Tag Archives: Photo Editing

Free Paint.NET 3.5.1 – Maybe Not A Photoshop Killer But…….

image This latest release of Paint.NET (October 9th, 2011), might not be quite Photoshop in disguise, but it’s a pretty serious contender.

While it can’t perform some of the more esoteric functions of Photoshop, it can certainly assist even an average photo hobbyist achieve spectacular results – results which are generally not achievable in a free photo application.

I’ve always been a big fan of Adobe Photoshop, the trendsetter/innovator for all photo editor and image manipulation software, but I stopped buying Photoshop at version 7, and in 2004 switched over to Paint.NET.

The downside of Adobe Photoshop, especially for typical users (other than its price – which is formidable), is it’s huge size on disk; it’s very challenging platform requirements, and an extreme learning curve which demands time and training.

Most of us don’t need the flexibility, or the power of a high end (read: expensive), photo editor. Instead, we’re generally looking for an application that’s small (at less than 4 MB, Paint.NET is small), fast, and free, with an intuitive interface that’s very easy to use; especially for those with only modest previous experience. Incidentally, for everyday basic photo manipulation, Irfanview gets a real workout on my machine.

image

image

You don’t have to take advantage of all of the powerful features built into this impressive application of course – see fast facts below. You can just stick to those tools you are most familiar with, including resizing, cropping, correcting red eye, flipping, and rotating. As well, you can perform a wide variety of additional image adjustments, including brightness, contrast, and applying special effects such as sharpen and blur.

image

Fast facts:

Interface – Simple, intuitive, and innovative user interface. Every feature and user interface element was designed to be immediately intuitive and quickly learnable without assistance. The interface is also enhanced for Aero Glass if you are using Windows 7 or Vista.

Performance – Extensive work has gone into making Paint.NET the fastest image editor available.

Layers – Usually only found on expensive or complicated professional software, layers form the basis for a rich image composition experience. You may think of them as a stack of transparency slides that, when viewed together at the same time, form one image.

Special Effects – Many special effects are included for enhancing and perfecting your images. Everything from blurring, sharpening, red-eye removal, distortion, noise, and embossing are included. Also included is our unique 3D Rotate/Zoom effect that makes it very easy to add perspective and tilting.

Adjustments – Adjustments are also included which help you tweak an image’s brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, curves, and levels. You can also convert an image to black and white, or sepia-toned.

Powerful Tools – The facilities for creating and working with selections is powerful, yet still simple enough to be picked up quickly. Other powerful tools include the Magic Wand for selecting regions of similar color, and the Clone Stamp for copying or erasing portions of an image. There is also a simple text editor, a tool for zooming, and a Recolor tool.

Unlimited History – Everybody makes mistakes, and everybody changes their mind. To accommodate this, every action you perform on an image is recorded in the History window and may be undone. Once you’ve undone an action, you can also redo it. The length of the history is only limited by available disk space.

Active Online Community – Paint.NET has an online forum with a friendly, passionate, and ever-expanding community. Be sure to check out the constantly growing list of tutorials and plugins!

Automatically Updated – Updates are free, and contain new features, performance improvements, and bug fixes. Upgrading to the latest version is very simple, requiring only two clicks of the mouse.

System requirements: Windows 2003, Vista, Server 2008, XP, Win 7 – NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (automatically downloaded with the application).

Languages: English, Chinese (Simplified), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, and Spanish

Download at: Paint.NET

Plugins –  There’s a solid choice of plugins available. These plugins add new effects and the ability to handle new file types. You can check these out here.

Tutorials – Tutorials that describe the use of core features of Paint.NET such as tools, effects, and adjustments. Check them out here.

Unless you have extremely unusual image editing requirements that can only be met with Photoshop, Paint.NET should more than meet your needs, and then some.

BTW, Paint.NET v4.0 is targeted for release in 2012. Features planned for version 4.0 include a new UI, improved extensibility, revamped brushes and shapes system, antialiased selections, and adjustment layers.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, downloads, Free Photo Applications, Freeware, Graphic Software, Photo Tools, Software

Paint.NET v3.5 – Photoshop in Disguise?

image This latest release of Paint.NET (November 6, 2009), might not be quite Photoshop in disguise, but it’s a pretty serious contender.

While it can’t perform some of the more esoteric functions of Photoshop, it can certainly assist even an average photo hobbyist achieve spectacular results – results which are generally not achievable in a free photo application.

I have always been a big fan of Adobe Photoshop, the trendsetter/innovator for all photo editor and image manipulation software, but I stopped buying Photoshop at version 7, and in 2004 switched over to Paint.NET.

The downside of Adobe Photoshop especially for typical users (other than its price – which is formidable), is it’s huge size on disk; it’s very challenging platform requirements, and an extreme learning curve which demands time and training.

Most of us don’t need the flexibility, or the power of a high end (read: expensive), photo editor. Instead, we’re generally looking for an application that’s small (at less than 5 MB, Paint.NET is small), fast, and free, with an intuitive interface that’s very easy to use; especially for those with only modest previous experience. Incidentally, for everyday basic photo manipulation, Irfanview gets a real workout on my machine.

image

image

You don’t have to take advantage of all of the powerful features built into this impressive application of course – see fast facts below. You can just stick to those tools you are most familiar with, including resizing, cropping, correcting red eye, flipping, and rotating. As well, you can perform a wide variety of additional image adjustments, including brightness, contrast, and applying special effects such as sharpen and blur.

image

Fast facts:

Interface – Simple, intuitive, and innovative user interface. Every feature and user interface element was designed to be immediately intuitive and quickly learnable without assistance. The interface is also enhanced for Aero Glass if you are using Windows 7 or Vista.

