There are a great number of photography apps in the App Store, many of them trying to be the only place you come with your precious shots. It’s always interesting to see an app that dares to make a statement by being restrained in its scope.
Halftone, by Juicy Bits, is an exceptional photography app for creating halftones effortlessly. For those not familiar with the halftone process, it’s a historical printing technique that reproduces a photograph using variously sized, colored dots.
Mimicking this effect digitally can be complex and time-consuming, but with this app you are just a few clicks away from vintage-looking, comic-style images, and of course, as the name of the app implies, halftones. All that, for only $0.99. Read on to discover everything that this app has to offer.
When you first launch the application you will be greeted with an introductory screen that provides simple instructions on how to use the app.
The design of the application is clear and simple. You get an aged black background workspace, which is a very nice touch, and in the top left-hand corner is a main settings button, which is used for controlling the halftone effect among other settings.
In the top right-hand corner is a button for saving/sharing, where you will be able to save your image or share it via Twitter or Facebook. On the bottom you will see a bar with the different tools that can add different effects to your photo, it includes the following buttons: choose/take photo, paper styles, layouts, speech bubbles, stamps, and fonts. Let’s take a closer look at these settings and tools.
- Full size: the ability to work on the full size image (this would be great if you’re printing it to get a better resolution).
- Save camera: save images you take within the app in your albums, as shot.
- Blend original: the ability to blend the original image into the paper style.
- Process original: pre-processing the original image with a few adjustments.
- Halftone settings (controlling the dots): you can adjust the size, opacity, and number of dots via the menu by adjusting the Dot size, Dot strength, and Dot gain, respectively.
All of these settings can be reset to their original state by clicking on Reset.
Take, Import or Paste Your Photo
There are three ways you can import a photo to work on it: choose it from your device’s photo library, take it using your built-in camera, or paste it (once copied) from your pasteboard, which is brilliant!
The app provides 27 different beautiful paper styles to choose from. Paper styles are basically textures blended into the original image, you also have the option to turn off blending. These styles are applied to the all of the following: original image, layout, speech balloons, and stamps. If only adding textures in Photoshop was that easy…
You can choose from 9 different layouts consisting of captions and frames, including a simple plain layout.
There are 6 different speech balloons with adjustable anchor points and the ability to bring them to the front.
24 different image stamps, with the ability to choose a specific or a random color. You can also bring to front, straighten, rotate, and adjust their size by pinching inwards and outwards.
You have control over the font style and size. There are over 150 different font styles, 3 of which are embedded and licensed: Digital Strip, Alter Ego, and Billy the Flying Robot.
Save & Share Your Photo
Saving and sharing with this app is very easy and seamless. Everything happens within the app; you don’t need to exit the app at all.
Here are the different output options:
- Save it in your device’s photo library.
- Send it via e-mail (using the native Mail app).
- Share it on Facebook/Twitter.
- Print it (which is pretty awesome).
For only $0.99, you get amazing effects that can take lot of time and effort to mimic digitally using Photoshop or any other image editor. What I like about photography apps like Halftone is that you can create extraordinary photographs from start to finish. Shoot, process and print within minutes.
Wish List for Future Updates:
The app is overly simplified, and while its focus is a strength, it could use more options.
- Crop: the ability to crop images and resize.
- Font Colors: the ability to add different colors to fonts.
- Opacity Setting: adjusting the opacity, especially for the image stamps, would add an interesting effect.
- Layout: having more control over the layout style.
- Frames: having different frame styles.
- Paper styles: the ability to adjust the opacity of the styles, and perhaps the ability to add more than one style.
Examples of Different Styles
These are different effects created using Halftone (included in the captions), you can take a look at the original (unprocessed) photos of each image by clicking on it.
As you can see from these different samples you have the ability to create a variety of styles and effects; you can create a vintage style, comic style (both with/without the halftone look), and of course you can simply create a halftone-look within seconds.
Tweaking the settings will result in creative, distinct styles. That’s the beauty of it.