Quick n' dirty Watch background pic tutorial

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by BarracksSi, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. BarracksSi macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #1
    I just wrote this in another thread. No need for Photoshop or any other image editor; you can do it all on your iPhone. If you want to reduce the file size of the end image, you can text or email it to yourself or use another app.

    Right, it's about aspect ratio, not image size.

    Here's the tricky part, though: with an image like your flag example, Photos wants to crop it in landscape mode -- wider than its height -- unless you force it to "think" in portrait mode.

    Use the Crop box first to select a portrait-like area -- tall and narrow -- then tap the aspect icon and select 4:5. It will think that you want it to stay tall, and it'll give you a crop boundary to suit (technically 5:4).

    First, this is what happens with a landscape pic and choosing the 4:5 crop straight away:
    View attachment 584476

    Instead, first, manually select a crop boundary that's taller:
    View attachment 584477

    …which gives you this:
    View attachment 584478

    Then tap the aspect ratio icon, select "4:5" in the pop up sheet, and you get this:
    View attachment 584479

    Hit Done, and you're set. Perfect size for the Watch.
     
  2. BarracksSi thread starter macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

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    Jul 14, 2015
    #2
    Btw, I came up with the 4:5 ratio by checking the AW's pixel dimensions. Guaranteed to work. ;)
     
  3. ledzepfan1981 macrumors regular

    ledzepfan1981

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2015
    #3
    Thanks again for this. Still crops too much off the photo though!
     
  4. BarracksSi thread starter macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

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    Jul 14, 2015
    #4
    Yeah, that's a drawback with pics that you'd want to keep wide.

    My workaround would be to view it on the phone, take a screenshot, then edit the screenshot to get the right aspect ratio.

    The lowered screenshot resolution is no big deal since the watch's screen is even smaller.
     
  5. jaymc macrumors regular

    jaymc

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    Nov 10, 2012
    Location:
    Port Orchard, WA
    #5
    For those with a Mac use Photos app, select the picture you want to edit using Photos. Then Edit > Crop > Aspect > 8:10.
    :)
     
  6. BarracksSi thread starter macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #6
    Here's two samples using the same source image:

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1443037204.911808.jpg
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1443037217.499803.jpg

    While I'm at it, I noticed that the AW automatically adds a fade to the top of a background image:
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1443037281.183239.jpg
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1443037290.002812.jpg
     
  7. Mac2me, Sep 23, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015

    Mac2me macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2015
    #7
    I like it with the black band at top BTW. Very legible reading the time. I changed my face to Photo today and the time in the top right corner is displayed right over one of the two people's heads. Wish Apple would send the time to the bottom right corner or give us a choice of placements.

    BTW taking a photo on your phone in the Square setting works pretty well for watch use.
     
  8. Armen macrumors 604

    Armen

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    Apr 30, 2013
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    127.0.0.1
    #8
    I just select the picture and pinch/zoom and move it around on the watch itself. Is this different?
     
  9. BarracksSi thread starter macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

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    Jul 14, 2015
    #9
    Ah -- it works! Cool.

    I suppose, in that you can add space to the top if the photo composition is too bright or cluttered under the time display itself.

    Also, I've got a shot of my wife that I knew would be off-center, but I can only see half of her face on the watch, and I can't change it enough via zoom/scroll on the watch. I edited it through the method in the opening post, and it looks a lot better now.
     
  10. Brien macrumors 68020

    Brien

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    #10
    Couldn't you just crop an image to the display's native resolution?
     
  11. Armen macrumors 604

    Armen

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    #11
    Only issues I come up with sometimes is positioning the picture so the clock doesn't cover the subject of the picture.
     
  12. BarracksSi thread starter macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

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    Jul 14, 2015
    #13
    Sure, but it's easier on the user end (IMO) to get the aspect ratio, or relative height and width, and then let the watch deal with resampling to its native resolution.

    That's basically what happens when you pan and zoom on an image and then Force Touch to create the watch face.
     
  13. Mac 128 macrumors 601

    Mac 128

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    #14
    This is not consistent, and seemingly dependent on background imagery. It's a quick fix on Apple's part, but the user is going to have to do a fair amount of work to ensure it's a good clean background that looks good with Apple's haphazard solution.
     
  14. Mac 128 macrumors 601

    Mac 128

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    #15
    In case anyone needs it:

    38mm -- 272 x 340
    42mm -- 312 x 390

    I imagine since the ratio will be the same, one could create all custom wallpapers to match the 42mm display size, and it should scale perfectly onto the 38mm display.
     
  15. BarracksSi thread starter macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

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    Jul 14, 2015
    #16
    Yup, exactly. Better explanation than I came up with.

    Both pixel counts divide to 1.25, hence the 4:5 width:height ratio.
     
  16. ledzepfan1981 macrumors regular

    ledzepfan1981

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2015
    #17
    Thanks to everyone who replied to this thread, you are all a great help. I'll try the pinch method later (my watch is charging atm).
     

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