I have a new love! I’ve recently discovered Stackables, a fantastic editing app, and I thought I would share what I’m enjoying about the app and what I’ve been creating with it.
Stackables is a layering app which allows you to add multiple textures, filters, gradients, patterns and adjustment layers to an image. You can also access and save Formulas, which are basically presets that have already been created using multiple layers. The layering is fantastic: You can add new layers, remove layers, turn layers on and off, and shuffle the order of the layers around as you work through an edit. The adjustability of individual layers is powerful too. Opacity, blending mode and rotation can be changed individually for each layer. It’s like having a “lite” version of Photoshop at my fingertips. The only thing I can’t do is import my own layers, beyond the starting image. Luckily, Stackables has a broad range of all types of layers so I’m not limited.
Let’s take a quick look at operation. There are two versions of Stackables, one for iPhone and one for iPad. Both start at $0.99 with in-app purchases available (I highly recommend getting the Master Pack for $1.99). The screen shots below are from the iPad version, since that’s what I primarily use for editing.
As you load an image, you have the choice of what file type you want to save. This is great, because you can save the images you create as a high resolution, lossless file type like PNG or TIFF. You can also crop as you load the image, a nice feature.
Next, you can start adding layers. You have a choice of the layer types you want to add along the top. As you switch layer types or move through options, the current active layer will switch too. So once you have a layer edited, be sure to add a new layer before you start moving around to look at new layer types. You can go back to any layer in your stack at any time and adjust it, change it, or delete it.
If you don’t want to start from scratch, you can start with Formulas. This is a great way to get an idea of what you can do with the app and all of the layers. You will be amazed at the variety of looks you can create. Once you select a Formula you like, tap the check mark at the bottom and then you can continue your edit, adding to or changing any of the layers within the Formula. If you create an edit you like, you can also save your own Formulas, email them and submit them to be added to the app. Pretty cool.
Here are a few images I’ve edited in it so far, to give you an idea of the range. You can do highly textured looks:
Or more subtle edits:
I also used it for adding color, contrast and texture to this background:
Stackables is a very versatile app! Don’t be surprised if you see it start popping up more in my mobile tutorials. I’m a little addicted to it at the moment.