Pinterest Making Changes

It's no secret that I'm a fan of Pinterest (read my Gallery+ review, Bazaart review, and Pinterest infographics here and here). Apparently, Pinterest is making some changes to both the look and content of their site.

One thing that is changing is that you can no longer use links in descriptions for pins. Read about more of the changes in this infographic I found on Tumblr.

Pinterest

Realistic-Looking Frames Highlight of Pic Kick Pro – Crazy Collage for iOS

Pic Kick Pro

Our latest MobiTog EOS in work framed by Pick Kick Pro.

Pic Kick Pro – Crazy Collage Maker & Photo Editor may be a really long name for an app, but if you’re nostalgic for real-world looking frames, look no further. Pic Kick Pro is a universal, FREE app with more than 100 frames (in-app purchase needed) modeled after your favorite frames from real life and many from your imagination. And, new frames are added often.

This is not like any other framing/collage app you’ve seen for iOS. These frames are simply too realistic to be believed. Let’s take a look.

Pic Kick Pro

When you open Pic Kick, you are left with a blank slate and 5 icons. To begin, start with the camera button in the middle.

This little button is hiding a LOT of power. It is not only how you bring in photos from your Photos app, Facebook, and Flickr, or take a new photo, it is also how you change the background for the entire collage and add text to your work.

Pic Kick Pro

There are more than 100 backgrounds to choose from (photo at right), and you can make any photo that you bring in to the app into the background by tapping the photo 2 times quickly until a pop-up menu lets you choose to Set as Background.

That means the photo will take up the entire space though, and not always proportionally.

The app comes with a good amount of FREE backgrounds, the rest are unlocked for 99 cents in-app. These are high-quality backgrounds in a high-quality app. Rest assured, they are worth it.

Backgrounds range from simple colors or textured paper to 3D rooms, including an art gallery that you can use to hang pictures on virtual walls.

Pic Kick Pro

After you choose a backdrop, you can bring in photos using the same middle, camera button. Choose from your Photos app, Facebook photos, and Flickr account to bring a photo in, or shoot a new photo with the in-app camera.

Double-tapping on a photo brings up that pop-up menu again that lets you delete the photo, crop it within the app, set it as the background, or open it in the Photo Editor, which is run on Aviary (I discussed Aviary here).

You can adjust the size of a photo using pinch gestures. Use 2 fingers to stretch the photo bigger or shrink it smaller. Use 1 finger to move the photo around until you place it. The only thing missing for me is the option to lock a photo into place.

If you forget anything about manipulating a photo or anything else, just click the paperclip button and instructions will pop up.

Pic Kick Pro

Choose from more than 100 frames and growing.

The most important feature of Pic Kick Pro is adding frames. The frame button is 2nd from the left. It looks like a pile of photos.

There are more than 100 frames, with more being added frequently. Many frames come with the FREE app. The rest are accessed via a 99 cent in-app purchase that is definitely worth it if you like the app.

Pic Kick Pro features frames unlike any other I have seen in the App Store. Many look like real frames that you would buy at a craft store and hang on your walls at home. There are also unique frames that are shaped like flowers and frames that are themed. If you can imagine a frame, Pic Kick Pro probably has it.

Pic Kick Pro

Double-tapping a frame brings up a pop-up menu that allows you to delete the frame or lock it into place. Pressing and holding on a frame moves it back and forth from front layer to back layer, which is useful for bringing a frame to the front of a photo.

I have used Pic Kick Pro to frame 1 photo, and then I crop it out in another app so that it stands alone with just a frame on it. And, I have used the app to make collages with many photos and many frames.

Pic Kick Pro

Using a combination of the wonderful backgrounds, your photos, the divine frames, and adding text (at right) gives Pic Kick Pro full collage-making capabilities. (To add text, you just click the camera button again and choose Add Text to get the pop-up menu in the photo).

The only things I’d like to see added to Pic Kick Pro are landscape support on the iPad version of the app and the ability to snap frames and pictures to some sort of line to make them line up straight.

Pic Kick Pro

The last 2 buttons in Pic Kick Pro let you save your collage to the app to work on again later (far left button) and save the collage to your Photos app or share it (far right button).

You can share your collage with or without the background, which is handy when you just want to throw a frame on a photo and share it without making a collage. I wish this option were available for saving, as well. However, the high resolution saving options more than make up for this oversight.

I haven’t heard much from others about Pic Kick Pro, which is unfortunate because it is an outstanding app!

If you want unique and realistic frames on rich and vibrant backgrounds with about a million other options to make your photos stand out, Pic Kick Pro is definitely the way to go.

That’s it for me today. Until later, …

Super Fun Ways to Make Facebook Cover Photos

FBCoverArt

FBCoverArt has a selection of templates that can't be beat.

With Facebook's Timeline feature starring a huge Cover Photo plus a Profile Photo, people are often searching for something that will set their page apart from the crowd.

