Each year around this time, we release a few sets of holiday effects for Pixlr fanatics. This time around, we’ve got a collection of borders, overlays, and stickers that will bring out the winter in your photos. We’re also bringing back some old favorites, so check out Icebaby borders, Frostlicious overlays, and Snowkiss stickers — and of course some 2017 New Year’s stickers to ring in the new year. As always, the Eraser is helpful if you’re interested in adding multiple layers of effects for an extra-rich look. Add a layer, paint out your subject, as we did to remove the border from the hands in the photo above.
We make Pixlr apps, which are for the most part free. But we’re also part of Autodesk, the company that makes apps for making just about anything and everything. We wanted to let our users know about two Black Friday sales that are happening right now because the savings are pretty incredible. If you are a graphic designer or an artist who draws, these offers aren’t to be missed.
Our friends and office mates who make Autodesk Graphic, the vector editing app that opens, edits, and exports PSD, AI, and everything in between have an unprecedented sale going on for Black Friday. You can get all three Mac apps for less than the normal price of the desktop app — or just grab the one you need at a huge savings. If you like our Pixlr Editor app but need something more powerful that you can install on your computer that also handles vector images, this the app for you. Check out the Graphic Mac app sale on their blog.
If you like drawing, our other office mates who make SketchBook are offering an unprecedented 50% off a yearly subscription to SketchBook Pro. The best part about it is you don’t have to wait in any lines or brave any door-busting madness. Check out their blog if you’re interested. You can sign up for a free trial without a credit card and see what you think, and SketchBook is available on all platforms.
Beat Down Boogie isn’t the official videographer of Comic Cons, but dang if it doesn’t feel like it. At every major fan event from ECCC to C2E2 to NYCC and Dragon Con and beyond, you’ll find them trekking through endless crowds of people with their cameras to dutifully capture the best cosplay looks. And then they put it all together in an entertaining video to sum up all the things you might have missed if you weren’t there. And it’s even more fun to watch if you were there. Every ten seconds, you’re like, “Hey! I remember that guy. What a beast.”
We’re such fans that we’ve been sponsoring Micah and his crew for the last few years at all the events we attend. We extend our heartfelt appreciation for all the great work to Beat Down Boogie and encourage you to take a break from your day and enjoy some great looks. They just dropped their latest pièce de résistance in two episodes.
We give you NYCC 2016 Cosplay Spotlight Part 1 :
If that’s not enough for you, you can bet your bottom gauntlet they have more. They always have more. They did double duty this time around to put together NYCC 2016 Cosplay Spotlight Part 2:
The NYCC Eastern Championships of Cosplay returned to the Javits Center last night, just as it does every year. It seems like every year the quality of the cosplay gets sharper and sharper, in both materials used and creative ideas pursued. Competitors battle for $5,000 in prizes, which is always nice, but for most of these folks it’s not about the money. Glory and the satisfaction of a job well done. Winners also qualify for the final round of the 2017 C2E2 Crown Championships of Cosplay in Chicago, which is the the final stop in the Global Championships of Cosplay.
As sponsor of the event, Autodesk is given access to the contestants earlier in the day, which we love because we get to ask them all kinds of questions about how they made their cosplay. It’s a group of people who are really experienced at making things, including a few people we’ve met in past years who are returning again, but it’s also a bunch of folks who’ve never been in any kind of competition like this before. Some of them have serious butterflies, but our photographer Michael always has a way to get them to stay focused for their photo shoot. As usual, the final photos look great. Here are the winners and all the rest of the competitors for 2016….
Second place: Voltron by outLAW2LK from Voltron: Legendary Defender
Third place: The Wanderer by Cap Santiago from Fallout 4.
Second place:: Imlerith by PhazonJuke from The Witcher 3 The Wild Hunt
First place:: General Hux by Vanya Yount from Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Second place: The Sorcerer Supreme by Canvas Cosplay from Doctor Strange
Third place: Homulilly by With a Thorn Cosplay from Madoka Magica Rebellion.
First place: Belldandy by Alchemical Cosplay from Ah My Goddess!
