V3.0 Now available (for iPhone/iPod touch & the HD version for iPad)!
Tap Photo Mask (TPM) is an iPhone/iPod application available on the iTunes store. TPM
takes standard images (photos) and quickly converts or renders the image in some way. Most
renders leave the image visible but changes the content in some way. These renders
are described below. Other features of TPM include resizing, cropping, color control, brightness
control, and contrast control.
The renders available in v3.0 are:
Starting with the following photo, some sample renders are applied and shown -
5 color limiting renders (one is shown below) -
3 gray scale renders (one is shown) -
5 overlay masks (one is shown)-
2 outliner mask (one shown) -
2 cartoon masks (one shown) -
2 sharpening/blur mask (sharpening shown) -
2 emboss mask (one shown) -
Each render is applied in order to the selected image by tapping anywhere in the image.
Selecting an image:
To select a file image (photo), touch the file folder button (shown above in the lower left hand corner).
The standard image picker tool allows you to then select an image from your Photo Albums.
Select an Album, then select a photo from one of those shown by touching it. The photo is
shown (it can be resized by double tapping it or by sliding two fingers across it to stretch it). Optionally,
the photo can be panned by sliding a finger across it. Tap choose to use the image (photo). The image is
now shown in TPM and is ready to be rendered.
On iPhone/iPod/iPad with camera only - An image (photo) may also be captured directly from the camera by selecting the camera
An image may be copied into the app via the system clipboard. The clipboard acts as the source
for an image by 1st copying an image into the clipboard (from another application like Safari or the photo viewer).
From Safari, when a JPEG, GIF, TIFF, BMP, or PNG image is seen, hold down your finger on the image and a dialog
box will appear. Press the Copy button and the image is then in the system clipboard. When back in TPM,
press the clipboard icon at the top of the screen. A dialog popup will give you Cut, Copy, Paste. Select paste and
the image is now available inside TPM. This image may be resized (hold down 2 fingers and slide to the desired
size). The image is deposited into TPM when you double tap it (must be done prior to applying modifications to the
image). If no underlying image is present (which has been modified) TPM will create a new image when you double tap
a pasted image. Otherwise, a pasted image will be merged into an underlying image (alpha values of the merged image
In the series of screenshots above, a pair of eyes from Safari (Google Images) is located in the first pane.
In the second pane, the image is copied into the clipboard (hold finger down on the full size image in Safari).
In the third pane, TPM has loaded our favorite retriever and the eyes from the clipboard have been set on top.
In the fourth pane, the eyes have been moved a tad.
In the fifth pane, the eyes have been resized (two finger touch and slide) and double tapped into position.
In the final pane, the entire process was repeated with a picture frame.
Modifying an image:
Renders - Tap anywhere on the screen and the image renders are applied in order.
Cutout - With the inclusion of the clipboard in a new button assists in background removal.
This feature is activated when the silhouette looking button is pressed. A helper will appear which shows
which direction removes which intensity pixels.Tap the
cutout button and slide your finger vertically to remove (make transparent) the brightest pixels from an image.
Or, slide your finger horizontally and dark pixels are removed (made transparent). Disable the cutout button
when the images looks correct.
If a particular color in the image is touched prior to sliding across the screen, this will be the starting point for
pixel removal. Additionally, a paint bucket will appear which can be used to refill cutout areas with the starting color
Next, copy the image into the clipboard by selecting the clipboard then choosing
Copy. The image with transparent areas is now in the clipboard. Now select an image to merge this cutout image
into. Prepare it with render masks, resizes, brightness or contrast. Touch the clipboard button again and select Paste.
The cutout image may now be merged into the background image by positioning it and double tapping it when ready.
Congratulations, you just merged two images together.
Paint Bucket -
The paint bucket provides a method to fill pixels which have been Cutout of the image with a solid color (other than
transparent). If the paint bucket is touched after removing pixels, all cleared pixels will be replaced by the color of the
pixel selected when you first touched the screen (after selecting the cutout tool). Additionally, other colors can be used by
selecting from the colorbar which appears left of the paint bucket button when you slide your finger to the left while
pressing the paint bucket button.
Resizing - The image is resizable by sliding a finger across the screen. Starting in the center
of the screen, slide towards the outer edges to enlarge the image. Sliding inward towards
the center reduces the image's size. Resizing is non-aspect ratio locked (sliding diagonally changes
width and height simultaneously).
Cropping - When the Resize/Crop button is toggled, the image can be cropped by sliding a finger
across the screen. Cropping removes the outer edges of the image (sliding diagonally inward removes width and
height simultaneously). Sliding outward after a previous crop zooms the image.
Brightness - Tap the brightness button change the brightness of the image (slide your finger across the image to
increase or decrease the brightness).
Contrast - Tap the contrast button repeatedly to increase the contrast of the image.
