All In the Name of Research

luke Written by Luke on February 8th, 2012 in Design

Just the other day we released the 1.1 update to our hugely popular photo-processing app: Analog.

Along with some much requested new features, Analog 1.1 also includes a few brand new filters and borders. To say that we take our filters and borders seriously would be an understatement... we take them VERY seriously. There's no guess work or "what might look trendy" here. Instead, each has been painstakingly built to accurately recreate real film and camera techniques. Sometime we go to the other side of the world to get it right. Literally.

Last October I took a holiday to South Africa and took with me not only my digital camera, but an old film camera - loaded with a roll of Fuji Velvia 100.

Velvia 100 is a gorgeous film stock that looks fantastic cross-processed. The results are often super high contrast, with over-saturated washes of orange and purple. Here's a photo I snapped from the summit of Table Mountain looking down on parts of Cape Town through the mist below:

Shot with Velvia Film

The combination of the Velvia film and my old toy camera had created an effect with buckets of soul. This just had to go in Analog! So after much tweaking and experimentation I created the 'Cape Town' filter for Analog. I could now apply this to the rest of my digital photos taken from the mountain. Roll over the following photo to see how it compares.

Cape Town with no filter Cape Town with filter

However, I was well aware that the cross-processed Velvia look, along with the distortions you get from a toy camera - can be a bit heavy for some photos. Well it just so happens that Analog version 1.1 also introduces an intensity slider to the app so that the effect can be toned down as and when you need it.

This isn't any old slider though. What's the point in including filters if you're just going to remove the end result sequentially’ There's nothing dynamic about that. It's like saying that the original filter just isn't good enough.

So we decided to approach the intensity slider as if every point in the slider could be a filter in it's own right. Keith, Analog's code captain, designed a way for us to gracefully scale back different filter elements. In turn, we looked at hundreds of photos which we had based our filters on so that we could work out how a filter still retains it's 'feel' at lower levels.

The result is not only a new version of Analog with three beautiful new filters but a version in which there is the perfect vintage effect for almost any photo you throw at it. Enjoy!