People have different goals in making their Cover Photos. Some want to showcase photos of their friends and family, some want to express their interest in a particular subject, and some just want to make something amazing with the least amount of effort.

With the app featured in today's post, we can meet all 3 of those goals in just a few steps.

This app is universal, meaning it will work on both your iPad and iPhone.

FBCoverArt

Some of the more than 100 templates in FBCoverArt

FBCoverArt – Facebook Timeline Cover Photo Designer is an app that definitely can help anyone meet any goal they have in creating a Cover Photo that pops. FBCoverArt has about 100 or so templates to choose from when making your Cover Photo (some in photos above).

FBCoverArt

FBCoverArt is a FREE app, so you can try it before you buy it.

However, when you open the app, it will tempt you with a deal to give you all the templates before you see any for $2.99. If you wait and look 1st, the price goes up to $4.99.

I'm not a fan of this strategy, but I guess they succeeded with me, because I took the bait. If you do try before you buy, you will only have access to about a dozen templates anyway.

FBCoverArt

The Seven Wonders templates are just a click away from done.

The templates in FBCoverArt range in effort from needing up to 7-8 photos to none, and range in subject from Airforce to Zombie, literally, with just about everything in-between. The Seven Wonders set of templates (and others sprinked throughout the templates) in the photo above need no photos from you. You just open them and publish them and you're finished.

FBCoverArt

I like that they offer such simple options, but we're going to take the middle road today and look at how to put together a template that needs 4 photos.

After you are done browsing through the massive number of templates in FBCoverArt, you'll have to choose 1. At least for today. You can choose a new 1 every day for a long, long while.

You can tap on as many templates as you want to see them upclose and change your mind, so don't worry that once you choose, you're options are closed.

FBCoverArt

Our practice template with 4 photos.

For now, I chose a pretty simple, straightforward template (above) to show you how to work the basic tools of the app. The photos in this template are almost squares, unlike some of the templates that have fun circle shapes, clouds, diamonds, and so much more. I will leave you to figuring out the artistic side on your own.

You must sign into Facebook and allow FBCoverArt the right to publish to your page to use this app, although you don't have to do it that way in the end. If for some reason you need to sign out, just press the button next to your name.

The perk of being signed in is that the app imports your current Profile Photo so you can see just how it will look with what you're working on for a Cover Photo.

FBCoverArt

At this point, if you decide you want to switch to another template, you can choose to go back to see all of the templates by pressing the Covers button (photo above, lower, left), or you can press the back and forth keys next to it to see templates that you have looked at previously.

As an aside, I really wish there were a way to bookmark your favorite templates or template sets so that you don't always have to go through the whole selection. There are just a ton of choices. Making a favorites section that let you just look at the templates you really like would be a great idea.

FBCoverArt

Inserting photos is a snap.

Once your template is open, you just tap each place that needs a photo and decide whether you want to pull a photo in from your Photos app, your Facebook photo albums, or take a new photo. For now, we'll pull in a photo from the Photos app. Bringing in a photo from Facebook looks almost identical, but it will just bring up every album you have created in Facebook. Larger albums can take a little longer to load. Be patient.

FBCoverArt

Always keep 2 fingers on the photo to manipulate it.

As a tip, when you are focused in on the photo after you import it, you must use 2 fingers at ALL times to manipulate the photo. Meaning that to move it around, make it bigger or smaller, and to rotate it to get it just right, you must always keep 2 fingers on the photo. If you don't, the focus will go away and you will see the entire template again. You can always focus back in on the photo if this happens though by tapping it.

If you bring a photo in and it doesn't work, just choose the photo you want to change and hit the way you want to import it again. It will just import the new photo and replace the old 1.

As you're bringing in photos, the app keeps track of the other photos you've already brought in. They are lined up along the bottom of the screen (photo above). That way, you don't accidentally bring in the same photo or almost identical photo twice.

It even keeps track of the photos you've brought in for 1 template, so if you change templates, the photos move with you and you can just tap that photo instead of importing it again when it comes time to insert the photo.

FBCoverArt

You can even use FX on each photo.

One of the cool features in FBCoverArt is that it lets you add an FX to each photo (above). This can be really handy if you're trying to tie together photos that don't go together very well due to their coloring. The FX even include things like sketch, black and white, infrared, and many more.

This is a nice little touch that I think really adds some polish to an already classy, finished app. It's like a toy surprise at the bottom of the Cracker Jax (please tell me some of you remember that).

FBCoverArt

Finishing up ...

After you have all of your photos inserted and situated just right, you can press the export button (lower, right) to save the finished product to your Camera Roll or to share it on Instagram (although, I don't know how that works with this shape), Twitter, by email, or open it in another app.

FBCoverArt

You could just go to Facebook and upload your new Cover Photo yourself from your camera roll, but FBCoverArt really saves you a lot of the trouble with the Set FB Cover button (photo above, lower, right).

Once you push that button, you get a pop up like the one in this photo. It tells you that once you push the Go to Facebook button, you will be redirected to Facebook in your browser and prompted to Save Changes.

