June App Review: Waterlogue

App: Waterlogue
Developer: Tinrocket
Price: $2.99
Platform: iOS

Just to start off, I want to say something.  I really don’t like paying for software.  Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t pirate it.  But most of the time, a nice program also has a decent, free alternative.  That being said, I heard about this app on the MacWorld Podcast (which I highly recommend, by the way), and I got really excited about it.  Upon visiting the App Store, however, I discovered that it cost money.  I was disappointed, but my curiosity finally got the better of me.  I’m so glad I spent the $3 for this app. Basically, Waterlogue takes a photo and creates a watercolor painting out of it.  I’m sure people have used computers for this before, but Waterlogue’s images are just gorgeous.  Not only that, but there’s lots of different settings to play around with to tweak the image, and the finished products make great wallpapers.

I’m not going to spend a lot of time writing about Waterlogue and instead let the pictures do the talking.  I will however, outline the basic settings.  There are twelve different color presets in Waterlogue.  Some of these involve changes to standard photo attributes such as contrast, but many settings just change the look of the painting in an Instagram-filter sort of way.  The next setting is the “size” of the watercolor.  Basically this is a detail setting.  Think of it this way: the larger the “canvas,” the more detail in the painting.  There’s also a brightness setting, and a border toggle, which gives the photo a 70s-print border with rounded corners (see photo 3), complete with a little paint that “accidentally” bled into the border.  After choosing your settings and a photo, the app goes to work.  It takes a little while for the painting to complete, but Waterlogue adds a nice touch to this process.  First it shows a paint-by-numbers style outline of the photo’s details.  Then the colors slowly fill in, with really nice animation too (in case you didn’t know, I’m a sucker for software eye candy).  Not happy with the results?  Tweak the settings a bit and try again.  Then just export the painting to the photo library or social media.

Like I said, I don’t like paying for apps, but this app got me excited.  I found myself digging through old pictures in order to find photos that would look good in the app.  In order to get you started, here’s my favorite group of settings: Natural, Large, Darker, No Border.  Have fun!  ••

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