The ChipScene app is intended for fun experiments with colours and shapes, and for creating design ideas. It has a wide variety of features and you can use any orientation of your device.
START by tapping the New scene button at the left of the toolbar to choose a format for a scene. Then tap the Chips button to open the DESIGNER window.
When the designer opens it displays a sample chip. Try tapping the Add chip button a few times to place movable chips on the scene. Their initial positions will be chosen randomly but you can drag them around.
If you touch anywhere outside the designer it will be hidden. You can then move the added chips to a position that you prefer. Whenever the designer is showing you will be unable to move chips that are already on the scene.
If you have added several chips you will notice that the chips are on separate transparent layers which are stacked on top of each other. The layers are rectangular, so chips may include fully transparent areas which respond to dragging and tapping.
To rearrange the chip layers use the following GESTURES:
If you delete a chip by mistake you will have to redesign and add it as there is no Undo. You can remove all chips at once by tapping the button at lower left of the designer or the Clear button on the toolbar.
To GROUP all chips so that they move together you need to turn them into a single image by copying and repasting. A shortcut enables you to do this very easily (see below).
Any chip that has been added to a scene can be edited in many ways, but first it must be or become the front or TOP CHIP. The top chip colour usually flickers when you tap it. Chip opacity is decreased slightly while it is being moved.
The DT button is for duplicating the top chip. Repeatedly pressing this can give interesting visual effects. It is also useful when you wish to edit the top chip and compare the edited chip with the original on the scene.
A SHORTCUT FOR COPYING AND PASTING
Place 3 fingers on the screen until buttons appear near the top of the scene. Press a button until it turns blue. This gesture is equivalent to selecting the Copy action or the Paste action in the Action menu. (See also Copying and Pasting in the Action section below).
CHANGING THE FRAME TO LIGHT OR DARK
The area outside a scene acts as a frame. It has two settings - dark and light. Each setting has a different effect on your perception of the colours in the scene. When a scene is visible you can DOUBLE TAP in the frame area to change the current setting.
DISPLAYING THE MID POINT OF THE SCENE
This is useful when you want to match colours (see the Chip Colour section below). SWIPE RIGHT in the frame area. When you do this a small red circle appears temporarily at the mid point of the scene.
THE CHIP DESIGNER
Show the designer by swiping up in the frame area or tapping the Chips button on the toolbar. The right hand side of the designer is about the colour and style of an added chip. The middle of the designer shows you the shape of the chip which will be added. The top left hand side of the designer allows you to change the scene background.
This can be chosen freely with the sliders. The Random button chooses a colour for you by selecting random amounts of red, green and blue to make up the colour. The chosen amounts are reflected in the slider settings. Try moving the sliders yourself to adjust the colour before adding some more chips to the scene.
The Match button will match the chip colour in the designer to the chip colour at the midpoint of the scene. The darker and lighter buttons cause the chip colour to become slightly grayer as well as darkening and lightening. You can observe this by watching the sliders as you tap.
The buttons at the bottom right of the designer let you change the character of the chip you are about to add. Their names - Shadowed, Plain, Transparent, Outlined - are self-explanatory.
The Size slider changes the size of the displayed chip. The Modify button lets you change it in other ways. Tapping Modify will have different effects depending on the chosen shape. See other shapes provided by tapping the Chip shape button. When you have chosen a chip shape, tap Done.
All the chip shapes can be modified before they are added: chips in the top row change completely; chips in the second row become hollow; the rest of the chips rotate by various amounts, depending on their shape.
The background behind a chip can be adjusted using the sliders and buttons on the left of the designer. Moving the sliders or tapping the Black, Gray, Ch and White buttons below them will change the colour of the designer. This enables you to visualise the effect of background colour on a chip. The Ch button matches the designer colour to the current chip colour in the designer, thus making the chip image in the designer temporarily invisible.
Tapping on the buttons which are above the background sliders will change the background of the Scene to that of the designer. Experiment with these to see their effects.
After you have set the scene background you can change the designer background back to white or another colour.
CLOSING THE DESIGNER
Tapping anywhere outside the designer will close it.
CREATING A NEW SCENE Unless you choose Cancel, tapping the New Scene button will remove all added chips and any grain or gradient from the current scene. However it does not change the base colour of the scene.
If a Scene is showing and you tap the Action button you will see a menu. There are several variations of most of the actions and you can choose a variation or Cancel after you select the action. Actions only affect the scene, and have no effect on the designer. Choose Edit top chip or Other Actions to show other action menus.
The four Rotation buttons on the toolbar will enable you to see your design in various ways. Rotation is included when copying or saving (except for masked saving), but scene rotation is always removed before you paste, and when you duplicate the top chip.
