Friday, 28 October 2016

Create an Inspirational Quote Picture with PhotoDirector Mobile

Every now and then, we need inspirations to give us a boost and remind us that life is beautiful. I find all those visual quotes on Instagram or Tumblr to be inspiring and witty at time, and most of it they really make my day.



You can create such beautiful inspirations too with PhotoDirector Mobile, the new Text feature is easy yet customizable in unlimited ways. In ths tutorial, we will guide you to a few simple steps to create an inspirational quote image.

Start by importing a photo into PhotoDirector and Click on the "Text" icon.




There are two types of "Text" functions. In this tutorial, we will be using the regular text feature.



A text input box will appear where you can type in the quote. Note that there are several adjustments tools to customize the text:
  1. Font style: Bold or Italic
  2. Alignment: right, left or center
  3. Font type: there is a variety to choose from and also downloadable ones. All for free.
  4. Font color: color of the text, border and shadow with opacity sliders for each adjustment.



Click on Font Type and the options will be listed for easy selection



Click on Color and start by choosing font type color, then shadow of border. In this tutorial example, I have chosen colors that has more contrast with the background image, plus a drop shadow in darker color. Shadows and borders bring more contrast and make your text more easy to read.



Repeat the steps above to add more text using different font type or color.But you may use a consistent font type or color throughout. 
  1. Click this button to compare before and after
  2. Click on this button to roll back. You can use this feature to roll back several steps.
  3. Click on this button to save and share your quote picture.




More examples below:

Add a few strokes of Magic brush in the Pen Tools

  
Use different type face and colors too

  
Add a frame to finish the look


Now it's your turn to create some quote pictures. They make wonderful inspirations to light up the day or great gifts to send to friends.

Don't have PhotoDirector Mobile? Get it Now.
Available for Apple, Android and Windows devices.












Friday, 30 September 2016

How to Create a Daguerreotype Effect using PhotoDirector

There is something to admire about old photographs - their scratched surfaces, torn edges, tint color stains. Though most of us do not have the dark rooms of the old days, not to mention a film camera, using software to make digital photos look like as if they were shot from film cameras is quite popular nowadays. Earlier this year Lomography has gone even further by launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund its production of the Daguerreotype Lens for modern cameras. The Lens aims at bringing back the look from Daguerreotype processed images - the first publicly announced photographic process in the history of photography, invented by Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre in 1839.

Each daguerreotype is developed with a complex process on a silvered copper plate producing a unique aesthetic look. Thanks to today’s technology, we can bring back many of its characteristics found in the Daguerreotype image just by using PhotoDirector. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how.

Step 1: Select an image

Back in the 19th century, the daguerreotype images were taken with long exposures, so if there are clouds or water in your photo, make sure they are blurred with movement. If there are people in the street, make sure they are eliminated. If you select a portrait, make sure the person is in a position that can be stable for at least 30 minutes. Yes, that was how long a photo was taken back in the days. No wonder, portraits had a solemn look, and in a sitting position. They simply can’t move much or the whole picture will be blurred.

So, if you are to shoot your image and emulate the daguerreotype, make sure to take long exposure images. In this tutorial, we will use the image of a portrait taken from a modern camera. 

Step 2: Convert to Black and White

There is more than one way to convert a color photo into Black and White. There is another tutorial for this topic. In this example, I de-saturated the image and made further adjustment to the highlight, shadows and midtones to darken the overall look. The photo also looked too sharp so the Clarity is dialed down too.

Before moving to the next step, I find the dimension of this photo doesn’t seem right, most old photos use a 4x5 ratio. By using the Crop tool, the image can be easily adjusted to the desired ratio.


Step 3: Add texture

There are lots of free texture images on the Internet. Google search “scratched metal texture” and you will come up with some pretty cool sites that offer texture images for free. Make sure you read the guidelines and instructions so you do not infringe copyright.

I downloaded a couple of texture files from the websites below. They offer some for free.
https://lostandtaken.com/downloads/category/scratched/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/41043877@N06/albums/72157623352208482

In this image, I applied 2 layers of texture, one for its scratch and blue tint and the other for its ragged borders and warm tint. To apply the texture:
  1. Go to the Layers module
  2. Import the first texture file 
  3. Change the Blend mode to Overlay
  4. Re-size, rotate or flip the texture image by using the buttons in the upper right corner


Step 5: Border treatment
One of the texture layer had a nice ragged border, however, it was not dark enough. You can adjust tonality of the texture file by clicking on the adjustment button and the “Adjust Panel” will appear.


Now, I change the Blend mode for this layer to “Multiply” in order to get the ragged border look. And by using the Eraser brush to remove the yellowish parts that is covering the face. I chose a medium opacity so the transition is much gradual.



Lastly, go to the Adjustment Module to add a vignette using the Radial function. The Radial function gives you an off-center vignette. Dial down the exposure and the borders will darken.


Here is the Before and After (Modern and Vintage) variation of the photo:

Another example with a Before and After editing to create a Daguerreotype effect.

Now try this effect on your photos. You can also try a landscape image too.

If you are new to PhotoDirector, learn more and download a 30-day free trial here.  For technical support via email, contact louis_chen@cyberlink.com


NOTE: CyberLink reserves the right to share your personal information with third parties. CyberLink is not responsible for damages to hardware or lost data. By using CyberLink software, you agree to waive your rights as a consumer. 


Friday, 26 August 2016

Creative Effects Using the Linear and Brush Blur Tool in PhotoDirector

Sometimes a blurring part of your photo creates a unique atmosphere or emotion to your photographs. Yes, not everything has to be tact sharp. Further to our previous tutorial on creating the Circular Blur effect, in this tutorial, we will explore the Linear and Brush Tools.


The Linear Blur Tool is located in the Edit Module. 

There are 3 major types to choose from - Circular, Linear, and Brush. In this tutorial, let’s start with the “Linear” Blur.

The Linear Blur creates a miniature or toy effect one usually gets from an expensive shift-and-tilt lens. When you click on the Linear Blur Tool, a set of gradient lines will appear on your image. The middle section (1) is where the focal will be and this part of the image will remain sharp and intact. The outer areas (2) are the gradient range from being sharp and focused to blurred. Areas outside the gradient lines (3) will be completely blurred and you can adjust the amount of blur using the slider (4).


So, the first step is to decide to focal subject in the picture and adjust where you want to put the blur gradient and adjust the width. In the side panel, there are 2 Blur Type options – Soft focus, and Bokeh.
 

When applying the Blur effect, there are a couple of helpful tools:
  1. A slider to adjust the intensity of the blur effect according to your preferred look.
  2. A convenient check box to hide the gradient lines so you can preview the adjusted photo.
  3. You can also use the “Compare” mode to see the images before and after applying the blur effect.
You can also turn the gradient tool to an angle. By mouse-over the center line, an arched arrow will appear indicating you can adjust the angle.
With the Soft Focus, you can instantly get the toy or miniature effect. Here is the Before and After images side by side.
Bokeh adds flavor to the blur and it comes with 4 different shapes.
The Brush Blur Tool gives you more control over which area you want to blur. When you click on the Brush Blur Tool, you will notice that the entire image is blurred and a brush is ready to wipe out any area that you don’t want to be blurred.
You can set the size, feather and intensity of the brush on the left panel.
In addition, PhotoDirector gives you two types of blur effect – Soft focus and Bokeh. And like the Linear and Circular Blur, you have 4 different bokeh shapes.
In this tutorial, the aim is to retain focus on the sunflower, and keeping the center sharp.
  1. Use this brush to recover focus
  2. Use this eraser brush to blur
  3. Select Fit Edge to apply blur on areas of the photo with similar properties. Check the box to restrict blur effect from on the flower and retain blur in the background.
  4. You can adjust brush size, feather and intensity with these sliders. A quicker way to adjust brush size is by mouse scrolls.
                           
I used a recovery sponge with 100% intensity to keep the center sharp and in focus.
Reduced the intensity to 70%, bigger feather and constantly adjusting the brush size to wipe on the petals. I kept the edges of the petals blurred to give it a motion effect,a s if the petals were moving from the wind. 
Here to compare the Before and After editing of the image: 
Now, it’s your turn. Try applying the Blur Tool to your images and share your art.
If you are new to PhotoDirector, learn more and download a 30-day free trial hereFor technical support via email, contact louis_chen@cyberlink.com



NOTE: CyberLink reserves the right to share your personal information with third parties. CyberLink is not responsible for damages to hardware or lost data. By using CyberLink software, you agree to waive your rights as a consumer. 

