"You won't make any money as an artist."
"Art is not a career."
"Get a real job."

We've all heard them before. The 101 reasons why art will never be a sustainable career. But it's time to throw away all that negativity and pick up real some hope, because the digital age is changing the game for artists.

In today's world, there are more opportunities than ever which allow artists to do what they love while creating a sustainable income. And if you're willing to put in the time and work, you too can reap the incredible rewards of this new age in being a creative.

Today we'll dive into one avenue that is proving to be quite lucrative for some artists. We'll take a look at what it is, explore how it works, and the alternatives to building this type of businesses online.

So let's get to know more about Patreon.

What Is Patreon?

Creator Jack Conte was looking for a way to support himself and his YouTube channel when he decided to found Patreon. Patreon is a crowdfunding platform that allows creators to fund their projects by fans, or patrons, who donate money on a recurring basis.

How It Works

Similar to crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, Patreon allows users to create their own profiles where fans can support their work, either through pledges of monthly donations or donations per project.

You can help your favorite artists hit their goals and be one step closer to supporting their dreams of making a living doing what they love.

Patreon is reinventing the way artists are supported by their community. Pledges are separated into several different tiers, with amazing rewards at each level. And with fans able to pledge as little as $1 per cycle, there's a real sense that you are able to support artists without needing to break the bank.

Paid to Do "Nothing?"

So how do you convince people to give you donations? And are they really okay with it?

Don't be fooled by the naysayers who don't understand what it takes to build a business online. The number one misconception you'll run into is people thinking that you're getting paid to do nothing.

But let's be real. Patreon is by no means a handout.

And it's not just a platform for visual artists. Writers, musicians, podcasters, photographers, and creatives of all different shapes and sizes use Patreon to fund their projects. Each of these projects takes from dozens to hundreds of hours to complete, on top of the years of experience put into mastering their craft.

So think of all those years you spent creating for others without ever receiving a single penny. Allow Patreon to buy back those years by supplying you with a way to support yourself reliably.

Want a look at a day in the life of a creator? Illustrator Andreas Rocha shares the reality of what it takes to make it on Patreon.

"Posting my work on Patreon is different from posting paintings on my online portfolio. There is not so much freedom as I have to prepare the files and paint following certain guidelines so people can more or less follow what is going on when they watch the videos. I also have to try and find themes that people appreciate and find interesting.

It's challenging, because ultimately you have to keep motivated to post but that can only work if people support you. If you set pledge levels too high people won't support you, but if the income is too low it ends up not being rewarding. You must have patience as the number of followers rises, very slowly. My goal with Patreon is to share my workflow with people interested in knowing how I work and, of course, to provide another source of income."
Art by Andreas Rocha for Patreon
Patreon Reward, "Fiery Path" by Andreas Rocha.

I asked even more artists about their insight into what it takes to be successful on Patreon. Let's take a look at what they all have to say.

How to Be Successful With Patreon

Set Realistic Goals

As with any project, goals help not only with motivation but establishing what your end game is. And on Patreon, goals also allow your fans to help you by understanding what your needs are. Need new equipment? Say it. Looking to make this your full-time job? Be honest. Don't be afraid to post your real goals while asking for pledges.

Digital artist DanteWontDie knows all about goal-setting on Patreon. Here is what he had to say:

"I think Patreon is a place that you need to prove yourself. You have to let people willingly pledge to see your art. My page was set up at the beginning of 2015 and I think I'm pretty satisfied with my monthly income on that, but I'm still far from my ultimate goal ($2000 per month).
I know there's still a lot of space for me to improve and I really appreciate those who have already pledged on my page now. Accumulating Patreon pledges is like setting up your own business. Do you want to be a full-time artist, or just do it for fun? The good thing is you have almost zero costs, so you can manage your time accordingly."
Patreon Art by DanteWontDie
Pharah Reporting, art by DanteWontDie.

Post Regularly

If you showed up to your work only a few times a week, you wouldn't have the greatest reputation. So just like any other profession, make sure you're able to post regularly in order to keep your patrons interested.

Icarus, artist and creator of the analog scifi comic Inhuman, offer his advice on the best way to approach posting regularly:

"Engage, engage, engage! Build your brand before launching as much as possible, and then encourage people to check out your Patreon whenever possible.

Rewards are a must, if that's WIPs or access to zips of unreleased art or whatever. People just like to get "something" for their money besides just the knowledge they're helping you. Patreon is half of our household income, so it helps a lot. More than anything, being friendly in whatever you do also pays!"
Inhuman Patreon Art by Icarus
Inhuman Comic by Icarus.

Offer Valuable Rewards

Though it's not uncommon that people will support you just for the heck of it, one of the best ways you can keep your patrons happy while garnering new ones is to offer them valuable rewards.

Freelance Digital Artist Didi Esmeralda offers tutorials and commissions for her patrons depending on the reward tier they select. She reminds us why it's important to keep in communication with your fans for support:

"Each artist must divulge their own work on social networks to be appreciated by followers and fans, and then communicate to their followers that they can support the work in patreon, and get exclusive content that can be found there."
Patreon Art by Didi Esmeralda
Patron commission by Didi Esmeralda.

Alternatives to Patreon

But remember, Patreon is not your only option here. Taking advantage of social media and online business goes way beyond just crowdfunding sites.  Here are just a few other areas that are some great alternatives:

  • Sell products on Envato Market.
  • Open online shops.
  • Stream live for donations.
  • Take on paid commissions.
  • Offer video tutorials and instruction.
  • Offer your services as a consultant or speaker.

Though artist Racheal Scotland is new to building her presence on Patreon, she's a talented artist with years in the industry. Take it from her on what other avenues you can look to:

If you're looking to live off your art, you can open shops on DeviantArtINPRNT, and Etsy. If you're confident in your work, open commissions. There's always someone who's bound to help support your work.

As long as you make sure people know where to find your work, market all your avenues. Create a portfolio. And use all the platforms available to you.
Art by Racheal Scotland
Laughter, art by Racheal Scotland.

Graphic Designer Roberto Blake is not a Patreon user but definitely knows the online grind. From his popular YouTube channel to his offline speaking engagements, he's found a way to not only build a community but one that supports his creative endeavors. Here's his advice:

"A service based business is not sustainable long term. My variations of diversifying income (advertising/affiliate marketing/public speaking/paid writing/consulting/webinars) may not be a fit for everyone. However, creating a product that can generate a combination of passive and active income can make you more secure.

Envato, for instance, is a great marketplace and I buy assets to modify to save my time pretty regularly. Align your passions to a purpose and the work in between is figuring out a practical application of it. Making your moves with intention and clarity makes all the difference in where you end up."

Graphic Designs by Roberto Blake
Book cover art by Robert Blake.

Where You Can Find These Artists

Thank you to all the artists who gave their wonderful advice. If you want to learn more about them, feel free to follow their work on social media and support their pages below:

Conclusion

If you point them in the right direction, your fans will support you more than you could ever imagine. So take a risk and put yourself out there to build an incredible community that will back your dreams.

Who knows, maybe with the help of Patreon or other online avenues, you'll be able to make a living doing what you love. So how will you put yourself out there today?