Second place: Immortan Joe by Adam Shefki (not pictured)
Third place: Tiny Tina by Mangoloo from Borderlands 2
Category: Larger than Life
First place: Voltron by outLAW2LK from Voltron: Legendary Defender
Second place: Count Chocula 2.0 by Michael Wong from Monster Cereal
Third place: Doctor Octopus by Tony Reinen from Spider-Man 2
These folks didn’t win a prize, but they definitely won a place in our hearts.
The Baker’s Wife by Lady of Time Cosplay from Into the Woods.
Cersei Lannister by Lia London of Go Sew Cosplay from Game of Thrones. (not pictured)
Samus Aran by Victoria Miller from Metroid
Yennefer of Vengerberg by Elynne Costumes from The Witcher 3
Erza Scarlet by Amanda Gazzola from Fairy Tail
Iron Man Mark 1 by Kevin Uribe from Iron Man
Harley Quinn by Autumn Sharer from Batman Arkham City
Oswald Cobblepot by Ozwald Cobblepot from Batman Returns
Tracer by Foxtail from Overwatch
Johanna by A. Steakhouse from Diablo Heroes of the Storm
Gamora by Violette Fiasco from Guardians of the Galaxy
Morrigan by Gabriella Nuovo from Dragon Age
GLaDOS by Orisen from Portal
Junkrat by Hanari Solomon from Overwatch
The Corpse Bride by Amanda Dawn from Corpse Bride
Iron Man Mark 43 by Ken from Iron Man
Clara Oswald by Jana Kucera from Doctor Who
Leona – Valkyrie by Kath Dragons from League of Legends
If you’ve been following @pixlr on Instagram for any length of time, you know we really love cosplay. We go to events like ECCC in Seattle and C2E2 in Chicago, but the real big event of the year is New York Comic Con. It’s just a few days away.
We’re a sponsor and official photographer of the NYCC Eastern Championships of Cosplay, so we’re busy packing up our gear and making our way as a group toward New York City, but we don’t reserve our enthusiasm just for the contestants of the official event. We set up a photo booth and pick out our favorite cosplay looks and have our brilliant photographer Michael take their photo. We aren’t able to take everyone’s photo due to high demand, but we sure do try. At the end of these events, we usually have a great collection of images on the Pixlr Cosplay Gallery, and we always encourage people to download and enjoy their photos just as much as we enjoyed taking them.
Come and get your photo taken
If you’re going to NYCC and are dressing up, please stop by and say hello and let us take your photo. Our booth is two-sided, with SketchBook on the flip side of our booth. They will have some very talented artists drawing in real time, and they’ll even be broadcasting on their Twitch channel, so follow SketchBook on Twitch or just check in and see what’s up if you like art and drawing.
We’re big fans of Colourlovers, a site for making color swatches and all kinds of other neat things. Their community has been around for many years, and they joined Autodesk not too long ago with the team from Creative Market. We’re always using Colourlovers to grab ready-made color swatches for our graphic design projects, but you may not know that they also have some very neat pattern-making tools. What’s great about their Seamless Pattern Maker is that you can make a very colorful pattern and download a copy of it in multiple sizes. We use it sometimes to make Overlays to use in our Pixlr app.
You can make your own overlays?
That’s right, you can actually make your own custom Overlays by using the Double Exposure option to add a patterned image to your photo. Once you add your second image, adjust the strength of the overlay, use blending modes (when possible) to make the overlay work better with your image, or use the Eraser to erase parts of the overlay. Once you realize this, you no longer have to settle for the hundreds and hundreds of Overlays already in Pixlr apps. 😘
Prax: an expert pattern maker
Within the Colourlovers community, Praxicalidocious — Prax for short — is an incredibly prolific swatch and pattern maker. It may be hard to believe, but using Colourlovers’ online pattern making tools Prax has made a whopping 14,569 patterns! She’s very good at it. It follows that she would be the perfect person to make patterns for Pixlr, so we commissioned her to help make the new Patterns content pack that you’ll see debuting today. Each of the 14 patterns in this pack are named after patterns she made on Colourlovers. We made a few to show you how we use them.
Double up and rotate
We used the Potatostamp option once on the photo below, but then we applied it a second time and rotated this second overlay for a bit of an offset effect. It ultimately gave this photo a bokeh-like patterned background. We also used the Eraser to paint out some of the effect on her figure.
Double up and saturate
Spotlight a subject
These patterns have radial masks in the very center, which means the effect lessens toward the center of your photo. It can give a clarity to something in the center of a photo, especially portraits. But it works in landscapes, too, like this bridge photo below.
