App review – picfx

I stumbled upon the app “Free App Magic” courtesy of The Gadget Show recently. This has given me access to 3 apps a day for free (or for a significant discount). I’ve been tempted by a fair few and thought I would start reviewing them as I tried out the more interesting ones.

All apps are being tested on an ipad2.

My first review is for picfx. This is an iphone app allowing the user to apply 47 effects and frames, and including the ability to share the images across sites such as Flickr, facebook and twitter.

I thought I’d try it out with this original image:

Cherry blossom - original

First I had a scroll through the “grunge” folder of effects (consisting of white grunge, black grunge, blue grunge, red grunge and rough grunge). My favourite effect for this image was the black grunge:

Cherry blossom - black grunge

The next folder up was “classics” featuring old school, distinct, grit, sheen, haze, olden, smog and lana. Olden got my vote from this folder:

Cherry blossom - olden

Up next was “textures”: paper, book, plastic wood, pain dabble, paint peel, dots and cardboard. A number of these left the image quite dark, the most pleasing (to me) being paper:

Cherry blossom - paper

The next folder of effects was marked as “light” and featured effects named bokeh 1, bokeh 2, sparks, flame 1, flame 2, flame 3, flame 4, burnt film, green halation, white leak and light leak. My favourite effect for my image was the light leak as it distorted the image the least:

Cherry blossom - light leak

The final category that applied an effect to the whole image (as opposed to just adding a frame) was tantalsingly labelled “space”. This inserted various space images behind the main image and the options were galactic, nebula and stellar. I decided to go with galactic as being the most natural looking for this particular image:

Cherry blossom - galactic

All that was left was the frames category, featuring vignette, paint frame, scratch frame, rough frame, torn frame, cracked frame, blur frame, black frame, scratched film, sepia frame, white frame, crosshatch frame and hatched. Many of these were quite similar, but I ended up opting for scratch frame:

Cherry blossom - scratch frame

The app itself was very easy to use. I was given the option to take a photo or select one from my library. Choosing the library option gave me access to all of the images in my photos section. Uploaded to flickr was painless (a couple of clicks to log in and authorise the app) and you can also share with facebook, tumblr and twitter as well as e-mailing and integrating with goodreader and instagram. All of the effects could be faded in and out (all images here are shown with the maximum effect applied) and whilst the app itself would not rotate, the image could. All in all a nice little app.

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