Have any experience with Patreon? Let us know how you like it in the comments below.

All credit is given to author Envato Tuts+ Photo & VideoMelody Nieves

"You won't make any money as an artist."
"Art is not a career."
"Get a real job."

We've all heard them before. The 101 reasons why art will never be a sustainable career. But it's time to throw away all that negativity and pick up real some hope, because the digital age is changing the game for artists.

In today's world, there are more opportunities than ever which allow artists to do what they love while creating a sustainable income. And if you're willing to put in the time and work, you too can reap the incredible rewards of this new age in being a creative.

Today we'll dive into one avenue that is proving to be quite lucrative for some artists. We'll take a look at what it is, explore how it works, and the alternatives to building this type of businesses online.

So let's get to know more about Patreon.

What Is Patreon?

Creator Jack Conte was looking for a way to support himself and his YouTube channel when he decided to found Patreon. Patreon is a crowdfunding platform that allows creators to fund their projects by fans, or patrons, who donate money on a recurring basis.

How It Works

Similar to crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, Patreon allows users to create their own profiles where fans can support their work, either through pledges of monthly donations or donations per project.

You can help your favorite artists hit their goals and be one step closer to supporting their dreams of making a living doing what they love.

Patreon is reinventing the way artists are supported by their community. Pledges are separated into several different tiers, with amazing rewards at each level. And with fans able to pledge as little as $1 per cycle, there's a real sense that you are able to support artists without needing to break the bank.

Paid to Do "Nothing?"

So how do you convince people to give you donations? And are they really okay with it?

Don't be fooled by the naysayers who don't understand what it takes to build a business online. The number one misconception you'll run into is people thinking that you're getting paid to do nothing.

But let's be real. Patreon is by no means a handout.

And it's not just a platform for visual artists. Writers, musicians, podcasters, photographers, and creatives of all different shapes and sizes use Patreon to fund their projects. Each of these projects takes from dozens to hundreds of hours to complete, on top of the years of experience put into mastering their craft.

So think of all those years you spent creating for others without ever receiving a single penny. Allow Patreon to buy back those years by supplying you with a way to support yourself reliably.

Want a look at a day in the life of a creator? Illustrator Andreas Rocha shares the reality of what it takes to make it on Patreon.

"Posting my work on Patreon is different from posting paintings on my online portfolio. There is not so much freedom as I have to prepare the files and paint following certain guidelines so people can more or less follow what is going on when they watch the videos. I also have to try and find themes that people appreciate and find interesting.

It's challenging, because ultimately you have to keep motivated to post but that can only work if people support you. If you set pledge levels too high people won't support you, but if the income is too low it ends up not being rewarding. You must have patience as the number of followers rises, very slowly. My goal with Patreon is to share my workflow with people interested in knowing how I work and, of course, to provide another source of income."
Art by Andreas Rocha for Patreon
Patreon Reward, "Fiery Path" by Andreas Rocha.

I asked even more artists about their insight into what it takes to be successful on Patreon. Let's take a look at what they all have to say.

How to Be Successful With Patreon

Set Realistic Goals

As with any project, goals help not only with motivation but establishing what your end game is. And on Patreon, goals also allow your fans to help you by understanding what your needs are. Need new equipment? Say it. Looking to make this your full-time job? Be honest. Don't be afraid to post your real goals while asking for pledges.

Digital artist DanteWontDie knows all about goal-setting on Patreon. Here is what he had to say:

"I think Patreon is a place that you need to prove yourself. You have to let people willingly pledge to see your art. My page was set up at the beginning of 2015 and I think I'm pretty satisfied with my monthly income on that, but I'm still far from my ultimate goal ($2000 per month).
I know there's still a lot of space for me to improve and I really appreciate those who have already pledged on my page now. Accumulating Patreon pledges is like setting up your own business. Do you want to be a full-time artist, or just do it for fun? The good thing is you have almost zero costs, so you can manage your time accordingly."
Patreon Art by DanteWontDie
Pharah Reporting, art by DanteWontDie.

Post Regularly

If you showed up to your work only a few times a week, you wouldn't have the greatest reputation. So just like any other profession, make sure you're able to post regularly in order to keep your patrons interested.

Icarus, artist and creator of the analog scifi comic Inhuman, offer his advice on the best way to approach posting regularly:

"Engage, engage, engage! Build your brand before launching as much as possible, and then encourage people to check out your Patreon whenever possible.

Rewards are a must, if that's WIPs or access to zips of unreleased art or whatever. People just like to get "something" for their money besides just the knowledge they're helping you. Patreon is half of our household income, so it helps a lot. More than anything, being friendly in whatever you do also pays!"
Inhuman Patreon Art by Icarus
Inhuman Comic by Icarus.

Offer Valuable Rewards

Though it's not uncommon that people will support you just for the heck of it, one of the best ways you can keep your patrons happy while garnering new ones is to offer them valuable rewards.

Freelance Digital Artist Didi Esmeralda offers tutorials and commissions for her patrons depending on the reward tier they select. She reminds us why it's important to keep in communication with your fans for support:

"Each artist must divulge their own work on social networks to be appreciated by followers and fans, and then communicate to their followers that they can support the work in patreon, and get exclusive content that can be found there."
Patreon Art by Didi Esmeralda
Patron commission by Didi Esmeralda.

Alternatives to Patreon

But remember, Patreon is not your only option here. Taking advantage of social media and online business goes way beyond just crowdfunding sites.  Here are just a few other areas that are some great alternatives:

  • Sell products on Envato Market.
  • Open online shops.
  • Stream live for donations.
  • Take on paid commissions.
  • Offer video tutorials and instruction.
  • Offer your services as a consultant or speaker.

Though artist Racheal Scotland is new to building her presence on Patreon, she's a talented artist with years in the industry. Take it from her on what other avenues you can look to:

If you're looking to live off your art, you can open shops on DeviantArtINPRNT, and Etsy. If you're confident in your work, open commissions. There's always someone who's bound to help support your work.

As long as you make sure people know where to find your work, market all your avenues. Create a portfolio. And use all the platforms available to you.
Art by Racheal Scotland
Laughter, art by Racheal Scotland.

Graphic Designer Roberto Blake is not a Patreon user but definitely knows the online grind. From his popular YouTube channel to his offline speaking engagements, he's found a way to not only build a community but one that supports his creative endeavors. Here's his advice:

"A service based business is not sustainable long term. My variations of diversifying income (advertising/affiliate marketing/public speaking/paid writing/consulting/webinars) may not be a fit for everyone. However, creating a product that can generate a combination of passive and active income can make you more secure.

Envato, for instance, is a great marketplace and I buy assets to modify to save my time pretty regularly. Align your passions to a purpose and the work in between is figuring out a practical application of it. Making your moves with intention and clarity makes all the difference in where you end up."

Graphic Designs by Roberto Blake
Book cover art by Robert Blake.

Where You Can Find These Artists

Thank you to all the artists who gave their wonderful advice. If you want to learn more about them, feel free to follow their work on social media and support their pages below:

Conclusion

If you point them in the right direction, your fans will support you more than you could ever imagine. So take a risk and put yourself out there to build an incredible community that will back your dreams.

