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|Product:||Saint Paint Studio|
Saint Paint Studio - Adobe Photoshop is a wonderful thing, but unless you are a photo pro itís a little hard to justify the cost when the kids need new trainers. Duncan Evans takes a look at a package that offers basic photo retouching and wonít cause grief on the home front.
Of course, you don't have to splurge out on Photoshop, there are lower cost alternatives like Paint Shop Pro X1 and Adobe Photoshop Elements 5, but these are still the wrong side of £50. If you're praying at the alter of affordability then the Saint Paint Studio might be the answer. Thanks to the current exchange rate making the Yankee Dollar as valuable as rice paper it can be yours for just over £20 on electronic download.
The painting options and brushes are also fairly crude, though there is the option to mark areas of the screen and use that as the basis for a brush or spray can. If grabbing parts of a hi-res photo though be warned, the system basically becomes unusable. These features are more use for creating small animated gifs and banners for websites rather than editing photos. The fact that there is a basic animation editor re-enforces this.
Batch processing is supported and this is one area where a fast and easy program can save time over the lumbering goliath of Photoshop and its commercial chums. This allows files to be selected, which are then loaded as small versions and you can select colour reduction or file size reduction from the Batch convert menu. The file size reduction works off fixed sizes or a more useful percentage. Once selected off it goes. Again though, a program like Thumbs Plus can do much more than this.
There are a basic range of filters available for general adjustments. There's an Auto Brightness correction and manual controls for colour balance and brightness, contrast adjustment and gamma correction. More general filters include black and white conversion - though again this is crude and is a straight, flat conversion - negative, sharpen, despeckle, simplify (looks like a poor oil painting), Dilate, Blur, Add Noise, Erode, Jitter, Emboss and Edge detect. Trouble is, these are all poor copies of what Paint Shop Pro had to offer as a shareware program six versions ago.
Saint Paint Studio Verdict
To succeed as a low cost alternative to even the cheaper photo editing programs, a package must be fast, easy to use and have a couple of often-used or great features. The trouble is, Saint Paint Studio has a crude interface, it rapidly slows down when dealing with large files and all the paint and photo features are implemented better elsewhere. Unless you want to use the animation features, I'm afraid SPS is more sinner than saint in the world of photo editing.
Saint Paint Studio available from http://www.saintpaint.com/ and costs £21.07 for an electronic download. You can also try out the program out for free on a 30 day trial period.