Thursday, 18 December 2014

Top 4 Ways to Send Holiday Photo eGreetings for Free!


Give a small token of appreciation to your friends, family, teachers, and those other special people in your life this season to let them know you care.

Electronic holiday cards are a convenient way to send holiday greetings, but finding the best digital options can be challenging. There are a ton of digital greeting card websites, but many of the quality ones charges a fee to use.

Not to worry! We’ve got the top 4 ways to use YouCam Perfect and U messenger to send FREE high-quality Christmas and New Year’s photo greetings instantly from your iPhone or Android!


1. Create a Photo Collage with YouCam Perfect
Creating a personalized photo collage using 1 to 6 images is simple to create and is a meaningful way to share memories and make people smile! For single images, you can also use one of the seasonal frames.


Step-by-Step: Open YouCam Perfect. Select "More" at the bottom. 

Choose the purple "Templates" button.



Select "Collage" for 1-6 photos or "Frame" for single photos.



In Collage area, select "Holidays" to see all Christmas and New Year's templates. Select a design that you like. In the top row, you can see the collage options sorted by the number of photos you want to include (organized from 1-6 photos or view all).

 

Select your image or images from your photo albums. Then rearrange the photos, zoom in or out, and click the Save icon in the top right corner of the screen when finished. From this screen, you can share your ecard with family and friends using your favorite social media or messaging services.


2. Decorate Your Images with Holiday Text Bubbles
To send a truly classy message to your friends or family, try adding one of YouCam Perfect's text bubbles to your photos! Write that special message for your loved ones to tell them just how much you care.



Step-by-Step: Open YouCam Perfect. Select "More" at the bottom (same steps as selecting the collage)

You can also access text bubbles when you are editing your photos in YouCam Perfect. Select "Deco" and "Text Bubble" to add it from the editing screen.





Choose the purple "Bubble" button or "Text Bubble." Choose the bubble you like and click the purple arrow circle to download it. Once downloaded, click the text bubble image to use.



Select the image from your photo album that you want to add the text bubble to. The bubble will appear on your image. Tap "Text Here" to type your message.






Personalize your photo greeting by selecting the Font and Color of text that you like most. Feel free to change the size, position, and angle of the text bubble to get the best looking photo!


Click the Save icon in the top right corner of the screen when finished. From this screen, share your photo using your favorite social media or messaging services.



3. Create Christmas Scenes with YouCam Perfect
If you are looking to give a quick and playful greeting, send one of YouCam Perfect's creative holiday scenes with your photo in it! Place you photo beside the fireplace, under the Christmas tree and more.




Step-by-Step: Open YouCam Perfect. Select "More" at the bottom. 

Choose the purple "Scene" button. Select your image, adjust if necessary, and you are done! This is one of the fastest ways to create a professional looking holiday greeting to send out this season.

 

Click the Save icon in the top right corner and then share your photo using your favorite social media or messaging services.



4. Send an Audio Greeting Card using U messenger (Android)
After you create your customized photo greeting card, go a step further to make it extra special by sending an audio card to friends & loved ones! Using U messenger, you can send a quick, easy and free Christmas or New Year’s photo ecard with your personal voice greetings!



Step-by-Step: After creating a photo greeting card in YouCam Perfect, select the save icon. Select the "U - Photo Chat" option in "More options." Choose "Add voice note before sharing."

 


Note: If you do not have U messenger already installed on your phone, you will see the screen below and it will direct you to download this free, new messenger app. Invite your friends and family to join U, then you can start photo chatting with them and also send your holiday voice greeting card!



After you have U installed, create your audio greeting card by tapping and holding the microphone icon to speak your holiday message. After you press the upload arrow, your audio greeting card will be send to your specified recipient.

 



How can I get YouCam Perfect and U messenger?


--> Download YouCam Perfect on the ITunes App Store for iOS and on the Google play Store for Android.

--> Download U now for FREE for iOS and Android mobile phones.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

3 Steps to Create a Holiday Family Photo Greeting Card using PhotoDirector


To create this wonderful family portrait greeting card, you don't need to hire a professional studio or invest in expensive backdrops. In this tutorial, we will take advantage of PhotoDirector's Background Removal, Photo Composer and Watermark Creator features in the Edit module.

First select a family photo or take one group shot anywhere at home. Take several shots and use the face swap feature in PhotoDirector to achieve the perfect group photo. Next select a holiday background image, which you can easily get from online photo stocks. There are dozens of royalty-free images from as low as to $5 per image. The pictures below will be used in this tutorial.