Who knows, maybe with the help of Patreon or other online avenues, you'll be able to make a living doing what you love. So how will you put yourself out there today?

Have any experience with Patreon? Let us know how you like it in the comments below.

All credit is given to author Envato Tuts+ Photo & VideoMelody Nieves

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Welcome to our Photoshop in 60 Seconds series, in which you can learn a Photoshop skill, feature, or technique in just a minute!

The Sketch Effect

A sketch effect takes an ordinary photo and transforms it to a work of art—as though it's been drawn by a professional artist. Using an inverted Layer Mask and a stiff, pencil-textured Brush, you can achieve this look easily with a little time and strategy. When creating this effect, make sure to follow the traditional drawing rules of hatching and cross-hatching for a believable look.

And check out how to create this photo effect in the short video below.

 

Start by increasing the width of your canvas size (Control-Shift-C). In our example, I changed it to 15 inches, which is ample space for the image. Next create a new layer, fill it with white, and drag it below your image. Select the photo layer, go to Image Adjustments, and find Hue and Saturation. Adjust the Saturation to -100 to turn the image to black and white. Add a Layer Mask to the image layer and fill the mask with black so that the image disappears.

Now select the brush tool and use a flat, blunt, short, stiff brush and begin painting white strokes onto the black layer mask. Start with large brush strokes to slowly reveal the image underneath. Utilize the cross-hatching method of drawing to make this effect more realistic. Decrease your brush size and concentrate the strokes towards the center of the face or object for more detail. Then use the eraser tool to softly erase any harsh edges.

To increase the contrast, add a new Levels adjustment layer, then follow up by creating a new layer and filling it with a light gray color. Set the Blend Mode to Multiply and softly erase the middle.

And that's it!

A Powerful Sketch Effect Action Alternative

Over on GraphicRiver, there's a great Sketch Effect Photoshop action by laglanz. This two-step action takes the sketch motif even further, beyond the freehand pencil appearance of our example, to create the look of a precision technical drawing.

Sketch effect applied to antique pistols and a watch
Here you can see the sketch effect applied to antique pistols and a watch. Paint the area you want to protect, and the action creates the sketch around your selection.

Laglanz's action is very handy. For some people, learning how to sketch in order to do the technique in the video might be a challenge—this is a quick and viable shortcut. Even if you do have the sketching skills, you might need to create a sketch of a product or object in a more controlled style. This action will give you that tight, technical drawing look. This action is also a good tool because it's very repeatable—you simply draw over the areas you want to emphasize and the action takes care of the rest. Great for creating a consistent look across multiple images, especially if you're on a deadline.

As with any action, adjust the results to your taste depending on the subject matter and purpose of the image.

A Bit More Detail

Learn more about Adobe Photoshop on Envato Tuts+:

60 Seconds?!

This is part of a series of quick video tutorials on Envato Tuts+ in which we introduce a range of subjects, all in 60 seconds—just enough to whet your appetite. Let us know in the comments what you thought of this video and what else you'd like to see explained in 60 seconds!

All credit is given to author Envato Tuts+ Photo & VideoMelody Nieves

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Welcome to our Photoshop in 60 Seconds series, in which you can learn a Photoshop skill, feature, or technique in just a minute!

The Sketch Effect

A sketch effect takes an ordinary photo and transforms it to a work of art—as though it's been drawn by a professional artist. Using an inverted Layer Mask and a stiff, pencil-textured Brush, you can achieve this look easily with a little time and strategy. When creating this effect, make sure to follow the traditional drawing rules of hatching and cross-hatching for a believable look.

And check out how to create this photo effect in the short video below.

 

Start by increasing the width of your canvas size (Control-Shift-C). In our example, I changed it to 15 inches, which is ample space for the image. Next create a new layer, fill it with white, and drag it below your image. Select the photo layer, go to Image Adjustments, and find Hue and Saturation. Adjust the Saturation to -100 to turn the image to black and white. Add a Layer Mask to the image layer and fill the mask with black so that the image disappears.

Now select the brush tool and use a flat, blunt, short, stiff brush and begin painting white strokes onto the black layer mask. Start with large brush strokes to slowly reveal the image underneath. Utilize the cross-hatching method of drawing to make this effect more realistic. Decrease your brush size and concentrate the strokes towards the center of the face or object for more detail. Then use the eraser tool to softly erase any harsh edges.

To increase the contrast, add a new Levels adjustment layer, then follow up by creating a new layer and filling it with a light gray color. Set the Blend Mode to Multiply and softly erase the middle.

And that's it!

A Powerful Sketch Effect Action Alternative

Over on GraphicRiver, there's a great Sketch Effect Photoshop action by laglanz. This two-step action takes the sketch motif even further, beyond the freehand pencil appearance of our example, to create the look of a precision technical drawing.

Sketch effect applied to antique pistols and a watch
Here you can see the sketch effect applied to antique pistols and a watch. Paint the area you want to protect, and the action creates the sketch around your selection.

Laglanz's action is very handy. For some people, learning how to sketch in order to do the technique in the video might be a challenge—this is a quick and viable shortcut. Even if you do have the sketching skills, you might need to create a sketch of a product or object in a more controlled style. This action will give you that tight, technical drawing look. This action is also a good tool because it's very repeatable—you simply draw over the areas you want to emphasize and the action takes care of the rest. Great for creating a consistent look across multiple images, especially if you're on a deadline.

As with any action, adjust the results to your taste depending on the subject matter and purpose of the image.

A Bit More Detail

Learn more about Adobe Photoshop on Envato Tuts+:

60 Seconds?!

This is part of a series of quick video tutorials on Envato Tuts+ in which we introduce a range of subjects, all in 60 seconds—just enough to whet your appetite. Let us know in the comments what you thought of this video and what else you'd like to see explained in 60 seconds!

All credit is given to author Envato Tuts+ Photo & VideoMelody Nieves

A client calls you looking for an image from their shoot several years ago. Can you find it and deliver it within an hour?

If not, it's time to think about integrating a proper image management tool. An image manager is essential for commanding your image library. These tools help you browse your image collection quickly, filtering based on rules such as capture date and the camera used for the photo.

Daminion Standalone
Daminion Standalone is an excellent image manager, and free for up to 15,000 images. There are many pieces of photo editing software that will style your images, but not organize and manage them. Daminion is the perfect bridge for managing an image collection.

Daminion Standalone for Windows is an excellent option for managing your images. It's free to catalog up to 15,000 images, and affordable for larger image collections. It sports a powerful interface and fast performance.

If you're a solo photographer already using a tool like Adobe Lightroom, that has built-in image management features, you're probably set. But if you use a tool like Adobe PhotoshopCapture One, or ON1 Photo 10 for editing, you might need a more robust tool for managing images. 

That's where Daminion Standalone comes in. In this tutorial, you'll learn to use Daminion Standalone to catalog your images and get organized. It's free to try, so jump over to Daminion's website and download it to get started in this tutorial.

For team-based image management, Daminion offers Daminion Server as a premium product. Daminion Server let's you manage a shared collection of media between many team members, and is ideal for small companies or larger photography studios. This is something Lightroom, and most other consumer-level photo-organizing software, can't do.

Get Started with Daminion

To get started with Daminion, you first need to add images to your Daminion catalog. Like a Lightroom catalog, a Daminion catalog is a database that stores information about your images. It doesn't hold the image files themselves, but instead tracks data about the images in the catalog.

To add images to your Daminion catalog, go to the File > Add Files menu. Then, simply browse to where your images are stored and choose Add. Daminion supports RAW image files as well as finished images such as JPEG and PNG files.

Add Files in Daminion
Daminion uses a catalog system that builds a database of our images. To get started with Daminion Standalone, add images to the catalog from the File > Add Files menu.

After you've selected the folder of images to select, Daminion will show you a preview of the images that will be added to your catalog. The yellow boxes indicate an image that will be added to the catalog, but you can click on the yellow box to not import it.

Another choice is how you want to handle your image files. The primary choice is between whether to leave your images in the same folder or to organize them into new folders. Here's what each option does:

  • Add files to the catalog without copying them: when you choose this option, Daminion will simply leave images in the same folder. They aren't moved or organized, just added to the Daminion catalog.
  • Copy files to a folder and add to the catalog: if your images are disorganized, Daminion can sort them into new folders according to the capture date. This is a great option if your images are currently disorganized.
Choose Files to import
On the import window, the key decision to make is how you'll handle the file locations. You can either leave them in place and just add them to Daminion ("add files to the catalog without copying them") or choose "Copy files to a folder and add to the catalog" to organize images in new folders while they are added to Daminion. If you are just trying Daminion out, I would recommend the first option.

That's it! You've added the images to your Daminion catalog and we can now begin browsing, organizing and managing our image library. If you need to add more images to your catalog later, just return to the Add Files menu option and repeat the process.

Now that we've added our images to Daminion, we'll see them in the application as thumbnails. Let's move on to find out how to manage them.

Image Management with Daminion

Why is an image manager so important? It helps us slice and dice and explore our image collection based upon rules. These could be rules such as when an image was captured, what camera we used to capture it with, or the rating we've given the image. Daminion can do all of these.

Here are three key image management tasks that a Daminion can help accomplish:

Change Views for Power Browsing

The heart of an image manager is the ability to browse images, scrolling through them quickly to find what you're looking for. There are three very helpful views in Daminion to browse your images. Let's walk through them in the video below:

 

Add Ratings, Flags and Color Labels

Star ratings, flags, and color labels are used in many photo managers. All of these criteria are useful to help us organize our images. We can add the criteria now, and then filter to those metadata criteria later.

  • Star ratings are typically used to give an image a rating based upon our preferences.
  • Flags flags are a simple, "on/off" switch to mark which images are worth keeping or working with. 
  • Color labels are a way to add meaning and to your images. Every photographer uses them differently. For me, I might use a Blue color label to mark an image that needs to go to Photoshop for fine adjustments.

In Daminion, the easiest way to start adding each of these is from the right-click menu. With an image or several images selected, right click on the image. Choose one of three options—Set Rating, Set Color Label, or Set Flag—to add metadata to the images. You'll also note the keyboard shortcut from the menu as the fastest way to add it to future images.

Add Metadata Daminion
In Daminion, you can set ratings, color labels and flag statuses from the right click menu. Note the keyboard shortcuts on the right side of the menu.

Here's a list of the default keyboard shortcuts in Daminion Standalone:

  • Rating: Control+1-5 to add the corresponding number of stars
  • Color label: 1-9 to add a color label; 1-5 adds red through purple in color wheel order
  • Flag: F for flag, U for unflagged, X for reject

Filtering Images in Daminion Standalone

Adding data like flags or color labels is just the first step in managing our images. Let's look at how to filter images based on metadata.

 

Delivering Images

At the beginning of this tutorial, I started with a question: can you find and deliver an image to a client quickly? We've already learned how to find images, so now let's export them from Daminion.

First, select the images that you wish to export from the browser view. You can hold control on your keyboard and select several at the same time. Then, click the Export > Copy to Folder option in the upper right corner of Daminion to start the export.

Export images option
On the export images window, you can leave the Transform option set to Export Original Files to export an exact original image.  You can also change the dropdown option to export a smaller version of the image if this will be used on the web or other lower resoltion source. Also, make sure that you've selected a Destination Folder to save the finished images.

On the pop-up window, you'll need to choose two options with each export:

  • Transform: the default option is to export the original file, which means that the finished file is identical to the original image in resolution and quality. There are also dropdown options to export a smaller finished file to save space, which is ideal when the image is going to be used online.
  • Destination folder: this folder is where the finished image file will be saved.

Once you've set these options, press Copy to export your finished images.

Recap and Next Steps

Every photographer needs a tool to manage her image library. There are plenty of powerful tools for correcting and styling an image, but a well-organized photographer needs an image manager as well.

If you want to learn more about getting your images organized, check out these tutorials:

  • Check out The ABCs of Photo Sorting if you're just beginning to think about getting organized, this tutorial is a great first read.
  • What's in a Name? This tutorial will help you name your images in a way that's useful to photographers, embedding some meaning in filenames. This will be way more useful than DSC_23849.RAW.
  • Daminion is a Windows application, but Mac users need a capable image organizer as well. Check out the course Image Library Management with Lyn  on how to use Lyn, an inexpensive tool for Mac with many of the same features.

All credit is given to author Envato Tuts+ Photo & VideoAndrew Childress

A client calls you looking for an image from their shoot several years ago. Can you find it and deliver it within an hour?

If not, it's time to think about integrating a proper image management tool. An image manager is essential for commanding your image library. These tools help you browse your image collection quickly, filtering based on rules such as capture date and the camera used for the photo.

Daminion Standalone
Daminion Standalone is an excellent image manager, and free for up to 15,000 images. There are many pieces of photo editing software that will style your images, but not organize and manage them. Daminion is the perfect bridge for managing an image collection.

Daminion Standalone for Windows is an excellent option for managing your images. It's free to catalog up to 15,000 images, and affordable for larger image collections. It sports a powerful interface and fast performance.

If you're a solo photographer already using a tool like Adobe Lightroom, that has built-in image management features, you're probably set. But if you use a tool like Adobe PhotoshopCapture One, or ON1 Photo 10 for editing, you might need a more robust tool for managing images. 

That's where Daminion Standalone comes in. In this tutorial, you'll learn to use Daminion Standalone to catalog your images and get organized. It's free to try, so jump over to Daminion's website and download it to get started in this tutorial.

For team-based image management, Daminion offers Daminion Server as a premium product. Daminion Server let's you manage a shared collection of media between many team members, and is ideal for small companies or larger photography studios. This is something Lightroom, and most other consumer-level photo-organizing software, can't do.

Get Started with Daminion

To get started with Daminion, you first need to add images to your Daminion catalog. Like a Lightroom catalog, a Daminion catalog is a database that stores information about your images. It doesn't hold the image files themselves, but instead tracks data about the images in the catalog.

To add images to your Daminion catalog, go to the File > Add Files menu. Then, simply browse to where your images are stored and choose Add. Daminion supports RAW image files as well as finished images such as JPEG and PNG files.

