…or at least it will be, soon. If you, like me, are already a big Picnik user, you’ll know by now that Google are closing it down in April & integrating some (not all) of it’s features into Google+ in an attempt to force more people to use their facebook alternative.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll resent this sly move & try to find an alternative rather than be forced to use a platform you weren’t going to use on it’s own merits (although I did try, when it was new, for about a week…).
After perusing twitter links &, ironically, Google searches, I’ve found two online editors that certainly aren’t Picnik, but could fill the void somewhat. Below is my original photo of Suspence which I’ll be using to demonstrate what these two programs could do.
Exhibit A: Pixlr Express.
I think this is what I’ll be turning to, at least initially. The Pixlr Express interface is nice & clean & the functions are smooth & easy to use. I really like the overlays & you can easily adjust the basics like brightness/contrast.
It has plenty of nice filters to choose from & many, many, many more borders than I can ever imagine utilising, but it doesn’t have some of the things I really love Picnik for, like airbrushing which I often use as a kind of more specific focal soften (where you can focus on one area of the picture & it blurs the rest)… speaking of which, Pixlr Express doesn’t even have that. Here’s my Pixlr Express’ed Suspence;
As you can see, I really went to town with the effects, normally I wouldn’t edit a picture this much, with overlays & filters & a crazy border, but for the purposes of this demonstration I decided to click a whole bunch of things & hope for the best.
Exhibit B: BeFunky.
Yeah… the name is a bit of put off right there, but I have been using the app version on my iPod so I thought I’d give the web version a run too.
The interface is… juvenile I guess, and you won’t be able to ignore the advertising easily, or their bold attempts to get you to upgrade at every turn, but if you can get past that there are some nice effects to be had in just a few clicks, it differs from Pixlr Express in that it has some arty effects in addition to photo filters, I’m not a huge fan of those but they can be fun to experiment with. BeFunky have stickers too which I know some people loved to utilize on Picnik.
My BeFunky’ed Suspence:
Special mention: Sumo Paint.
I couldn’t find another online editor that will help you fake the depth of field like Picnik (Why I don’t know, nearly every image editing app for the iPhone or iPod do it almost as a default), but Sumo Paint at least lets you try with it’s Linear blur filter.
Sumo Paint looks & is much more complicated than Picnik ever was, and I honestly think if you’re going to take the time to learn & use Sumo Paint that it would be more worthwhile to learn & use Photoshop or it’s free equivalent Gimp instead. I can use Photoshop & I like it, but it really does take a lot of time & effort to get a photo looking as good as Picnik did with three or four clicks, which is why I am so damn bummed about it closing in the first place… I might not want to be forced into the realms of Google+ just to access the Picnik features I love, but, after all this, it might happen anyway.
More online editors to try for yourself:
Feel free to let me know about any others you’ve tried or like in the comments – believe me, I want to know!