Step One: Import the images into PhotoDirector. We will start by removing the background in the family photo. Go to the Edit module in PhotoDirector and select Background Removal.



Use the paintbrush tool to select the areas you want to keep. In this case, we will select the four members of the family including the back of the white sofa. You can start by using a bigger brush and reduce the brush size as you select smaller areas. Don't worry if your selection is not precise, you can always fine tune it later.



Next select Remove background. You will notice that some unwanted areas are not selected, and you can use the fine tune brush to exclude those areas using the "minus" brush or add in areas using the "plus" brush. You can also adjust the brush size, but I would suggest to work with smaller brush sizes for fine tuning. It is also easier to fine tune by enlarging the photo too.


Now save the new family photo with the removed background and we are done with step one.

Step Two: Compose two images. Select the background image, go to the Edit Module and select Photo Composes. 


Select the Add Photo button to overlay the new family photo and adjust its size to fit into the background image. Now you have a holiday photo shot as if it was taken from a professional studio.



Step Three: Add Holiday Greetings. Go to the Edit Module and select Watermark Creator


Go to the Text Tab and click on the Add Text button. Type in the greeting message and adjust font type, size and color. You can move the text to the exact location you want on the image. In addition, you can add as many lines of text as you want. 


Once you have the final image, there are several ways to share directly to social networks, export to file or make prints to send to family and friends.



Now give it a try with your own photos. Send your greetings by creating wonderful family portraits.


New to PhotoDirector? Try it free for 30 days here.

Monday, 8 December 2014

The 5 Must-Have Holiday Makeup Looks


Hey ladies! Are you looking for some new Christmas and New Year's makeup ideas to get your holiday parties started? Let us help inspire you with our top 5 must-have holiday makeup looks! You are sure to be the prettiest present under the tree this year.

Take a look at these makeup tips & looks to get you through all of your pre-Christmas drinks with friends, main traditional festivities with family, and while you party it up on New Year's Eve!

Tip 1- Golden Eye Shadow and Dark Liner

This classy golden glam look will have you ready for all your Christmas and New Year's parties! The metallic shimmer will give you that extra holiday sparkle, but because the color is between the lid and the crease (and not all the way up to the brow bone) it is still very chic & modern. To make your eyes pop, line the top and bottom of your eyes with a dark grey or black charcoal liner to get a sultry finish. If you are feeling extra spirit, you can add rhinestones and at the corners of your eyes and on your cheeks. 

For this golden look, check out the abstract butterfly look:

Above: YouCam Makeup's Butterfly Look


Tip 2- Glam (Fake) Lashes, Get Mistletoe Ready

Over-the-top lashes can be fun during the holiday season. Don't be afraid to try out different types of lashes at this time of year, including falsies made from feathers or even lace. This full drama look with lace lashes and green shadow will surely turn heads when you walk in the room. If you are not brave enough to wear false lashes in other occasion, then Christmas and New Year's are the right occasions to put them. Straight, clean brows and a matte dark coral lip finish the look. 

Get inspired for this dramatic lash look by checking out our lace lashes:

Above: YouCam Makeup's Mistletoe Look

Tip 3- Wintry Blue & White to Become a Snow Angel

No need to roll around in the snow to create this angelic look! The longest blue & white feather false lashes are the key to creating this heavenly look. Ruby pink lips, cherub pink cheeks, and rhinestones top it off. Everyone will love this fun and elegant look as you show off your angelic side.

Take a look at our makeup combination below:

Above: YouCam Makeup's Snow Angel Look

Tip 4- Classic Red Lips Bring Yuletide Joy

Cranberry gloss on your lips, a smudged cat-eye and full brows create a sultry and festive look that is not overdone. We’re in love with this evening look that shows off your radiant skin with a touch of blush, long lashes and a powerful red pout for a flawless finish. We've embellished this look with holly and ivy if you're bold enough to try!

Our sultry Christmas look:

Above: YouCam Makeup's Yueltide Look

Tip 5- Costume Makeup, Elsa the Ice Queen

Before you go out and build a snowman, showcase your inner ice queen with this stunning eye makeup! The pearlized violet hues are ultra flattering for all eye colors and on trend this season. If you haven’t tried purple makeup yet, now is the time. Create your glamorous bold eye with light and dark purple eye shadow. Add a classic black winged liner that is edgy yet wearable. Lips are coated with a matte wild orchid color to let your eyes really take the stage. Draw or stick on some flirty snowflakes on your eyes and cheeks if you want a more dramatic wintry look.

Our version of Elsa the Ice Queen:

Above: YouCam Makeup's Elsa Look

How can I try these makeup looks on myself?

