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Picnik, An Online Photo Editor Integrated with photo sites
Posted 23 February 2008 - 12:33 AM
Picnik is an excellent tool for editing photos, especially if they are already online. This is because Picnik can import photos from popular photo hosting sites, including Flickr, Photobucket, Picasa and the one and only Facebook. If the photos that you need to edit aren't online, that's not a problem because you can upload the photos from your computer into Picnik also. It isn't emphasized much, but you can also connect a webcam and take a picture from there if needed. Also, entering the URL of any image is possible.
The photo editing features are presented on the Edit tab in an easy-to-use interface. As with photo editing/enhancing software, there is a button labelled "Auto-fix", also known as Auto Correct or "I'm feeling lucky". Although auto-fix usually enhances the picture, it made some pictures unnaturally bright or blue in some cases. Standard features such as Rotate, Crop, Resize, Red-eye removal and Sharpen are available.
The resize option allows you to keep aspect ratio (labelled Proportion), but if you want to make the picture stretch or fatter, you can uncheck that. Brightness is called exposure, which opens a little panel to allow the adjustment of brightness and contrast. Colour temperature and amount (saturation) can be adjusted as well, although the auto colour option may make the picture to be too warm or cool.
With the free version of Picnik, a small set of special effects can be applied to your picture. This includes basic ones such as Black and White, Sepia, Soften, Matte, etc. Some other ones include Snow, Boost, Invert and Cross Process. Doodling on your picture is also allowed. A much wider range of special effects are available if you decide to purchase Picnik Premium.
Text can also be added to your photos, with easy adjustments to size, colour, alignment and font. Basic and holiday fonts are available for free, system and other special fonts are available in Picnik Premium. The opacity of the text can also be controlled by the Fade slider bar, which most programs do not offer as an option.
Shapes can also be added to the picture. The free ones include geometric, basic, speech bubbles and photo imprints (copyright, registered trademark, attribution, share-alike, non-commercial usage, etc). There are also plenty of holiday-dependent shapes (for February, there are hearts, presents, candy hearts, kisses, and stamps). Again, shape opacity can also be controlled. With premium, more shapes are unlocked.
Touchups are available, but unfortunately only in Premium. There are only 2 available: Teeth Whiten and Blemish Fix. A frame/border can also be added, either a rounded border or a normal one. Drop shadow and Polaroid can be added in premium.
When you are done with editing your photo, you can automatically save it back to where you got it (I only tried on Flickr and Facebook), email the photo, print it, add to Flickr slideshow or download it back to your computer. There may be other options depending on if you connected other sites to your Picnik account.
Overall, I think Picnik is a wonderful replacement for Photoshop if you are looking for something free and less powerful. If you need more features, Picnik Premium is available for $24.95/year. Some features that would even make my photo editing tasks more easier would definitely be batch editing, because I usually only do photo editing when a bunch of pictures arrive, and I usually do repetative tasks with them (resize, compress, save).
Give Picnik a try if you are interested.
P.S. I found out about this from CNET Download.com.
Posted 23 February 2008 - 01:32 AM
Posted 23 February 2008 - 08:24 AM
I just tried to use it, with a demo picture.. Well I really like the panel and stuff, it looks nice and has all the simple thing most of simple graphics programs have.. the only thing which looked interesting, was the red eyes feature, it really is useful..
Posted 23 February 2008 - 01:08 PM
The red-eye feature works very well on the fully free XnView software. Although I think it's really useless because I never have red eyes with my camera.
the only thing which looked interesting, was the red eyes feature, it really is useful..
This should be a good subject for a completely different topic : I think a picture should not be modified. Resized, yes, because you could have afterwards another idea of the way framing it, but you should not to have to perform real modifications to the image. And, for instance, your camera should be able to avoid the red-eye effect.
Posted 01 April 2008 - 01:27 PM
Web-based tools allow the "software" to be accessible from any compatible browser and enable the sharing of information/photos to be easier. Yes, there are other photo editing software that are easy to use, but Picnik integrates other web services into it, making it easier to publish and share your photos with family, friends and strangers.
If it was in the form of an actual program, it would actually be pretty good. In my opinion, these web based tools are not the way of the future, they are mere novelties. Plus, there are other photo editing programs that are easy.
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