Thursday, January 27, 2011

Free Effects- Black and White, Focal Black and White and Sepia with Picnik

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I have been focusing on some of the other features of Picnik recently and seem to have left out some of the basics, so here they are. One of the first things people want to know how to do is turn their photos black and white and sepia. Picnik makes this super easy, they also make making just parts of your picture color easy as well. The best part of the effects I am featuring today is that they are all FREE effects

These effects are found under the create menu. They are the first ones to pop up when you click on effects.

When you select Black and White, this is what the menu looks like. One of the nice things about this BW is that you can leave your photo full strength BW or you can bring up the fade dial to give your photo a muted color or desaturated look.
Next to the fade bar you will see a little paint brush. When you click on the paint brush, you get the menu below.
Effect painting allows you to do a focal BW, meaning you can make some parts of the picture BW while other stay color. Your photo will be in BW at this point and so you will basically be painting back on the color, If you choose 100% brush strength, you will be basically painting back on with full strength color. If you choose less than 100% you will be painting back on with a desaturated color. The harder your brush, the more exact a circle you will be painting with. Sometimes it is helpful to take down the hardness of your brush to be able to move around corners and such as you paint.

Choose a brush size that fits the area to be painted. If you are painting a really small area, you will want a smaller brush so you won't add to much color. The best advice for painting the color back onto the picture, is to go slow and be patient. If you add too much color, hit the undo button and it will undo your last brush stroke. If you decide that you want your colors to be the opposite of what you have already painted, just select the reverse button and it will change it for you.
Sepia is also a snap with Picnik. Select the sepia button and the following menu will pop up.
You will notice a color bar. You can change the color tone of your sepia. The far right is a yellowed sepia, the far left and orange sepia. You can also do desaturation with sepia, just slide the fade bar up and some of the original color will peek through underneath.
You can also effect paint with Sepia, using the same principals as from the BW description above.

Sometimes the simplest effects are the best and Picnik has made achieving those effects... well... simple. :)
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