Friday, September 9, 2011

Grunge Me Up - Gimme That Carrot!

Camera App: Hipstamatic
Lens: Melodie
Film: Ina's 1935
Accessories: Ollo Clip Fisheye lens

Additional Apps used:

Noir - to create a black and white version of my photo
Grungetastic - to test the latest update of it.
TouchRetouch - to remove a single white spot from the horse box that was nothing else but bird dung dropped by one of the many swallows flying in and out the stable.
Iris - to find out that not all apps recognize the true resolution of a picture (more about that in the text below)
FilterStorm3 - to resharpen the picture slightly (20%).
A+Signature - to add my copyright watermark as usual.

Checking the Appstore for updates of my installed apps on this morning I saw there was an update for Grungetastic, which is one of the very best apps to have when it comes to give a photo a more or less worn and weathered look. And YES, the developer team did hell of a good job to improve the app further, even though if it becomes a bit more expensive now with 4 additional in-app-purchases. But they are worth the price, boosting the possible combinations of grunge styles and settings beyond an uncountable number.
To test the new update of Grungetastic I was loading a recent photo that I made of a horse called Gin Tonic, who is the neighbor of my daughter's horse Billie at the stables. I was playing around with that photo already days ago as I tried out Noir. Now I used the b/w version I made with Noir to test Grungetastic. I'm sorry for not being able to provide a complete list with all the steps that I took to get to the final version of my picture. I was just playing around with Grungetastic, trying this and trying that, adjusting intensity and colors of quite a bunch of different possible effects. All that I remember is that my picture is based on the style Distressed #6, that is now available as in-app-purchase. I really had a lot of fun playing around with Grungetastic.
And then I discovered something weird.... Grungetastic can save a picture in the original photo resolution if it's configured for that in its settings, which was 1936x1936px. After I removed that white spot from the picture in TouchRetouch I discovered that TouchRetouch was boosting the resolution to incredible 4072x4072px (and I wondered what's that good for), But crosschecking that in the (free) app Picture Size I saw that it was true. And checking it on my big laptop screen I also saw that the quality of that boosted picture was very good. Even at a zoom factor of 216% there was no visible artifact in it. I then wanted to downscale the photo back to its original size of 1936x1936px in Iris, which is another one of my top favorite apps. But obviously there is a slight flaw in Iris because it seemingly cannot recognize high resolution photos correctly as it showed the picture with a resolution of only 3072x3072. I investigated the resolution case further and applied a Comic Scene FX effect (30%) in Iris, then saved the picture without changing its resolution - what Iris gave me back of the original 4472x4472px was nothing more than 2272x2272px.
Ok, that was for testing purpose only. I went back to my original GrungeTastic+TouchRetouch version to sharpen it slightly in FilterStorm3 (20%) and after saving I got a picture with a resolution of 2738x2738px. I was adding my copyright watermark in A+Signature which also saved the picture in 2738x2738px. Now, again only for testing, I was loading the 4472x4472 version in A+Signature to see what it's making of if after adding my watermark and YES, A+Signature keeps the original resolution even if it's that high.

Conclusion: Even the best apps don't necessarily keep the original resolution of a photo processed with them, but at least they provide a resolution which is still higher or equal to the original photo resolution. Really bad are apps that ruin the original resolution but sadly there are way too much of those lurking for your money in the Appstore.

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