Exploring Pixite Apps: The Bright Side of the Pixel

If Pink Floyd made a photo editing suite that allowed people to easily create anything that their hearts’ and minds’ desired, it’d look something like Pixite’s apps – and it would do everything that Pixite’s apps do. You create designs, photographs and compositions with Pixite’s Matter, Union, Fragment, Tangent and LoryStripes–the fantastical five apps. By most accounts, your creations are easy to produce, thanks to the apps’ intuitive, touchscreen interface.

pixite-apps-628Pixite’s 5 creative apps, from left: Matter, Union, Fragment, Tangent, and LoryStripes

 

MEDEVACMEDEVAC by columnsovsleep using Matter and Union, shot and edited on an iPhone 5s

motiondoom_9670238 – UP by Tian Hughes using Fragment and Union

The 5 Creative Apps

Pixite has quickly found success with its suite of five creative apps. But what do the apps do?

In Pixite’s own words:

  • Matter lets you add stunning 3d objects to your photos.”
  • Union lets you combine your photos in unique and creative ways.”
  • Fragment is a totally unique prismatic photo effects app that you’ll want to share with everyone.”
  • LoryStripes uses beautifully crafted ribbons to add a new dimension to your photos.”
  • Tangent uses stunning geometry to transform your photos into one-of-a-line works of art.”

Union

Union iPhone-B
Union iPhone-CUnion, the photo merging app

Greg Albritton, Pixite’s marketing director, defines the Pixite brand as one that supplies “amazing mobile photo apps that do unexpected things that inspire and amplify creativity.” Available on the App Store as a suite of 5 apps, they aren’t intended for any specific audience, but rather, according Albritton, they’re for anybody who wants to create since their touch interface makes photo editing a breeze. After being on the market for a year and a half, the apps continue to grow in popularity.

LoryStripes

LoryStripes-screenshot-a
LoryStripes-screenshot-b
LoryStripes-screenshot-c
LoryStripes-screenshot-d
LoryStripes-screenshot-eLoryStripes, for adding ribbons and linear dimension to photos

Tangent

iPhone Tangent screenshot ATangent, for adding geometry to your photos

Fragment

iPhone screenshot Fragment DFragment, for adding new dimension such as prismatic effects

Matter

iPhone Matter screenshot EMatter, for adding 3d shapes, and also animating them

The Creative Community

As Pixite’s creative community continues to expand online at Instagram, Albritton couldn’t be happier. For Albritton, it’s about, “People discovering themselves as creatives, as artists,” and with the apps, Pixite has been able to offer people the opportunities and tools to have what Albritton calls “I can make something” moments. You can find users’ custom, unique, and unexpected photo compositions on Instagram, produced on one or all of Pixite’s apps, with tags referencing apps, such as #fragmentapp or mentions such as @fragmentapp. Albritton sees his role at Pixite as one that helps “people to share their creations” in new and exciting ways, and that is exactly what’s happening.

Architecture_with_mannequinArchitecture With Mannequin by Lynette Jackson using Union

Lynette Jackson has an Instagram gallery full of work she’s produced with Pixite’s apps, with additional work at her portfolio site. Jackson equates her style of editing to “deconstructing then re-building,” and she’s inspired by and influenced by handmade collage techniques. In terms of craft, Jackson had found that masking with other apps was taking far too long. “Then Pixite created Union, problem solved. For me Union is the most proficient masking and blending app. The Magic Wand tool with threshold adjustment is the most accurate I have used. Union allows me to extract my subject with ease then blend my favorite geometric elements quickly,” says Jackson.

While Pixite’s dedicated users flex their creativity, it’s Pixite’s developers who work hard behind the scenes to make those tools, actions, and app interactions easy to use. Everyone at Pixite understands the ins and outs of developing apps, especially apps used for photographic media editing, creation, curation, and management. Prior to Pixite, some of its members worked on Picasa and Flickr apps, and also produced the Unbound photo browsing tool for Dropbox. All of those tools are still alive and well, and their focus these days is on Matter, Union, Fragment, Tangent and LoryStripes.

Pixite lead developer Scott Sykora has been developing for the iOS SDK since 2008, when it was released. Prior to Pixite, he worked as a designer and software engineer in a number of capacities. Albritton recognizes the value that Sykora, who is Pixite’s co-founder, brings to the table: “He’s an incredible developer who is highly efficient and creative. Able to work on the details while maintaining big vision.”

Always looking to improve and enhance the apps, the Pixite team has found ways to tap into features in iOS 8, now giving mobile users the benefit of using iOS Handoff to continue work across iOS devices that support the feature. For example, Fragment supports Handoff by letting users pass work from one device to another, which comes in handy if you want (or need) a bigger screen to continue what you started.

When asked about the future, Ben Guerrette, Pixite’s creative director said, “A long term goal is deeper integration between the current suite and future tools to come. Some apps will further enhance the capabilities of others. For instance, we’ve talked about creating a text app that when sent to Matter, gives you an extruded object to work with or brought into Union to act as a masking layer made of type. We’ve touched on video with Matter and are looking into ways to bring similar features to the other apps. Fragment would benefit hugely from video support, both input and output.”

Planning these changes and implementing them is a collaborative process, and Albritton calls their meetings at the 3rd Space co-working space “jam sessions” because according to him, “The word meeting doesn’t do it justice in my opinion.” As Scott, Greg, Ben and the rest of the Pixite team continue their jam sessions to improve the apps, the team will surely keep producing elegant music in the form of user-friendly photo-editing and design apps.


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