Advanced Image Editing Using Masking & Picsay Pro on Android
Featured Apps: PicSay Pro, Snapseed & Photo Editor
Topics Covered: Masking, Blending, Juxtaposing, Editing
Imagine the perfect scenery but you wish there was a bird flying over, or you had family members along with you so the photo was leveled to be more personal. It’s not always possible as you will need a bit of luck to catch that bird at the right time, and I don’t blame my family members for staying home when I go shoot early in the morning. That said, it is possible to manipulate the reality of an image with your Android device and a few good apps. In this Darkroom tutorial I will teach you how to combine two images using a technique called “masking” (also known as “Juxtaposing”).
This tutorial will focus on using the “insert picture & cut-out” functionality found in PicSay Pro to remove unwanted parts of a secondary image. The ‘cut-out’ can either instantly be blended into the underlying image or just saved. In this tutorial I will instantly blend the ‘cut-out’ since this gives the best result. As a final touch, a bokeh texture (mexture) will be blended in using Photo Editor.
Please note that you will need the Pro version of PicSay to use the advanced feature ‘cut-out’.
COMBINING TWO IMAGES
First step in this process is to cut-out the desired part of a secondary image. Keep in mind that lightening and of course angle of the images play a significant part in how well the final image blends together. Below are the two original photos. My goal here is to teleport myself into the winter scenery (referred to as main photo).
In PicSay Pro open the main photo and chose ‘Effect’ – ‘Insert Picture’. Then select the secondary photo, crop only the part of the image you want to add. In the next step the cropped area is inserted into the main image where it will be blended.
When placed, the actual cut-out process starts. My tip is to always use the largest brush possible and paint to remove edges from the farthest zoom before moving in closer. This will ensure you maintain smooth edges that blend well with the original image. You need to zoom in, back and forth a number times and cut all around the area. All you need is patience.
Before clicking ‘Accept’ it’s important to note that you have the option to add effect to the cut-out part. This menu opens when you push the menu button on your physical phone. Here you can adjust exposure, contrast and saturation among other things. When you are satisfied with the result tap ‘Accept’ and remember to save the cut-out part. This will serve as a “checkpoint” so that if you need to redo the image you won’t have to mask everything all over again.
The two images are now blended and you can continue with other post processing adjustments as you see fit. I always add a smooth (about 1,5 to 2) to soften rough edges. You can also adjust colors and add effects depending on what you would like to achieve. Even if the images are blended notice that post processing adjustments might display differently on the pieces. I found this to be a limitation in my edits, until now. Snapseed is available on Android and the ‘Selective Adjust’ feature allows you to select specific areas and adjust brightness, contrast and saturation independently.
PROCESSING TASKS IN SNAPSEED
To improve the image further I used Snapseed. Here are the tasks:
1. ‘Selective adjust’: Increased brightness on the cut-out part
2. ‘Center focus’: Inner +20 and outer -40
3. ‘Drama’: Bright 2 +90
4. ‘Tune image’: Contrast +30
IMAGE BLENDING USING PHOTO EDITOR
There are many apps available for Android that can perform basic image blending. By this I mean the ability to add another image as a layer and then apply transparency adjustments to blend the layers together. Some of the apps also have more advanced blending options. Image blending is out of scope for this Darkroom but stay tuned for an upcoming @DroidEdit tutorial covering this specific topic.
For this image I wanted to add a bokeh texture (mexture) as a final touch. For this operation I choose Photo Editor. First of all, it’s one of the best apps to maintain original image quality and it’s free.
Here are the steps:
1. Load the image
2. Scroll right to the ‘Image/text’ button and click ‘ + ‘
3. ‘Add Image’ – ‘Change image’
4. Select the image to add. In this example the bokeh texture
5. Slide the ‘Opacity’ to the left – this adjusts the transparency. I usually set it between 30 and 100 depending on how much of the texture I want to be visible – ‘Apply’
6. Size the texture to cover the underlying image – ‘Apply’
7. The texture added a stronger yellow tone than I wanted so I corrected this by increasing temperature (‘Correction’) until I was pleased with the result
With this Darkroom I hope to have introduced you to the possibilities of manipulating the reality of your images. The options available with this technique are only limited by your creativity. We know what apps we have now and there are these apps will only improve to give us even more exciting options in the future. Below are some examples where I have used this masking technique to change the reality of other images.
Since this is the final Darkroom tutorial by the @DroidEdit team in this round I would like to take the opportunity to say thank you to our friends at AMPt. We are honored to be invited to contribute these articles and are also grateful to every one of you who have interacted, given us kind comments or a follow at @DroidEdit. We are very happy about the positive feedback we have received and will continue to share more Android Mobile Photography tips on our networks.
- Atle Rønningen @atler
Check out these other Darkroom mobile photography tutorials: