|iStriper – no Swiss Army knife, but a great one-hit wonder
A great and possibly unique app that allows you to create striking monochromatic lined versions of your high contrast / low complexity images.
Developer - Steffen Jakob
Price - 99 cents (USD)
4.5 of 5 stars (due to a minor output resolution caveat)
by Bob Weil
Sometimes an app comes along that does only one thing and does it well. iStriper is part of that club, and seems to be unique in offering this feature at the moment.
iStriper allows you to convert a high contrast / low complexity image into vertical or horizontal lines, and adjust line width and color to arrive at the desired final image. For example, from the splash screen:
But like DXP in it’s day (all of two years ago), iStriper comes along at the right time. A lot of work you’re seeing these days superimposes objects over one another and background images to create poster like composite images that can tell a story.
As you can see above, the interface couldn’t be simpler. You can select vertical or horizontal lines, depending on what better suits your subject. The distance between the lines and the thickness of the lines can be adjusted independently (the // symbol to the right of the sliders), or clicking that symbol can lock the two – a good move if you’ve found a ratio of distance to thickness, and now you want to adjust the two parameters in lock step.
On loading an image, you’re give the option to accept it as is, or scale/move it within the window:
The few additional controls behind the gear in the upper right allow you to change background and foreground (line) colors. Here’s an example of the result, shown with horizontal and vertical lines:
Note how the thickness and spacing of the lines changes the overall look:
Using a layering program, you can blend the black and white line output using “Screen” or “Darken” with the original image to achieve interesting results:
So what can you do that’s useful with this technique? As I mentioned earlier, composite images are more and more the rage. You can combine the lined output with halftoned and processed images to get interesting poster-like results:
The maximum output size appears to be limited to 2K pixels on the longest side. (In fact, iStriper upsizes all images to 2000 pixels wide on the longest side if they are smaller than that to begin with.) For an app that creates bold graphic elements, I don’t think this is a huge disadvantage, but it would have been ideal if the developer had called this out to begin with.
On the wish list front, the output reminds me a bit of block printing, and it would be neat if there was a slider to allow you to introduce a bit of random variation in the line width and spacing. Even cooler would be the ability to swipe your finger horizontally or vertically to thin or widen the lines or spaces in a particular section of the output preview.
It wouldn’t hurt if the program would allow you to layer the result over the original image and blend it. And the adjustments are so fine that it would be great to be able to enter precise numerical values rather than depend on the sliders alone.
All in all, iStriper is a great version 1.0 by the developer.
All in all, it’s a great first outing by the developer.
You might also like tutorials by Bob Weil:
|Create a painterly image with classic lighting, effects, tiling, texturing and layers|
|Create a realistic portrait with depth of field (DOF) and a classic portrait look|