The DT button enables you to quickly duplicate the top chip on the scene. To duplicate other chips you need to first tap them once to bring them to the top of the scene. Duplicates are especially useful for experimenting with editing options.
If, instead of copying the whole scene you just copy chips, the background behind the chips will be made fully transparent during copying. Surplus transparent area will be removed, so the dimensions of the copied chips image may be less than the dimensions of the scene.
Chips which have been copied to the clipboard become images, just like photos, although they may be partly transparent. When you copy all chips they are grouped and become a single combination image on the clipboard. If you repaste the grouped chips they will not be able to be individually moved or edited.
A chip or a chip group may be rotated by rotating the scene first, then copying, then pasting. However before copying the area under the top chip any rotation of the scene is removed. (See Masking below).
SHORTCUT GESTURE YOU CAN USE WHEN COPYING AND PASTING Place 3 fingers on the screen until buttons appear near the top of the scene. Press a button until it turns blue. This gesture is equivalent to selecting the Copy action or the Paste action in the Action menu.
You can paste photos, copied scenes, copied chips and other images that you may have on the clipboard. Anything pasted becomes a movable chip and size is reduced to a maximum dimension of 480. When the pasting size box appears, the clipboard contents are shown briefly in the top left corner of the window so that you can cancel pasting if necessary. Excess fully transparent areas at the edges of the image will be cropped before pasting.
Any image will be pasted with the current chip style. If the style is Shadowed and the image on the clipboard is transparent, only the parts of the image which are not fully transparent will become shadowed.
Pasting in the transparent style causes the whole chip layer to be outlined. To outline non-rectangular shapes you need to use the Outlining action (see below).
The current chip designer size setting is shown at the top right of the scene when pasting. If the image to be pasted is smaller than your chosen Pasting size, it will be pasted at its own size. You cannot enlarge a chip by copying it in ChipScene and then repasting it. However you can enlarge a chip using the Resizing action (see below).
If you have text on the clipboard when you are trying to paste onto the scene, you will be unable to paste. However you can paste text into the text box while you are creating an image text chip.
Unlike with Copying, any rotation of the scene is removed just before pasting. This can be useful when you are creating combinations of chips.
Normal saving of a scene creates an opaque rectangular image as a new jpg file in the Camera Roll.
Saving all chips or just the top chip will produce a new png file containing a single image which has atransparent background layer with the chips superimposed. Excess transparent area is cropped during saving.
Saving the area under the top chip is used for masking (see below).
ADDING IMAGES FROM ALBUMS
Any added image is automatically reduced to a maximum dimension of 480 before being placed on the scene as a chip in Plain style. Excess fully transparent areas at the edges of the added image will be cropped before adding. Like other chips an added image can be moved, deleted, copied and repasted in other styles and sizes.
You can paste images copied by other apps like the Photos app. You can also completely cover a scene with an image using the Scene Background option (see below).
Linear and radial gradients are created from two colours - the designer background colour and the designer chip colour. You might like to select these colours before you add a gradient chip.
All gradient chips are added in plain style. They have a size of 400x400, except for the one called linear in chip shape. They can be moved, deleted, layered, copied and repasted just like other chips.
You can easily completely cover a scene with a gradient using the Scene Background option (see below).
A radial transparent chip is created using a gradient of the designer chip colour. You can vary the appearance of the gradient using outlining (see below).
Another way of creating a gradient over a chip is using the fill action (see below).
Swipe left to quickly show the doodle area or else choose Doodle from the Actions menu. The drawing area enables you to create your own movable chip shapes. You can also use it for editing the top chip after tapping the TC button. Doodle chips added to the scene are resized to a maximum of 200.
The ASDB button (Add Small Doodle Blind) is for quickly adding several half-size chips to the scene in random positions.
A text chip is actually an image and can be moved, deleted, and edited like other chips. If you would like to use the chip colour for text you need to have already designed that colour in the chip designer before you choose Add a text chip.
The background within a text chip that you make can be either opaque white or fully transparent. If you put only returns into the text area after choosing Add a text chip and setting the text background to white, you will end up with an outlined blank white text box.
Text chips are always added in Plain style but they can be copied and repasted in other styles and sizes. Text chips have a maximum width of about 360 when they are created.
The bars act like chips and can easily be deleted or moved. They are always added in Plain style but can be copied and repasted in other styles and sizes.
Four bars are always added at once. They are placed at one-third intervals across the scene and on top of the chips that are already on the scene.
One limitation of ChipScene is that chips cannot be moved beyond the edge of the scene. To create a clipping effect, you could add wide white or coloured bars to the scene and move them out to the edges.
The aspect ratio of an inserted background image has to fit the format of your scene, so an image that you choose for a background may be cropped or enlarged to ensure this. Before insertion of the image any chips that are currently on the scene will be deleted.
