Pixlr “has it going on”!
I’ve checked out a lot of online image editors, and I’ve not found one I like better than Pixlr. Simply put – Pixlr is the most visually stunning & practically effective online image editor available today. Many designers and bloggers use it for everything from small business website design to creating incredible art projects.
The sleek, semi transparent palettes and tool bar are arranged in the all-too-familiar fashion of the industries leading photo editing software, Adobe PhotoShop.
The layout is both familiar & efficient, and provides many of the tools we’ve come to expect in desktop image editors, but never dreamed were possible in online image editors.
One of the key differentiators of the Pixlr editor from other online image editors is the layers palette. This is a feature that, while familiar to desktop image editors, is rarely seen in online image editors.
Pixlr’s layers feature allows you to create & position elements on separate layers, and to move & manipulate those elements independently of one another.
Another staple feature of popular desktop image editors, adjustments allow the artist to affect changes in certain aspects of their image such as brightness, contrast, saturation, and hue.
Simple changes to these aspects can have a stunning visual effect, making the ability to perform these adjustments a valuable feature for any image editor.
Check out these Pixlr adjustment examples
Another feature common among the best loved image editors is the ability to apply filters or visual effects to images. Although still only at it’s first beta release, Pixlr already offers several visual effect options including blur, sharpen, emboss, engrave, noise, old photo effect, scanlines, diffuse and waterswirl.
These effects, like PhotoShop filters, are easy to apply, but permanently alter the image. The change can be reversed immediately using CTRL Z (undo), but can’t be turned off or managed later.
[ PIXLR TIP: Make copies of important elements/layers, "un-check" the 'show' box to hide the layer, now you can bring back the original element unchanged if needed ]
Check out these Pixlr effect examples
So, what can Pixlr do?
I’ve played around with the Pixlr image editor for a little while this weekend, but I certainly haven’t exhausted all of it’s many features. I was able to develop this image after playing around with it for only a short time.
What can Pixlr NOT do?
Keeping in mind this is the first beta release of the editor, it’s no surprise that it lacks a few basic features – most notably text & shape tools. Additionally designers have come to expect features like stroke/border, outer/inner glow and drop shadows – which are also currently absent from the tool selection.
A few features listed in menus & icons don’t seem to operate correctly – layers don’t seem to want to flip horizontally/vertically or rotate and the stamp tool doesn’t appear to have a function.
Correction: (8.25.08) Ola visited and set me strait :P, the clone tool is working, I just didn’t do it right heh. you have to SHIFT Click to set the cloned area, then use the brush as normal to paint with the selection. – Thanks Ola!
Update: (8.26.08) Whether through some recent updates to the tool, or perhaps because I had ran into a bug previously the above is incorrect. Layers do flip horizontally and vertically as well as rotate, 90 degrees clock wise, 180 degrees or 90 degrees counter clock wise.
But to be clear you won’t hear me complaining – especially when you understand a bit about the tools development.
That’s right, Pixlr is the brainchild & product of just a single developer, and is the result of only one year of part time development – Ola also holds down a full time development manager role for a Swedish web community.
I’d just like to say – GREAT JOB OLA!! - thanks for sharing this labor of love with the community! Keep up the good work, we LOVE it!!
You can follow along as Ola documents Pixlr’s development on the Pixlr blog.
So what do you guys think of Pixlr?
I’d love to here what you guys think about it! Find any tips or tricks you’d like to share, let’s talk about it!