Those are just a few ways to use the new Patterns Overlay pack. This pack will be sticking around for good, but we’ll be promoting it in the app for the next week or so. We’ll also be spotlighting some of our favorite community made images on the @pixlr Instagram feed, so please tag the images you make #pixlr so we can find and feature them.
It can be difficult and frustrating digging around the web to find the perfect font for a project — only to realize it comes with a formidable price tag or isn’t applicable for commercial use. To help save you some time down the line, we’re sharing our five favorite font sites you can comfortably use without having to worry about cost or usage limitations. In our humble opinion, these are the most reliable places to find free fonts. There are lots of really cool smaller sites that offer amazing and unique fonts, but these sites are the places that serve up lots of downloads — maybe think of them as commodity font sites. They work fast and don’t require you to jump through a lot of hoops to download fonts.
Once you download a few or a few dozen free fonts, our free online Pixlr Editor app for graphic designers lets you use fonts you’ve installed on your computer. Our Pixlr for Mac/PC app, which some people use to add text to photos, also lets you use fonts you’ve installed on your computer.
Font Squirrel is the number one best place to find quality, free, commercial use fonts. Unlike some of the other websites on this list, all of the fonts provided on this website are available for commercial use. So you don’t have to worry about adjusting your search options on their site in any shape or form. But, if you do want to expand your options, they offer a small but quality list of “Almost Free” fonts. Font Squirrel likely has the smallest library of fonts from this list, but the quality of the chosen fonts are undeniable. And they are unique. If you have a specific category you’d like to search, choose your options on the right-hand side. The download process is also the most straightforward. Simply click the download button next to the font you’ve chosen, unzip it, and double click the .otf or .ttf file to install. You can probably see why this is our go-to favorite font site. They make it easy for you to find and download fonts. No strings attached. And as if that wasn’t already great enough, this website also has a font identifier where you can upload an image of a font you have that you are trying to match. You can create an account and save favorites if you want.
What we like best: Well-designed site. The most useful features of any site or service. They even have full lists of glyphs and a way for you to enter text to see how it will look in a particular font face.
1001 fonts has a very large collection of fonts. They also have a specific section of fonts that are for commercial use only. You can access the commercial fonts directly from this link. Don’t be fooled by the direct-marketing style name of the site or its appearance. It’s definitely not as pretty as Font Squirrel, but rest assured quality is still in there. They have a very large and impressive collection of commercial free fonts that are high quality and easy to install. Because of this site’s popularity and lite community features, there are comments on a majority of the fonts available so you can easily take a glance at what people are saying prior to downloading. If you want to look through fonts from the category options, remember to click “Only view fonts that are free for commercial use” before starting to look through the lists. The download process is also quite simple. Simple click download on the right end of the font you like, unzip it, and double click the .otf or .ttf file to install. One thing to note is that the character map on the font web pages do not always accurately represent the characters that come with the font. Some of them show the font as having very few characters but when installed have the full set. This site also has an account option if you plan on becoming a frequent user.
What we like best: Quantity. There are a lot of fonts on this site.
Shocking, we know. Google comes through for us again. All of the fonts on the Google Fonts site are open source. You can modify them or use them for commercial use, and they are all free. The one downfall to this website is that the categories are not very specific, especially if you’re looking for something unique. The display fonts category contains everything that isn’t serif, sans serif, handwriting, or monospace. So if you want something decorative — for example, a Halloween font — you might end up scrolling through pages and pages of the display fonts category before you find something that works. You can definitely try the search function, but unfortunately many of the font names are not even related to the style of font they represent. The download process also has a few more steps than some of the other font websites on our list. The good thing is you can download a collection of fonts that you like as a group. Look through the fonts and simply click “add to collection” for anything you’d like to download. Once you’ve chosen all your fonts, click the download button on the top right. A download box will pop up, select “Download the font families in your Collection as a .zip file”. Unzip and double click the .otf or .ttf files to install. This customization takes a little longer but it’s very useful.
What we like best: Elegance. This being Google, it pays attention to developers. You can use the web versions of Google Fonts to place fonts directly onto your website. In fact, that is something that Pixlr does in its own Pixlr Express web app. Also, their fonts are rock-solid and elegant. We’re big fans. In fact, Pixlr uses Lobster for our own display headlines sometimes.
