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Monday, January 08, 2007

Online Photoshop Alternatives: Three Powerful Image Editors

There are many simple, glossy online image editors out there that let you rotate, resize, crop, or otherwise manipulate a photo, essentially imitating the functionality of Microsoft Paint. However, if you need something a little more powerful, there are some tools out there that can help you too. Categorized under the moniker of Rich Internet Applications, these sites try to replicate the desktop experience inside the browser.

We'll be looking at three online Photoshop alternatives in particular:

WebPicTool (formerly IEPhotoshop): This first editor is popular in China, but it's available in English, German, and Spanish among other languages. Digression: As you can see by the screenshot, the TV show Prison Break is very popular there. In fact, there's a fun and extensive critical analysis available on what Prison Break tells you about America (written from a Chinese perspective).

You can run various filters on a photo you upload like Newspaper Photo or Manga in addition to basic tasks like changing saturation, brightness, and contrast. Adding a watermark is also easy. Once you're done, you can either email the photo to yourself or download it.

Fauxto (pronounced like photo): The cleverly named Fauxto has the feel of a desktop application with drop down menus and an interface that mimics Photoshop. You can work with layers, sharpen or blur images, and emboss and enrich your photos. Standard image editing features like airbrushing and color picking are also supported.

You can open an image from your computer or work with an image from a remote URL. After you're done, you can save the photo to your computer. New features are upcoming including the creation of user accounts so you can save your work online as a source file.

VicImager: Similar to Fauxto, VicImager feels like a desktop application. I'd recommend it for more advanced users who want finer control over their photo editing. Some advanced features include applying a Laplacian or convolution matrix to your images. Also, you can change brightness levels, alter size/orientation, and apply some artistic filters.

Other tools:
LiThA-Paint: Online drawing service
Phixr: Rotate, scale, remove red-eye, and create rounded corners
Picture2Life: Basic editing along with collages and watermarking
PXN8: Spirit level, fill light, zoom, enhance, and more
Snipshot: One-click photo enhancement, basic editing

We've listed some of our favorite Photoshop alternatives. Tell us what your favorites are.


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Comment Archive

Reader Comments:

We have an on-line vector-graphic drawing application called mikons. The idea is that people can connect thru drawing icons, images, logos, etc. and put them on shirts, stickers, or put digital images on their myspace or email monikers.

Here is a scoop, color and text input are launching this Wednesday along with a logo context. The winner gets an all expense trip to SXSW Interactive.

hello? what about IRFANVIEW. it's all i use and it ROCKS. auto correct is fabulous as is the b/w conversion. again you are sorely wrong in not mentioning it 1st time 'round.

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