Sumo Paint review

Free online image editors are the third wonder of the Flash age, the first being that frog in a blender animation and the second Weebl and Bob (www.weebls-stuff.com). They’re so well established that Adobe have even created one, called Photoshop Express (www.photoshop.com/express/), which would be brilliant if it was anything like Photoshop. Which it isn’t.

If recently established rival SUMO Paint was a margarine it would be called “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Photoshop”. Because, although it’s entirely browser based and is powered by Flash, it has the look and feel of the world’s best image editorTM – from toolbox to layers palette.

Of course, it’s nowhere near as powerful as Photoshop CS4. But it does the basics – and some of the not-so-basics – very well. For example, there are all the drawing tools you’d expect from a desktop application, including shapes, lines, brushes, gradients and freehand pixel tools. Brushes have blend modes, as do layers. There are cropping, resizing and transformation features.

The collection of filters is a Greatest Hits collection of blur, sharpen and emboss, with noise and clouds included as bonus tracks. As for colour correction, there’s everything you need in the Adjustments menu. The text tool uses the fonts installed on the user’s local computer. Text objects can be scaled and edited at the same time.

OUR VERDICT

To take full advantage of Sumo Paint, you should sign up for an account. This will enable you to store images and load them direct from their servers. It’s free whether you choose to sign up or not, though, and you can load and save images from and to your desktop if you prefer. The one feature missing – which other online editors like Picnik (www.picnik.com) boast – is integration with social networking sites, like Facebook and Flickr. For every day image editing, though, Sumo Paint is our new favourite toy.

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