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 BRIEF camera app suggestions

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Posts : 902
Join date : 2011-06-23
Age : 42
Location : Wisconsin, USA

PostSubject: BRIEF camera app suggestions   Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:24 am

So this is a (note: NOT-)quick one. Basically, I have discovered several free apps (or demos at the very least) that are designed to either pre-alter pictures you're about to take, or EASILY tweak pictures you've already taken (with your Droid device). I am NOT sure how any of these will work on a phone-sized screen, especially if they have ads or a poor UI in the first place, but I still recommend giving them a shot! For the purpose of speed and efficiency, I will list them with a brief description for now, and go into more detail when I have some samples of tweaked pictures to share!

Cartoon Camera - This program basically runs the old 'Find Edges' filter on the camera view, making ANY discernible edges (i.e. wood grains, shadows, anything) get a dark outline. There is a digital zoom slider, and a sensitivity slider which can be used to make the picture look like someone vomited black spaghetti on your lens, or can give you slightly dulled color and just a few dark outlines, making for really nice comic or cartoon images! This is a pre-pic app, letting you see the results before you take the pic!

Thermal Vision & Night Vision - These two come from the same company, and could really have been packed in one app, but they weren't. Basically, they also run old school brightness/contrast and color filters on the images. These are both pre-pic apps (I believe from the same company as Cartoon Camera). One makes everything shades of blue, white, and the general vibe of a thermal camera. The other makes everything shades of black, white, and green, giving the appearance of night vision. Purpose? Can't think of any beyond the "hey, neat" factor and maybe tricking passers-by into thinking you're a professional ghost tracker. Also, fun to read the comments in the Droid market...people giving low ratings and complaining because the night vision doesn't work in pitch dark and why doesn't thermal vision really a free bit of software can make their $400 phone true nightvision like a $4,000 camera. Yeesh!

Color Splash Effect - This bad boy....jury's still out, just because I haven't sat down with this one enough yet. This is a post-pic tweaker. You take the pic (in program), and it automatically fires up its paint layout. The kicker is, it takes your just-snapped pic, black-n-whites it, and you are now painting color back in, but only where you want it! Quite possible to make some REALLY artistic images with this, and the screenshots in the market give a good example.

Retro Camera - Was my favorite until today. Okay, this is still my favorite picture taker as a standalone. This app uses a bunch of filters and overlays and other kinds of graphic nonsense to replicate the most distinguishing features of 9 (7? pretty sure 9) old school cameras. Each camera has an artistic representation of the back of the original unit, so you can pretend you're actually looking through the back of one of them. Note: no idea how this will work on a phone, as the camera UI is TINY on the tablet, but it almost looks like the cameras were made for phone size and just don't auto-resize to tablet. Anyway, if one of these old cameras was well-known for the blues being oversaturated and edges cracking, that what you get when you snap with it. If one of them got acid-burned down one side and left scratches across the middle from some mechanical roller or something, that's what you get in the image. Just awesome pics coming out of this thing! Unfortunately, the veiwfinder window does NOT show the image result before the pic is taken, so until you get to 'know' the cameras, you just pick one, line up your shot, and hope it will capture wht youwant, how you want it. Still, definitely worth a shot!

Pixlr-o-matic - I finally got the gumption to download this today. This is a free offering from Autodesk...yes, the same ones who own Autocad, 3dStudio Max, and a slew of other top-dollar graphics softwares. This is a post-pic tweaker. You have the option of loading any picture from your droid gallery, or external memory, or taking a new picture with the app of your choice (assuming you have more than one). One you get the picture, it's magic time. You have 3 main buttons, for film effects, lighting effects, and edges/backgrounds. Each has a list of effects, in a thumbnail format, in a 'swiper' menu. It comes with maybe 20-ish in effect area...and then there's the "MORE" button...which takes you in to download and install TONS of effects (not like thousands, but it's free, and there's more effects than you will ever use on a regular basis!). Again, these are standard old-school photoshop style filters being applied, but the kicker here is the overall quality of these filters. The quality, the speed (takes like a second to apply each change), and the amount of choices...I think it would be difficult to make a pic that wasn't a work of art! Try this one!!!

Okay, that's all for now. As time goes on, I hope to better understand these programs to go into more details, and get some sample images rolling here. I also still have to test UCam, which I just got. For now, happy picture taking!

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