Add Files in Daminion
Daminion uses a catalog system that builds a database of our images. To get started with Daminion Standalone, add images to the catalog from the File > Add Files menu.

After you've selected the folder of images to select, Daminion will show you a preview of the images that will be added to your catalog. The yellow boxes indicate an image that will be added to the catalog, but you can click on the yellow box to not import it.

Another choice is how you want to handle your image files. The primary choice is between whether to leave your images in the same folder or to organize them into new folders. Here's what each option does:

  • Add files to the catalog without copying them: when you choose this option, Daminion will simply leave images in the same folder. They aren't moved or organized, just added to the Daminion catalog.
  • Copy files to a folder and add to the catalog: if your images are disorganized, Daminion can sort them into new folders according to the capture date. This is a great option if your images are currently disorganized.
Choose Files to import
On the import window, the key decision to make is how you'll handle the file locations. You can either leave them in place and just add them to Daminion ("add files to the catalog without copying them") or choose "Copy files to a folder and add to the catalog" to organize images in new folders while they are added to Daminion. If you are just trying Daminion out, I would recommend the first option.

That's it! You've added the images to your Daminion catalog and we can now begin browsing, organizing and managing our image library. If you need to add more images to your catalog later, just return to the Add Files menu option and repeat the process.

Now that we've added our images to Daminion, we'll see them in the application as thumbnails. Let's move on to find out how to manage them.

Image Management with Daminion

Why is an image manager so important? It helps us slice and dice and explore our image collection based upon rules. These could be rules such as when an image was captured, what camera we used to capture it with, or the rating we've given the image. Daminion can do all of these.

Here are three key image management tasks that a Daminion can help accomplish:

Change Views for Power Browsing

The heart of an image manager is the ability to browse images, scrolling through them quickly to find what you're looking for. There are three very helpful views in Daminion to browse your images. Let's walk through them in the video below:

 

Add Ratings, Flags and Color Labels

Star ratings, flags, and color labels are used in many photo managers. All of these criteria are useful to help us organize our images. We can add the criteria now, and then filter to those metadata criteria later.

  • Star ratings are typically used to give an image a rating based upon our preferences.
  • Flags flags are a simple, "on/off" switch to mark which images are worth keeping or working with. 
  • Color labels are a way to add meaning and to your images. Every photographer uses them differently. For me, I might use a Blue color label to mark an image that needs to go to Photoshop for fine adjustments.

In Daminion, the easiest way to start adding each of these is from the right-click menu. With an image or several images selected, right click on the image. Choose one of three options—Set Rating, Set Color Label, or Set Flag—to add metadata to the images. You'll also note the keyboard shortcut from the menu as the fastest way to add it to future images.

Add Metadata Daminion
In Daminion, you can set ratings, color labels and flag statuses from the right click menu. Note the keyboard shortcuts on the right side of the menu.

Here's a list of the default keyboard shortcuts in Daminion Standalone:

  • Rating: Control+1-5 to add the corresponding number of stars
  • Color label: 1-9 to add a color label; 1-5 adds red through purple in color wheel order
  • Flag: F for flag, U for unflagged, X for reject

Filtering Images in Daminion Standalone

Adding data like flags or color labels is just the first step in managing our images. Let's look at how to filter images based on metadata.

 

Delivering Images

At the beginning of this tutorial, I started with a question: can you find and deliver an image to a client quickly? We've already learned how to find images, so now let's export them from Daminion.

First, select the images that you wish to export from the browser view. You can hold control on your keyboard and select several at the same time. Then, click the Export > Copy to Folder option in the upper right corner of Daminion to start the export.

Export images option
On the export images window, you can leave the Transform option set to Export Original Files to export an exact original image.  You can also change the dropdown option to export a smaller version of the image if this will be used on the web or other lower resoltion source. Also, make sure that you've selected a Destination Folder to save the finished images.

On the pop-up window, you'll need to choose two options with each export:

  • Transform: the default option is to export the original file, which means that the finished file is identical to the original image in resolution and quality. There are also dropdown options to export a smaller finished file to save space, which is ideal when the image is going to be used online.
  • Destination folder: this folder is where the finished image file will be saved.

Once you've set these options, press Copy to export your finished images.

Recap and Next Steps

Every photographer needs a tool to manage her image library. There are plenty of powerful tools for correcting and styling an image, but a well-organized photographer needs an image manager as well.

If you want to learn more about getting your images organized, check out these tutorials:

  • Check out The ABCs of Photo Sorting if you're just beginning to think about getting organized, this tutorial is a great first read.
  • What's in a Name? This tutorial will help you name your images in a way that's useful to photographers, embedding some meaning in filenames. This will be way more useful than DSC_23849.RAW.
  • Daminion is a Windows application, but Mac users need a capable image organizer as well. Check out the course Image Library Management with Lyn  on how to use Lyn, an inexpensive tool for Mac with many of the same features.

All credit is given to author Envato Tuts+ Photo & VideoAndrew Childress

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Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

The Power of the Core Image Framework

Core Image is an image processing and analysis technology designed to provide near real-time processing for still and video images in iOS and OS X. Apple has made a few great pre-made photo effects that you can easily use for your photography apps, with names such as Instant, Process, Sepia, Tonal, etc.

Core Image Reference

The iOS developer library provides a good explanation of Core Image image processing in the Core Image Reference Collection.

I suggest that you also check out the Core Image Filter Reference page in order to get a complete list of available CIFilters. Please note that not all of these are compatible with iOS; some of them only work on OS X. 

We will use the following Core Image filters:

  • CIPhotoEffectChrome
  • CISepiaTone
  • CIPhotoEffectTransfer
  • CIPhotoEffectTonal
  • CIPhotoEffectProcess
  • CIPhotoEffectNoir
  • CIPhotoEffectInstant
  • CIPhotoEffectFade

Note: This tutorial is written using Xcode 7.3 and Swift 2.2, with a Deployment Target set to 8.0, so your app will work on older devices too.

Let's Get Started!

Create a Project and Add Views

Open Xcode and create a new project, iOS Single View Application. Choose Swift as the language and Universal for devices. You'll get a blank UIViewController in the Storyboard and a couple of .swift files: ViewController.swift and AppDelegate.swift.

Select the controller in the Storyboard and set its size as iPhone 3.5-inch in the right-hand panel, under Simulated Metrics. This will help you to adapt views for the iPhone 4S, the Apple device with the smallest screen size available.

Set controller size to iPhone 4S

We won't use Auto Layout in this tutorial, because it messes up layouts on bigger devices like iPad and iPad Pro. Disable it by selecting File Inspector and uncheck Use Auto Layout. Then click the Disable Size Classes button from the popup.

Disable Auto Layout and Size Classes

Now find a JPEG image—either from the web or from your Mac—and drag it below the Assets.xcassets folder in the Project navigator panel. We'll use this as a sample image that we can apply our filters to. Name this file picture.jpg; we will call it later in the code.

You will have to drag some additional views into the controller. Select the Object library on the bottom-right corner of Xcode and drag a UIView to the center of the screen. Resize the view to 320 x 320 px and center it horizontally. 

Now add two UIImageViews to your Storyboard, by finding them in the Object library and dragging them into the main UIView. Resize these image views to fill that main view (we'll look at how to set their autoresizing  properties later). Assign picture.jpg to the first image view with the Attributes inspector panel.

