A Mobiographer’s Journey From Analog to iPhone
A couple of years ago, mobiographer Erica “Spin” Simas moved…
We sat down with Daniel Berkovitz, Product Manager of Facetune 2, released less than a month ago on the App Store. He’ll share his journey from art student to product manager at Lightricks (the company also behind Enlight), the state-of-the-art technology behind this new app and why it’s so amazing.
I’ve been at Lightricks since May of 2014, while I was still a university student, about a year after the original Facetune app was released and a year before Enlight.
I was among the first class of a 6-year joint academic program, graduating with two degrees – graphic design and computer science. The program itself sort of embodies Lightricks as a company: although most of our founders come from a total computer science background, since Day 1 they believed that flawless, beautiful design is an integral part of any mobile app and were motivated to build a fantastic in-house design team. The first Lightricks employee was a designer, Ayelet Batist, who later became our Creative Director.
When I started, we were only 5 designers (now we’re 14!) and we were in the very beginning stages of Enlight’s UI design. I started out working on some of the main components – the tabs and toolbars you see now along the bottom. Afterwards, I was in charge of the content: all the presets, assets and frames.
Enlight was released in March of 2015 and I graduated from university a few months after. Sometime in the summer, Zeev, Lightricks’ CEO approached and asked my thoughts about Facetune. I told him everything I really thought – both good and bad. Facetune was a breakthrough app upon its release, but now both the company and the iOS platform had evolved into so much more. It wasn’t as advanced as it once was or had the potential to be. For a full month, I worked on a vision for Facetune 2 and presented my overall design of the new app to the company. The rest is history.
It’s for anyone who takes photos of himself or friends and puts them online. I would describe it as the way to achieve the most beautiful portraits possible on your iPhone – and it’s so easy to use. For all the iOS users that upload selfies on a daily basis, this app is going to make a profound impact on the way the world takes and edits photos.
Facetune 2 is free to download, and includes a whole slew of amazing tools upon download (magic mirror camera, teeth whitening, smooth, to name a few).
For extras, you can visit the Facetune Store. There are tools you’ve never, ever seen before on mobile. You can actually change the light source of your photo or paint a studio background on an image you took at the beach. Plus, you can try every single tool in the Store before you download. And really beautiful filters.
Our filters look really good and the average person may not be able to put his finger on why, but I’ll tell you our secret – it’s because they have crazy technology behind them. We differentiate between the skin tone and the background, detect the face in the photo, then apply filters on each in different ways in order to achieve the ultimate enhancement.
The filters are divided into groups to give you different whole “looks” (movie star, 1990’s flavors, cinematic effects). In addition, they do a lot more at the same time: add details to your eyes, whiten teeth, apply color tinting – all in one tap.
Oh yea, and the camera filters are live.
Live – like Snapchat filters. But instead of puppy dog costumes, you’re getting beauty effects and glowing skin, gorgeous accentuated eyes, etc. – before you even snap the pic.
Besides that, we have live preview tools. While you are shooting and watching, the camera is detecting your face and you can use sliders to adjust your nose, eyes, face shape, etc. Only then do you snap the pic. It saves time editing after and cancels out the effects of taking a selfie vs. using a camera the traditional way. Selfies cause your nose to look bigger, your face to look a bit distorted – which makes you look worse than you actually do in real life. Facetune 2 fixes that.
Like anything, Facetune can be used for good or for bad. For example, let’s say your sister’s getting married and you’re taking tons of pictures of you and other guests to remember the night. Let’s say it just so happens that you have a huge zit on your forehead. The photo will become a memory and why should you be remembered with that zit in the middle of your face? It’s not the end of the world, but if there’s a way to swipe it off, in one second, then why not?
Then there’s the fact that you’re taking photos on mobile, it’s not a “professional” photograph. There’s non-ideal lighting that brings out shadows and details you don’t want to accentuate, the distance from which you take the photo (think: selfies) which changes the proportions of your face – all these things you can fix in Facetune 2. You can get best out of your photo without looking like someone you are not.
For some people, it’s empowering. Essentially, all we’re doing is making retouching cheaper and accessible to everyone – it’s no longer just celebrities or politicians that look picture perfect. What we do is give people the power to retouch professionally on their own, without expensive, hard-to-use desktop software. It’s no longer a luxury to look your best: we make it easy, affordable and available to you too.
Download it here on the App Store.
Written by Stav Tishler.