Rest In Peace Photoshop?
I was recently providing some Content Management System (CMS) training for a new client. By the end of the session, they said (in a lighthearted tone) they 'felt like a Web Developer'. That's not the way they felt at the start!! The way we teach people how to use our CMS is to assume that they are NOT computer literate. Generally though most people know their way around a laptop ... and on many occasions a tablet!
One of the biggest stumbling blocks I come across is the lack of ability to work with images. From the simplest of tasks like 'cropping' to the most common one 'changing resolution' and subsequent file size.
Given that most people don't have Creative Suite as part of their necessary applications on their PC it's always a challenge to demonstrate how to 'fix' an image to suit the spec we have provided them with for their website. As part of the ongoing support we offer clients who develop a site (or web application) they are able to call upon us - and we are more than happy to help sort out any images that need fixed "email it over - it will take me no time at all" (although that's because I've trained all my life to get that good ) :)
It's at this point that I get them to bookmark a site called sumopaint.com which is a pretty good online version of Photoshop. I didn't have to investigate loads of these kind of sites at the time (2 years ago) as once I used this particular one it allowed me, to quite easily, demonstrate the simple tasks that are needed to post the right image ... and it's free. Bonus!
So, with this in mind I thought it might be worthwhile having a look at some other web-based image manipulation applications out there. It's not a 'Top 5 sites' blog post but it should give you an idea of a couple of options. Some of these make me not want to use Photoshop for certain things... although there's no way you're going to get me to give up my Adobe Creative Suite! : )
As mentioned previously it's been my 'go to' free image manipulation web app for a while now. Easy to follow. TRY ONLINE or DOWNLOAD. The online version (assuming decent internet connection) works fine and I've never felt the need to 'download' it. It has the look (and feel) of Adobe Photoshop so it's familiar for those of you who may have used Photoshop at some point. It's pretty basic and, as I said, is ideal for resizing images, changing resolution and file size.
Don't bother with this one. I got fed up! After clicking on the Edit Photo ...
"Hi! You should be seeing Ribbet here. - Your Flash Player may need to be updated? Get it here. - Can't get Ribbet to load? Check this page"
Not got time for that. I move on.
I liked this one. It's on Beta Trial just now but 1: they tell you that and you can join the trial. 2: You can tell that they thought about the UX a lot. It looks and feels great. It's got a nice crop tool right at the top that, let's be honest, for these purposes is the main thing... However it also has a nice wee bundle of tabs underneath for fine tuning your image. Rotate. Basic. Fine-Tune. Colour. Curves. Resize. It's actually got the same stuff as sumopaint - but it's just designed/laid out MUCH better. I'll be making sure this one is in my bookmarks. *thumbs up
I'd say this seems pretty new and has (at first glance) managed to keep the options simple and easy enough to understand. It's got those pesky pop out instructions but just click 'OK GOT IT' and you can move on. I'm still playing with this one though as once you go into it in a bit more detail there are some really nice wee tools. Blemish fixes, teeth whitening etc. - but the thing that impressed me most was their 'Cut Out' tool. It's actually a 'masking' tool but for the lay person (and, experts feel free to use) it's actually pretty good - and quick. Ideal for some thumbnails if you can't get access to your designer right away.
This one would have been quite neat - back in the day!! Functions fine and has all the basics you would expect/need. Feels like I'm back in 2001 though : )
This is my favourite. This is frighteningly creative! Honestly! Don't bother going near this one. This is just for me. Shhhh - don't tell anyone!