It was not that long ago that web apps were in their concept stage, where people would create demos of what was supposed to be coming down the line, but in many of these cases they went to become forgotten and few people paid attention to them. But now, web apps have become a standard way to be productive for many people. Simply using things like Google Docs or Microsoft SkyDrive, it's easy to see how versatile web apps can be. For artists however, most of us stay on the desktop with full fledged applications like Adobe Photoshop or Autodesk 3DS MAX. But can image editing be done through the web? Here is a quick review of Pixlr Editor
, one such editor.
Pixlr is a company that started making web apps a while back and was eventually bought by Autodesk. Now they are making several web apps for various audiences, along with some mobile apps as well. Their most powerful web app is the Flash based Pixlr Editor. Simply looking at it and going through the features it offers can be impressive. From a first glance, it appears to have a lot of the typical tools and windows we would expect out of a paint program.
In the main interface you can find layers, history, tools and a navigator. The editor supports multiple images opened at the same time. In the tools, everything you would expect is there including a color picker, various selection tools, drawing tools, text, spot heal, bloat, clone stamp, and so on. In the top menus, you can find a long list of adjustments and filters, the typical ones you may find in a desktop software.
When it comes to standard image manipulation, all of the tools work in the way you would expect. Cropping an image simply involves using the right tool and dragging a rectangle around your selection. These selections can be manipulated in all of the usual ways, making you forget that all of this is happening in a web browser. Layers are also very powerful. For example, if you write using the text tool, it creates a new layer automatically and lets you edit that text later on, until you rasterize the layer. There are even layer masks for you to use, something that my personal favorite desktop software, Paint.NET, doesn't have.
Filters focus more on what you would expect from a professional app, such as blur, diffuse and find edges, rather than the Instagram type fun filters. Adjustments cover everything from brightness, saturation, hue, exposure, curves, levels and so on. The interface for using all of these tools is very consistent and again reminds you of a desktop app much more than a web based one.
Finally, all of these tools would not be very useful if you were stuck in the browser environment, but thankfully Pixlr has many options both for importing and saving images. Every user can open and save images in their own libraries, but you can also fetch or save an image to your own computer, a URL, Facebook, Flickr and Picasa. Overall, there is no question that Pixlr Editor is a very powerful image editor.Pros:
* Clean, easy to use interface.
* Very powerful tools and filters.
* Access to many import and export options.
* Uses Flash so not compatible with some devices.