Assign a jpg image to the first UIImageView

Next, drag a UIScrollView to the bottom of the screen, and set its width to fit the controller's width. You may also add a UILabel to the top of the controller and set its text to Filters. This will be the title of your app. 

Lastly, add a UIButton to the top-left corner of the screen and make its title Save.

Set Autoresizing and Layout Views

The Size inspector panel can be shown by clicking on the little ruler icon in the top-right corner of the screen. Do that now and start editing the view sizes by selecting the UIButton. The Size inspector will show you its x and y coordinates on the screen (keep in mind that x is 0 at the left side of the screen and y is 0 at the top). Set the width and height to 44 px.

Set Save button size and margin

Set the button's autoresizing mask to attach to the top and left sides of the screen.

Now select all the other views, one by one, and adjust their size and position as follows:

Set title Label size and margins

The app title has width 320 px and height 44 px and attaches to the top of the screen.

Set imageViews size and margins

The image views each have a width and height of 320 px.

Set ScrollView size and margins

Finally, the scroll view (for filter options) has a width of 320 px and a height of 80 px.

Declaring Views in the .swift File

One of the nicest features of Xcode is the possibility to split the workspace into two parts and have the Storyboard on one side and a Swift file on the other side. In order for you to do that, you must click on the Assistant Editor icon on the top-right corner of your Xcode window:

Assistant Editor icon

If your ViewController is selected in Storyboard, the right section will automatically show its relative .swift file. In case that doesn't happen, you can try clicking on the horizontal menu on the top of the swift file and switch Manual to Automatic:

Find the controllers swift file in the right side of the Xcode window

Now let's attach some of our views to the ViewController.swift file. From the Document Outline panel, select the UIView that contains the two UIImageViews, hold down Control (or the right mouse button), and drag your mouse pointer underneath to get the class declaration of your view controller.

Release the mouse button and a popup will appear. Type in the name of the UIViewcontainerView—and click the Connect button.

You've just added a declaration for an IBOutlet of type UIView to your .swift file. Do the same thing for the other image views: drag the blue line below each instance you'll declare, and name the first one originalImage and the second one imageToFilter. Make sure that originalImage is the one with picture.jpg as an image. 

Then connect the UIScrollView and name it filtersScrollView. This will store all the buttons for applying filters to your picture.  

We'll declare our UIButton later as an IBAction. This button will allow us to save our filtered image into the Photo Library of our device.

Let's Code!

Creating an Array of Core Image Filters

In Swift, you can declare global variables by simply placing them outside a class declaration, in our case this one:

We need to create an array of CIFilter names:

As mentioned at the beginning of this tutorial, we have to use the original Core Image filter names in order for our app to recognize them. We'll assign these filters to the buttons we'll create later, which will apply the filter to our image.

Hiding the Status Bar

Most of the time, you may want to hide the Status Bar from your screen. Since Xcode 7.0, it is no longer possible to set the hidden property of the Status Bar in Info.plist, so you must add this method right above viewDidLoad()

Creating the Filter Buttons

The viewDidLoad() method is a default instance that Xcode creates each time you add a .swift file to your project; it gets called when the screen and all its views get loaded. If you wanted to perform some action even before that happens, you could use the viewDidAppear() or viewWillAppear() methods, but we don't need to. So let's add a few variables of type CGFloat right below super.viewDidLoad():

Those values are needed to place a row of buttons inside our filtersScrollView. As you can see in the above code, the xCoord is the X position where a button will be placed, yCoord is the Y position, buttonWidth and buttonHeight are its size, and gapBetweenButtons is the space between each button. 

Now we need to actually create the buttons by using a for loop that will duplicate a custom UIButton and place it into the filtersScrollView based on the above values. 

Place this code right below those CGFloat instances:

Let's see what happens in this code. itemCount is a variable we'll use later to add our filter buttons as subviews of the filtersScrollView. You may notice that we've declared this variable with the var prefix. That's because it will be modified by the for loop. If you want to declare constants in Swift, you use the let prefix, as we did for the filterButton.

Using the new for loop syntax of Swift 2.2, we don't need to write i++ anymore. The loop will increment i automatically by counting from 0 to the number of elements of the CIFilterNames array.

Inside that for loop, we create a custom button, set its CGRect values, assign it a tag, and add a target action to it that calls a function we'll see later: filterButtonTapped().

In order to make our button look nice, with round corners, we use the layer property and set its corner radius to 6. Then we clip the image to be contained in its bounds, otherwise it would cover the rounded corners.

Add the Image to the Buttons and Apply Filters

The next piece of code must be added below the comment of the previous one:

Here we initialize a CIContext and CIImage to let Core Image work on originalImage (picture.jpg) that each button will show. Then we init a filter variable of type CIFilter that will be called by each button through the for loop based on the CIFilterNames array.

Our filter instance needs to set its default state, and then it becomes the input key for images. Then we create the data object from it and its image reference, which we'll use to create a UIImage right away that will be attached to the button. 

Since the filters we've selected for this tutorial are pre-made by Apple, we don't need to apply any additional value (such as intensity, color, etc.). If you want to get information about other CIFilters, you may check the Core Image Filter Reference page.

In the last line of this section, we finally set the button's background image that we've previously created.

Adding Buttons to the ScrollView

Just a few more lines to complete our viewDidLoad() method:

We're adding buttons as sub views to the filtersScrollView based on their position and the width and space they should keep between each other. Then finally we close the for loop.

Lastly, we have to set the contentSize of our ScrollView to fit all the buttons. Here's where we finally use the itemCount variable previously declared, converted to CGFloat (because CGSizeMake it doesn't accept Int values).

The Filter Button Action

We're almost done, with just a few more lines of code!

In the ViewController class, outside viewDidLoad(), create the filterButtonTapper() function. This will be called every time you tap on one of the buttons we've generated before.

We need to create an instance of UIButton first, and then set the imageToFilter's image based on that button's background image, which has already been filtered by the code placed into viewDidLoad()

Make sure that the UIImageView called imageToFilter overlays the originalImage, as shown below, otherwise the app will not show you the processed image because the original image will hide it.

imageToFilter must be in front of originalImage

Saving the Processed Picture

We've got to the end of this tutorial, and there's just one more function to add in your .swift file. That's the Save button we've previously placed in the Storyboard. Hold Control and the mouse button, drag a blue line from the UIButton to an empty space within your class, release the mouse button, and a new popup will show up. Here you have to change the Connection type to Action and enter the name of your method—in this case savePicButton—and click the Connect button.

Declare IBAction for the Save button

You've created an IBAction this time, and here's the code that must be placed into it:

The first line simply saves the image contained into imageToFilter directly in the Photo Library of your device or iOS Simulator. Then we fire a simple UIAlertView that confirms that the operation has been made.

OK, let's run our app and see what happens if we tap the buttons on the bottom. If you've done everything correctly, your app should look like this:

App showing image with color filter applied

App showing image with color filter applied

App showing message that image has been saved to Photo Library

Thanks for reading, and I'll see you next time! Please check out some of our other tutorials on Swift and iOS app development.

All credit is given to author Envato Tuts+ Photo & VideoFrancesco Franchini

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

The Power of the Core Image Framework

Core Image is an image processing and analysis technology designed to provide near real-time processing for still and video images in iOS and OS X. Apple has made a few great pre-made photo effects that you can easily use for your photography apps, with names such as Instant, Process, Sepia, Tonal, etc.

Core Image Reference

The iOS developer library provides a good explanation of Core Image image processing in the Core Image Reference Collection.

I suggest that you also check out the Core Image Filter Reference page in order to get a complete list of available CIFilters. Please note that not all of these are compatible with iOS; some of them only work on OS X. 

We will use the following Core Image filters:

  • CIPhotoEffectChrome
  • CISepiaTone
  • CIPhotoEffectTransfer
  • CIPhotoEffectTonal
  • CIPhotoEffectProcess
  • CIPhotoEffectNoir
  • CIPhotoEffectInstant
  • CIPhotoEffectFade

Note: This tutorial is written using Xcode 7.3 and Swift 2.2, with a Deployment Target set to 8.0, so your app will work on older devices too.

Let's Get Started!

Create a Project and Add Views

Open Xcode and create a new project, iOS Single View Application. Choose Swift as the language and Universal for devices. You'll get a blank UIViewController in the Storyboard and a couple of .swift files: ViewController.swift and AppDelegate.swift.

Select the controller in the Storyboard and set its size as iPhone 3.5-inch in the right-hand panel, under Simulated Metrics. This will help you to adapt views for the iPhone 4S, the Apple device with the smallest screen size available.

Set controller size to iPhone 4S

We won't use Auto Layout in this tutorial, because it messes up layouts on bigger devices like iPad and iPad Pro. Disable it by selecting File Inspector and uncheck Use Auto Layout. Then click the Disable Size Classes button from the popup.

Disable Auto Layout and Size Classes

Now find a JPEG image—either from the web or from your Mac—and drag it below the Assets.xcassets folder in the Project navigator panel. We'll use this as a sample image that we can apply our filters to. Name this file picture.jpg; we will call it later in the code.

You will have to drag some additional views into the controller. Select the Object library on the bottom-right corner of Xcode and drag a UIView to the center of the screen. Resize the view to 320 x 320 px and center it horizontally. 

Now add two UIImageViews to your Storyboard, by finding them in the Object library and dragging them into the main UIView. Resize these image views to fill that main view (we'll look at how to set their autoresizing  properties later). Assign picture.jpg to the first image view with the Attributes inspector panel.

Assign a jpg image to the first UIImageView

Next, drag a UIScrollView to the bottom of the screen, and set its width to fit the controller's width. You may also add a UILabel to the top of the controller and set its text to Filters. This will be the title of your app. 

Lastly, add a UIButton to the top-left corner of the screen and make its title Save.

Set Autoresizing and Layout Views

The Size inspector panel can be shown by clicking on the little ruler icon in the top-right corner of the screen. Do that now and start editing the view sizes by selecting the UIButton. The Size inspector will show you its x and y coordinates on the screen (keep in mind that x is 0 at the left side of the screen and y is 0 at the top). Set the width and height to 44 px.

Set Save button size and margin

Set the button's autoresizing mask to attach to the top and left sides of the screen.

Now select all the other views, one by one, and adjust their size and position as follows:

Set title Label size and margins

The app title has width 320 px and height 44 px and attaches to the top of the screen.

Set imageViews size and margins

The image views each have a width and height of 320 px.

Set ScrollView size and margins

Finally, the scroll view (for filter options) has a width of 320 px and a height of 80 px.

Declaring Views in the .swift File

One of the nicest features of Xcode is the possibility to split the workspace into two parts and have the Storyboard on one side and a Swift file on the other side. In order for you to do that, you must click on the Assistant Editor icon on the top-right corner of your Xcode window:

Assistant Editor icon

If your ViewController is selected in Storyboard, the right section will automatically show its relative .swift file. In case that doesn't happen, you can try clicking on the horizontal menu on the top of the swift file and switch Manual to Automatic:

Find the controllers swift file in the right side of the Xcode window

Now let's attach some of our views to the ViewController.swift file. From the Document Outline panel, select the UIView that contains the two UIImageViews, hold down Control (or the right mouse button), and drag your mouse pointer underneath to get the class declaration of your view controller.

Release the mouse button and a popup will appear. Type in the name of the UIViewcontainerView—and click the Connect button.

You've just added a declaration for an IBOutlet of type UIView to your .swift file. Do the same thing for the other image views: drag the blue line below each instance you'll declare, and name the first one originalImage and the second one imageToFilter. Make sure that originalImage is the one with picture.jpg as an image. 

Then connect the UIScrollView and name it filtersScrollView. This will store all the buttons for applying filters to your picture.  

We'll declare our UIButton later as an IBAction. This button will allow us to save our filtered image into the Photo Library of our device.

Let's Code!

Creating an Array of Core Image Filters

In Swift, you can declare global variables by simply placing them outside a class declaration, in our case this one:

We need to create an array of CIFilter names:

As mentioned at the beginning of this tutorial, we have to use the original Core Image filter names in order for our app to recognize them. We'll assign these filters to the buttons we'll create later, which will apply the filter to our image.

Hiding the Status Bar

Most of the time, you may want to hide the Status Bar from your screen. Since Xcode 7.0, it is no longer possible to set the hidden property of the Status Bar in Info.plist, so you must add this method right above viewDidLoad()

Creating the Filter Buttons

The viewDidLoad() method is a default instance that Xcode creates each time you add a .swift file to your project; it gets called when the screen and all its views get loaded. If you wanted to perform some action even before that happens, you could use the viewDidAppear() or viewWillAppear() methods, but we don't need to. So let's add a few variables of type CGFloat right below super.viewDidLoad():

Those values are needed to place a row of buttons inside our filtersScrollView. As you can see in the above code, the xCoord is the X position where a button will be placed, yCoord is the Y position, buttonWidth and buttonHeight are its size, and gapBetweenButtons is the space between each button. 

Now we need to actually create the buttons by using a for loop that will duplicate a custom UIButton and place it into the filtersScrollView based on the above values. 

Place this code right below those CGFloat instances:

Let's see what happens in this code. itemCount is a variable we'll use later to add our filter buttons as subviews of the filtersScrollView. You may notice that we've declared this variable with the var prefix. That's because it will be modified by the for loop. If you want to declare constants in Swift, you use the let prefix, as we did for the filterButton.

Using the new for loop syntax of Swift 2.2, we don't need to write i++ anymore. The loop will increment i automatically by counting from 0 to the number of elements of the CIFilterNames array.

Inside that for loop, we create a custom button, set its CGRect values, assign it a tag, and add a target action to it that calls a function we'll see later: filterButtonTapped().

In order to make our button look nice, with round corners, we use the layer property and set its corner radius to 6. Then we clip the image to be contained in its bounds, otherwise it would cover the rounded corners.

Add the Image to the Buttons and Apply Filters

The next piece of code must be added below the comment of the previous one:

Here we initialize a CIContext and CIImage to let Core Image work on originalImage (picture.jpg) that each button will show. Then we init a filter variable of type CIFilter that will be called by each button through the for loop based on the CIFilterNames array.

Our filter instance needs to set its default state, and then it becomes the input key for images. Then we create the data object from it and its image reference, which we'll use to create a UIImage right away that will be attached to the button. 

Since the filters we've selected for this tutorial are pre-made by Apple, we don't need to apply any additional value (such as intensity, color, etc.). If you want to get information about other CIFilters, you may check the Core Image Filter Reference page.

In the last line of this section, we finally set the button's background image that we've previously created.

Adding Buttons to the ScrollView

Just a few more lines to complete our viewDidLoad() method:

We're adding buttons as sub views to the filtersScrollView based on their position and the width and space they should keep between each other. Then finally we close the for loop.

Lastly, we have to set the contentSize of our ScrollView to fit all the buttons. Here's where we finally use the itemCount variable previously declared, converted to CGFloat (because CGSizeMake it doesn't accept Int values).

The Filter Button Action

We're almost done, with just a few more lines of code!

In the ViewController class, outside viewDidLoad(), create the filterButtonTapper() function. This will be called every time you tap on one of the buttons we've generated before.

We need to create an instance of UIButton first, and then set the imageToFilter's image based on that button's background image, which has already been filtered by the code placed into viewDidLoad()

Make sure that the UIImageView called imageToFilter overlays the originalImage, as shown below, otherwise the app will not show you the processed image because the original image will hide it.

imageToFilter must be in front of originalImage

Saving the Processed Picture

We've got to the end of this tutorial, and there's just one more function to add in your .swift file. That's the Save button we've previously placed in the Storyboard. Hold Control and the mouse button, drag a blue line from the UIButton to an empty space within your class, release the mouse button, and a new popup will show up. Here you have to change the Connection type to Action and enter the name of your method—in this case savePicButton—and click the Connect button.

Declare IBAction for the Save button

You've created an IBAction this time, and here's the code that must be placed into it:

The first line simply saves the image contained into imageToFilter directly in the Photo Library of your device or iOS Simulator. Then we fire a simple UIAlertView that confirms that the operation has been made.

OK, let's run our app and see what happens if we tap the buttons on the bottom. If you've done everything correctly, your app should look like this:

App showing image with color filter applied

App showing image with color filter applied

App showing message that image has been saved to Photo Library

Thanks for reading, and I'll see you next time! Please check out some of our other tutorials on Swift and iOS app development.

All credit is given to author Envato Tuts+ Photo & VideoFrancesco Franchini

So…you want to make a webcam video. No, not that kind of webcam video! The kind where you’re hosting a webinar, video blogging, joining an online meeting or chat, or maybe even being interviewed.

It’s easier than ever to do. So why do so many webcam shots look like garbage? I’m not talking about technical quality, like whether the camera is recording high definition video. I’m talking about the framing of the shot. Here’s a textbook example:

Screen capture of webcam shot with too much headroom

Yikes! Look at all that wasted space above the woman’s head. The framing on this shot is distracting because it just looks…wrong.

Most of us don’t intuitively know how to frame ourselves for video. And why would we? Unless you’re a film major or a TV journalist, you’re not exactly learning this in school.

Here are four common mistakes seen in webcam selfies, along with some simple (and free!) fixes for making your shot look more flattering and professional:

1. Use a Little Less Head Room

When most people sit down in front of a webcam, they position themselves so their head is smack dab in the middle of the screen (if they give any thought to it at all).

Webcam shot with too much head room

Instinctively, this just looks off. There’s too much empty space above my head. In industry speak, there’s too much head room.

Head room refers to the amount of space between the top of your head and the top of the frame. Put too much and you’ll look small and insignificant. Put too little (or none) and it will look like your head is stuck to the top of the screen.

Here’s the secret to getting the right amount of head room. Imagine a “tic tac toe” grid laid over top of your screen. Instead of placing the your head in the centre square, put your eyes along that imaginary top third line of the tic tac toe grid. Make sure you can see your shoulders in the shot.

Webcam shot with grid overlay

Doesn’t that look a lot better?  Now I have the correct amount of head room.

This type of head-and-shoulders shot is ideal for communication. Any further away, and you start to lose that personal contact. And if you move too close to the camera, it gets uncomfortable for the viewer (remember Seinfeld’s “close talker”?).

Webcam shots too far just right too close

2. Raise the Webcam Up to Eye Level

I don’t know about you, but I don't enjoy looking up people’s noses. Low camera angles are not flattering to anyone—they just make your face look jowly and distorted (and who wants that?).

This isn’t usually a problem with desktop computers. Their webcams are roughly at eye level when we sit in front of them. But laptops on a table or desk are lower, and we have to look down into the camera’s lens.

Looking down into webcam

The solution is simple: bring that webcam up to your eye level, or even slightly above. Try stacking a few books underneath your laptop, or lowering your chair.

Laptop webcam at eye level

Voilà: no more double chin! (or ceiling shots).

3. Light it Right

The only thing worse that looking up someone’s nose is not being able to see their face at all. This can happen when a window or bright light is behind you—you become backlit.

Face in silhouette

Without getting too technical here, your webcam detects the amount of light and increases or reduces the exposure to produce an image that's, on average, not to bright or not too dark. If you set up with a bright light behind you, however, the camera will see that big bright light and lower the exposure level overall to compensate. As result, you'll end up looking like you’re in a witness protection program: shrouded in shadow. Yikes.

If possible, position your computer so you’re facing a window to take advantage of the natural light coming in. My office has an ideal set up:

Desktop computer facing big window

If there's no window or it's dark outside, you need to turn on some lights. Overhead lights are better than none, but this kind of lighting isn’t always flattering. A better solution, if you’re at home, is to set a lamp on either side of your computer to provide a soft, even light. If you make webcam video frequently, it's worth looking into buying or making yourself something dedicated for the purpose. It doesn't need to be fancy or expensive to be effective.

Desktop computer with lamp on either side

If that's not bright enough, try removing the lamp shade. Experiment! It doesn't matter what kind of light you use—just make sure it's in front or slightly to the side of you, not behind.

4. Simplify the Background

Messy closets. Cluttered bookshelves. Laundry on the couch. I’ve seen it all in the background of webcam shots. Your friends and family may not care, but if you’re hosting a webinar or video blogging for business, you need to clean up your act (so to speak).

You want people to focus on you, not what’s going on behind you. So keep the background as simple and uncluttered as possible.

If you’re using a laptop, you have a lot of flexibility to move around and experiment with different locations. Choose a clean, bright wall. Avoid bookshelves or walls with lots of paintings or posters. Close any doors that might be in the background.

Next Steps

So just to recap, here’s what you should do before your next webcast:

  1. Position your body for a head and shoulders shot. Put your eyes on that imaginary top third line of a tic-tac-toe grid.
  2. Make sure your webcam is at eye level or slightly above.
  3. Add light by sitting near a window or adding lamps.
  4. Clean up any clutter in the background!

Want to dive deeper into webcam video? Be sure to check out the Envato Tuts+ course Better Webcam Video with Dave Bode!


All credit is given to author Envato Tuts+ Photo & VideoCindy Burgess