An inserted background image remains fixed until you deliberately remove it. Chips can be added as usual on top of the inserted background. A quick way to remove the inserted background is to tap any of the three top left buttons in the chip designer. When you do this the movable chips that you have added over the background will still be there.
The little window which appears at top left when you choose the scene background action shows what is on the clipboard. Copying a scene and choosing to insert a background from the clipboard is one way to ensure that your current layout seems to have stationary chips in the background.
If the inserted bg image is partly transparent then the background that you set via designer buttons may show through it.
Before inserting a gradient background you can select its colours using the designer.
MASKING By saving or copying the area below the top chip with this app, you can do some limited masking. For example you could save a circular or oval part of your scene. Anything below the opaque part of the top chip will show in the saved image. To see the result you could reload the saved image from the Camera Roll by choosing Add image from album in the Action menu.
If part of the top chip is transparent, the saved area will also be transparent. Using a feathered chip or radial transparent gradient chip as the top chip can produce a blurred vignette effect.
Before saving or copying the area, any rotation of the scene is removed.
EDITING THE TOP CHIP
Several changes of the top chip are possible via the editing section. (The top chip usually flickers when it is tapped).
Tap the ET button on the toolbar or swipe down in the frame area to go quickly to the editing area. Any rotation of the scene is removed before the top chip is edited.
The central bgw segmented button can be used to change the background of the editing area.
This changes the size of the chip to a maximum of 480x480. Enlarging small top chips will cause pixelation of edges which are not exactly horizontal or vertical.
By first adjusting size in the designer, then enlarging, copying, and repasting, you can achieve intermediate sizes of the top chip.
After blurring, the edges of the chip will be partly transparent. Blurring can be useful for reducing pixelation after resizing.
Blurring is limited on ios 5.1.
Transparency is changed to 0.6 of its current value (fully opaque = 1, fully transparent = 0).
You can tint a photo chip by overlaying a similarly sized plain transparent chip.
Flipping both horizontally and vertically is a quick way to rotate the chip by 180 degrees.
Squashing changes the size to 3/4 of the current size.
Squashing in both dimensions can be an alternative to copying and repasting for reducing the current size of a chip.
You cannot squash small areas which are less than 30x30.
In ios5 and ios6, by setting a slider you can rotate the top chip by various amounts, up to 90 degrees either clockwise or anticlockwise. Note that a large chip may become reduced so that it fits on the scene. In ios7 you can type the required degree of rotation.
Rotating by 180 degrees is best done by flipping. Repeated rotation may cause blurring.
In this app filling changes the colour of the whole of the top chip, including outlines and shadows. Transparent areas remain relatively transparent. You can choose Random fill or Chip col fill.
The gradients are transparent so can create different effects when you superimpose them. They may also increase the transparency of partially transparent areas.
Note that transparent radial gradients produced by the Add gradient chip action (see above) can be superimposed on opaque chips.
Outlining can produce interesting effects when some areas of the chip are partially transparent. Opaque areas are outlined but transparent areas are partly filled and become more opaque. This means that there is no way to create a simple outline around a transparent chip without changing the chip image.
Repeating this action can produce a thick outline around opaque areas. Other effects can be obtained by outlining with different colours in succession.
Because outlining fills partly transparent areas, you can use it to help restore a transparent image to opacity, before filling it with a plain colour.
The option Chip colour special requires experimentation to see the many different effects it can create eg. fully opaque areas are simply outlined with the chip colour.
Other actions are mainly concerned with adding special types of chips to a scene. These are described below.
The dots are all little movable chips added in plain style at random positions. Each dot is on its own small transparent layer so that even the tiniest dot responds to being shifted or deleted. You can also edit, copy and repaste the dots in other styles.
ADDING PATTERN CHIPS
Pattern is based on the shape, colour, size and background colour in the designer. Pattern chips have a size of 480x480 and a plain style. After being added they act like ordinary chips, and can be moved, layered, saved, copied and repasted.
The units in pattern chips use the chip shape and a size of 1/8 the size that has been set in the designer.
Pattern chips can be set as a background image for your scene (via copying and inserting from the clipboard - see above).
ADDING BORDERED CHIPS
These are always added in plain style. The border colour of the added chip is the designer chip colour and the fill colour of the added chip is the designer background colour. A bordered chip can be copied and repasted in other styles.
The wide and narrow border widths are based on the chip size. Wide is 1/8 of chip size and Narrow is 1/20 of chip size. Constant width is 2 pixels.
The clear fill in bordered chips responds to gestures and may cause confusion when moving chips. Also using the wide border option with some chip shapes may completely cover the shape with the border colour.
ADDING CORNER CHIPS
Four corner chips are added at once in plain style. They have the current chip colour and size.