Skill Level Intermediate
- [Instructor] You know there are a lot of apps out there that allow you to radically transform your photos by applying painterly effects or distressed, damaged, or grunge effects. On this episode of Mobile Photography Weekly, we're gonna take a look at an app for Android and iOS called Trimaginator that you can use to transform your photos using a mesh of triangular shapes. This can result in some really interesting translations from the original photographic detail to more simplified and abstract representations of a scene. Let's dive in and check it out! So I'm gonna start out by opening an image.
I'll tap on that triangular image stack button up in the top left. And I'll just go out to my gallery or my camera roll and go and grab a photo. And Trimaginator is divided into two primary sections. Up in the top right corner is the button for the different generators to apply the triangle mesh effect. And then down in the lower left corner is the button for the Rendering Styles. And we'll get into that in a little bit here. First, I want to apply the initial triangulated effect.
And to do that, I can either use the generator buttons, which are up here, again, in the upper right, I'll tap on that, or I can even draw right on the image. I'm gonna start out with these generator buttons. And really, the easiest way to get started is to tap the yellow Shape Detection button. It will do that and you can see the effect that that has. It's essentially analyzing the image, figuring out the different areas based on color, brightness, and image detail, and creating this mesh of shapes. So once you've done that, you can go and explore some of these other buttons.
For instance, if I tap on the button that says 100, that's gonna put me into a simplification mode, where I can simplify the image in increments of 10%. So that sometimes results in cool effects. Although when you get down to the lower levels here, it gets pretty blocky and basic and rudimentary. Just gonna tap back on that yellow Shape Detection button. And in terms of these other buttons, the best way to check them out is just tap on them, see what effects you get, and you can decide what type of rendering of that triangle mesh you like.
I'll tap back on the yellow button there to reset that. And I'm gonna tap on the image to show my other buttons. So let's go and check out those Rendering Styles. That's the button down in the lower left corner. Tap on that. And this is divided up into four different buttons. The top one that's showing the two squares, that lets me control the opacity and also, the blending modes. There's really only two blending modes in here and you'll get to them after you go through the opacity.
So there's Light Mix and then we have the Shadow Mix. Then we can change the background color to black or white. We don't really see that in this image here, but we will in a little bit. That little triangle button in the bottom on the right side there allows you to change the style of the lines in the image that create borders around the different triangles. So there's some different effects that you can apply there. And then finally, the middle button where you see the number one, that allows you to cycle through 27 different rendering styles.
So it's actually two buttons. The lower half of that allows you to cycle forward through the list and the upper half allows you to cycle backwards. So let's just go through these really quick 'cause there's some very interesting ones. As is the case with many arrays of rendering styles, there are some that are not that useful. So for instance, this Sin City one, I don't find too attractive nor do I find the Toon Town very useful. But they might work on some subjects. I really like when we get into some of these ones starting about level 15, where have the Craquelure and the Miro effect.
So really cool effects, I definitely like that one a lot. And with any one of these, you can go and tap either the Opacity or the Blend Mode button or the Line Style button to make changes to how those elements interact with the basic rendering style. All right, so let's go back to the start here. And let me just tap on the image to bring back my other buttons. If you wanted to save this result, just tap on the green button and you can save the picture out to your gallery or your camera roll and you can also export a PDF containing the vector information.
So if you use a vector program such as Adobe Illustrator, you could bring that PDF into there and further edit the triangle mesh that's created here in this app. I'm just gonna cancel that. And I'm gonna tap that X button in the upper left a few times just to totally clear everything out 'cause I just wanna go over really quick how you can draw your own mesh directly on the image. I'll use a two-finger gesture to zoom up here. And I'm just gonna drag a shape around the left-hand lens there of her sunglasses and you can see how it's filling that in there.
Draw another shape there and maybe draw a shape around her nose. And this is how this works. Now, I'm gonna do a quick shape around her hair to show you a really interesting effect we can create. And as you do this, it always wants to connect the triangles so you're gonna get effects kinda like this along the way, which may look kinda funky and chunky. Those are technical terms, by the way, funky and chunky. And it may not look good and you may just wanna throw up your hands and say, well, this is really ridiculous.
But watch what happens if I drag over the image just with my finger, it is gonna kind of refine how those triangles are being used to define the shapes in the picture. So in a way, it's increasing the resolution of the triangular mesh to use smaller and smaller triangles to get a better result there. Okay. So the other cool thing we can do here is that, what I'm gonna do is draw lines from the top of her head down that follow the flowing curves of her hair and you can see that what I get are these really interesting shapes that almost look like tresses of hair or braids or something like that.
But they are being confined within the overall mesh shape of those triangles. Let's do it on the other side of her hair here just to give you an idea of what's going on. And let's drag around through this to refine that shape. So you can see I have a much more refined result than I did when I started. All right, let's experiment with one other thing here. I'll come down to Rendering Styles. And if I tap on the Opacity button to cycle through the different opacities, so you can see what that looks like, sometimes that looks pretty cool.
Actually, I kinda like that version there. And then if I go through the blend modes, I can then get to the black background. So this is where you can see the background color coming in. And actually, this looks kinda interesting here for this result. Now, down in the lower right, you see that plus symbol, that indicates that I'm working with the Pen tool. If I tap on that, it'll switch to something called the Gum tool. I'm gonna back to Pen and I'm gonna zoom up close to the sunglasses. And I'm just gonna draw in here a few times these small shapes, so you can see what drawing with the Pen tool does.
It kind of is refining those triangles and changing the mesh there. If I tap on the plus symbol to get the Gum tool, it is gonna simplify things and kinda re-render that area with larger and more simplified triangle shapes. So that's what's going on with that. All right, let me just zoom back out. And let's come up here to the generator button and tap on the Shape Detection mode. So as you see, you can create some pretty cool results just using the Trimaginator app.
But one of the approaches that I really like to use is to blend the triangulated result with the original photo in an app where I can use layers, layer masks, and blend modes to bring back parts of the unaltered image detail. This works particularly well for portraits where you may not want all of the face to be totally abstracted by triangles. Check out some of the previous Mobile Photography Weekly episodes that cover Photoshop Mix or the Union app to see how to apply these types of image blending techniques.