nomacs: beautiful app to view, edit images

GPicView is the viewer of my choice when it comes to images. However, I came across a strong contender today – nomacs. While GPicView has no image editing features as such, nomacs in its light bulk come with some useful editing features. And the transition effects, aesthetics and slideshow modes are incredibly beautiful. One more plus point for nomacs – advanced settings are hidden for regular users as long as they are not turned on. Features at a glance:

  • Supports the most common image formats including RAW
  • Fast thumbnail preview
  • Zoomable grid preview of thumbnails
  • Display EXIF information
  • Framless mode
  • Change transparency of windows
  • Display overview/histogram/file info
  • File filtering/searching/sorting
  • Improved anti-aliasing (cool for displaying highly textured images)
  • Sllideshow
  • Crop, resize, colour adjustment, rotate, create mosaic image
  • Viewer Synchronization
  • Supports Linux, Windows and Mac.

To install nomacs on Ubuntu:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nomacs/stable
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install nomacs

Webpage: nomacs

iPaint: mspaint in the browser

Most Windows users run MS Paint once in a while to take desktop screenshots. But MS Paint can do many other things. While popular Linux desktop managers do not need an extra application to take desktop screenshots, an exact match for MS Paint can be a welcome addition. There is no Linux native MS Paint yet but a browser based clone is available – iPaint. iPaint is written in HTML5 and JS. It resembles MS Paint straight from the looks to almost all the functionalities. Let’s take a look at the features:

  • Runs on any browser supporting HTML5.
  • Offline storage support.
  • Online image search.
  • Image sharing.
  • Rich set of geometric shapes.
  • Outline/fill support.
  • Various brushes.
  • Various line cap/joint/width support.
  • Colour picker.
  • Dynamic picture size.
  • Ruler support.
  • Measure in pixel, cm or inch.
  • Unlimited undo/redo.
  • Free of cost and no limitations as of now. The author is developing a pro version with more capabilities. Let’s hope that doesn’t affect the free MS Paint clone.

To use iPaint, go to the home page (link below) and click on the big green button that says TRY iPaint Now.

Webpage: iPaint

snapnote: annotate images online

snapnote_compHaving a handy tool to annotate images or screenshots and share with friends for reference makes life easier. snapnote is an online service that allows you to quickly edit images and share. snapnote is not feature-bloated. It has a minimalist feature set:

  • Does not need flash installed
  • Drag and drop image
  • Change colours for annotation
  • Draw arrow
  • Write text
  • Draw box
  • Add label
  • Share in the cloud

Webpage: snapnote

Digital Art on Linux

Linux has some super-cool software to offer to digital designers, artists and painters. Check out the ones we selected!

  • Krita
    Fully featured with a configurable GUI much like Adobe Photoshop. Plenty of paintbrushes and strokes to try out. You can start with a canvas & palette and try out its powerful brush engine. It supports layers, filters, generators. Everything can be recorded and replayed. Supports many file formats.
  • MyPaint
    Minimal distraction-free user interface which shows the required tools only when you look for them. Not as powerful as Krita but it has extensive brush creation and customization support. Supports unlimited canvas and basic layers.
  • Inkscape
    This is another popular software among digital artists. Very very powerful and works around the concepts of object creation and vector image manipulation. Many transformations, fill patterns, operations on paths etc. make it a strong contender in this list.
  • DreamStudio
    This is collection of excellent tools packed on Ubuntu. Free and open source with industry-standard tools to explore your creativity.
  • Pencil
    Traditional 2D animation cum drawing program. It lets you create traditional hand-drawn animation (cartoon) using both bitmap and vector graphics.

CutMyPic: crop images with rounded corners

cutmypic_compI wanted to crop a picture with rounded corners and was looking for an online editor that can crop images with rounded rectangles. I know Photoshop can do that but the closest free online image editor I found was CutMyPic! And it does more things than just cropping images:

  • Round the corners in 4 different shapes
  • Add a drop shadow to the image
  • Add some special effects like Sepia
  • Sharpen, Denoise, add Contrast
  • Add image reflection
  • Undo and redo operations
  • Download the final image or mail or share on FB or Twitter
  • Free of cost and online

Webpage: CutMyPic!

Kraken: squeeze your images

kraken_compCompressing images before uploading them online saves both bandwidth and online storage. Kaken claims to achieve good lossless and lossy compression without compromising the quality of images visibly. You can upload your files from your desktop, use Kraken to compress them and finally download them individually or all in a zip archive. When I tried some of my images including a 3.6KB image I wasn’t disappointed. And I must mention that Kraken is fast.

Webpage: Kraken

Clipping Magic: remove image background

image_editor_compIf you want someone off your back from one of your favourite images, try the free online service Clipping Magic. It does only one thing and does it well – remove backgrounds from images. The algorithms seemed to be quite strong (though the service is currently in Beta and requesting user feedbacks) when I tried with a sample image. Features:

  • Simple interface to drag and drop images
  • Three steps: Upload, mark and download
  • Refine edges by fine tuning noise, contrast and blur
  • Separate out hair from clean backgrounds
  • Lots of tutorials for different levels, examples and a comprehensive Glossary

Website: Clipping Magic

Adobe Photoshop Express Editor

image_editor_compA good online alternative for Adobe Photoshop fans.

  • Adobe Photoshop Express Editor: You can call it the thin version of Photoshop from the creators of Photoshop. Has an image editor and animator. The editor is built in flash and takes some time to load but the tools provided should more than compensate for the wait. Supports up to 16MP JPEG images.