If you're happy with the way it looks and want this to be your Cover Photo, just press Save Changes on Facebook (it's under the Cover Photo on Facebook), and you're finished.

Okay, that was a bit more than a few steps. But, I really broke this down into the tiniest of steps for people who may be new to the world of apps (as I usually do). If you're relatively familiar with working with photo editing apps, you'll fly through this in no time. If you're not, just follow the steps, and you'll be an expert before you know it.

I have another Facebook Cover Photo maker that I think you'll all love, but that'll have to wait for another day.

That's it for me today. Until later, …

Related Link on iOS Affairs

Mix & Match the Masters With PlayART

PlayART

With PlayART, you take a little bit from some great painters to make your own piece of art.

PlayART by Tapook is an iPad app for children, but I'm 38, and I love to relax by making my own mixed up collage out of pieces taken from some of the greatest paintings ever. You can either pick 1 painter and use their style to make your own art, or you can choose your favorite pieces from all 5 artists in the app, and mix them together for a totally original piece of artwork all your own.

Making art is the main goal of PlayART, but there is so much more to this app.

Let's take a look at it …

PlayART

These are the featured artists in PlayART.

The artists from whom you can choose to make your artwork from are Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Paul Klee, Paul Cézanne, and Henri Rousseau. There is a handy Help button on the top, left that shows you what all the buttons mean on the main screen. There is also a Tutorial that walks you through the basics of using the app.

You can also preview how the app works by watching a video on Tapook's website.

Basically, if you want to use just the pieces of 1 artist to do a collage, you just tap the painting above their name. If you want to mix together pieces from many of the artists, you go to their painting and find the pieces you like. You place the pieces you like on the canvas and press the Favorite button on the right side of the screen.

PlayART

Here are my favorite pieces from all the artists and 1 of my favorite canvases.

After you have all the pieces you want favorited, you press the painting above My Favorites on the main screen. Then, you are able to make a collage/painting using all your favorite pieces, plus all the canvases that are available from all the artists. Your favorite pieces will remain there, so you can make collage/painting 1 after another, if you want.

Using the My Favorites section is definitely the best part of the app, in my opinion. I'll show you what I made from all my favorited pieces at the end of this post.

PlayART

Guess which artist is my favorite.

When you open up each artist, 1 of the 1st things you may want to do is choose a canvas. Keep pressing the Canvas button on the bottom, right side until you find 1 you want to use.

The tools that you can use when you're making a collage/painting show up on the right-hand side of the screen when you open up either 1 of the artists or the My Favorites section of PlayART. You are able to just tap a piece from the sliding window at the bottom of the screen to add it to your work.

TIP: Be careful not to tap as you're sliding the window right and left to see all of the pieces. It happens very easily, but you can always just individually Delete any piece or Undo an action by tapping the buttons on the right side. If you decide you need to clear the entire canvas, the button is on the left-hand side.

Each piece can be manipulated using the pinch gestures to make the piece larger or smaller and to rotate it. Use 1 finger to move the piece around and place it. If you want to make it face the opposite direction, use the Mirror button on the right. You can Duplicate a piece easily with the button on the right.

The Lock button on the right is very handy for when you place a piece and you don't want to accidentally move it. When you have several pieces on the canvas and you want 1 to go behind or in front of another, you can use the Front and Back buttons to move pieces to different layers.

Tip: If the sounds that the app makes when you do almost any action annoy you, you can turn them off on the left side of the screen.

Once you are done, make sure you Save your artwork before exiting, although the app will remind you to Save in case you forget.

PlayART

This is the artists' museum.

To exit the art screen, you can either choose Artists to go back to the main screen, or Museum to go to the screen where your art is saved. Both buttons are on the left.

The Museum has 2 walls. The Artists Museum wall (photo above) displays the real artwork of each of the 5 featured artists. You can click on any artwork to make it larger and see the name, date it was painted, and where it is now located. To change artists, just tap on their name at the bottom of the screen. Those tabs also tell you when the artist lived.

PlayART

Give your work a name and put your name in as the artist from My Museum.

The other wall, called My Museum, is where all of your framed artwork will be saved. From that screen, you can click on any of your paintings to bring up a screen like the photo above.

From this screen, you can Delete the piece with the garbage can, or Edit it further, which will take you back into the screen where you 1st created it. You can also add an author and title to your piece just by clicking on those words at the bottom. Lastly, you can Share your work on Facebook or Save it to your Photos app.

The only way to get out of a close-up on your painting that I could figure out is to press Edit, go back to that screen, and then press the Museum button. It's a bit of a hassle, but worth it for such a fabulous app.

PlayART

The video biography of Van Gogh, where you'll hear how his name should be pronounced.

The last feature I want to tell you about are the videos that give background and biographical information on each artist. You access each video by pressing the little arrow below each artist on the main screen, right next to their name.

The videos are all narrated by children and are hand-drawn (photo above). To make the video full-screen, just press the arrows to the right of the play/pause controls. If you decide you don't want to watch anymore, you can press Skip to go back to the main menu.

They are beautiful videos that I think kids will connect with because the drawings look accessible and the narrators are just like them. Adults will enjoy them based on their simple beauty.

I think the only thing I'd like to see added to PlayART are more pieces to play with. I'd even be happy with an in-app store where I could buy more. Maybe additional artists, too, but I know that's a tall order.

I'd recommend PlayART for children 5-6 and up, and for adults who like to play. I think PlayART could be a great tool for teaching children about painting, art, and some of the great artists of all time. Not only do you learn about each artist in the videos, but you are able to maniplulate the pieces of their paintings, which gives you a much greater grasp on the intricacies of each artists' work.

Children (and adults) will also get a wonderful feeling of pride in their work when they see it hanging in their own gallery, and feel a connection with the artists who helped them create their work. At so many levels, PlayART connects users with master artists in a way not usually accessible.

PlayART

Here's something I created using my favorited pieces in PlayART.

That's it for me today. Until later, …

Bazaart Puts Pinterest Pins to Work in Collages

Bazaart

A design by another Bazaart user showcases the iPad.

If you love Pinterest and you love collage, there is 1 iPad app that is a must have: Bazaart – Collage app for Pinterest. Bazaart lets you use your Pinterest pins (or, someone else's) to make a practical or artful collage that you can then share with the Bazaart community, share with others, and save to your iPad and your My Bazaart section. And, Bazaart is completely FREE to use!

You don't even need don't even need a Pinterest account to use Bazaart. You do need to make a Bazaart account to use the app, though. If you don't have a Pinterest account of your own, you can just enter the user name of a Pinterest user and use their pins. Bazaart suggests using their account's pins.

Bazaart

Choose recent pins from any of your boards.

To make a collage, you just press the “Create a Collage” button at the top of the screen. Make sure that you have entered the Pinterest user name that you want to use in the Settings section (top left). You can change the user name if you decide you want to use someone else's pins.

After you press the Create a Collage button, the app opens up the Add Images screen (photo above). What you'll see is the most recent 25 pins that have been pinned by that user. If you want to see the most recent 25 pins that have been pinned to a specific board, just click the Boards button and choose which board you want to see.

Don't worry about choosing all the pins you need to start with. You can always go back to this screen from your collage and add more images.

Bazaart

A collage beginning.

Once you have all the images you want to start with, click the Add Images button. That will take you to the collage-making screen (photo above).

This is where the magic happens. Arrange your images in any way you choose.

You can move images from layer to layer by clicking on the image you want to move and then clicking the Move Up button. You always know which image you are clicked on by looking at the little picture at the bottom of the screen.

If you don't want the whole image, you can have the main image in the photo cut out by pressing the Cut Out button. It works like magic all by itself. You don't have to do anything.

Cut Out won't work on every image. For instance, the image of the woman in the green sweater in the photo above wouldn't cut out because the woman's outfit was too close in color to the background color. But, it works on most images, like the black dress and woman in the red coat in the photo above.

If you want to add more images to the collage, just click the Add Image button in the lower, right of the screen. That will take you back to the previous screen, but it won't undo anything you've done on your collage.

You can make collages that just illustrate things you desire to have, like home decorating ideas or clothing. Or, you can make a completely creative collage that is truly a piece of art. The choice is yours and depends on how creative you're feeling and what your goal is in creating the collage.

When you're done with the collage, click the big, red Next button. That will save your collage to your personal section of the app (My Bazaart) and give you the opportunity to share the collage with others. It will also add your collage to the most recent collages section of the app.

Bazaart

A remixed collage.

Another way to make a collage using Bazaart is called a Remix. As you browse through the collages of others on Bazaart in either the Recent or Featured sections, you can like the collages, share them, or Remix them.

Remixing a collage basically means that you start the collage with all the pins that were used in the collage you've chosen to remix. From there, you arrange them however you want and add images of your own just like you did in the Create a Collage section. All the same tools are available.

Bazaart

Flip a collage over to see the pins used in it.

If you want to see which pins were used in the collage before you remix, or you want to see them to learn more about an item or to Pin It on your own Pinterest boards, just tap the collage anywhere to flip it over. On the back of the collage you'll see all the pins that were used in that particular collage. You can click on any of them and choose to Pin It or show more information about that pin.

Flip the collage back over using the Back button under the collage.

Bazaart is 1 of the most original and innovative apps I've seen related to Pinterest. It really gets you involved with your pins. Rather than just collecting pins, Bazaart pushes you to think about what those pins mean and how you want to use them to create art or create useful collages to illustrate ideas.

What are you waiting for? Bazaart is FREE, totally cool, and fabulously fun. Go get it!

That's it for me today. Until later, …

Collage Painter Just a Whole Lot of Fun

Collage Painter

One of the many beautiful screenshots from Collage Painter.

iAds have been added to this app since it was reviewed, but they can be disabled with an in-app purchase. Just press the question mark to find the place to do this.

Developer Kirill previously brought an app called Artifact to the App Store, but the world didn't seem ready for such an advanced app. I loved it, but many were confused at how to use the app.

In his 2nd offering to the App Store, Kirill brought a much more streamlined and user-friendly version of Artifact called Collage Painter. That's the app we're going to take a look at today. A little bit painting with photos, a little bit collage, and a whole lotta fun, that is what Collage Painter is. To top it off, the app is usually $1.99, but is completely FREE for the next few days.

I pride myself on quickly picking up apps and being able to then explain them to you, but today, we're all learning together a bit because there is just too much good packed into this little iPad app for me to have become an expert at all of it quite so quickly. So, bear with me as I gloss over bits I may not understand quite as thoroughly as I would like.

Collage Painter

My 1st attempt at creation.

The crux of Collage Painter involves painting a top layer of a photo (and many other things, which we'll discuss) onto a bottom layer of a photo called the canvas. That's simply put, but it's the best way I can say it without drawing a diagram.

I have to give thanks to Kirill and his fabulous Facebook page for giving me the idea to use an Emoji character as my top layer, which is what the snail pictured above is. Just an enlarged snail Emoji. I'll post some videos at the bottom of the post to Collage Painter in action, including using Emoji to create Noah's Ark.

Collage Painter

You have a few choices in deciding where your going to get your top layer and canvas images from in Collage Painter.

The canvas (the 1 upon which you are drawing) can be chosen from your own photos, by searching the web, you can take a photo, and you can paste a photo in.

Collage Painter

The top layer (the 1 which is being colored over so that it's added to the canvas) has a few in addition to those methods. You can create text, which is where you can type in words, or you can switch to your Emoji keyboard and choose an Emoji or 3 or whatever to use.

Another option for the top layer is what is called Collections. There are many built-in shapes that you can choose from. For 99 cents in-app purchase, you can get another collection of Lovey Dovey Valentine's themed options to use as the top layer.

To begin bringing a layer in, just click on the layer you want to load and then choose “Load Image.” That brings up the menu where you choose where you're going to get that photo from. The Collections are located right below that option, but only when you are on the top layer.

Collage Painter

By the way, if this review sounds too convoluted or you just don't understand the way I'm phrasing something (I may be using the wrong terminology anyway), there is a wonderful in-app help section that even includes a tutorial video.

I didn't have time to go through it completely, but it looks very thorough. Kirill is always happy to answer questions to. I would consider him a very conscientious developer. He does frequent updates and is available to help users.

Collage Painter

Lots of options await.

Once you get your top layer and canvas into place (wishlist #1 could the canvas lock into place?), you're ready to get started creating. You can position your top layer anywhere on the canvas using 3 fingers (wishlist #2 could we make that 2 fingers?). Once it is where you want it, you just choose the painting mode you want and then color it onto the canvas using your finger or a stylus.

The paint mode options include paint, darken, multipy, color, erase, lighten, screen, and lumina. When you choose 1, a description of what it means appears above it, which is very helpful.

Collage Painter

Some great features.

Some other fun features and tools you can play with include adding effects and color tints to source images, perspective warping a top layer image (I did it with 1 of the snails), cropping the canvas, transforming the top layer image, and copying the top layer to the bottom and vice versa. I say play, because play is the best way to become familiar with any app. Just start pusing buttons. What's the worst that can happen? You start again?

Overall, Collage Painter is a powerful tool for people interested in actively doing something with their photography, people interested in design, and people who just want to have fun with photos, collage, and painting all rolled into 1.

Here are a few of the videos that feature what Collage Painter can do.

That's it for me today. Until later, …

If You Like Cats, IdentiKat is Going to Make You Smile

IdentiKat

Can you find all the hidden cats? I tried to open them all at once for you, but there were too many!

Liking cats and having kids will make IdentiKat fun, but anyone who’s still a child at heart can really have fun playing with IdentiKat. This is 1 app that is so obviously made with love you’ll have a grin on your face just from the opening screen. (The full name of the app is IdentiKat – a game for creative children & cats, by the way.)

If you’re in doubt about how much fun these developers must have had making this app, just click the “Kat?” button on the opening screen and watch the video for what went into the making of IdentiKat. This is also where you could turn off the sound and music, but you really won’t want to. It’s really quite splendid and enhances the whole app.

About the opening screen that is pictured above: there are many, many cats hidden on it. Just start clicking buttons (the kind you sew) and windows and see how many you can find. When you find them, they sing and meow and are just delightful.

Kat Cut

Kat Cut is a game where you put beautiful cats together.

When you’re ready to get down to some serious play, just choose between the Kat Cut game and the Kat Lab.

Kat Cut game

In the Kat Cut game, you choose the cat that is unlocked (each 1 unlocks the next 1 when you’re done). First, you’ll see a hand-made cat that is fully put together. When you touch it though, it goes to pieces!

That’s where the fun begins.

All you have to do is remember where the pieces went and put the cat back together again. Each piece makes a popping sound when it goes back in place, and you can click the button in the top, right corner to see the whole cat if you forget where things go.

IdentiKat

When you get the whole cat put together again, beautiful hand-cut buttons rain down like snowflakes in celebration.

I can’t imagine how much went into each and every piece of this game. It is absolutely beautiful! The whole thing is on realistic-looking dark blue velvet material. And, each piece looks like it is made out of fabric so beautiful that I am jealous I don’t have it in my collage arsenal myself.

I don’t know if the developers had to hand-cut and photograph each piece, or if they made them digitally. Either way, they look completely real and are totally stunning.

After you’ve played the game awhile, you may want to make a “kat” of your own with these beautiful supplies. That’s where the Kat Lab comes in.

IdentiKat

The start to my lovely kat.

Just click on it from the home screen, and you’ll see a screen like the one above (minus my beginnings of a cat).

Along the bottom of the screen are all the supplies you’ll need to make a kat yourself. They are put in a logical order (head first, then eyes, etc.), but if you want to jump to a specific section, just click the buttons at the left.

Just drag and drop each piece where you want it to go.

If you want to change the color of something, click the rainbow ribbon next to the trash can. And, when you need to flip something to go in a different direction, just click the top little button on the left. To delete any piece, just make sure it is highlighted and click the trashcan. If you want something to go behind another piece, double-tap it and it will.

Those are really all the instructions you’ll need to create a kat.

IdentiKat

My finished kat gets framed.

When you’re done making your kat, just click the button in the top, right. That will take you to the screen to choose a frame for your lovely creation. You can give your kat a name and click the camera to have the whole thing saved to your Photos app.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I am also an artist. I mostly work in collage or multi-media or whatever you want to call it. Fabric is a love of mine.

So, finding IdentiKat was just pure joy. I want each and every piece from this app in real life. But, I’ll just be happy that it exists at all, and my family is probably happier that my art room isn’t going to grow because it is all staying neatly in app.

That’s it for me today. Until later, …

IdentiKat

The End.

Make Facebook Profiles Pop With Cover Photo Maker Pro

Cover Photo Maker for Facebook Pro

With the advent of the cover photo on Facbook profiles, it was no time before frame apps were adding cover photo frames to their usual digital frame lineup. There are even entire apps devoted to the process of creating a stunning cover photo. Some are good and some less so.

Cover Photo Maker for Facebook Pro is a universal app that is entirely devoted to the making of an artful cover photo, and it is very, very good, indeed. You can see the main screen layout for Cover Photo Maker Pro above.

Cover Photo Maker Pro

There are far more layouts to choose from with Cover Photo Maker Pro than with most other apps of its kind. These layouts really cover just about any shape/size photo combination you can think of. You can choose from 1-5 photos for your Cover Photo Maker Pro layout. With the adjustments you can make, the options are really limitless.

I have been using the 3 square photos layout to display Instagram photos. It works very well for that and is done in a flash.

I like that with Cover Photo Maker Pro, after choosing a layout, the app shows you where your profile shot goes on Facebook. I sometimes forget when I'm making these that the profile photo overlaps the cover photo on Facebook itself.

Cover Photo Maker Pro

Once you have chosen a layout, you just tap in each square to bring up the image chooser and flip through your camera roll or folders until you find all the photos you're looking for. If you pull an image in by mistake, just double-tap that image to replace it by bringing up the chooser again.

When you bring a photo in, you can also rotate the image with the rotate buttons or flip the image completely, if you choose.

The next menu I generally go to is the color menu. That's where you decide the color for the border, or even for the background if you want to leave 1 of the photo squares empty to play with color. There are easy buttons to choose white or black, but you can also use RGB sliders to make any other color under the sun.

The margins menu (whichever menu you're on is highlighted in red) lets you remove the outer frame altogether with a switch. It also has a slider that allows you to make the frame and inside borders thicker or thinner. If you remove the outer frame and make the inner borders really thin, you can effectively blend up to 5 photos together in a unique collage.

Cover Photo Maker Pro

The corner menu is just a slider that lets you make the inside corners of each framed photo more or less rounded. You can't change just 1 photo. It's all or nothing. It can really change the look of the entire layout.

The last menu is for spacing. This lets you select each photo and use horizontal and vertical resizer sliders to make that photo bigger or smaller by making the photo next to it bigger or smaller.

Playing with the margin, corner, and spacing all together can give you whole new layouts and gives you almost infinite control over your final product.

Cover Photo Maker Pro

That finishes off the editing menus, but 1 last edit you can make before really finishing up is to add text to your cover photo.

After you press the Add Text menu on the bottom, you can choose a color off of a color grid (limitless colors). Then, press the green “add text” button and pick a font. There are some fun fonts to choose from. You can repeat and add more text if you want multiple lines of text.

You can even add a drop shadow and outline to the font to make it stand out more from your background. Sliders let you change the size and opacity of the text. To position the text, just push it around with your finger, but to rotate it, you have to use the rotate buttons.

Cover Photo Maker Pro

That's about it. Although, that's quite a lot.

Just hit Finish in the bottom row and choose whether you want to just save to your Camera Roll, email to someone, or upload directly to Facebook.

Cover Photo Maker for Facebook Free is a available with ads and a watermark so you can try this app before buying.

That's it for me today. Until later, …

Make Animated Photostories With SlickFlick

SlickFlick

My SlickFlick profile page and some of the stories I’ve done.

SlickFlick is a FREE photography social media iPhone app that lets you to make what they call “animated photostories” using multiple photos combined with amazing preset themes provided by the app. I kind of think of the animated photostories as moving collages.

SlickFlick theme

What they really are is a way for you to tell great stories using your photos and stickers and captions from SlickFlick themes that are then animated for you so you can share the stories with friends, family, and optionally, other SlickFlick users.

These type of niche photography social media apps are popping up left and right these days. I have joined almost a dozen of them over the past year. But, SlickFlick really sets itself apart with its great production values, fun themes, and truly useful product.

SlickFlick has been around for a little while, too. Since August of 2011.

SlickFlick theme

Here’s how SlickFlick works.

After you have signed up with SlickFlick using either a social media sign in or an email address and password, you are able to use SlickFlick’s themes to help you tell your stories using your own photos.

There are 3 buttons on the bottom of your SlickFlick screen.

The one on the left shows you all the SlickFlick stories made by people you are following in the SlickFlick storytelling community (you can follow friends and strangers and they can follow you). Like most social media communities of this kind, you can watch stories made by other people and like them and comment on them.

The button on the right shows you your personal profile page and all the SlickFlick stories you have made. Your profile page is also where the Settings are located.

The button in the middle is the important one. It’s the one that lets you begin to make a SlickFlick story of your own.

SlickFlick theme

Once you push the middle button, the first thing you do is pick a theme. The themes look like the first 3 photos in this post. The rest of the current themes are shown at the end of this post.

To see a little of what the theme offers, click on the little i in the bottom, right corner of the theme picture. That flips the cover over and will show you what the theme’s captions and titles look like and some of the stickers that are offered in that theme.

The only theme that really changes what your photos look like is the Charlie Chapman theme, which changes photos to black & white.

SlickFlick

Once you pick a theme, it opens and you are taken to the screen where you choose the photos you are going to use in this story (at right).

The goal is to pick photos that tell a story. I have done stories on friends’ birthdays, a coming home/reunion of a family member, Christmas. But, you can do a story on anything you want. You could even just pick random photos and try to make a story that way, but it’s probably better to choose photos that make sense together. Something cohesive.

You can choose images from your Camera Roll (by date or by album), your Facebook photos (by album), Flickr images, Instagram photos (yours, ones you’ve liked, popular ones, and those in your stream), or take new photos with the in-app camera.

You also can search public photos through Getty Images Library, Instagram, and Flickr.

SlickFlick makes it easy to select all the photos from an event by letting you “select all” from a specific day in your Camera Roll.

SlickFlick

Once you have chosen as many photos as you want to put in your story (there’s no rule to say how long or short they are), you move onto writing your story.

The script looks like the photo at left. This shows you which photo is going in which order. You can drag and move photos around into a different order until you’re happy. You access the script with the button at the top with 4 little boxes in it.

SlickFlick

If you need to go back and choose more photos or shoot a new one, choose one of the other buttons. Otherwise, the focus is on decorating and styling your photos one at a time with the menus at the bottom.

To use a sticker, just tap it and drag it up to the picture. Once there, you can make the sticker bigger or smaller and use 2 fingers to slant it at angles and stuff.

Click on the Captions tab to write a title (which is big) and a caption (which is smaller) on your photos. A placeholder will pop up. To write your own, just click on the text. The text can be manipulated in the same way that stickers can to make it bigger, move it around, and angle it.

Just swipe through each of your photos and do this on all that you choose. Once you finish, you hit publish at the top of the screen and voila, you’re finished! You’ve told your first photo story.

You can of course share your story on Facebook or Twitter or email it to friends.

SlickFlick is just a fun way to use photos in a new way that you may not have thought of before.

Here are the rest of the SlickFlick themes.

SlickFlick Theme

Route 66

SlickFlick theme

Xoxo

SlickFlick theme

Comic Book

SlickFlick theme

Scrapbook

That’s it for me right now. Until later, …

I’ve Fallen in Love With Photonia

Photonia

Photonia is a brand new app that will amaze and impress.

A new photography app that came out today called Photonia is one of the best collage apps I’ve ever seen for the iPhone! I wish it were available for the iPad, too.

Photonia

I’ve only been playing with Photonia for about an hour or so (as you can see at left), and I already know how to do everything I need to create awesome, funny, amazing, wonderful collages. The controls and instructions are so intuitive that there is no need to read instructions or anything else really. You can begin making collages immediately with Photonia because everything you touch brings little pop-ups that tell you what to do.

