Camera Illusion App Offers Cool Effects, Real-Time Filtering


camera-illusion-logoWe’ve seen a lot of cool things you can do when combining your camera with real-time information, much of which fits into the “augmented reality” realm, like Layar for instance. But one app that has just launched on Android Market uses your camera, with real-time filtering, to actually advance the use of your camera itself. The application is called Camera Illusion and I after giving it a whirl I had two basic reactions:

  1. The app is pretty darn cool
  2. The app is pretty darn slow

[UPDATE: I got the following email from the developer, “Just one thing, can you confirm me if you have made the review with a Moto Droid?.Unfortunately, the app is much slower on Moto Droid than in others phones due to the screen high res and the speed of the microprocessor. I have a HTC Hero and a Nexus One and the speed is not too bad.” Indeed I was using a Motorola Droid FWIW.]

First let’s get to the coolness. Camera Illusion offers 3 main “illusion” features that work with the basic picture-taking functionality of your phone:

  1. Filter: Mono, Negative, Sepia, Aqua, Old Photo, Pencil, Chalk, Thermal, Oil, Black&White, Red Channel, Green Channel, Blue Channel
  2. Effect: Thin, Fat, Tall, Short, Horizontal Mirror, Vertical Mirror, Pixelation, Fish-Eye, Mosaic, Light Tunnel, Pinch, Twirl
  3. Mask: Nexus One, Motorola Droid, Card, Blackboard, Poster

As you apply different illusions, the camera shows you in real-time what your picture will look like BEFORE you take it. I’m especially a fan of the Effect/Mask – here are two examples of pictures I took of stuff on my monitor while sitting at my desk:

Filter=None, Effect=Light Tunnel, Mask=Nexus One

Filter=Old Photo, Effect=Twirl, Frame=Chalkboard

I’m SURE you can get MUCH better results – I was taking a picture of a monitor in a dark room. I just wanted to quickly illustrate what the app does and I think you’ll agree its kind of cool. You can also use your OWN custom frames – directions are in the app’s “help” section. Here are a couple better examples directly from the Android Illusion website (makers of Camera Illusion):




That last one is probably my favorite and gives you a good idea of what you can accomplish. Turn your phone into an illusion fun house! But it isn’t ALL fun and games – there are a few of the setbacks I noticed.

  1. The application is S-L-O-W but its expected given the app is filtering moving images in real-time. One area I think they could improve? Turn filtering OFF when a user is navigating the menu… it makes sliding through options difficult.
  2. Pictures saved have a LOT of white space around them, I’d prefer them to be cropped a bit better.
  3. Some camera features are missing… like toggling flash on/off/auto.

Overall its a pretty good start for a pretty good app and I imagine they’ll add more options and improvements in time. Features like sharing, auto-focus, and other settings options WERE included so you can tell the developer was thinking proactively. Feel free to give it a try yourself and let us know what you think!


[Via Android Illusion]

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. Pretty awesome effects. About to facebook my free pastry from Starbucks through light tunnel Nexus One mask.

    Pretty snappy on the N1 btw.

  2. They look like the effects on my Macbook.
    It will look better on my phone though as the camera is better.

  3. Yeah, reminds me a bit of OSX’s Photo Booth app, which my son loves to play with. This app and a user-facing camera would be great fun for him.

  4. Oh I like this app!

  5. And look, the EVO was just revealed with a front-facing camera! Cha-ching!

  6. Works well on the Hero

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