DaFont is a great website to get some free commercial use fonts, but you need to know how to properly navigate it. The site has been around for a long time, and its age and short-sighted site design really shows. Further, there are a lot of possible details to include with fonts, but this site doesn’t always include them. And the font you download might not have a comprehensive collection of glyphs. Then again, you’ll find all kinds of crazy dingbat and symbol font collections on here. If you’re going to search for free commercial use fonts on this site, it’s probably best to start with a category. Here are three steps to get you on the right path:
- Search a category
- Select more options (Note “More options” drop-down)
- Check off both “free” and “public domain”
It’s very easy to download fonts from this site once you get the search functions right. Simply click download next to the font you’d like to use. Unzip and double click the .otf or .ttf file to install.
What we like best: Quirky. This is *the place* for oddball, niche fonts. Need some Elvish runes for your Middle Earth inspired party flyer? They’ve got you covered.
Font Space is quite similar to DaFont. It has a great selection with tons of categories to choose from, and there are tons of user-submitted fonts, but its design is a little friendlier. Be aware that although Font Space has a big collection of unique fonts, the website does have a bit of a cluttered look with a few too many ads. If that’s just not your cup of tea, the other sites on the list should provide more than enough options. To ensure you’re only looking through free commercial use fonts, follow the steps below:
- Pick a category
- Check off “only show commercial use fonts”
- Click apply
Simply select the font you’d like to use and click download. Same as the other sites: unzip and double click the .otf or .ttf file to install.
What we like best: Independent. People who submit fonts on this site seem to be talented solo designers — the kind of people you see on Creative Market. If you are particular about licensing, this site is incredibly explicit about your many options.
The five websites listed are in ascending order: From best to less best based on ease of use and quality of fonts they’ve curated. The first three on the list are the best of the best when it comes to free commercial use fonts, but it never hurts to have more options!
Every once in awhile, we dig up an old content pack from the past and bring it back. We’re calling it Pixlr Rewind. Today, we’re bring back an old fan favorite — a pack of flag overlays.
We’ve been watching the 2016 Olympics in Rio this past week, and we can see the 2016 Paralympics on the horizon next month, and all of this Olympic fever reminded us of the pack of flag overlays we made for the last World Cup event a few years back. We thought this would be a great time to dig up that content pack and add it to Autodesk Pixlr. In fact, we thought it would be best to add it to the app permanently for anyone out there who likes flags — whether you’re a soccer fan or just a fan of a particular country. You’ll find it in the Overlays on Pixlr for Mac/PC, Pixlr for iOS/Android, and Pixlr Express on the web.
This content pack doesn’t contain every flag from every country out there, but we know that our users love content packs — especially packs from the past that only ran for a limited time. Do you have a fan favorite pack from the past that you’d like to see make a comeback? Shout out to us on Twitter.
For any e-commerce retailer, the photography associated with your online store is an integral part of marketing your products. Consumers are looking to establish trust with a business, and pictures can be a key part of beginning that relationship. For eBay sellers, a picture literally can be worth a thousand words. Let’s take a look at some sure-fire ways to enhance your pictures and start converting sales today. At the end of the post, we have a downloadable ready-to-use eBay Photo Template you can use with Pixlr Editor, our free layers-based graphic design app to make your product images.
What does eBay have to say
The first place to start is always with the rules, as the last thing you want as a seller is to violate eBay’s terms of service and get your store removed from the site. eBay says listings with high-quality pictures are 5 percent more likely to sell. Here’s a quick summary of their photography rules:
- Image required: All listings must have at least one picture. The site used to allow image-less listings, but this has since changed.
- Minimum sizing: All pictures must have a minimum of 500 pixels, but 1600 pixels is recommended for high-quality images.
- No borders: Borders are not permitted. There are some exceptions if your image has a natural border or your product creates one, but it’s best to stay on the safe side with this one.
- Watermarks allowed: Watermarks are allowed to brand your business, but not to add additional information, and it must not obscure the picture of the item you’re selling.
- No text: Text on pictures is no longer allowed.
- Limited stock photos: Stock photos are no longer allowed as the primary image for your listing.
- File formats: Upload pictures as a .jpeg file or.png file for best results.
