Instructions

To make a gorgeous triangulation artwork, just open an image, and let Polygonian do the rest. This artwork of Charlie Chaplin shown below was made just like that — with the click of a button, magically, without additional editing, in a matter of seconds.


But if you are adventurous and want more, follow these tips and tricks:

(1) Crop Picture

To start, once you select a picture, use the cropper tool to trim away unnecessary background distractions. The Cropper tool also allows you to enforce specific aspect ratio, if so desired.


(2) Adjust Detail

Once you accept the source image, Polygonian immediately starts painting the artwork (usually finishing in a few seconds). Now, if desired, adjust the “detail” slider to control the tradeoff between abstraction (how “triangular” it looks) and fidelity (how closely the artwork resembles the original picture). Whenever you make the adjustment, Polygonian will restart the painting of the artwork with the new level of detail.

Keep in mind that this is a tradeoff — more detail does not equate better artworks. For example, you can compare the low-detail vs high-detail artworks of the lion image. Some may prefer the abstract look on the left, while others may like to use more triangles to capture the details and delicate shading on the right.


(3) Zoom and Pan

You can freely zoom and pan with the familiar two-finger gesture. By default, you can also pan with just ONE finger, except when you are using the advance “Move” mode, to be explained later."

(4) The Fade Slider

Use the “fade” slider to reveal and compare the artwork with the original image. At 0% fade, only triangles will be shown. At 75% fade (maximum allowed), you'll see the original image blended with the triangle at a 75:25 ratio.

(5) Grid

You can toggle the grid to show (and hide) the outlines and vertices of the triangles. You do that by:

Tap the “Grid” button, or
Tap the knob of the “fade” slider

Together, “Fade” and “Grid” help you compare and contrast the artwork and source picture in different ways, and are an indispensible tool in editing. The following image shows the same rose artwork with different fade and grid settings, in order from left to right:

(a) Artwork only (no grid, 0% fade)
(b) Artwork with grid (grid, 0% fade)
(c) Artwork + original + grid (grid, 56% fade)
(d) Artwork + original (no grid, 56% fade)


(6) Pen Mode — Smart, Add, Erase

Polygonian artworks can be edited by adding, erasing, and deleting vertices. You don't explicitly decide where the triangles go, nor their colors. Instead, once the vertices are known, the triangles are generated using Delaunay Triangulation, and the color of each triangle is the average color of the region under the triangle.

Tap the “Advanced” button to reveal the advanced editing tools. By default, you are in the “Smart” pen mode — tap an empty space to add a vertex, tap an existing vertex to delete it. Every time a vertex is added or deleted, Polygonian will instantly and incrementally recalculate the triangulations and update the colors, giving you an immediate feedback.

Polygonian supports the following four pen modes:

“Smart” — Add and Erase
“Add” — Add Only
“Erase” — Erase Only
“Move” — Smart + Move Vertex


Each mode has its merit: “Smart” is easiest for beginners; “Add” and “Erase” are useful when you want to either selectively beef up or tear down a certain region. “Move” is the power tool for advanced users at the expense of losing one-finger pan.

(7) Pen Mode — Move

Typically “Smart” is more than sufficient for most editing need, but if you want the most minute adjustment, “Move” is the precision tool you may want to use, thanks to the smart snapping and spring-like fine-tuning capabilities.

“Move” is almost the same as “Smart”, except that you can drag a vertex towards where your finger leads to. As you drag, you'll see a pale thin line connecting the target vertex and the location of your finger, and a shorter but thicker white line identifying where the vertex will be moved to.

This is best illustrated with an example, where the hand moves a larger distance than the desired distance, hence allowing for very precise control and also without obscuring the end location as the move happens.


(8) Simplify

“Simplify” is a powerful tool that allows you to selectively and surgically simplify areas of excessive complexity. You simply tap the “Simplify” button, and specify a region by drawing a circle. Once the circle is defined (the initial press is the center of the circle, and the lift marks a point on its circumference), the circular region will be simplified and immediately updated.


You can repeatedly simplify the artwork. One strategy is to start with the least amount of detail that still highlights the important features (eyes, nose, and mouth), and then to simplify away regions that are complex yet relatively unimportant (such as hair). The following example illustrates such strategy (the grids were drawn for the sake of clarity): the artwork on the left aggressively uses triangles, so we can see eyes with exceptionally fidelity. To achieve a more dreamy and artistic feel, I simplified away regions that are relatively uninteresting, while keeping the essence of the important facial features.


The above example shows a portrait that was first made with the highest level of details, and then aggressively simplified everywhere, to different degrees, except the eyes, nose, mouth, and outline and the face. The edit only took a minute but looks both abstract and high fidelity at the same time.

(9) Adjust Power of Simplify

If you press and hold the “Simplify” button, a vertical slider with range 1X to 3X will appear. This slider controls the power of the “Simplify” tool, ranging from 1X (the default) to 3X. Lower power allows for simplification without much disruption to the artistic expression of the underlying triangles, whereas higher power simplifies more aggressively but also more destructively.


The power slider will also appear if you use a drag gesture (dragging the button to the right); seasoned user probably prefers dragging over long press.


(10) Undo and Redo

Polygonian supports full Undo/Redo, so you can be aggressive in your editing without worrying about making mistakes. Like the “Simplify” tool, if you press and hold the Undo/Redo buttons (or use the drag gesture), a vertical Undo/Redo History slider will appear, and give you access to the full stack instantaneously. You can slide from the oldest version to the newest version, and Polygonian will update the triangulation immediately and smoothly.


Despite the powerful Undo/Redo capability, Polygonian does not store the history information across different level of details, or different image altogether. In other words, if you open a new image (either from scratch or from the Portfolio), or adjust the detail slider, the Undo/Redo stack will not be preserved.

(11) Portfolio (Premium)

If you have a Premium Subscription, or if you have acquired a Single-Artwork Premium License for the current Polygonian artwork, you will be able to make a persistent copy of the Polygonian artwork to the Portfolio, and retrieve the same artwork from the Portfolio at a later time.

Artworks saved to the Portfolio also retain the Undo/Redo stack, as well as the (cropped) image processed by Polygonian. In other words, once saved, you can open the artwork and continue to edit as usual at a different time. All artworks that were saved to the Portfolio are considered Premium Artwork, and stay as a Premium Artwork permanently, even when you are out of Premium Subscription.


Besides from being able to save your work-in-progress, you'll also be able to create high-resolution PNG images as well as vector SVG format.

(12) More Questions?

You may find the answers in the FAQ or About Pages.