Sunday, March 10, 2013

Pixlr-o-matic App

This is one of my favorite photo apps for adding cool drama to photos: Pixlr-o-Matic by Pixlr.  I currently use the free version, but you can upgrade to Pixlr-o-Matic Plus for 99 cents either in-app or as an app purchase in the iTunes store.  I will say that I'm pretty satisfied with the 25 films/filters, 30 light/textures, and 30 frames available for free, but it does appear you get a TON more for a mere 99 cents more.

Anyhoo, I start with an adorable original:

I scan through the various films/filters.  I LOVE how it does live preview with your pic so you get a pretty good idea from the thumbnail before applying the effect.  This is one of the key reasons it makes it to the top of my faves.

Then I scroll through various light/textures.  No live previews here, which is unfortunate because I didn't quite have the seasoned eye to imagine that the result of the "Devine" effect would look like this (which I liked and felt like a happy accident--looks like sunshine!) from its thumbnail:

Then I check out various frames. Again no live previews, but with frames, which doesn't really affect the photo in an overlay way, it's not really a big deal for me:

And ta-da!

(FYI, I used the free Phonto app to write on this pic)

Every once in a while I like to hit the "shuffle" button on top right. It's great when I'm looking for ideas because it will randomly apply a film, light, and frame to the pic that I wouldn't usually consider putting together:

Sure, there are few things I "wish" this app had:

- Basic photo editor: besides the crop button (that will crop it to a square only), I'd love for this app to have some basic photo editing abilities (more crop options, exposure adjustment, etc.).  I pretty much need to start with a decently exposed/composed pic or one that has been adjusted in another app first (like PS Express).
- Adjustable effects: depending on the photo, sometimes I'd like to adjust the effects to be a bit more subtle--especially some of the light/texture effects or the strength of some of the filter/film effects.
- Layering: I wish I could layer more than film/filter effect or layer more than light/texture effect--obviously this would also be handy with the ability to adjust the effects themselves.

But I would also like to emphasize what I LOVE about this app:

- It's a great value. As a free app, it has an amazing value with the generous offerings of films/filters, light/textures, and frames. And to that end, I have to say that 99 cents seems like a ridiculous bargain for the extensive choices you'd get.
- Great choices. To the end that this is a free app, it's only good a good value if I like offerings and I really like a lot of their films/filters.
- LIVE previews. Some other apps (some which I still like and use) utilize a stock photo with the various filters applied but it's really hard to get an idea of how that filter will look on my photo without seeing it. With live previews, I at least get an idea. Without it, I tend to only try filters that I think would look good because I don't want to spend the time and see what each filter looks like and then I feel I'm limited to my guesses. 

This is a great photo app to make photos more fun, cool, or dramatic.  It's easy to have a lot of fun with this one, especially for a free app!  Anyone who upgraded to Plus have any feedback?

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