Download the Free YouCam Makeup app today to play with all of these preset looks and more, using CyberLink's facial recognition technology on your own photos. Don't spend another penny on makeup products until you try out all the colors and styles that look best on you first!

Try it out today for free on the ITunes App Store for iOS and on the Google play Store for Android.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

5 Ways To Avoid Holiday Photo Fails


The holidays can be a high pressure time of year. Challenges seem to be all around us, from desperately searching for the perfect gifts, to putting up with the in-laws and keeping screaming children in check. With so many things to consider, it’s no surprise that many family holiday photos end up sub-par. That’s why we here at CyberLink have decided that 2014 is going to be the year of holiday photo wins! We’ve consulted with the experts and pulled together a cheat sheet with strategies to guide you down the path to holiday photo success and alleviate pesky seasonal stress. 

HOW TO GET THE PERFECT HOLIDAY FAMILY PHOTO:

Tip #1
Plan in Advance and Edit, Edit, Edit!: Group shots can involve quite a bit of coordination – whether it’s finding matching (ugly) sweaters or trying to get the kids to stay still and stop crying – the perfect shot is never as easy as it looks. Find a comfortable location with good lighting to make sure everyone will fit and be noticed. Take plenty of photos to increase your odds of getting a perfect shot. If that still doesn’t work the right editing software can help stitch together the best faces from each shot into one image that will trick your friends into thinking you have the perfectly behaved family.

Tip #2

Abide by the Rule of Thirds: This is an oldie but goodie! The rule of thirds can be helpful in most circumstances and suggest that an image be divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal and vertical lines and is usually just a tap away on a smartphone or point-and-shoot camera. The important elements of your shot should be placed at the intersections of the lines for an ideal composition. Experts recommend filling the frame as much as possible with the kids, grandma or the holiday ham – anything to minimize a distracting background will help keep focus on the subject
you want.

Tip #3 

Keeping Up with the Candid Moments: For those of us claiming to live reality show worthy lives, candid photos are often the most memorable and easily captured on a smartphone. Tricks like burst mode can be found on most devices and it’s perfect for catching the spontaneous moments your family will be talking about for years to come! The pros suggest staying away from the zoom though, as it can dilute the final image. If you’re trying to capture a candid, don’t be afraid to jump right into the moment and take a
close up!

Tip #4
Set Up a Selfie Station: You shouldn’t have to do all the work this year! Set up a smartphone tripod so users can take photos throughout your holiday gatherings and you won’t have to spend the entire time running around making sure everyone is accounted for. This way guests can take stable and high-quality candid shots and you have some surprise photos when all is said and done.

Tip #5 

Invest in Quality Photo Editing Software: At the end of the day, we all have to admit we aren’t perfect. Quality photo editing software can help clear up any imperfections as a result of a bit too much eggnog or rambunctious kids that end up a blur. These can help adjust the exposure, color and so much more in a way that just can compare with a simple Instagram filter.

Since a little laughter can always help to make the season bright, we recommend that after you’ve absorbed our tips for photo success, and before you get your kids all spruced up to take their annual photos with Santa, you head over to BuzzFeed where we have pulled together even more photography motivation for with a gallery of unfortunate yet humorous photos with Santa gone wrong.

Now that you’re ready to master holiday photography, it’s time to grab your camera, rally the troops, and start snapping candid gems! Remember that the most essential element of holiday spirit is enjoying time with your loved ones and sharing festive events filled with cheer. If you can capture a few of the most joyous moments to last through the ages, that is even better.

Want even more photo tips? We will be releasing new tips and tricks to help you obtain holiday photo and video perfection on Facebook Page throughout the holiday season, and hosting a contest where you can enter to win our PhotoDirector or PowerDirector software each week. To get in on the action simply share the tips you see tagged #CyberLinkHoliday with your friends and family. To ensure you don’t miss any tips, “LIKE” our page today. After all, sharing photo and video tips is a great way to share the love inherent to this season!

“LIKE” CyberLink on Facebook here to keep up with our tips and tricks: https://www.facebook.com/cyberlink

Monday, 1 December 2014

Changing the Way We Connect this Holiday: Announcing U


Imagine for a moment that you are messaging your friends and family on your mobile. What if your conversations were centered on the photo moments you capture each and every day? What if you could collect all of your friends' photos from outings and parties right on your device? What if you could add your own voice to photos, create personal photo journals to remember special moments, and even recall photos and text after you sent it? 

This is not your imagination, this is the new era of mobile communications.