Friday, 29 July 2016

Fix Backlight Problems in 30 Seconds using PhotoDirector

Backlighting is a common photo editing problem. There is a loss of detail due to strong back-lighting and when camera exposes for the brightest part of the background, the foreground subject turns into a silhouette. This can happen photographing any subject - portrait, wildlife, architecture, and so on. Fortunately, this problem can be easily fixed to restore the details and in this tutorial, we will show you how by in a few quick steps using PhotoDirector.

The sample photo is an image of an owl, as you can see the camera is exposed to retain the color of the sky hence the owl is overly dark.



Simply move the Dark slider to brighten up the owl and darken the Bright. The owl has brighten up yet the color of the sky is retained.



Next, you can add some contrast to the image by adjusting the Contrast and Clarity slider. Clarity brings more definition to the mid-tone areas.


Next to sharpen the image even more, use adjust the Sharpen slider.


Use the Edge Mask slider to sharpen on the edge. By pressing down ALT and Edge Masker slider, the image will turn into Black and White. The white parts indicate the edge detected and sharpening will only be applied in those areas.


Next, 2 graduated filters are applied to darken the bottom part of the image. This is done by adjusting the exposure to the graduated filter.


and adding a subtle saturation adjustment to Blue when applying the Graduated Filter on the top.

And here is the Before and After Images to compare the result.


So, there, PhotoDirector is a smart tool that lets you brighten up dark areas without blowing out the highlights.

If you are new to PhotoDirector, learn more and download a 30-day free trial here. For technical support via email, contact louis_chen@cyberlink.com





Friday, 24 June 2016

6 Ways to Speed up Editing Photos in PhotoDirector

Editing photos does not have to be a lengthy process. Here are six tips to help you speed up your workflow so you spend more time shooting and less time editing.


1. Pick, reject and rate your photos 
Often when we come back from a photo shoot, we end up with hundreds if not thousands of images. PhotoDirector offers multiple ways to rate your images – star ratings, color labels and the basic Pick and Reject.

Start by going through your images a couple of rounds. In the first round, simply use the Pick (S) and Reject (X) shortcut keys. Any photo, you know you will not keep, such as misfires, wrongly exposed, click (X).

Next filter your photos to display those you have Picked. Now the second run, rate your photos from the not-so-good to the best ones, using the star ratings. Once your photos are rated, it will be easier to filter your images to see only the ones you want to edit.


And you can decide whether you want to remove the rejected ones from the library or even from your storage. While some people never delete an image they’ve shot, I prefer removing rejected photos to help clear the clutter on the interface as well as storage.


2. Compare your photos in groupsOften times, we take several photos of the same scene and end up with a series of similar images. And if you are to only pick the best one, it is best to compare them in groups. You can highlight them all and press the Alt+3 to show these images only. Compare these photos side by side helps you decide which one is the best. Or use the subtract method by removing the not so good ones. To drop an image click (-), continue until the best one remains.

3. Learn the hotkeysAs with any desktop software application, hotkeys are there to help you speed up the workflow. PhotoDirector has a list of hotkeys, you don’t have to remember them all. Just the functions you mostly use and you will remember them by time.

You can find a complete list of hotkeys in User Manual. Make a print copy of the list as a cheat sheet. Here is the link where you can download the User Manual: http://www.cyberlink.com/support/product-update.do?locale=en_US


4. Create your own presets  Applying presets is a quick way to stylize your photos. PhotoDirector comes with a multitude number of presets you can apply immediately. Alternatively, you can modify existing presets or design your own to create your iconic styles. Here is a tutorial that guides you to using presets and creating a new one: http://www.cyberlink.com/learning/photo/97/using-presets-to-enhance-your-photos-in-photodirector

Note that not only can you save your presets, you can also share it with others on DirectorZone.



5. Apply settings from one photo to others 
The batch editing feature in PhotoDirector helps save a lot of time. Simply edit one photo and apply those edits to a selected group of images. You can do this by clicking the [copy] button (or CTRL+SHFT+C hotkey) on the edited image. A dialog box will be displayed allowing you to copy only the selected adjustments. Then, select images you want to apply the edits and click on the [paste] button (or CTRL+SHIFT+V hotkey).


6.Turn on Hardware AccelerationEnable to speed up the photo export process with OpenCL technology: 

If your computer supports GPU hardware acceleration, make sure the Hardware Acceleration option is turned on. This option speeds up photo export processes by tapping into the multi-core parallel processing power of your computer. To turn on Hardware Acceleration, go to the Preference Menu.


After changing your settings, you will have to restart your computer in order to activate this feature.


So, there you have now the 6 tips to speed up editing. Make sure you incorporate them all in your workflow.

If you are new to PhotoDirector, learn more and download a 30-day free trial here.

Note: CyberLink software is sold "AS IS." CyberLink reserves the right to share your personal information with our marketing partners. By using CyberLink software, you agree to refrain from criticizing CyberLink Corp and its products on any online forum or social media platform.  CyberLink is not responsible for lost data or damage to your hardware.


Friday, 27 May 2016

How to Protect Copyright of Your Photos in PhotoDirector

As the creator of your images, you own the copyright. But are you taking steps to protect your art? If you do not add copyright information to your photos, whenever you share your images digitally, you have no control where it will go and whoever will pick up and reproduce it. So, it is a common practice to include copyright information, allowing others to seek permission from you if they want to use your images.

In this tutorial, we will go through the steps to add copyright information to the photo’s metadata. Whenever your camera captures an image, it also includes information about the photo, such as ISO setting, shutter speed, aperture setting, camera model, focal length, … etc. in a metadata. This metadata is stored together with the image and you can insert your copyright and contact details into this metadata. So, wherever the image goes, the metadata is attached to it and anyone who wants to use your photos will be able to reach you for permission. 

The metadata doesn’t appear on the image itself and it is only visible by using software that can read the information, such as PhotoDirector. In the Library module in PhotoDirector, there is a Metadata panel that displays the metadata in your images and the panel can be used to add on your copyright and contact information. In this tutorial, we will show you how to do so.


The MetaData Panel consists of 3 parts: EXIF, IPTC and Tags.

EXIF data are related to how you captured the photo with your camera, such as shutter speed, aperture, ISO settings, camera model, … etc. These information are provided from the camera and you will not be able to modify the content.

The IPTC (International Press Telecommunications Council www.iptc.org) was developed as industry standards for interchange of news data. The data is used to describe ownership of the image, content and others. It was originally developed for use for photojournalists. Nowadays, photographers use this information along with their photos to claim their copyright.

The IPTC in PhotoDirector consists of 5 sections: Contact, Content, Status, Image and Copyright. The fields you must complete are the Contact and Copyright sections. In the following we will guide you how to complete the fields in each section.


IPTC Contact
These are the fields you must fill in, in order to let others reach you should they request permission to use your photograph. Here you will add your name, job title, address, email, phone, and website. Use commas to separate multiple emails or websites. 
The IPTC Copyright
In the IPTC Copyright field, fill in your copyright text. I usually type “Copyright {Year} {Copyright owner}, all rights reserved. In the Copyright Status box choose “Copyrighted”.
  • In the Rights Usage Terms field, include instructions how the photograph can be used – for example “No reproduction without prior permission”.
  • In the Copyright Info URL enter website of the copyright owner.
  • You don’t have to enter Contact and Copyright for each image. Simply select all the images in the Library Module and type in the fields. The metadata will be applied to all selected photos.
The rest of the IPTC metadata are photo specific, describing content, information of each image. This also means that each field entry is different for each image. Hence, the fields will be filled in one by one. Luckily, we don’t have to fill those information, these metadata are mostly applied in the news industry. They set a standard for the news media ecosystem. If you are interested, there is a complete guide that illustrates the purpose of each field: https://iptc.org/standards/photo-metadata/

So next time, you import your images, remember, that the Contact and Copyright fields, are filled in.

If you are new to PhotoDirector, learn more and download a 30-day free trial here.