Jun 7 2011
I’m not going to lie. I am no wizard when it comes to photo editing. Photoshop and its popular open source counterpart Gimp are not my forte. This is likely related to my below average talent in the world of art. People tend to gravitate in the direction of their aptitudes and thus artistic people are more likely to acquire photo editing skills. I have yet to demonstrate any marked talent in the pictorialization department leaving a widespread dearth of chef d’oeuvres in my wake. I’m just not good at art.
Managing websites has forced me to expand upon my lackluster talent at creating things that are presentationally pleasing. Almost every webpage has some kind of graphic embedded in them somewhere. From time to time I find myself adding layers and alpha layers to graphics. I most certainly have to crop and resize images to fit on a page. Or then occasionally I need to block out some information or add text. For the most part I can figure out these basic graphic editing tasks. It involves searching online for instructions and trying a finagling it until its right. I’ve always had trouble with photo editing software as I only use it when I have to.
Then I came across iPiccy. It’s a new online photo editing tool that is bound to take a significant portion of the market. It’s both intuitive to use and free. With it even lifelong amateurs such as myself can make professional styled edits.
The first you’ll notice about iPiccy is the same thing you’ll notice about all photo editing tools- the attractive demo pictures. These are invariably done by highly skilled professionals to show off the height of what the software can do. As most of us have experienced our own results will fall well short of the magazine ready demo pics we were advertised. Not so the case with iPiccy. Among other things it comes with a series of effects which can instantly and easily give your picture a professional finished look of your choosing. It was so easy I almost thought about recanting my lifelong position of being bad at art.
The basic flow is you can start with a fresh palette or import a picture. For importing it allows you to upload one from your hard drive, from a URL, or to take a shot from your webcam. Once selected you’re brought to a photo editing work station, much like the ones you’ve seen before. The difference is iPiccy’s is much easier to understand and work with. The section headings are Editor, Effects, Text, and Painter.
The Editor allows you to do such things as resizing, cropping, and rotating. Then you can make adjustments including contrast, or fix image. An example of the fix image tool is displayed below. Then you can add color tones such as black & white, invert, or color tint. Next there are filters including sharpen or blur. Finally there are frames which are anything from shadows, to rounded corners, to a solid border. Now one thing I noticed and immediately appreciated about all these is it gives you full control over the edits. By clicking on one it makes the change to the image but it has an apply or cancel button. You can quickly click down the list to see the changes and only apply the ones you like. Many of the options have sliders so you can further customize the edits.
Effects tend to be more dramatic changes such as applying a pop art or old photo look to your image. What would take a real graphic designer hours can be done in a matter of seconds. There’s a great variety but it only takes a few minutes to check them out.
The Text section is self explanatory. It comes with a number of fonts which can be used to create titles, watermarks, or anything else you’d like. It comes with fade, color, blending modes, and some other options. The final result can be moved, rotated, or resized as you would like.
And then the last section is my old nemesis, the Painter. Here’s where you’re given a selection of paintbrushes, a palette of colors, and a canvas to work with. You can add lines, shapes, burns, dodges, and sponges, along with the pencil and paintbrush tool. In a matter of seconds I took my rather attractive practice image and completed destroyed it. I was forced to rescind my newfound proclamation of having art talent and revert back to more technical exploits. My saving grace was the history panel. Every edit you make is recorded and you can go back to them at any time. This is specific to the Painter section. There’s also a global undo and redo button to retract any other changes.
iPiccy is a phenomenal photo editing tool. It is the easiest way I’ve found to make professional level edits. From hardened Photoshoppers to novices like myself, iPiccy is the easiest way to edit your images.