Seller: Sylwester Los
Â© Lucky Clan 2010
Art Studio is a very powerful app and a great addition to your toolbox either as a painter or as a photographer. It is cheaper then either Brushes or Layers while offering many powerful features with regard to photo-compositing. Art Studio is essentially the app that Adobe Photoshop Express should have been. And yet, for painters there are still elements that I prefer in Layers and Brushes over this app. For photographers and designers, however (and even some painters depending on your style) this app is excellent, and getting better all the time.
When you first open the app, it brings up a screen that shows you where the basic icons are that you will be needing and how to use them. Purely from a design standpoint, this app is not as nice looking as Layers, thought the functionality is there and that's what matters most.
When you create a new image, you can select 320x480, 640x960, 1024x1024, or enter a custom size up to 1024 in either direction. The customization is a nice feature though the resolutions aren't that high. Then comes all your options. The basic menu icons are located along the bottom edge of your screen. Tap you "toolbar" and you get pencils, brushes, eraser, smudge tool, text boxes and more. The tools scroll up along the left side of your screen and if you hold your finger on any of them another menu comes up with control functions for that tool.
The color icoh brings up a set of color swatches. Again, touch any of them and you will be taken to more specific control options. I actually think the color wheel + saturation bar that Layers uses is a faster, easier way to pick color, but this solution will certainly get you any color you need.
The layers menu, on the other hand is actually much more powerful than the options in Layers and lies at the heart of what makes this app a terrific compositing tool. Much like Iris Photo Suite the layers menu in Art Studio gives you the ability to add, remove, transform, flip, duplicate, copy, paste, merge, clear, set transparency, and, most importantly, pick your blending mode. There are 8 blending options for the layers including multiply, screen and overlay which is an essential tool for any designer working with images and a large part of why I really like this app. For those of you who don't know what layers are, take a look at our Layers Critique for a more detailed introduction to the wonders of Photoshop layers and what they can offer you.
Next you have your effects which include 11 options including brightness/contrast, hue/saturation, RGB levels, posterization, black and white, inverted color, sepia tone, blur, sharpen, edge detecting and embossing. If you are just looking for treatments to apply to your image, there are other apps that have more dynamic and interesting pre-set filters to run your images through . But if you are looking for the ability to really refine and tweak your images as you would in photoshop then this is a great set of options.
The next icon pulls up your basic menu options which includes starting a new image, loading an image, importing a photo onto a new layer, exporting your image to your Camera Roll or emailing — as well as a button that will give you a nice set of tips on how to use the app.
If this is not enough, there is also an icon that gives you several tutorials on how to draw with Art Studio, and an icon that allows you to set certain preferences for the app. So as you can see — you have a lot of options. That fact combined with the excellent layer options makes this one of the best and most Photoshop-like apps out there for compositing images. As far as painting goes, there are a lot of controls to try out and the paint strokes are very nice and feel good to use. The smudge tool, on the other hand will not give you as good a result as the smudge tool in Layers, so if your goal is to use photos as a base for your painting, Layers still has the advantage. If your goal is to design Photoshop like frames, composite images or tweak and touch up your photos then this app will give you some of the best options out there.
I do wish they had higher resolution exporting and I think the text tool is a bit limiting because you can't edit or move the type around once you have typed it in. But this app is constantly being upgraded and is well worth the money for anyone who wants to work on their images either on their phone or their iPad.
To purchase this app at the iTunes store click here: