I’ve just spent the last week playing with Fotor, a web-based photo-editing and design program that I’ve got to say is pretty spectacular. As you can see on the home page (fotor.com) it has 3 distinct personalities. It can edit your images, create collages and design. (Image 1)
Of course as an art director/designer, the first thing I wanted to try out was its design capabilities, so that’s where I clicked. It had some built-in sizes (a Facebook cover, a YouTube channel, a card, a poster and multiple ads to name a few) and it also had a ‘custom’ button so I clicked on that to see off the bat what this program could do. (Image 2)
It gave me a 1366 x 768 canvas and since proportionally that was correct for what I’d decided that I was going to try, I said OK. (Image 3). The first thing I did was to import an image using the ‘import photos’ button top right. (Image 3b)
Since I wanted to create an invitation for a party, I imported a reflection of a wine glass. I dragged it onto the canvas and using the corner pulls I enlarged it to full canvas size. (Images 4 & 4b)
As I now had a canvas to work on, I went about seeing what I could do with it. I noticed a number of icons to the left on the canvas and I clicked on each one to see what they represented. The top one was called ‘stickers’ which I knew I was going to explore right away. The second was ‘shapes’, the third ‘text’ and the bottom was ‘background’. (Image 5)
I went back to ‘stickers’ and clicked on it. It brought up about 100 categories of well, stickers. (Image 6) Some had interesting names like Smooches and Birthday Cakes. I opened Smooches and found 12 different lipstick stains. Although this wasn’t what I was looking for, I got distracted and brought one onto my canvas. (Image 7)
So much for my distraction. I went back to stickers and found a category called ‘Party’. The stickers were funky enough for what I was planning, so I dragged one of them called ‘Long Night’ over to my image. (Image 8) I checked out the ‘Streamers’ category and pulled in a festive one to put under the sticker. (Image 9) This wasn’t reading very well, so I clicked on the thing that looked like a bucket and was told by a callout that it was ‘Effects’. I clicked on one of the lighter enhancements and upped the exposure until my streamer showed up against the background. (Image 10)
Liking what I had, I moved on to ‘Text’. Although not your classic array of fonts, I found one that matched the ‘Long Night’ sticker. It was called Amatic. (Image 11) Clicking on it, it created a box similar to Illustrator or Photoshop. I typed in the date of my ‘party’ and then went looking for a complimentary font. I found one called 3Dumb and once again typed in what I wanted, blowing up the font with the ‘Size’ box under it to make more of a statement. (Image 12)
I wanted to match the sticker, so I used the ‘Shapes’ menu to find a circle, and then using the transparency slider (the thing that looks like a checkerboard) I brought the fill intensity down to match that of the sticker. (Image 13) I brought my number on top of it using the ‘Layers’ up/down arrows (Image 14). And then created a headline using the same 3Dumb font. I was able to use the picker and color sliders to match the color of the streamer I brought in earlier. (Image 15)
Happy with everything, I saved my invitation. (Image 16) Now here is the one draw-back to this web-based app: you have to finish your creation in one fell swoop. By saving, you create a JPG or PNG that you can’t further add to. And if you close your app mid-creation, you lose everything.
To try out Fotor’s editing abilities I brought in another image. This time an old work train that I shot behind a cyclone fence. (Image 17) I’d like to bring back the color to the car, enhance the sky and make the whole thing feel a little surreal. Let’s see if Fotor can do this.
Using the Basic sliders, I upped the brightness, contrast, saturation and sharpness. (Image 18). Better, but I wanted more.
Next I moved to ‘Fine Tune’ and then to ‘Color’ and these effects, while nice, didn’t really change the image as much as I was hoping for. (Images 19 & 20)
Moving down on the left-hand palette, I clicked on the bucket for ‘Effects’ and I got a very impressive list of possibilities. (Image 21) Knowing what I wished to achieve, I played around with ‘Returned’ and added a cooling filter. (Image 22) I then went to ‘Filmatic’ and added an effect called F3 which upped the color exactly as I was looking for. (Image 23) I was close to achieving my goal so I scanned the list once again for something to take this over the top. I found an effect category called ‘Festive’ and clicked on it. Going through the list of ‘Festive’ filters, I came upon ‘Hearts’. I clicked on it and it added some festive hearts to my image. (Image 24). I could play around with this all day but I knew I was nowhere near finished examining what this program could do, so I saved my image and exported it as a JPG.
Under Fotor’s editing capabilities is a category called ‘Beauty’. I clicked on it and it brought up a whole bunch of options including reshaping the face and changing eye color. (Image 25) To do a quick tour of this, I used my friend Marilyn. (Image 26). The first thing I did was recover 5 years. It looked like the program just softened her skin a little but it did make a change. (Image 27) Next I used ‘Eye Pop’ to bring out her eye color. (Image 28) And finally I gave her a 5-pound weight loss. (Image 29)
I didn’t ask for anything too dramatic but decided to go for it, I gave her another 5-pound weight loss, using the wrinkle remover tool took off 20 years and using the blush tool removed some ruddiness. Here’s a before and after. (Image 30)
There are other features that allow you to create photo collages and add interesting frames to your images.
All-in-all I loved this program. It’s the perfect tool for someone who doesn’t want to learn the depths of Photoshop or InDesign but still wants to enhance some images or do a bit of designing. Great job Fotor!