AMITIAE - Tuesday 25 September 2012
Manga Camera: A Cartoon App for iPhone and iPod touch
By Graham K. Rogers
I managed to download it by other means on Monday night, but the links have now been fixed and users interested in this free app should have no problems.
Manga CameraThe app opens with a camera display on which there are Japanese characters. At the bottom are three control buttons. Frames, the camera shutter button and a gear-wheel icon for Settings.
The camera button is the only other control. There is no access to the front facing camera, so no self-portraits are possible. It is simply point and squirt. Some processing takes place and the transformed image is displayed.
The change is utter and this is one of the most easy to use cartoon apps I have. It is no match for those like Halftone or Cartoonatic, but these allow much more user input. Manga Camera is a quick and effective producer of output in a specific style.
Export and SavingTapping on an image displays icons top and bottom. At the top is back: the user is returned to the main page and the image will not be saved. Settings (again) reveals the panel with Facebook, Twitter and the Image Processing buttons.
At the bottom right is the frames access and these can be changed on the fly. So saving or exporting an image may be done, then the image recreated with a new frame. At the centre of the display is the export button: Save to photo library, Facebook or Twitter. Images that I saved to the Photo library were 480 x 640 and with a small size of 146 KB.
Unlike a number of photographic apps, the original is not saved, so there must be a conscious decision to create an image specifically for the Manga output style. Also unlike a number of such apps, there is no access to the Photo library so it is not possible to import previously taken photographs for post-processing.
CommentWhile the output is an interesting variation on the types of images that can be produced by the iPhone, the small size of the pictures along with the limits on importing or saving originals impose severe limitations on the user. The early experience I had in trying to download the app was improved overnight and should not be a problem for those interested now.
I look forward to some developments and more features for this interesting app.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.
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