May 23, 2018: Version 3.2.0 released with enhanced frame styles and colors including textures and improved physically based rendering.
May 11, 2018: Version 3.1.1 released with multiple walls per scene and custom hue, saturation and brightness color pickers for walls, frames, mats and overmats that can sample colors directly from the scene.
With Frame It On My Wall™, photographers, interior designers, artists, curators, art sellers, framers and other creatives design art displays for walls, galleries, homes, businesses and outdoor art shows.
Frame It On My Wall uses augmented reality to create and display arranged pictures on the screen anywhere, even outdoors with only a few minutes work. With a few taps, pictures are quickly rearranged, frame sizes, colors and material can be switched, and mat styles, colors and window sizes can be changed.
Each arrangement is a scene within a gallery. Instantly switch scenes within a gallery to compare different designs. Create separate galleries for different clients or locations.
Frame It On My Wall helps you answer these questions:
- • How big should I have my photo printed for display on my wall?
- • What is the best color mat for my frame and photo that fits the colors of my room?
- • Would a narrow or wide frame face look better with my furniture?
- • Where should I hang the framed picture?
- • Should the colors in my photo be tuned to work better with my decor?
- • How should I arrange my art collection on a wall?
- • How do I organize my design ideas and share them with others?
- • How can I create a portfolio of wall gallery designs that I can display anywhere?
- • What if the wall were a different color?
- • Do framed pictures on an adjacent wall enhance my photo?
Your photo library likely contains hundreds or thousands of photos. Buried inside that library are photographic gems that are as worthy of hanging in your home or office as any art you might buy.
Use photos from your own Photos library with augmented reality to find the best stock frames, mats and print sizes for art on your walls in your room and in your colors before you purchase framing.
If you love decorating, you know that millions of mat and frame combinations are stocked in stores. You also know that frames and sizes chosen in bad lighting in a store, instead of on the wall where the framed picture will hang, frequently clash with room decor.
Even for do-it-yourself framers, the cost of frames, mats and prints for a gallery easily ranges into the hundreds of dollars. Because printing and framing is expensive, making good choices saves you time, money and stress. “Frame It On My Wall” allows you to explore possible framing and arrangements in the place where the pictures will be displayed. As a result, you are more likely to choose excellent print sizes, mats and frames with less hassle, saving you time, money and stress.
In Frame It On My Wall, you choose the colors and sizes of the mats and frames from common ones similar to those stocked in stores in the United States.
Using app settings, you can also choose to "hang" pictures without mats and frames to visualize how float, frameless, canvas, glass or metal pictures might display on your wall in standard size windows. When you are considering art already in stock frame sizes, add its photo to your camera roll and let the app show you how it might look on your wall.
Frame It On My Wallis an augmented reality app for iPhone® 6s and later as well as any ARKit compatible iPad® that uses the A9 chip or better. Using your phone's camera, it takes photos from your Photo Library and frames them in virtual picture frames on the wall that you can move and change.
Before you begin... understand augmented reality
It's almost like magic, the way augmented reality integrates computer imagery with the camera's view of the scene in realtime so that imagery and scene move together as one. Of course it's not magic, but it's still amazing. Your device is analyzing the video stream coming from the camera and discovering the 3D structure in that video stream. Simultaneously, it's also creating the 3D graphics imagery and merging that virtual world into the real world video stream.
Your device can do almost all of this on its own, except it needs your help to tie the virtual 3D graphics world to the camera video stream world. In Frame It On My Wall, you provide that help when you locate the floor and a place where the floor joins a wall.
Starting the app
When you start the app, it must find a horizontal reference plane, preferably the floor. Hold your iPhone or iPad parallel to the floor a couple of feet above it and move it forward and back toward the wall. A gray rectangle should appear.
Augmented reality thrives on light. It definitely works best in a brightly lit area.
If the gray rectangle doesn't appear within 10 seconds, tap the circular "restart augmented reality" button in the upper right hand corner. A yellow rectangular sight appears in the center of the display device once the floor is recognized.
Move the device so that the sight is over the grey rectangle on the floor and the yellow sight flashes green to show that it is ready. Next, point the device so the sight center is at the floor-wall join and tap once. A green mesh appears that shows the virtual wall.
