Review: Funtastic Photos by Ohanaware

Inexpensive, easy, and fun photo editing software. (November 19th, 2008)

MacNN Rating:

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Product Manufacturer: Ohanaware

Price: $34.99 US

The Good

  • Easy to use. Excellent results in some tools. Many interesting features. Downloadable demo on the web site. Good tutorial available from the Help menu. Applies edits quickly.

The Bad

  • Some interface oddities. Rick didnít like the way it crops. Changes effect the entire image because there are no spot corrections. Editing tools arenít explained in much depth.

Photo editing programs let you do some amazing image manipulation, but unfortunately most of them cost quite a bit of money; not to mention that it takes lots of time and practice to create the enhanced image. Ohanaware offers Funtastic Photos, a simple to use photo manipulation program that doesn't cost an arm , yet includes a wide variety tools. It provides a preview window and sliders to see what the different effects do to your photo, which reduces your learning curve significantly.

Funtastic Photos opens into an iPhoto-like browser window, in which you select photos from iPhoto, a folder, or even another hard drive in a sidebar. The tool bar across the top provides a Quick Look option, in addition to buttons that Get Info or Add to Favorites for one or many photos. Quick Look uses Mac OS X technology and lets you zoom in on a photo. When you click on a photo and choose Get Info from the Toolbar, the information doesn't change when you click on another photo, as it does in iPhoto.

Browser Window

Browser Window

The bottom of the Browser window includes the familiar Finder icons in which you can change your display from icon view, or list view, to column view. A resize slider and a Search field round out the commands available. This isn't quite up to par with the usual Mac interface, but at least the Finder-like commands exist.

When you double-click a photo the editing window opens. You can save, copy, share, print, undo, rotate, and crop your selected photo from the Toolbar across the top. If you want to work on a different photo, the Back to Browser button returns you to your open photo library or folder. The Before & After command in the View menu lets you see your original photo and the edit on screen, if you make the window wide enough. It does not automatically resize for you.

I didn't care for the cropping tool, because it doesn't work like most standard Mac cropping tools. It uses an edit-type box instead of giving you cursor control; but it works well and has some preset size options.

 Funtastic Photos Crop Tools

Cropping Tools Dialog in Edit Window

1-Click Styles

Funtastic Photos provides a number of effect modules below the preview area, available from the 1-Click Styles button. Categories include Ohana Favorites, twelve styles that create the impression of a framed oil painting, glassy greyscale, self framed photo, and a wanted poster. I thought that most of these obscured the photo too much. Other styles include Artistic, Romantic, Quick Fixes, and Vintage Camera, plus a My Styles area in which you can make your own presets. Select Vintage Camera and it gives your image one of ten style choices including 1830 Daguerreotype, 1880 Sepia tone, or a faded color photo. Romantic style gives you seven options that include creating a red heart vignette and several borders.

Funtastic Photos screen

Quick Fixes Edit Window - Vibrant Colors
The Wildflowers at an Apple Event at Macworld Expo

Advanced Options

The Advanced Options include a variety of very useful editing tools. TAn oddly named Return to Editor button takes you to the Advanced Options, also available from a button on the upper right side of the preview area. It is by far the most interesting part of Funtastic Photos.

Four tool categories: Fixing Tools, Color Adjustments, Artistic Adjustments, and Finishing Touches, cover a variety of editing tools. First, you determine what is wrong with or how you can best enhance your picture. Each tool has a Reset button, in case you make a mistake. If the 1-Click Styles options are in your way, you can click the button to hide them from view, plus another small button lets you view your edited photo in full screen.

Fixing Tools include corrections for poor exposure, contrast, color balance, highlights, shadows, or sharpness. Common problems that reduce the quality of your photo can be fixed with these simply presented tools. Select the problem from the list and a slider appears in most options to improve the image. You can even straighten your photo. The Levels tool includes a small histogram, but it only shows the result of moving the slider control. You cannot access it directly. Unfortunately, the Sharpen tool does not include a slider control and gave most photos an electric look. It over sharpened by quite a bit and there is no way to reduce the effect.

In the Color Adjustments area, you can remove all of the color and turn your image into a sepia, duo tone, or a black and white image. You can also enhance the current color in a variety of ways.

The Artistic Adjustments options offer seventeen more options, including blur, line art, mosaic, oil painting, wave and water drops. You can even add a caption to your photo.

Funtastic Photos Layoutscreen

Caption Applied with Thick Bubbles Border

Advanced Options Continued

The Finishing Touches area lets you add a variety of borders or sheens to your edited photo. You can add a matte, vignette, gloss, border (36 choices) or a reflection. You can also add your own borders to their library. The best part is, if you don't like the result, there are many levels of undo.

Saving a Photo

The program offers you a dialog to save your edits when you switch back to the Browser to work on another photo. It's not immediately obvious when you click Save, but a second dialog appears in which you can rename the edited photo and change the save location. At first, it looks like it will overwrite your original photo; but rest assured, it does not, unless you save the photo to its original location.

You can also save your photo to a variety of sources from the Share Via command in the File menu. Choices include adding the photo to iPhoto, sending it to a variety of online services, including a MobileMe Gallery, or sending it via email. You can even pop the photo into your currently open iChat window, but that's a bit buggy too. You can send it only to the first chat you opened, not subsequent chats with other people. It also seriously reduced the size of the photo, from a 20 x 15-inch photo to a 3 x 2-inch photo, with no dialogs. The implementation is odd, but mostly works.

Funtastic Photos Layoutscreen

Share Menu

The good news is that when you choose Save As Copy from the file menu, the resolution isn't changed. Again, that command isn't standard though, it should be Save As like all other Macintosh programs. You can save to most of the common file formats including TIFF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, PDF, and PSD (Adobe Photoshop).

Print & Layouts

A Print & Layouts button, in the Browser and Edit window Toolbar, takes you to a layout window. The bottom of the window includes a variety of print layouts, including a Fun Book, Banner, Thin Strips, and Greeting Card. You can also print side-by-side, one image over the other, three images, a number of views of four images, or five and seven images of different sizes, all on one sheet. Amazingly, Funtastic Photos also has a mosaic option (Collage), which is missing in most photo editing programs. It had some funky results, but considering how much processing power is required to produce a mosaic, it is impressive. The more photos you choose, the better your mosaic result, but when choosing more photos by clicking the Add button, the program seemed to hiccup, so be careful. I recommend you choose all the photos you want included before choosing the collage layout. Ilene thinks that this feature alone is worth the asking price.

Funtastic Photos Picture Collage Layout

Picture Collage Layout

Overall

This program is fun to use, but you should experiment with the tools to see how your edited photos look. You can take your less than stellar digital photos and turn them into some amazing pieces of art. If you don't like your result, try something else. Remember the magic word: Undo. You don't work on the original, you work on a copy, so if you mess up, it isn't a big deal. Once you have your final image, you can use the share feature to send your photo to a number of services, or email them to friends, or simply save it to disk.

While the program works well, it may stall periodically when applying a number of edit choices. Generally, Funtastic Photos applies filters immediately and you see the results in the edit window. In fact, it seems to apply edits much faster than more expensive photo editing programs. While the easy to use interface makes editing a snap, it isn't very Mac-like in places. For example, an Undo and Rewind to Original command sit in the Toolbar, but each advanced editing option includes its own Reset button. It seems a bit redundant. A number of commands stalled a little or didn't work immediately, but it never affected the final output. Even though the program isn't perfect, its ease of use and features warrant a 4-star rating.

Photos © Ilene Hoffman, 2008. Reuse without permission is prohibited.

by Rick Curran and Ilene Hoffman


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