Pixo­matic 3

Price: From £4.99 Buy from: fave.co/2q3t­txD

iPad&iPhone user - - CONTENTS - J R Book­wal­ter

Pixo­matic 3 makes short work of the most thank­less of all im­age edit­ing tasks: sep­a­rat­ing a fore­ground im­age from its ex­ist­ing back­ground. Whether it’s re­pur­pos­ing an ob­ject in an­other de­sign or creat­ing dou­ble ex­po­sure ef­fects, this app gets the job done with sur­pris­ing ac­cu­racy.

The big draw here is Pho­to­shop-style smart cutout, mak­ing it easy to draw a rough out­line around ob­jects with your fin­ger to cleanly sep­a­rate them from the rest of an im­age. This works sur­pris­ingly well even on iPhone, be­cause se­lec­tions are aug­mented by a brush mag­ni­fier that ap­pears while draw­ing on the screen.

Although the app of­fers above av­er­age edge se­lec­tion, no soft­ware is per­fect. That’s where Fill and Erase come to the res­cue, al­low­ing users to clean up rough edges or fine-tune com­pli­cated ar­eas. Once an ob­ject has been se­lected, adding one or more new fore­ground or back­ground lay­ers is a snap.

De­spite the com­plex­ity, Pixo­matic does a good job of or­ga­niz­ing tools smartly. The in­tu­itive user in­ter­face con­sol­i­dates op­tions across the bot­tom of the screen, and there’s no com­pli­cated layer man­age­ment. Just tap on an in­di­vid­ual ob­ject or back­ground to se­lect it. A few quick in-app tu­to­ri­als are all you need to get started.

By far the most im­pres­sive ad­di­tion to Pixo­matic 3 is the Hair tool, which the de­vel­oper bills as the first

mobile so­lu­tion to prop­erly ex­tract the fine de­tails of a sub­ject’s hair from the rest of an im­age. Cu­ri­ously, the tool is found un­der the Re­fine tab, which means you’ll need to first per­form the ini­tial cutout, then add a new back­ground be­fore you can use it.

This quirk aside, the Hair tool pro­duces the kind of amaz­ing re­sults that make ad­vanced im­age edit­ing on mobile de­vices seem less like science fic­tion. Just be sure to use Hair be­fore other re­fine­ments like edge smooth­ing, oth­er­wise you’ll wind up hav­ing to re­peat the ad­just­ment again. Pixo­matic isn’t just about com­posit­ing im­ages. There’s a ro­bust se­lec­tion of other tools in­clud­ing Blur, Ad­just, Blend, Text, Crop, Clone, Shadow, Per­spec­tive, and Flip. A hand­ful of In­sta­gram-style fil­ters are also on hand, although they can only be ap­plied to flat­tened im­ages, not in­di­vid­ual lay­ers.

Although eas­ily worth the price, there are a few things ab­sent from Pixo­matic’s bag of tricks. It can’t be used to add grain, dis­tress or oth­er­wise age pho­tos and of­fers noth­ing in the way of heal­ing tools.

Verdict

For ex­tract­ing ob­jects from im­ages and re­pur­pos­ing them in a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent ways, Pixo­matic 3 has no equal on iOS.

Once you’ve se­lected an ob­ject, re­fin­ing the edges is a snap, even for fine de­tails like hair

Pixo­matic in­cludes back­ground and ob­ject packs for the hol­i­day sea­son, or you can cre­ate your own us­ing the de­vice cam­era

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