Drag and rotate the green screen until its bottom edge lies along the floor and wall join.
Surprisingly, at this point you should probably tap the pause (||) button in the upper righthand corner, especially if you are a new user of the app. Pausing takes a 3D snapshot of the current real world view and "freezes" that reality so that the real scene no longer changes as you move your device, but you still have full freedom to manipulate the walls and frames that augment the real scene.
With "frozen reality", you no longer have to hold your device up towards the wall. Instead you can sit at a desk in a comfortable chair and design the gallery scene as though you were still at the place where you froze reality. When you are ready to view the scene from a different location, tap the circular restart button in the upper right hand corner and repeat the steps for placing the wall at the floor and wall join.
The Hitchhiker's advice
“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have," says the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It can be equally useful for augmented reality adventurers. Floors are often very dark and detection of the floor can be difficult. A textured white terry cloth hand towel dropped at your feet for floor detection can dramatically decrease floor discovery time.
Managing galleries vs changing framed pictures
When the wall appears, G≣, S≣ and W≣ buttons appear in the lower left corner to show that you are in the managing galleries mode. When these buttons appear, you can manage galleries (G≣), scenes (S≣) and walls (W≣). In this mode, you can also move or alter walls, but you cannot move or alter frames.
Touch one of these buttons and a menu pops up with action items. W≣ menu actions apply to selected walls.
When managing galleries, any wall that is not colored (i.e. its color is "none") is shown as a wire mesh. If the mesh is green, the wall is selected. If the mesh is red, the wall is not selected.
You select a wall with a one-finger tap. The selected wall does not change, but all other walls are deselected and they change to display a red wire mesh.
You add a wall to a selection with a two-finger tap. Tap the background to select all walls.
A one-finger drag moves selected walls.
A two-finger rotate gesture rotates selected walls around the center of the selected walls.
When all walls in the scene are selected, the two-finger rotate gesture rotates the scene about a center marked with an orange sphere. You can control where the orange sphere is located with a three-finger gesture. A three-finger long-touch moves the orange sphere to the center of the selected walls. If you wish to rotate around a single wall, tap that wall to select it, then rest three-fingers on the display until the orange sphere jumps to the bottom center of the selected wall.
A two-finger pinch changes the width of selected walls. You can also change the width with the Width item on the W≣ menu.
Changing framed pictures
Double-tap the display to switch from managing galleries (G≣, S≣ and W≣) to manipulating frames mode. A row of buttons appears along the bottom for choosing pictures, frame size, frame face, frame color, mat window size, mat color and sharing.
Buttons act on selected frames. One-finger tap a frame to select it. Two-finger tap a frame to extend the selection.
To position a frame, simply drag it. As you drag, the wall switches to a wire mesh to help you position the frame relative to other frames.
You can reposition the entire scene by dragging on the background. This is convenient when you need to examine a detail up close. Simply pull the scene toward you, examine the detail, then push it back into place. Since the scene moves as a whole, you don't have to worry about accidentally repositioning some of the walls as you would when managing galleries.
Just as you can drag the whole scene, you can rotate it with a two-finger rotate gesture on the background. The rotation is around the center defined by the orange sphere as it appears when managing galleries.
You add a new frame to a wall with the (+) button. When more than one wall is present, you are asked to pick a wall for the new frame.
Double-tap switches modes
A double-tap switches between managing galleries and manipulating frames modes.
Double-tap also dismisses color pickers.
With the bottom button row displayed, tap on a frame and you select it and all the other frames are dimmed. Tap outside any frame and you select all frames.
Selection matters because buttons, rotation and dragging affect selected frames.
Two-finger tap extends selection
When you want to select a single framed picture, tap with one finger. When you want to select more than one, tap additional frames with two fingers at the same time. A two-finger tap is different from tapping twice with one finger.
Flip horizontal and vertical orientation with rotation gesture
Flip between horizontal and vertical frame orientations with the two-finger rotate gesture. For example, place your thumb and fore finger on the device and move them in a clockwise or anti-clockwise rotation. All selected frames flip and mat window sizes change once the gesture ends and the rotation is greater than 30 degrees.
Undo, Undo, Undo...
Don't panic. Frame It On My Wall has a many level deep undo capability. If you suddenly realize that you had all the frames selected when you picked a new picture or changed a frame color, don't panic. Simply undo the goof.
The undo button is the counter-clockwise pointing arrow on the right side of the screen. The redo button is the clockwise pointing arrow. Undo is backwards in time, redo is forward in time.
When menus contain too many items to fit on a screen, the menu list can be scrolled to see the rest of the items.
Tapping the question mark in Frame It On My Wall brings you to this page of helpful tips by opening your web browser.
The plus button adds a copy of a selected frame to the wall.
Delete one at a time
Created too many frames? To delete frames one at a time, long press on the framed picture that's to be deleted. A menu pops up containing a Delete item. Tap Delete and the framed picture will be removed. Of course, delete is undoable.
Managing galleries mode menus allow you to clear walls and scenes at once.
Save your framed picture design
Once you have a framed arrangement you like, press the share sheet button in the lower right hand corner. Your screen will flash as it captures your scene. Choose where you want to save your scene. Sharing to the Notes or Mail apps adds a report to the capture image.
After you've saved a scence, try some variations by changing the current scene or by creating new scenes. Later on, refer to your reports saved to Notes when you work with clients or shop for frames and mats in a store or online.
Back it up with Gallery and Scene archives
An archive is a Frame It On My Wall data package that can be saved to the Files app or shared to Notes, Mail and Messages. To create a backup, tap the Archive menu item on the Gallery or Scene menu. Restore any archive later on from the Restore archive item on the Gallery menu. Each archive includes copies of any framed photos in that Gallery or Scene.
Once a project is complete, archive its gallery or scene and then delete that gallery or scene to keep only active projects in the app.
Besides backups, you also use archives to share a scene or gallery with other app users or with support. You also use archives to transfer scenes and galleries to your other iPhones and iPads with the Files app."
Make a template Gallery
From the Gallery menu, choose New Gallery and name it Templates. Switch to a different gallery and create a design. Copy that design to a scene in the Templates gallery. If you have photos in the design, switch to the copied scene in the Templates gallery, long press on a framed picture while all frames are selected and tap Remove photo. The scene should now contain frames without pictures. Later you quick start a new project by copying a template to the project gallery.
Work with Adobe® Lightroom®
To work with Lightroom mobile, simply open the photos you are interested in using and tap the share icon to save the photos to the camera roll. Then in Frame It On My Wall add the photos from the camera roll to its frame. After you have finished the framing project, you may delete the photos from the camera roll. Frame It On My Wall maintains a local copy of the image on your device as long as the image is used any picture frame.
No wall, no problem
You don't need a real wall to hang pictures. Pictures will hang wherever you place the virtual walls, even outdoors.
Window sizes (a.k.a. Opening sizes)
Understanding window sizes is important because frames and mats are sold in stores by window size. You will think of the window as the opening in the frame or mat and you may be surprised to learn that this opening is smaller than the window size.
Frames are sized by what they hold inside. This size is called the frame window size. Frames hold the materials by overlapping each edge of the material by about 0.25". As a result, the "hole" is smaller than the window size by at least 0.5" in width and height. For example, a 36x24" frame will hold a 36x24" sheet of glass as well as 36x24" mat boards. But the visible portion of any framed art will be only about 35.5x23.5". Frame windows are frequently called openings and their size is called the opening size.
Mats are sized by both their outside dimension and the size of the window cut into the mat. The mat's outside dimension tells you what size frame to use with the mat. For example, a 36x24" mat fits a 36x24" frame. So that's easy.
Mat windows are sized by the smallest print that the mat can hold in the window. This size is called the mat window size. To hold a print well, a mat needs to overlap the print by about 0.25" on each edge. As a result, the portion of the print that is visible is smaller than the mat window size by about 0.5" in width and height. A mat can hold pictures larger than the mat window size.
To create a custom window size, tap the Custom... menu item at the bottom of the frame or mat window size menu. Custom sizes that you create are stored with the frame in the scene. When the app is started all frames are scanned for custom size and if found, the custom size is added to the appropriate frame or mat menu. If you create custom sizes that you do not use in any frame, the sizes will automatically disappear when the app is relaunched after a force quit.
Frame custom window sizes can be no larger than 99.9 inches in either dimension. Mat custom window sizes can be no larger than the longest frame window dimension.
The frame face width is the width of the material making up the sides of the frame. The overall size of a framed picture is the frame size with the face widths added and the overlaps subtracted.
For example a 36x24" frame with 2" face width has an approximate overall size of 39.5x27.5".
Even, balanced and weighted mat borders
Mats with windows that have top, bottom and sides all the same size are called even border mats.Mats with top and bottom borders the same size but the side borders a different size are called balanced border mats.Mats with side borders the same size, but the top and bottom borders are different sizes are called weighted border mats.
Mat board blanks
Many mat window sizes available in the app are not stocked in stores. This is especially true for colors other than white or black. Fortunately, mat boards are available without pre-cut windows and framing shops are happy to cut the windows to your size. Mats without windows are called mat blanks. Framing shops can also cut matboards to fit any frame up to about 40x30".
Long press a frame for more
Long press on a picture frame pops up a menu with options for overmats, bottom weighting, mat core colors, and keeping the photo aspect ratio.
Over and under mats
Double matting uses two mats to frame the picture. The top mat or over mat has a larger window than the base or under mat. The portion of the under mat that shows is called the liner.
The inner substance that gives matboards their strength and thickness is called its core. Matboards are available with black, white or cream color cores. Cream cores are the most common and inexpensive type.
When a window is cut in a matboard it is cut at a 45° angle causing the window to be outlined with the color of the core. The outline is easily seen and it is a distinctive feature of a framed and matted picture.
No mats, no frames, just frameless
To get rid of frames and mats set the frame face size to 0.00 and the mat material to "none". To mimic a canvas, set the frame face size to 0.03 and the mat material to "none".
Scale and crop pictures with a double-tap
Double-tap a framed photo to scale it up with a pinch out. Once scaled up, slide the photo inside its mat with a finger drag for a different crop.
Double-tap also dismisses color pickers.
Get the right size
With the phone pointed down and 1 to 2 feet above the floor in good light, allow a few seconds for the app to anchor its position and the focus square to flash green. Then stand, raise the camera to eye level and position the crosshair at the join between the floor and wall. Standing increases the accuracy of measurements more than 5 feet away.
With the crosshair at the floor and wall join, tap the screen. A virtual wall appears. While the virtual wall is dragged, it displays the distance from the camera to itself.
When the virtual wall is aligned with the floor and wall join, the distance shown while dragging should match the distance the camera is away from the wall. If you need to be really precise, use a tape measure to check that the reported distance matches the real world distance. If it doesn't, tap the reset button in the upper right corner and reposition the virtual wall.
With the crosshair at the floor and wall join, tap the screen. A green screen appears. While the wall is dragged, the green screen displays the distance from the camera to the wall.
When the green screen is aligned with the floor and wall join, the distance shown while dragging should match the distance the camera is away from the wall. If you need to be really precise, use a tape measure to check that the reported distance matches the real world distance. If it doesn't, tap the reset button in the upper right corner and reposition the green screen.
Distances and sizes measured with augmented reality are amazing close to measured values considering the technology used. However, they are not exact. Good results require 3-9 seconds for the software to acquire anchor points and to identify the location of the floor. The floor must have some texture to it and the room must be well lit. Initially, the camera should be pointed down and close to the floor. Once the floor is detected, gradually tilt the camera towards wall.
A report is included when a scene is shared to Mail or Notes. Each report includes the sizes, colors and picture information for all of the frames in that scene as well as a photo of the scene including the frames. Sharing to Notes is a great way to keep track of your design process. When you share to Notes or Mail, you can add extra information.
When you are just interested in reading the report, share to Notes, read the report and then cancel the share.
Frame is distorted
To appear undistorted, a framed picture must (1) be in the center of the screen and (2) be on avirtual wall that is perpendicular to the camera. The iPhone and iPad use a wide angle lens that exaggerates perspective especially near the edges of screen. Any tilt of the iPhone or iPad can have a strong effect on the shape of the frame.
US sizes plus custom sizes
All sizes are in Imperial inches and feet. These sizes match sizes commonly used in the US.
