After undertaking a review of lower cost editing tools we now looked at applications which are web browser based, operating system independent and which are capable of running on low-cost hardware such as Chromebooks, but which at the same time offered a serious editing toolset. What we looked for
- Ability to import / export a broad range of file types.
- Adjustment Layers and Blend Modes.
- Colour grading / management tools.
- Capable of handling reasonable file sizes.
- Re-touch and repair means – healing brushes, patch tools etc.
- Ability to write / play user generated scripts, actions etc, singly or in batch.
- Availability of training materials.
Two applications stand out from all the others – Photopea and Polarr.
Although there are differences in the toolsets, for the beginner we feel the major difference between the two, is whether you have previous experience of Photoshop.
Good points both applications
- Have FREE and paid options.
- Work in browser and require no installation.
- Use HTML5 not Adobe Flash which is being phased out.
- Also available for different platforms and devices.
- Both have substantial training material.
- Editing is local – nothing is stored on a server or cloud.
- Will work even without Internet access.
- Low annual software cost – FREE or if upgraded Photopea $40, Polarr $30.
- On-going development.
The strong and weaker points for each application are discussed in a White Paper.