Photonia comes with 53 built-in templates, 150 stickers, 43 photo frames, 44 backgrounds, and 15 photo effects.

This is what the description in the App Store says, but it may be a little misleading. The app comes with a good amount of each of these things, but to get all the templates, stickers, frames, and backgrounds, you will need to purchase 2 in-app packs that are 99 cents each.

I am totally overlooking the misleading part of the description though, because I wanted to buy them anyway. In reality, Photonia costs 99 cents to begin with and each of the packs are 99 cents, which means you get everything that is described initially for only $2.99. That is still a really great price for what you get both in quantity and quality.

Photonia

Let’s move on from the price to the amazing parts of this app.

To get started, you either choose a preset template, or you can start with a blank slate and make your own design, which you can then save as a template to use again and again.

If you design something and want to save it as a template to use again later, just click the blue button in the lower right and choose Template to save it as a template or Image to just save it as a photo or share it.

The basic templates are on the 1st page. If you purchase any packs, you just slide the screen to the left to get to the pages that have the templates from those packs.

If you choose a template and decide it’s not for you, click the blue button in the top left corner. That button will be there throughout the whole app to let you go back to the previous screen.

Photonia

Even if you start with a preset template, you can still move everything on the template to make it your own. A light touch on any aspect of the template brings up the menu you see at left.

This is how you bring in a new photo to replace the placeholder pictures in the preset templates. Just lightly touch the photo, bring up this menu, and either choose to take a new photo, or choose a photo from your camera roll.

When you bring in a photo, the app lets you transform the photo, meaning that you can move it around, pinch it to make it smaller or bigger, turn it around with 2 fingers, whatever you want to do to make the photo work.

Once the photo is in place, you can add a filter to it by touching the photo again to bring up the menu and choose filter.

This menu also lets you add a frame, go back to the transform state, send something to the front or back, or delete any piece of the collage.

Photonia

If you want to change the background of the entire collage, just touch somewhere in the background area, meaning somewhere that doesn’t have a photo or sticker or something else on it.

That brings up the little menu you see in this photo. You can add your own photo as the background for the collage and create a collage on that photo, or you can choose “Photonia Image” to get to the Photonia backgrounds. Just choose which one you want and presto, it appears in the background.

If you purchase the 2 packs, their backgrounds are accessed by pressing the 2 tabs right above the main backgrounds.

For me, this is the only unintuitive part of Photonia. I didn’t know until I accidentally touched the background how to bring in a background when starting from scratch.

Maybe I’m just a little slow, but it was a little confusing to me. Perhaps a Diptic-style instruction screen that just shows you the 3 basic places to bring up menus would be helpful the first time you use the app.

Photonia

The 3rd main menu screen is accessed by pressing the pretty pink plus button. From there, you can add a frame, add text to the collage with the beautiful text editor, add stickers, or clear the entire collage and start again.

Let me tell you that you have to be clicked on a photo and THEN click add frame for Photonia to add a frame that fits that photo precisely. If you are not clicked on the photo and you click add frame, a frame will just pop up on the screen, which is useful if you want to frame some words or a sticker.

Also, there are 2 different taps to do 2 different things. If you bring in a photo or anything else and don’t transform it right away, you can easily access the transform stage again by tapping and holding for a few seconds. A light tap just chooses the item and brings up the menu that I already showed you.

Photonia

Adding text is super easy. If you choose it from the menu just shown, it takes you to the screen at right.

Just type in what you want to say and style it the way you want it. The 3 gray buttons align the text left, middle, or right, and the white button accesses the font, size, and color that you see below the buttons.

It looks like Photonia has added quite a few fun fonts to the usual Apple fonts, which gives you just a ton of options when it comes to styling your collage. Use the typical roller to pick a font, size, and color for your text.

When you are done, click done in the top right corner, and it will place your text on the collage where you can then move it around and arrange it just like a photo.

Photonia

Adding a sticker is just like adding a frame. It brings up a little menu at the bottom of the screen that shows you all the stickers in the basic pack and both of the 2 purchased packs.

Just click on a sticker and it will appear in the middle of the collage, ready and waiting for you to adjust it and place it where you want. Adjusting a sticker is the same as adjusting a photo. You can use the pinch gesture to change its size, use 2 fingers to twirl it around at angles, and lightly touch it after you’re done to bring up send to front or send to back.

Photonia

Once you are totally done with the collage, click the blue button in the bottom right and either choose to save it as a template or as an image.

If you choose image, it will take you to the screen at right. From there, you can write whatever you want to say to share it on Facebook or Twitter, or simply save it to the camera roll or email it to someone. You can also share it on Instagram.

That button actually just brings up the open in another app screen, which lets you open your collage in any app that allows this type of sharing, like Instagram or PhotoForge2.

The developer has shared an email for you to get ahold of them if you have any problems. I haven’t tried the email, but I like when a developer makes themselves that easily available.

That’s it for me today. Until later, …