Metric users may find that many of the sizes are close enough to metric sizes to be useful or that specifying custom sizes in inches converted from metric sizes is a practical work around.
The Custom... menu item is found at the bottom of the frame and mat window size menus.
An inexpensive tripod works really well to hold your iPhone or iPad vertical to the wall and makes it easy to explore many more choices. We use a Grifiti Nootle attached to a cheap tripod to hold the iPad at picture height.
Artists may find that placing their device on an easel works well.
In version 2.5, the new "freeze reality" pause button allows detailed design work after initial placement without holding the device up.
Just below the restart augmented reality button in the upper right corner is a pause button. Tap the pause and augmented reality is frozen with the last view locked on the screen. Pressing the restart button resets the augmented reality and starts a new session.
Pausing reality is used when you have set the scene initially, and need to refine it while working in a different place.
While reality is frozen, you can both create new scenes with that frozen reality as a background and switch to other scenes. This makes it easy to explore alternative frame arrangements.
Zoom in closer
When making changes to colors and mat windows on an iPhone, a bigger image is helpful. To zoom in, either walk closer to the pictures or drag the pictures closer to you.
To drag the pictures closer to you, simply pull a virtual wall towards you. As you pull it, the framed picture will get larger. Release the drag to explore other combinations of mat and frame colors. Once done, push the scene back to the floor-wall join. Then snap a picture for your camera roll. You can drag and rotate a scene when manipulating frames or managing galleries (G≣, S≣ and W≣)
Use already framed art
If you are considering art that is already in a stock frame, photograph it with your phone. Be careful to line up square in front of the art so the frame is not distorted. Then crop the photo so it just fits the frame. Finally, in the app choose a frame width of 0.0 and a mat size of 'none'.
Pick a good mat color
Choosing the right mat enhances a picture. Common choices are really light or very dark colors. Nearly black mats make vibrant photos pop. Light mats that match the wall color tend to make a picture float.
If you use a light mat, it should be a tone darker than the lightest area in the picture so that the picture's light areas appear even lighter. The gives the picture more apparent brightness depth or "pop".
If you use a dark mat, it should be a tone lighter than the darkest area of the picture so that the picture's dark areas appear even darker giving the picture more "pop".
The colors in menu items are those that are close matches to frame and mat colors that are available in stores.
If you wish to explore other color possibilities, choose the item Custom colors... to popup a hue, saturation and brightness color picker containing thousands of colors. As you slide through the color picker's grid of hue and brightness, or slide its saturation, or tap and drag about the scene, the frame or mat quickly changes to the color under the touch. When the color picker is closed, the last custom color is saved with the frame or object and will appear as an item in the menu in the future. When the app is opened, any custom colors saved in any framed picture in the library of galleries will appear in the appropriate menu.
The custom color picker picks up the color on the screen that is under the touch point and applies it to selected walls, frames and mats. The resulting color of the wall, frame and mat will probably appear to be somewhat different from the color touched because walls, frames and mats use different materials that absorb and reflect light differently. In addition, the scene lighting also affects colors. When you touch a color, the picker grabs the color as it appears on the device. The grabbed color includes the original color plus material and lighting influences. This modified color is then applied to selected walls, frames and mats. As a result, if you are choosing colors for a frame by touching the frame, its color will change every time you touch it. You compensate for these changes by tweaking the color picker hue and brightness grid or its saturation slider.
When trying to match colors so that all walls, frames or mats have the same color, choose the same color item on the wall, frame or mat color menu.
The colors used in the app have been measured from commercially available frames and mats. However, colors you see on the screen will not exactly match the colors you see when you hang your real framed picture.
There are many reasons for this. For example, light varies in color throughout the day. Mat and frame colors differ slightly from manufacturing run to manufacturing run. Mats and frames, like all colored objects, fade over time so old stock can be different in color from new stock. Glazing can have slightly different tints or can be slightly diffuse. Details of textures and reflections not present in the augmented reality view will affect the appearance of the real framed picture.
Frame It On My Wall does not handle bright reflections off any picture glazing. For long life, art as a rule should not be hung opposite bright lights or windows.
Color fidelity also depends upon your iPhone or iPad settings. For example, night shift has a huge impact and should be turned off when using the app. True tone may also affect your results and it is worthwhile to try it both on and off.
Regardless of these differences, we have discovered beautiful color, size and arrangement combinations that we would not have found without Frame It On My Wall.
Some of the mat size menu items have a gray background
Mat color choices with gray backgrounds have uneven borders. The widths of the vertical and horizontal mat borders are different. These choices are bottom weighted when the side size is smaller than the evenly distributed top size.
More about walls and moving from studio to demo
When you end Frame It On My Wall, the walls and framed pictures are saved so that they reappear when you quit and then reopen the app. All you have to do is reposition the wall in the new location and all of the pictures appear in the same relative position in the new location.
With the flexibility of the virtual walls, photographers and designers can create an arrangement in one location like a studio and then take the arrangement to the customer for on location approval or adjustments.
Returning from background mode
When another app comes to the fore in iOS, Frame It On My Wall is pushed into background mode behind the foremost app. While in background mode, Apple's augment reality does not receive updates on the location and orientation of your device. When you bring Frame It On My Wall to the fore, it attempts to use the last known positions to resume augmented reality tracking.
If the device has moved very little during the time the app was in the background, tracking may resume successfully and results can remain accurate. Unfortunately tracking sometimes resumes and sifts the scene so it is no longer aligned with the augmented reality. If that is the case, tap the circular reset augmented reality button in the upper righthand corner. In rare cases, sudden movements or very large changes in device position and orientation require the app to be restarted to reacquire scene and augmented reality tracking sync. Since the app automatically saves its data when it is pushed into background mode, you should lose no data if you have to force quit and then start the app after it is in background mode.
Uses for select all
With all frames selected, any change affects all. Pick a photo from the library with all frames selected and every frame fills with that photo making it easy to compare the photo in with different mats and orientations. Pick a frame material or mat material with all frames selected and the framing and mat colors are set the same. Undo will come in handy when exploring possibilities.
iPhone or iPad
Frame It On The Wall works well with either, but each has its advantages. An iPhone is easier to hold and move around while the iPad provides more detail and with its larger size, a better design and viewing experience. With the introduction of the ability to freeze reality in version 2.5, designing with the iPad Pro 12.9 is a pleasure. Frozen reality is especially helpful when laying out pictures after initial placement of the walls.
The app was developed on both an iPhone 6s and an iPad Pro 12.9 (2017). Performance on the iPhone 6s is satisfactory, but the larger screen of an AR capable iPad is very useful. With the files app in iOS 11, you can transfer gallery archives between devices allowing you to continue work on either your iPhone or iPad.
Landscape and portrait orientation support
Both landscape (horizontal) and portrait (vertical) orientation of your iPhone or iPad are supported but only in the orientation where the camera is at the top. This means that the home button is at the bottom in portrait orientation or at the right in landscape orientation.
Augmented reality works better in this app with the camera at the top.
On the way to the store
When you're ready to frame, don't forget to take both your art work and the examples you chose from your camera roll. You'll want to work with a framer and real frame and mat corners to get the best result.
Augmented Reality vs Reality : a disclaimer
Augmented reality depends upon cameras, display screens, distance sensing technology, color balancing, lighting, 3D modeling and software. As a result, you should expect that what you see framed on the screen is close to, but not exactly the same as what you will see in reality with the final framed picture on your wall.
Frame It On My Wall is intended to help you explore and narrow your choices. The the final choice is yours. It should be based on your own examination of the chosen materials in appropriate lighting and confirmed measurements prior to framing and hanging.
Many thanks to Brian Matiash (matiash.com) for a license to the iPhone X image
The five framed photos of Yosemite National Park can be found at GeorgePurvisPhotography.com.
Frame It On My Wall does not collect personal information or directly access the internet. It does require you to give it permission to access your phone's camera and photo library. The camera is required to implement augmented reality. Access to your photo library is required to provide pictures for framing and to save snapshots of the augmented reality scene.
All data is stored locally on your device until you choose to share it via the standard share sheet. Among other things, access to the share sheet means that you can store data in iCloud and retrieve data from iCloud via the Files app. Help information is accessed at http://FrameItOnMyWall.com using your default browser app which is typically Safari.
Available at $24.99 in the US and many other countries:
Click the download button when on your compatible iPhone or iPad device