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Picnik Photo Editing – Part 4 – Using the edit tools

January 18th, 2008 2 Comments

The edit screen of the Picnik photo editing system gives you access to some of the standard features available in most editing programs (like black and white) However, options such as the ‘effects’ brush allow you to apply them in subtle and sometimes surprising ways.

The Edit Screen

An expanded version of the edit screen can be seen below:

Not all the features available in the edit screen are accessible to free members (many of them are premium customers only). However the following features can be accessed by everyone:

  1. Snow: Applies white snow-like particles across the image. The size and intensity of the particles can be adjusted with the fade button
  2. Black and White: Convert an image (or image part) into black and white
  3. Sepia: Applies sepia tones across the image
  4. Boost: Increases the saturation of colours in the image
  5. Soften: Softens the edges of the image
  6. Vignette: Feathers the borders (making them fade from solid to misty) and applies a back background
  7. Matte:  Feathers the borders without changing the border

Using the edit tools

If you click on an option on the left hand side of the edit screen you’ll see a screen similar to the picture below:

If we look at the labels:

1. Fades the effect. A value of 100% means that no change will apply to your image. A value of 0 % means that the effect will be applied at maximum

2. Clicking on the brush tool opens a second menu screen (as per below)

The brush tool allows you to remove the effect from a certain portion of the image. For instance – you can make a single colour item while the rest stays black and white.

Looking at the labelled section of the picture above:

1. Changes the effect of our brush. If we select original – the effect will be applied to the image when we use our brush (i.e. the painted section will become black and white.) If we select effect, our paint brush will remove the effect.

2. Alters the size of the brush. For painting large areas of an image use a larger brush, for fine work drop this right down.

3. Reverses the effect of the brush. For instance – with the black and white tool – it turns the black and white area back into colour.

Putting it into effect

Our test image can be seen below. We wanted to turn everything but the flower into black and white:

1. We clicked on the b/w palette – clicked on the brush icon and selected a large brush. We checked that we had selected ‘original’  in the brush palette. We roughly went over the flower (returning colour to the petals and leaves)

2. We then selected a much smaller brush and changed our selection from ‘original’ to ‘effect’. By painting around the edges of the fingers – we were now turning the coloured portions back into black and white.

As you can see, two minutes work with the black and white tool helped us create a stunning mixed colour shot!

Tomorrow: Our final Picnik masterclass

Make sure you check out the other parts of our Picnik tutorial series:

 

  • An introduction to Picnik
  • Absolute Beginners Guide to Picnik
  • Preparing your picture with Picnik
  • Picnik Advanced: Using the Exposure tools for tonal control

     

     

     

  • Picnik Photo-editing Tutorial – Part 1 – Beginner’s Guide

    January 15th, 2008 5 Comments

    For those confident with web-based software you can skip ahead by signing up here.

    Otherwise – the following information will help even an absolute beginner sign up to and start using Picnik.

     

    Requirements

     

    You will need to have Adobe Flash 9 installed on your system for the service to work. If you don’t have it – it will prompt you to download.

     

    Sign-up

     

    1. Go to this page.
    2. Click register
    3. You only need to provide a user-name, email address and password (see picture below). Untick the box at the bottom of the screen if you don’t want to receive email updates.
     

     

    1. That’s it. You don’t even need to activate your account. You will be taken straight to your personal homepage and can start editing images straight away.
     

    Uploading your first image

     

    To get started on editing your first image:

     

    1. Click on the upload now button (see picture below)
     

    Picnik Welcome Screen

     

    1. A window will open showing files on your hard-drive. Choose the required file and click upload. Once the file is uploaded your are ready to go!
    The Picnik menu system

     

    The attached picture shows the range of different options available for your photograph:

     

     

     

     

    The options available are as follows:

     

    Home: Takes you back to the initial start screen

    Photos: Allows you to upload new photos or grab them from other web services

    Edit: Offers a range of basic tools such as cropping, exposure, colours and red-eye reduction

    Create: Offers a range of very cool filters allowing you to modify your image (b/w, sepia etc)

    Save and Share: Allows you to save your image back on your hard drive, and share it through a range of other web applications.

     

    Tomorrow: Editing  your first image

     

    Take a look at the other parts of the Picnik series:

     

  • Absolute Beginners Guide to Picnik
  • Preparing your picture with Picnik
  • Picnik Advanced: Using the Exposure tools for tonal control
  • Using the Picnik brush tools for editing
  • Create your own valentines image with Picnik
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    Free software to give your digital photographs the *wow* factor

    January 15th, 2008 6 Comments

    2007 was the year of the web application – with popular desktop software such as calendars, word-processing and project management software moving online. It also saw the debut of a range of free feature-rich, intuitive photo editing programs that can be accessed entirely online.

     In the next few weeks we’ll showcase four programs, covering software suitable for both amateur photographers and professionals alike.

     

    This week we will focus on a new program called Picnik.

     

     

    What do other people say?

    • PCWorld says it’s: “Outstanding online photo editing for casual photographers who live online”
    • Tech Journalist Walt Mossberg (Wall Street Journal) is a strong advocate. He says “If you want to see how good a Web application can be, take Picnik for a spin”
    The Good Points

    • Recently, Yahoo updated popular photo storage service flickr to include one click access to picnik editing tools. Integrating the two has helped make a great set of programs even better. Picnik is working on integrations with other web programs such as Picasa and Facebook.
    • Picnik is accessible from anywhere you have internet access. It helps eliminate the frustrations of being on the wrong computer and wanting to edit your photos.
    The Bad Points

    • The picnik editing tools are fantastic, but they don’t give you the same control as dedicated desktop programs. If you want to move beyond basic colour correction and adjustment – this program will not be for you.
    • Picnik offers a smooth experience if you use it from a broadband connection. However, if you try to access it from a dial-up internet connection you’ll discover just how frustrating it can be!
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