PicsArt Photo Studio was released at the beginning of 2013 and has already received a major update. It’s an ‘art community’ for photos (social photo-sharing) but also has an vast array of editing features. And that is what I’ll be concentrating on in these articles (it’s a two pArter).
Powerful tools lurk behind an awkward interface. It’s an iPhone only app (not universal) but works well on an iPad. And 1/6 of the screen is devoted to ads, which only costs you a disarming chunk ($5.99) to remove. Be forewarned and jump in anyway. There is much more than meets the eye in this colorful-grid (and no need to register unless you want to join their community).
Skip the Grid
For anything other than collage, I go straight to ‘Photo’ for editing instead of choosing ‘effect’ or ‘draw’. There are many more options there, including the effects/drawing tools.
Then you’ll see you have an array of import choices including Facebook, Flickr, Picasa and Dropbox. Or you can snap a shot straight from the app. Once your photo is selected, you are ready to discover all the ways you can manipulate it.
The Tools option houses some of the standard editing functions such as flip/rotate and crop. You get ‘color’ options which include brightness, hue and saturation. And some extras like shape crop (star, cloud, diamond and more) and resize (enter width and height).
The extras really jazz up the tool belt.
Draw is deceiving as this includes free-hand (loads of brush shapes), as well as Text (font, fill and color options) and Shapes (arrows, flowers, geometric, stars). There’s even a photo option so you can import another photo. So let’s discover…
The Brush option has over a dozen brushes to choose from. And each of these can be customized for thickness, spacing, scatter, angle, opacity and more! That’s in addition to choosing your colors and drawing on your photo.
The Text option is wicked! After entering your text (make sure you hit the return button to hide the keyboard), choose from over two dozen fonts, size and stroke/fill colors. When you arrive back at your photo, use your finger to ‘brush’ on your text. A red line will appear first as you stroke the screen, then your text will appear. This allows for fantastic text manipulation. Take your time, try out your angles and hit the undo button as many times as necessary.
Shapes gives you more than 20 designs. You can adjust opacity and line thickness as well as choose from fill or stroke. Make sure you choose the color you want and draw on your shape. Then you adjust size/rotate and position.
Choose Photo to import a pic. After you position the photo you can use the erase to help blend. There’s not any options for the eraser so it’s far from precise.
It takes time to play around with these options and discover the limitations. Such as you can’t go back and reposition anything once you’ve moved on. And the trash icon should only be used if you’ve hit the check mark to keep your edit, otherwise, all edits are erased (use your undo button). And it’s near impossible to color match text because your previous selections aren’t defaulted.
Below is a photo of my recent painting. I used these tools to ‘draw’ the word Sunflower, import my pic of a ladybug (I used the erase tool to remove everything else) and ‘brush’ on details to the bottom right flower just below the petals.
You can stroke your text onto your photo, resize and add some colorful shapes. All for Free! If that’s not enough, then stay tuned for PicsArt Discovery: pArt 2 where effects and masks come to light.
About Marsha Bezzina
Marsha Bezzina has always enjoyed writing. But photography was mostly relegated to annual trips until the acquisition of her first smartphone, the iPhone 4s. Now this self-declared ‘mental crafter’ is a data hog – capturing moments, hoarding photo apps and editing with abandon. She is @notDelilah on Instagram but had to settle for @notDelilah_ on Twitter. Or check out her site, www.notDelilah.com