Adobe’s new app Adobe Capture CC allows you to easily create vector images with your camera phone (or from photos already on the phone). This creates sharp black and white stamp-like images for carving stamps or to use in other graphics projects. The best feature is a live preview of the image before you take the shot. You can walk around and see the world as a moving stamped image which is just awesome for the stamp obsessed! From a practical side it allows adjustments to get a better angle or change the background. You can see a YouTube tutorial on how to use it here. The video reviews an older version of the app, but it’s close enough to get you started (you will be using the shapes feature).
The picture below is typical of what you will get with a normal background. (Hint: cats are very uncooperative subjects) The app has some features for removing extra lines around the subject, but it only works if the lines are not connected to the subject shape. If you want a clean background, take pictures of objects on a white sheet of paper. Try a white wall as the background for portraits. The leaf image is an example of the results with a white background.
Also pay attention to shadows and reflections. These will often show up clearly and you won’t notice them without the preview feature. The picture of my car below includes some interesting tree reflections on the hood and windshield. It’s fun and easy to play with to see what images and settings work best.
There are some downsides to the app. Images with busy backgrounds can take a couple of minutes to render and you may think the app has locked up. It’s worse if you import high resolution pictures. It consumes your battery (and heats up the phone) so don’t plan on taking dozens of images while you are miles away from a charger. You will need to create an Adobe account if you don’t have one and the images are stored online. My main complaint is that if you don’t have a paid Creative Cloud account you won’t be able to access the vector images – but this isn’t really an issue for making stamp transfers.
Once you have created the images, you can get them to your computer a few ways. From the app, you can email yourself the image and a link to see it online. The online image will be a little larger (640×640 pixels). Follow the link from the email. Right click on the image and select view background image. Then copy or save it. You may want to enlarge it before printing. You can also access all of your images by logging into Adobe’s site and finding your library.
Here is a link to an Adobe blog post on the app which shows off it’s other features.