If you’ve followed my work lately, via the 365 project, especially, you’ll see I’ve been using the Mextures ($1.99 in the app store) app quite a bit. Okay, let’s be honest, a lot!
With Mextures I discovered a tool that allowed me to add some texture to images, where it seemed appropriate, with great ease and control. Their recent update, 2.0, they’ve elevated the toolkit to be a true, robust editor.
I get quite a few questions on how I use some of the apps I use, so I’d been wanting to do a peek under the hood of Mextures and talk about how I use it in my workflow. I’ll give some screen shots of the interface and talk about a few of the key components.
Here’s the main screen when you open the app. You can shoot with the app or import images you’ve already snapped from your library. I tend do the latter. Most often I shoot with the native camera or Hipstamatic.
Now I’ve been using the app a while, months, so I have a pretty good sense of what filters/effects I might apply. However with the new update, I find I’m poking around this app more and more.
From the main menu you have a lot of options, from Favorites, this are filters you’ve faved, to Radiance, Grit & Grain, three sets of Light Leaks, Emulsion, Grunge, Landscape enhancements and Vintage Gradients. My go-to’s within the app are most often Grunge, Landscape Enhance and Emulsion. Occasionally I pop into Radiance and play with some of the light leaks.
Here’s what I did with this photo.
Starting with the Radiance set, I selected the Daybreak filter, then used the magic wand to select the Blending Option for the layer, for this one I chose Softlight. Then adjusted the filter effect with the slider to 58%.
From there I went to Light Leaks and added bokeh, then to Landscape Enhance and added May, but decided I wasn’t too keen on that combo so I deleted those layers. To add a layer click the plus sign, it will take you back to the main screen with all the filter options. If you go into a filter pack and realise you want to try something else, click on the half circle with the up arrow along the bottom of the app, it will display that menu again.
How do you delete a layer? Click on the “eyeball” and it will show you what layers you have. Want to remove one, click the “x” and confirm you want to remove it.
After removing those I went to Grunge and selected Window Wash, going with the Multiply Blending Mode and adjusting the effect to 72%.
How do you adjust a blending mode? Click on the Magic Wand above the filters and poof, new menu. Play around in there and go with options you like. Go to the extreme or be subtle. I tend to be at least a little restrained, but not always.
Then back to the Light Leaks set, the first one and I selected the Bokeh Baby effect, using the blending mode of Softlight at only 17%. There’s just a hint, which is more revealed with the last bits of editing.
For my final bits on this edit I clicked on the two sliders button, which reveals a bunch of “film” effect filters, plus many of the controls you see in other editing apps. Contrast, Exposure, Temperature, and more. Once you’re in there just slide the tool bar left to reveal more and more options. I do normally do these functions in Snapseed or vscocam, but now that it’s an option in version 2.0, I’ve been playing with it a lot more.
The final recipe for this image?
- Cross Process film filter
- Temperature +15
- Contrast +15
- Exposure +11
- Sharpen +4
Boom! Here’s the final!
Create a series of effects you think you’ll want to use again? Click the Up arrow in the top right corner to reveal the option to save your own formula. Those are accessed by the little flask looking icon. This is also the same menu from which you’d save all your work to your camera roll.
This is just one way that I would use Mextures. I love adding texture and playing around with colour and pushing things a bit, Mextures is a great tool for doing just that.
Be subtle. Be bold. Be creative.
Whew! Have fun kids, more posts like this are on the way.
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy!