Building on last week's review of free image editing applications with a look at 5 more of these types of tools.
Last week we looked at 5 free online picture and image editing tools that I had seen mentioned in this Campus Technology article. A few readers responded to this post and mentioned some other tools they liked. I took a look at these tools, and share my experiences and observations about them below. I then did a little searching to find other popular free, web based tools that I hadn't come across already, tried a couple of them out too.
Readers, click here if you would like to
view a video blog entry for this article.
An aptly named tool, Photofunia really is fun! This application uses face recognition technology to merge a picture of a face into any of over a hundred different preformatted scenarios, like the amusing example I've included below. There is also a “Lab” area where you can do things like create an animated GIF using up to 5 pictures, and much more. While the utility of this application is very specific, it is a really pretty neat and worth checking out.
FotoFlexer claims to be “The world's most advanced online editing tool” (it's right there in their home page!). Like many of the other tools we looked at there are simple image editing and correction tools, but the array of effects and other image enhancing and manipulating tools does in fact seem to be more extensive than any of the other tools I've looked at so far. These are grouped into Tabbed sections such as “Beautify”, “Decorate”, “Animations”, “Effects”, “Distort”, and more. Below is an image I applied the “Color Sketch” effect to.
FotoFlexer really does look like a pretty serious application for image editing and enhancement, and is quite impressive for a free tool!
Photoscape.org was mentioned by a reader on the EmergingEdTech Facebook Fan Page, so I took a peek at it. The app is free, but it had to be downloaded and installed, and I just don't see a real good reason to do that since I don't see any features that look notably different from those available in fully online apps (why burden my computer with more software, registry updates, etc., if there's no real benefit?). The one feature that did jump out as being something that I haven't seen mentioned in other tools is a ‘Batch editor', which could allow you to perform edits (presumably the same types of edit) on a group of pictures, which might be useful, and worth checking out if you do a lot of photo editing.
Aviary (Phoenix image editor)
[Ed Note – The Aviary image editor is no longer on available on the web – they are transitioning to a 3rd part app enabking technology – KW 9/29/12]
I found Aviary to be a lot of fun. Aviary is actually a suite of tools for working with a variety of media types, including photos, video, and audio. Their image editor is an app they call Phoenix, and it has standard functions to control things like Brightness & Contract, and Hue & Saturation. There is also a set of cool filters that produce effects like the “Metal Glow” effect shown in the picture below. I guess I'm a bit of a sucker for cool effects like this, but it seems to be one of the things that often differentiates these tools from each other.
Aviary has a good deal of other functionality that goes well beyond the standard fare offered by many other free online image editing apps, and a bunch of great tutorials about how to use them. I may have to revisit Aviary to learn more!
Picnik has some standard picture correcting and enhancing tools, in a nicely organized format. Picnik offers some really cool looking overlays and effects, but you have to pay to use them (plans start at about $2/mo.). Given the functionality I've already seen in other free tools, I just don't see the need to consider Picnik further at this time.
Conclusions & Recommendations
I could have spent weeks looking at these types of tools – there are so many of these. I think that several of the tools that I looked at this week and last are very worth knowing about and putting to use depending on your needs. These were my favorites:
- FotoFlexer: While I don't really have the expertise to weigh in on whether or not this app truly is “the world's most advanced online editing tool”, I can certainly say that it has an impressive range of utility, and may be one tool that meets most image editing needs.
- Picasa: While this app does need to be downloaded and installed, it may be worth it if you do a lot with photos. In addition to photo correction, image editing and more, it can help you organize and share photos, and purchase prints and products containing your images.
- Pixenate: Some of the effects here (things like Lomo, or the Speech Bubble) I didn't see in some of these other tools, so this is a good app to keep in mind if you're looking for that sort of thing.
- Photofunia: This was a very unique app with the specific function of inserting pictures of faces into pre-configured templates. There are over a hundred of these templates and the results can be pretty funny, and pretty impressive.
If you wish to learn more about other free image editing applications, I found this Squidoo page to be a good source of insight into popular tools. It has a nice clickable Tag Cloud with links to a lot of popular tools.
If you wish to recommend any tools that haven't been covered in these posts, or share any other relevant observations, please don't hesitate to comment. Thanks.
Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
Video blog post, “A closer look at 5 free picture and image editing tools”
Video blog post, “More fun, free online image and picture editing tools (and recommendations)”
Picasa – Google’s free picture and image editing and management tool
30 Posts About Free Education Technology Tools & Resources