It’s Saturday again, yes already, and that means just one thing here at theappwhisperer.com, Mel Harrison’s weekly column – APPart. Every Saturday we will publish more of Mel’s incredible work which focuses on digital art and collage images. Each week Mel will be incorporating different ‘mainstream’ editing apps to inspire you to try some APPart of your own. In this weeks’ Column Mel talks us through the process of creating a beautiful collage using only the app Juxtaposer, don’t miss this…(foreword by Joanne Carter).
We hope this outstanding article inspires you to try Juxtaposer for yourself. It retails for $2.99/£1.99 and you can download it here.
‘Not long after I joined MobiTog one of the members posted an image they had done for a friends album cover. It was a highly collaged piece and I looked at it in total awe! How did they do that? Will I ever be able to do that? It then became my mission to work out out he did it.
There are a number of apps that will let you mask out and layer images, Image Blender, Superimpose, juxtaposer, iris, filterstorm and photowizard are just a few. Artists tend to end up with one or two apps that works better for them. I use both Juxtaposer and Image blender but for very different things so I will be talking about Juxtaposer this week and Image Blender next week.
Juxtaposer is a speciality app specifically for masking out (cutting out) a section of one image and layering it to the image below. It has a powerful set of brushes in various sizes and opacity strength.
White: good for masking out edges comes in two strengths-
Grey: the grey brushes maintain some translucency so are best for blending the edges of two images together also in two strengths-
Pan and zoom
Move top image
To start load your base image, then load your top image, which is the image you want to mask out. I have chosen a flower to work with. I tend to work with the softer white brush. You can change the size of the brush using the slider but I prefer to zoom in and out to change the size of the brush.
Start masking the edges of your image, zoom in and carefully run the brush along the edges. Depending on how intricate the image is this step can be very time consuming but it is worth it to take your time. You can save the session and come back to it later if you don’t get the masking complete in one sitting.
When you have done the edges you can zoom out and work at removing the rest of the back ground. I often choose the hard edge white brush for this step.
After you have finished your masking it is a good idea to move the masked image around a bit to just to make sure you have not missed any of the top image background that may be camouflaged by the base, this is particularly important if some of top image background is the same color as your base image.
When I am finished with my mask I save it as a stamp. I do this even if I don’t think I will use the image again because it acts as a back up. Juxtaposer unfortunately, at the moment, does not let you go back through layers so if you are creating a heavily collaged image and decide something a few steps back needs to be moved you have no choice but to start over, saving stamps is essential to avoid having to re-mask. You can add as many top images as you like allowing for some interesting and detailed collages.
To add more images to your collage you navigate to the add new top image section in the menu. You can add from your saved stamp menu or load a new photo from your camera roll and mask it out.
If you want to blend two images together this is where your grey brushes come into their own. Zoom in and adjust the brush slider then gently blend using erase and unerase till you are happy with the seam between the two images.
Juxtaposer allows you to flip images, resize images and rotate images giving you full control over image placement. At any stage in the project you can replace the base image but be aware it will only retain your current top image. Any images collaged becomes part of the base image when a new top image is added so everything under the current top image will be replaced. Juxtaposer will ask you if you want to save the current session before replacing the base image, I suggest saving in case the new base is not what you want. It is then easy to recall the saved session.
Juxtaposer is in planning stages for it’s next update and is asking for user input, so hopefully there will be some new exciting additions to look forward to in the future. Personally I am hoping for the ability to save at high input resolution ;)’.