While these requirements are the most up-to-date, eBay is constantly changing their requirements to create the best end result for the buyer, so make sure you stay up to date with any further changes.
Now that we know the rules, let’s take a look at how you can enhance your photos:
- The first thing that can make a difference in your pictures is the use of lighting. Typically, natural light is the best way to showcase your product. Finding a place in your home where natural light hits a white wall means you can feature your product in the best lighting and without any distracting backgrounds. It’s also good for smaller items where a flash can distort the image or cause unwanted blurriness.
- Natural light is typically best in the early morning or late afternoon. Avoid shooting around noon as this is when the sun is at its harshest and will cause your products to look unnatural.
- There are some instances when a flash can be handy, but they also can cause shadows or reflections. Try to avoid using the flash whenever possible.
Focusing (and fixing out of focus images)
Focus is another technique that all sellers should try to master. Smaller items can prove a challenge, but you want to strike a balance between staying in focus and getting as close to the object as possible so you can showcase any details. Most cellphone cameras come with an auto-focus feature, but take a few additional shots so you can pick the best of the bunch. If you can’t get close enough without distorting the image, apps like our own Pixlr Editor can help you crop and edit your image to make sure it’s crystal clear. For example, you can use the Sharpen tool (Filter > Sharpen) to help with images that are slightly out of focus.
Showcasing your product
Think of your online listing like a virtual store. Humans are visual creatures, and when we shop in stores the look and feel of items can make or break the sale. Your pictures should showcase your item and make the buyer feel like they are in the room with it. There are a few important things to keep in mind:
- Color matters: Make sure the coloring in the picture matches the color of your item so there are no surprises when they receive their shipment.
- Stability matters: Tripods and mannequins can be great investments to still shaky hands and show off items of clothing.
- More photos are better: Taking multiple pictures of the item can be a great way to showcase it from many angles. Who doesn’t want to look at an item from every angle before spending hard earned money?
- No patterns, please: Shooting with solid backgrounds can avoid confusion or distractions and highlight the item you want to sell.
- Contextual clues: If your item is hard to scale, consider using a common object or ruler in the picture so buyers can get an idea of the size.
Lots of third-party tools to help you
The internet has made editing and showcasing pictures easier than ever, so you don’t have to be a Photoshop whiz to get the best results. Pixlr Editor can help you to edit your photos quickly and create beautiful images for your listings. You can rotate, resize, smooth, focus and apply other filters to your image. Any small blurs or blemishes in your pictures can easily be fixed without having to redo the whole shoot. You may not have considered it, but collages are a great way to showcase a product from different angles without having to upload multiple images. By piecing together multiple images, you can give the user a comprehensive look at your product and encourage them to make a purchase. You can even use our free online Pixlr Express app to make quick collages.
You don’t have to be a professional photographer to spruce up your eBay listings and create amazing photos that will encourage a seller to buy. Buyers are used to seeing the same boring stock photos in their online shopping, so creating a unique combination of high resolution images will boost your listing and hopefully convert more business.
Download our eBay photo template
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to make eBay product photos that look great, download our Pixlr eBay Photo Template. You can open this .pxd file in our online Pixlr Editor app and add your product photos as new layers by simply copying and pasting into this file. We put a watermark logo example in there so you can see how easy it is to keep your watermark available to show/hide whenever you want. (More info about watermarking photos on our blog here.) Never used an app like Pixlr Editor or Photoshop before? Check out our Working with Layers intro video that will get you up and running quick and easy.
A few weeks back, we let you know about our new Pixlr Editor Design Basics series. It’s a series of videos made just for people who are new to Pixlr Editor. We know that tons of people stumble across our online app looking for a free Photoshop alternative, and we know that not all of them actually have experience using an app like this. If you are a Photoshop expert, try to remember the first time you opened that app with a goal in mind but no way to figure out how to accomplish it.
This week, we’re adding another new video that deals with one of the most important tasks of all: cutting stuff out. Whether you need to cut out a logo and make a transparent PNG or remove a background from a portrait, this video will help you figure it out. We try to keep things basic, lighthearted, and focused on the task at hand so you don’t have to wade through a bunch of 20-minute tutorials. Short and to the point. Check out this video if you’ve always wanted to learn how the magic wand and lasso tool works.