Color control - A simple color control button allows for RGB color modifications of the image. Select the color
wheel control. The disables tap renders, resizing, cropping, brightness, and contrast while its selected. It's only
available in the color limiting renders. When selected, slide from the center outwards in the direction of one
of the colors to increase that component. Sliding inward from the outside decreases that component. Sliding between
two colors modifies both colors simultaneously.
You must deselect the color wheel when finished (tap the color wheel button again).
Saving an image:
Your modified image can be saved at any time by touching the file folder button. This will save your modified image
in your Saved Photos Album and call the image picker tool again (to load a new image). The file folder button arrow
points down when an image has been modified and needs to be saved. It points up when no image is selected or
when no modifications have been made. A quick save of work is accomplished by touching the file folder button then
canceling the image picker control.
An image can also be saved at any time into the system clipboard. Touch the clipboard at the top of
the screen. Select Copy. Exit TPM. Your copied image can be used in any application that supports the clipboard
(The Mail program is a very good candidate as it can be used quickly while composing a new email). Hold your
finger down at the point you wish to insert the clipboard copied image and a Paste box should appear (touch Paste).
Modified images are automatically saved in you Saved Photos Album when the application exits.
Shake to un-render/restart:
You can shake your iPhone, iPad or iPod at any time to restore the image to it's original state. You'll note the file folder
button will point up as well as any changes you've made will be discarded. The image can then be re-rendered or a
new image can be chosen by touching the file folder button.
Note: Shake does not un-compose an image which has been merged. You may wish to save work prior to merging images
Using your newly rendered photos:
Your creations can be used by other applications on your iPhone/iPad/iPod. For example, the Photos application can
forward photos from your Saved Photos Album to mail, assign it to a contact, or make it your wall paper. Your creations
can be imported to your docking system (via iPhoto) and used there. Any iPhone/iPod application that uses the
image picker can use your rendered photos. All rendered photos are stored as JPEG images so these images can be
used anywhere JPEG images are used.
Also the system clipboard feature allows an image to be stored and moved into other applications that support the
clipboard (Mail is a good candidate). The following example demonstrates this.
Here, in the first pane, the framed retriever from the earlier example is loaded into TPM.
In the second pane, the clipboard is activated and and copy is selected. The image is now usable elsewhere.
In the third pane, the Mail app is running and a finger held down a second or so has activated the clipboard in Mail.
In the final pane, the image from TPM has been pasted into the Mail app and can now be sent to another person.
Imported photos (via iPhoto - Mac systems only) can be found in the iPhoto application by selecting your device
when its docked. Then, select a photo (or multiple photos) and touch the Import Selected or Import All button.
The following screenshots show some interesting samples our users have submitted.
The top two image show the use of the background remove tool. The cutout tool has been used to remove regions of color and
the paint bucket has been used to fill new colors into those areas.
The first pane, shows flying pigs in a vineyard.
The second shows a true color image which is the highest level of color limiting applied.
The third pane shows a photo from a national park which has been blurred and had the 3rd color limiting mask applied.
The final pane shows an interesting character's silhouette (accomplished with the cutout tool and black being filled into the cutout area).
A new blur mask has been added after the sharpen mask to allow blurring to be added without changing
the picture size.
Removing Saved Photos:
Photos saved to the system camera roll (i.e. the photos album) cannot be removed via TPM. They can be removed in
1) Run the Photos app supplied by Apple. Select the image from the folder you wish to remove. Touch the trash can in the
lower right corner. A prompt will ask you to confirm the delete request.
2) The iPhoto application running on a Mac to which your device docks can delete imported photos after syncing your device. Run the
iTunes application and sync your device. Run the iPhoto application and click on your device (appears under Devices when your
device is correctly docked. Find photos you wish to remove and select them. Click import select. iPhoto will ask if you wish to keep
originals - answer no to this prompt and the corresponding photo on your device will be removed (you still have a copy in iPhoto's
Last Import directory which you may wish to delete also.
Tips on using TPM:
Not all photos react well to the rendering masks in TPM. Very dark images might benefit from increasing the brightness
while light photos might react to decreasing the brightness.
Very complicated image may look better by using the resize with blur, saving the image, reloading the image,
then applying the renders to the blurred image.
Overly complex images may not respond well to the outline render so modifying the contrast, pre-applying a color
limiting mask or converting to greyscale may make the outliner perform better.
The cartoonization render may require a few touches of the Contrast button to enhance the colors being used.
Images larger than 1600x1200 may cause the application to exit. Large images may need to be resized to a
smaller size prior to loading into TPM.
For iPhone and iPod Touch follow the link below:
For iPad (Tap Photo Mask HD) click on the following link:
Feel free to contact us at our email address given on the iTunes Store. We are happy to answer your questions or
resolve any issues you may have. Also follow us on Facebook!
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