May 12th Triangle Mac users group meeting.

Meeting for a computer group at an Irish pub is a great idea… Unless you want to hear. The over all noise in the pub wouldn’t be bad for all speakers, but some of the presenters were not loud enough, and many of the attendees could not hear.

The topics are office in the cloud. Ms office, google docs iWork, and quip. Basic discussion in the benefits of cloud based solution, collaboration, offsite data, etc.

Given the price of ms office’s new office 365, between $70-$100 per year, many people may not want to deal with paying that subscription. Google Docs is free for most individual users, but costs $50 per year, per person for businesses.

A set of YouTube videos were also demonstrated that took people thru google docs. Again it was too hard to hear clearly, but it was a good idea to help people understand how google docs works. The link was shared with attendees and I will add it here.

One demo was a copy of open office that runs as a web app on any device. But you are actually running on someone else’s hardware. At 7pm the bar started trivia night, which made it even harder to hear.

rollapp is a new service that for $0.99 per month will provide you access to open office, and for $6.99 month they will make it add free.

While the topic was interesting between the noise level and the speakers inability to repeat questions and speak loudly and clearly, I was very disappointed.

Ms office $99 per year for 5 Computers and 5 mobile devices. With 20gb of storage per user on the 5 machines.

iWork, free on macs and iOS devices purchased after sept, 2013. While apple went to functional parity and removed a bunch of features, they have had three updates already adding more code and features back in.

Quip – this was a new one for me. This is Basically another office clone but focus on sharing and collaboration. Think of documents as lists of conversations. There is an iPad app.

Great news, the group is moving to TenPlus – an authorized apple repair shop, but the sound quality should be much better.

FaceFilter Pro 3.0 – Review

While at MacWorld/iWorld in April, I had the opportunity to catch up with the team at Reallusion.  They were showing their new FaceFilter 3.0 for Mac.  The program allows us average humans to do a lot of the same touchups on portraits that a PhotoShop expert would spend hours doing.   To say it is simple is to understate how easy and powerful it is.

Let’s walk thru a simple example of it… Using a picture I just took with the Mac’s PhotoBooth application.  Here’s the basic picture… I used a light behind my MacBook Pro in order to off set the very bad lighting in my office.

FF Pic 1

After you pic the file to import you are presented with two views of the picture, a before and after:

Screenshot 2014-05-10 12.09.32

The first step that you need to do, just like Reallusion’s Crazy Talk application, is to map certain facial features – this is called “Fitting”.  This includes the tilt of the head,

Screenshot 2014-05-10 12.12.59

each eye and eyebrow,

Screenshot 2014-05-10 12.13.59  Screenshot 2014-05-10 12.14.54

the shape of the nose,

Screenshot 2014-05-10 12.15.37

the mouth (don’t forget to toggle the close mouth check box or you won’t be able to whiten the teeth)
Screenshot 2014-05-10 12.16.59

and the contour of the face.

Screenshot 2014-05-10 12.20.40

The application will try to auto identify these items (as you can see in the before images above), but you can tweak it as much as you’d like (the second image is my mapping).  I realized how powerful this was overtime, when I saw that it allowed you to deal with profiles and other angles.

Screenshot 2014-05-10 12.20.48

Once we have all of this mapped the real fun beings, we can now do the makeover.  FaceFilter by default will offer a quick makeover template.. And as we can see here… It’s not too bad.  Already you can see it has gotten rid of some of the blemishes on my forehead. My skin is not as oily/shiny as it was in the original picture. My eyes are highlighted, with a nice twinkle in my eyes, and I have eyelashes.

Screenshot 2014-05-10 12.20.58

Screenshot 2014-05-10 12.21.44

We can tweak each aspect of the foundation, facial makeup and eye makeup.  Let’s have some fun by trying that now.  You can see some of the settings on the right hand side of this picture, but let’s talk about the clean:  I whitened my teeth, changed my eye color, changed my lips, and worked on overall skin tone.

Screenshot 2014-05-10 12.35.42

After working makeup, we can work on the shape of the face with the reshape options. The quickest weight loss program I have ever taken.  As you can see in the image, the rest of the image looks fine.. Even though we have reduced both the width of my head and the proportion.

Screenshot 2014-05-10 12.37.43

Finally you can add effects to the picture to really make it pop. Overall not a bad job with just a few minutes of playing around (total time 5 minutes).  You can spend much more time and really enhance the picture, and Reallusion offers additional brushes and filters to have an even more professional quality of the pictures.  I  highly recommend you try out the trial version from the appstore.  If you like it, I think the Pro version offers a lot of extra capabilities, and is really worth the extra few dollars.  Check it out and let me know what you think.   And thank you to John and Bill from Reallusion for providing me with a copy to play with.

review image