Performance – Extensive work has gone into making Paint.NET the fastest image editor available.

Layers – Usually only found on expensive or complicated professional software, layers form the basis for a rich image composition experience. You may think of them as a stack of transparency slides that, when viewed together at the same time, form one image.

Special Effects – Many special effects are included for enhancing and perfecting your images. Everything from blurring, sharpening, red-eye removal, distortion, noise, and embossing are included. Also included is our unique 3D Rotate/Zoom effect that makes it very easy to add perspective and tilting.

Adjustments – Adjustments are also included which help you tweak an image’s brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, curves, and levels. You can also convert an image to black and white, or sepia-toned.

Powerful Tools – The facilities for creating and working with selections is powerful, yet still simple enough to be picked up quickly. Other powerful tools include the Magic Wand for selecting regions of similar color, and the Clone Stamp for copying or erasing portions of an image. There is also a simple text editor, a tool for zooming, and a Recolor tool.

Unlimited History – Everybody makes mistakes, and everybody changes their mind. To accommodate this, every action you perform on an image is recorded in the History window and may be undone. Once you’ve undone an action, you can also redo it. The length of the history is only limited by available disk space.

Active Online Community – Paint.NET has an online forum with a friendly, passionate, and ever-expanding community. Be sure to check out the constantly growing list of tutorials and plugins!

Automatically Updated – Updates are free, and contain new features, performance improvements, and bug fixes. Upgrading to the latest version is very simple, requiring only two clicks of the mouse.

System requirements: Windows 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows XP, Windows 7 – NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (automatically downloaded with the application).

Languages: English, Chinese (Simplified), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, and Spanish

Download at: Download.com

Unless you have extremely unusual image editing requirements that can only be met with Photoshop, Paint.NET should more than meet your needs, and then some.

If you enjoyed this article, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under downloads, Freeware, Graphic Software, Integrated Photo Applications, Multimedia Tools, Photo Tools, Software, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Photo Editing, Painting, Drawing, Text Manipulation, Web Animation! – PhotoPlus 6 for Free!

photoshop-6.jpg

SerifSoftware has an interesting way to get you to buy their latest software offerings. They will give you an older version of any of their software packages for free. An interesting twist on the usual “try it for free for 30 days” we are all pretty familiar with.

I have used, and tested, Serif’s free editions for 10+ years now, and I have found that even their older software is more than up to the tasks I set.

Sure, the applications may be older than the current versions, but in terms of functionality and features, generally you are not missing much. Most software today is overblown and bloated with features that many users have little or no need of. So, in this older version there are not as many tools as might find with more recent products, but those that are there tend to be the ones that are most used by typical users.

Despite the slightly dated appearance, this is not an ‘old’ program that’s been revived just for give-away. PhotoPlus is still an amazing photo editing application that enables you to fix and enhance digital photos, create bitmap graphics and even web animations.

With PhotoPlus, you can easily adjust brightness and contrast, color balance, remove red-eye and make numerous other image editing adjustments and enhancements.

You’ll find a large number of tools for creating web-savvy images, including an Export Optimizer for gauging the appearance of an image at various output settings. As well, a group of web animation tools will help you import and export GIF files. You can even let PhotoPlus do all the hard work and create the animations for you.

Image slicing tools are another web feature that you just wouldn’t expect to find in a free package. With these tools you can sub-divide an image into invisible segments, each of which can then be given a hyperlink and popup window. Alternatively, you can add hotspots to your web page.

Another unexpected extra – that will be on some users’ essentials list – is the option to work in CMYK mode to create CMYK separations or view the image in its printer-ready form.

Though the layout is somewhat dated and the range of editing tools is not as extensive as in more recent applications, this free program is still capable of outputting amazing results.

Because of its simple layout, this is an easy program to pick up and work with, especially for those with little or no previous experience.

Overall PhotoPlus is an excellent, and probably the most complete free graphics editor and it will more than likely exceed the average users editing needs.

Quick Facts:

Creative Tools

· Enhance your images with easy-to-use creative tools, such as paintbrush, airbrush, clone, smudge and erase – adjustable brush settings include size, shape, softness and fade

Layer Effects

· Apply bevels and drop shadows to create sophisticated-looking text and images. Use the layer manager to add to and enhance images without affecting the originals

Digital Darkroom

· Adjust brightness, contrast, sharpness, color hue, saturation, remove red-eye and more. Enhance, repair and tweak your photos for great results

Deform Tool

· The versatile Deform tool lets you rotate, resize, skew, reshape and add perspective to any selection or layer

Text

· Add editable, deformable text to your images and further enhance your text with drop shadows and bevel effects

Animation

· Create your own animated GIFs for websites and

Web Images

· Divide images into individual sections that can be clicked on to link to other web pages and websites, just like text hyperlinks. PhotoPlus 6 creates all the HTML code ensuring your images appear properly

Export Optimizer

· Simultaneously view up to four previews that display the relationship between image file size and quality, making it easy to decide how to save and export images for every purpose

QuickShapes

· Add ready-made, customizable QuickShapes to your images. Choose from a range including speech bubbles, starbursts and spirals

Download at: SerifSoftware

 

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Filed under Drawing Software, Freeware, Graphic Software, Image Editors, Multimedia Tools, Productivity Software, Web Development, Windows Tips and Tools