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Splashup Review

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Web site: http://www.splashup.com/

Date of first review/ name of reviewer:  August 2011/ Erica King, BA in English, San Jose State University



The tool Splashup is a free photo editing tool. Upon reaching the site, one sees a straight forward image of the tool in action in the middle right, a column on the left that states a few selling points such as “multiple image editing,” and then three steps in boxes at the bottom labeled “create,” “discover,” and “share.” The box titled “create” shows visuals of a few feature tools that share a likeness with Adobe’s Photoshop tools.


At this point, it becomes clear that Splashup is an accessible, possibly less complex version of Photoshop. However, knowing that Photoshop is hard to learn on one’s own prompted the problem of usability and the ability for those to actually use this tool to the fullest capacity. Also, knowing the complexities of Photoshop and Splashup’s at first likeness reveals the intended audience. A person might use this tool to its fullest capacity if they are familiar with Photoshop and/or do not have access to Photoshop. Under the “discover” box, Splashup addresses the intended audience. The site reads “with the features professionals use and novices want.” Clearly, a professional is going to use Photoshop but one who may not have access to the pricey program might find Splashup very useful.


One can access the tool by clicking the blue link titled “jump right in.” Once Splashup opens the tool window, there is indeed a likeness to Photoshop. On the left there is a column of tools or features, in the middle a checkerboard window (before uploading a photo), and on the right a layers box, color box, and info box showing grid placement. Glancing at the tools features, a few are recognizable—lasso, crop, gradient, grab hand, eraser, brush and text. The features are a combination of Photoshop and a simple program like Paint. There is a bar above that includes file, edit, image, filters, etc…again much like Photoshop.


To test the tool, I opened a photo of myself in attempt to adjust my hair color to a brighter red. The only feature I recognize that allows a selection is the lasso tool, I selected my hair as best I could and then using the colorize drop down under filter I adjusted the color. I was disappointed, there are no key controls which add to the time, for example undo usually is control + Z on a PC, instead one has to go to the file drop down and then undo. The lasso tool was hard to use and was quite limited. Third, the range of color manipulation is weak and the final result is an obvious manipulation. I opened Photoshop and attempted the same result and created a seamless, pleasing result.


After testing the tool, it is clear that Splashup is meant for an amateur who does not have many qualifications for a photo editing tool. Those who have access to Photoshop would most definitely opt for Photoshop’s superior manipulation features. For those who do not have access to Photoshop, Splashup can only offer so much. With a limited testing of Splashup, Splashup is good for simple editing like cropping and rotating, but one could probably access a program with simple features with a program already on their computer. 


If it has been established that those who are using Splashup are not professionals then there are some positive attributes in this tool. For instance, if an amateur is using this tool to edit a photo before uploading to Facebook, this tool is perfect. One could blur something out, enhance the colors, add some text, and crop and then Splashup allows to save a photo onto a social networking site like Facebook. This also might be a good tool to transition students learning photo editing to more complex programs like Photoshop; in fact, the likeness between the two might suggest that this was a thought upon making the tool. Although, I felt limited in Splashup because I have Photoshop experience I do think Splashup is a valid tool. It is accessible, it has more features than any other photo editing tool I have seen on the web, and overall it has the ability to get the job done. There is room for improvement with this tool but I would share it with those who are looking for a photo editing program and might be discouraged by Photoshop. 

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