Jul 29, 2014

A First Look at Matter, A Creative Design Tool from Pixite by David Hayes

I'd like to thank David Hayes for this excellent tutorial! Hopefully this will be the first of more to come.

The folks at Pixite have recently put out a new app that has everyone’s attention: Matter. What is so uniquely interesting about this app is not only does it have a great array of 3D objects that can be inserted into your photos; it also gives you the ability to animate these objects and create short video clips. I’d like to share with you a “first look” at what this app can do.

Opening Matter brings you to this screen that has a couple of options worth bringing to your attention. The Info (A) icon will take you to three different screens about the app…make sure to give the third screen a close look as it’s a quick tutorial on all the features of this app. The Ideas (B) screen shows you some great pieces created with this app…worth a look as well your first time using the app. Finally, the New icon (C) is what you’ll click every time as it will take you to your Photo Albums.

I picked this background from my Camera Roll that I had created earlier for a different project. (I always like to recycle when I can!) As you can see at the bottom of this screen shot, Matter, gives you a choice of four different aspect ratios for you to crop with…or “None”… which I used as my source image was already cropped square. Clicking on the Check Mark icon in the bottom right takes you to the Objects menu.

There are four different categories of 3D objects you can choose from…make sure to go through all of them when you first start exploring this app. These can be accessed either through the on-screen menu or from the scroll bar at the bottom. I went to the “Unique Structures” pack for my first object.

In this pack, I chose “Structures – 4” as I like how the circles and loops complimented my background. Just click on the icon/symbol in the scroll bar to put it into place.

Using the usual two-finger pinch and hold, I repositioned this structure in my source image. I didn’t worry about fine-tuning this placement just yet as I knew I had to also reposition the structure’s shadow in a couple of steps.

With the structure roughly in place, I clicked on the “Style” tab, which gives you a number of style options for the object. I picked “Reflect” so the colors in my source image would be reflected, adding to the 3D effect.

Time to work with the Shadow (A). You have the option of leaving the Shadow effect “On” or turning it off…I left it on. Clicking the arrow icon (B) lets you adjust the Shadow Floor or the positioning of the shadow to the object. Using the scroll bar, I moved it to “80”.

Moving to next icon, Shadow Opacity, I adjusted this to 100%.

The last icon lets you adjust the Shadow Blur that I set at 10%. With all this in place, I did a little more adjusting of the Structures position in preparation for the next step. Clicking on the arrow icon in the top right corner will take me there!

In this screen you are given the option of “New” which starts things all over, “Video” which takes you to the video set-up screen…not ready for that yet…or “Export” which I clicked.

Many choices in this screen! This time I clicked on “Add Object” as I wanted to do just that. A note here…this will lock down any structure that you have worked with beforehand so make sure you’re happy with your prior work before moving on!

I clicked on the menu icon to return to the Structure Pack screen.

This time I went for “Polyonfire Collection”. (Sounds like something from the Hunger Games, doesn’t it!!!)

I’m going to move through the next steps quickly now, as it’s the same flow as the first object. In this Collection, I picked “Polyonfire – 11”.

Positioning this structure, I moved to the “Style” screen.

Again I picked “Reflect” for the same reasons as before.

I adjust the “Shadow Floor” to 94% this time.

“Shadow Opacity” was set to 100%.

Finally, the “Shadow Blur” at 10%.

A little repositioning of this object and now it’s time to animate!! Click on the top right arrow…

This time, click on “Video”!

This screen gives you several options in making your video. You can pick which axis(s) your object will rotate upon, the Speed of this Rotation, a Pulse effect, and a Hover effect. Play around with them all before settling to make sure you get just the right combination. For my project I picked the “X” axis, speed of “1” and no Pulse or Hover. Then click “Make Video” to make it so!

You’ll get this screen while the app puts everything into place. Once finished, your video will automatically be saved to your Camera Roll.

This screen will come up when your video is finished to give you Share options. Clicking on the IG icon takes you to a screen to set-up for sharing here which I’ll show you next…or click “Done” to close out.

If you picked the IG option, you’ll get this screen. Click on “Open Instagram” and you’ll be taken there!

Here’s my video clip for your enjoyment…hope you like it! You can also catch this on my IG stream, @clearerreflections, along with many more like clips!

About David Hayes

David has done many things in his life...some of which he considers more significant than others. Yet, he feels all have made him the artist he is today. He’s been a cook at a truck stop, a janitor at a military base, worked in advertising, been a banker managing other people’s money, and an elementary school teacher. Trained as a photographer as an undergrad, he’s recently returned to these roots and now considers himself foremost a photographer and secondly a mixed media artist.

Find David:  Website / Flickr / Instagram / Facebook 

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  1. Great, & I mean great, app! This has depth. Forgive me for sharing my first Matter video, With thanks! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4rLQRPS4SU

  2. Glad you liked it - sorry for the late reply

  3. Interesting use of the Matter app - thanks for sharing

  4. All source video material created using Matter


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