Today, the team here at CyberLink has officially launched the innovative new U messenger app that brings you a brand new photo sharing and social communication experience. 

Particularly during this holiday season, U's features help enrich interactions with family and friends. As our CEO Alice H. Chang says, U is perfect for "capturing and enhancing group events" and also gives way to a more personalized experience because it "places control of users’ content back in their hands for a more secure messaging experience.”

How U messenger can enhance your holiday moments:

1. After you arrive to the party, invite friends to download U

Connect with your friends quickly so that you can share photos and messages from the party later on with those people you choose (and not everyone in your friends list).

Use an SMS text message, e-mail, U user ID, or your unique QR code to connect with new friends using iOS and Android devices.



2. Eat, drink, and be merry...

Enjoy the holiday party, eat all of the wonderful seasonal foods, and don't forget to take pictures of your friends & family that you can share later on. You no longer have to worry about hiding your photos away from prying eyes, because with U messenger you can select exactly who you will share the photos with.



3. Create a collaborative group photo album.

Gather photos from the night into one group album to view the night's best moments from all angles.

One of the unique features about U is the collaborative group albums that gives you control to invite a group of people to contribute and share images to an album that you all can then comment on. Now you can form group photo albums for events with your different circles of friends: classmates, family members, co-workers, and best friends.



4. Start photo chatting to laugh with friends about the party highlights.

Photo Chats let you and your friends share text or voice comments directly on your photos. And all of your comments stay with the photos forever, which you can later access anytime and anywhere (because they are stored in the cloud for as long as you want them).

Creating a Photo Chat is especially great for family members and friends who are away during the holidays. Now they can participate in the close moments of friendship and warm family celebrations.




5. Relive the memories again and again.

You no longer have to worry about the photos you send via message disappearing without you knowing it. The albums and photos you create and share in U are available for as long as you want to access them. When next summer rolls around and you want to remember the great times this winter, all of your images with comments will be available for you (stored in the cloud for as long as you want them).



What is Unique about U messenger?

Features distinctive to U that cannot be found in any other instant communication app:
  • Photo Chats — Share comments directly on photos, all comments can stay with the photos forever if the user chooses.
  • Collaborative Group Albums — Create a single album that only selected contacts can add photos to and comment on. Ideal for social gatherings and events.
  • Audio Photos — Merge photo and audio by adding a voice recording to tell the story and background behind the picture.
  • Photo Journals — Add personal notes to photos in albums. Remember all the details of favorite photo moments.
  • Break Up  Delete your full history with a friend by taking back all content including messages and photos. This removes all content from their device and deletes them from your friend’s list and theirs.

Download U now for FREE for iOS and Android mobile phones.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The one photo effect you've been missing that will transform your pictures in one touch!

 

As a hobbyist photographer myself, I thought I already knew all of the filters, overlays and effects to make my photos tell my story better. With my smart phone in hand each day, I shoot a photo and then use the PhotoDirector app to enhance the color or adjust the mood before sharing on Instagram or Facebook. Today, the latest version of the app was released, and to my surprise I found a new photo editing effect that I had never heard of before.

Whether you are a true beginner or serious hobbyist, you've got to check out the new bokeh effect! Pronounced BOH-Kə or BOH-kay, the term comes from the Japanese word boke (ボケ), which means "blur" or "haze." This effect shows an element of the image that is intentionally blurred or resulting in a soft out-of-focus background. Using this bokeh effect gives a smooth, silky result to your photos.

Use PhotoDirector's blur tool and blur tool shapes to create the bokeh effect in one touch:

  
After opening PhotoDirector, select the blur tool icon. Then choose from the circle or rectangle shape of the blur. Once you've selected the shape of your blur, you can drag the center dot to move the focal point of the photo and drag the dotted line up or down to increase the gradient of blurring. The slider increases or decreases the blur.


 If you are looking for more personalization, try the blur tool shapes. Select the circle in a circle icon next to the slider to reveal options for your blur. In the images above, I selected the star-shaped blur to get a more glistening lighting reflection effect. The final image I created using the star blur shape is the photo in the header of this blog post.


What else is new in the latest version of PhotoDirector Android?

In addition to the new blur tool shapes, you can also add creative new text bubbles that let you tell even more stories through your photos! Now let your photos speak through image and words.

How to use the new text bubbles:

 

Download PhotoDirector for free and open the app. Click on the "Text Bubble" icon, and select your desired text bubble shape. You can also customize the font, choose a different color, and select the opacity using the slider in order to see through to your original photo.


The result is a sweet photo memory to share with all your friends!

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