colour sliders. Rather than be to influenced by my old biases go try it for yourself.

What also got my interest was their little planets stereographic transformation, which you can find under edit, then effect (fx), distort and tiny planet. This performs a polar transformation on your photo, mathematically stretching the sky and compressing the base of your image to form a round little planet of your foreground. It does a pretty good job if your horizon is relatively flat and not tilted, but there are sliders to control Zoom (make the planet bigger or smaller, Rotation (twist the planet either clockwise of anti-clockwise) Shift(changes the scaling/matching of the end points) and Blur (blurs a little or a lot at the join). I had a bit of fun making a set that moved from Day to Night on my phone and posting some directly to Instagram.
Sunrise BunburyMorning at Castle RocksIn the Heat of The Day Bunbury
Afternoon at the Mouth of Margret RiverBunbury SunsetEvening on the Swan River, Perth

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