Many online publications and blogs yesterday were full of headlines about the release of an online version of one of the most popular graphics editors (Photoshop) called Photoshop Express Online By the good old tradition near the logo is a long-faded inscription beta (when will someone come up with a new feature), which means that the service is only at the beta-testing stage. It’s too early to talk about the final full-featured release, although the amount of available features is already quite large. Despite the fact that many sites remain marked as beta almost forever, I think Photoshop Express Online is not concerned, and a lot of innovations are waiting for us in the future. I’m not going to look ahead, I’ll just try to estimate what kind of application this is for today.
First of all, the service is (so far) a light version of Photoshop editor, it’s available through web interface (using Flash technology) and is absolutely free. Second, after registration, each user gets 2 gigabytes for storing his files with the ability to share them with others at yourname.photoshop.com. It’s more like a photo hosting service. And third, each image can be edited with special tools, conditionally divided into types "Basic", "Tuning" and "Effects". We’ll look at them a little later, now I want to talk a little about the interface of the system.
After registering and logging in, you are given a choice of 3 areas of work (if I may say so):
- My Photos – Creating albums and editing your photos.
- My Album – view and manage the accessibility of albums for other users.
- Browse – access to galleries and albums of other users of the system.
The most interesting is the first point, let’s pay more attention to it. After clicking on the proposed link you get to the section of managing your images. Pictures from ACDSee and similar programs come to mind – the principle of the "image browser" is similar. The design is very stylish, the icons and controls are well chosen and help you to understand what is going on.
On the left is a small navigation menu on the section: a link to download new photos, a "library" containing a list of all and the most recently added images, as well as created albums. Albums are created by simply dragging and dropping images into them from the All Photos folder. Just below are links to other popular services with photo hosting services – Facebook, Photobucket, Picasa. Photoshop Express Online is integrated with these systems and allows you to download images from them. Personally, I tested the application with Picasa – everything was great except for two small nuances :
- There is a download of all the photos from another service – I suspect that not a real one, but only previews of objects with a brief description, but, nevertheless, my gallery Picasa with a modest 10Mb (400 small images) made Photoshop Express slightly hesitant. Looking ahead, I say that you need a very good Internet connection to work with the system, otherwise the impression of its work can be slightly spoiled.
- At this stage only the English version of the system is supported, so some Picasa albums with Russian names are displayed incorrectly. By the way, it is not possible to use Russian text in photo titles.
In general, the integration is not bad, allows you to quickly transfer some photos from other accounts. There is a question about the expedience of importing a fairly large number of images – in my opinion, the best solution is to download the necessary pictures from the local computer.
In the upper right corner are menus and controls for displaying photos in the browser :
First, you can use a floating slider to determine the size of preview pictures. Second, you can sort by date added, rating, or custom order. Under previews, you can display/hide information about the photos such as title, date, rating, and title. All files are subject to rating. And finally, the last block of icons lets you set the display of photos as a list, a set of all images of equal size (by default) or the display of one large active photo with small previews above it.
At the very top of the menu is an icon to deploy the system in full-screen mode. As for me, this is very convenient, it immediately removes the impression of working in a browser – Photoshop Express Online turns into a regular application. The presence of these little things creates a very positive impression of the product – you can see that it was made for people. For those who will be actively working with the editor, I prompt two small observations :
- To select several pictures, hold down the Ctrl key and click on the desired image. Since the keyboard is not available in full screen mode, this trick will not work.
- Moving up and down in the image browser is done by using the corresponding buttons on the keyboard, and in full screen mode a scroll wheel on the mouse works.
Today, an essential element of photo hosting sites is the availability of viewing images in "slideshow" format. Photoshop Express Online also has it, and the number of different settings impressed me personally. In addition to the standard options, you can choose the type of display photos "in line" (going one after another), in the form of "grid of pictures", "in a circle" with the possibility of enabling 3D mode – photos are distributed in space as if. In general, such explanations can say nothing, so it’s better to see it once:
Not surprisingly, in Photoshop Express Online, every image you upload to the system can be edited. The tools, while not as powerful as the offline version of Photoshop, are quite powerful. They allow you to adjust the color balance of photos, rotate and crop the picture, change the brightness, contrast, sharpness of the image, add distortion, and change the color gamut.
For those interested in a detailed description of each image editing function with examples of their application in screenshots, you can find a continuation of the article at my personal blog This part is put there, because it has a slightly auxiliary character (it is better to try once than to see a hundred times 🙂 The question "in essence", in principle, has been fully addressed above.
According to my observations and impressions, the application is quite unlike the usual offline Photoshop. Rather, it is a full-fledged photo hosting with the ability to create and manage your own albums, and image editing comes as an additional functionality. We can assume that not all users will edit their photos at all, rather the opposite.
On the other hand, the company and Adobe say that work on Photoshop Express is not yet complete, there is a stage of public testing. I’m more than sure that improving the quality, increasing functionality will continue for more than a year and in the end we’ll get a very powerful tool, which by right can be considered Photoshop Online.
Thank you for your attention.