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inPixio Photo Studio 11 Software Review - Performance

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inPixio Photo Studio 11 Performance 

inPixio Photo Studio 11

 

The first thing we want to say about inPixio Photo Studio 11 is that we're pleased to see that editing, erasing and cutting are now performed in one workspace as in version 10, you had to switch between three separate interfaces (Photo Eraser, Photo Cutter and Photo Editor) to access specific tools for different jobs which was a bit of a pain. Now, you can quickly erase people/objects, remove backgrounds, create collages and edit your images all in one easy-to-use workspace. 

You can now, also, customise your workspace to show a basic view or more advanced view and you can also choose which tabs are open/displayed in your workspace, adding more or cleaning up depending on your preference. 

To the top of the workspace, you find tools for saving, undoing/redoing edits and for previewing before/after images so you can see what changes your edits have made. There's also a switch that's labelled 'Auto Correction' which automatically corrects colour and balances the exposure without too much effort on your part. Changes were pretty subtle on the images we used it on but it did help improve the overall dynamic range of the photos. 

 

inPixio Photo Studio 11
 

You don't get access to layers or a history panel in Photo Studio 11 but you do have undo/redo options so edits aren't fully destructive but those who have worked with layers will miss them as it's nice to be able to switch effects on/off to see how they work together or individually, something layers allow you to do easily. However, enthusiasts and those just starting out with photo editing will enjoy the simplicity Photo Studio 11 offers and just having the ability to remove effects with the undo button will be fine.

Along the bottom, you find images you have previously worked on as well as quick access to files on your PC and options for ordering images. 

To the right are your main photo editing tools which are all adjusted either with sliders or by inputting a percentage into the numerical box which sits to the side of the sliders. At the top of the tools is the zoom slider with a handy image where a frame appears when moving the zoom slider so you can easily see which part of the shot you are zoomed in on. Below is where the other tools can be accessed and by default, the Adjustments tab is open first. Here you find basic adjustment tools for adjusting temperature, hue, exposure...etc. and then if you want slightly more control, there's a tone curve graph. All edits are applied live so you can instantly see how changing an option will improve your shot and if you are unsure what a particular slider is for, you can hover your mouse cursor over its name and a small explanation pops up. If you want to make your image fill more of the screen you can hide the tool's panel by clicking the arrow that sits to the right of them. 

To the side of the Adjustment and Tone Curve tools is a column of other options which include: 

  • Photomontage
  • Object Removal
  • Sky Replacement
  • Cropping
  • Selective Retouching 
  • (Adjustments that's already open)
  • Selective Retouching 
  • Correction
  • Effects
  • Styles
  • Textures 
  • Frames
  • Metadata
  • Presets

As we've reviewed Photo Studio previously, you can learn more about each individual tool in the inPixio Photo Studio 10 Pro review as we'll just be putting what's new and improved to the test in this review. 

The new Photomontage tab is the option those who enjoy making photo collages will want to select as it's the place to go to if you want to combine pictures, stickers, text and more with your own photos/backgrounds. Once you open the image you want to edit and click the Photomontage option, you're not short of fun editing options as text, stickers and cut-outs galore are presented to you.

You can even cut out objects from your own photos to combine with other shots if you want to. To do this, Photo Studio 11 opens up a file explorer so you can find the image you want and it's then opened in a 'remove background' window that automatically opens. You then use masking brushes to select the object you want to cut out. You will need to adjust the brush size when shapes get fiddly but with some patience, you'll select your object quite quickly. Even more so if you use the 'Erase The Marking' tool which quickly removes brushstrokes you've made and some clever AI makes selections much neater/accurate.

There's also a tool for removing unwanted selections as well as quick selection tools and a zoom so you can select your subject with more precision. Once complete, click 'save and add to the library and your cutout appears in the cutout library. 

 

inPixio Photo Studio 11
 

InPixio says that you can place a mark in an area you want to keep/remove with a click or draw just one stroke and the software will automatically define the rest of the image you want to be removed/saved (depending on which tool you are using) which is fine if you're working with a subject and background with different tones/colours but when they're similar, the software struggled to define which parts of the image are which. 

All cut-outs, when placed on your image, can be moved around, rotated or adjusted in size/opacity while sticker colours can be altered. You can also add text with various fonts, sizes, styles and colour options available. 

The Photomontage tool won't be something everyone uses but young photographers and those who enjoy making posters, cards etc. will have hours of fun with this feature. Plus, as you simply click and drop the sticker or cutout you want to use, it couldn't be easier to use. 

Something a wider range of photographers will use is the 'Remove Objects' options as this is where the Erase, Correction Patch and Clone Stamp tools, which were previously in Photo Eraser, are now available in one easy-to-access tab. InPixio has also improved the algorithm these tools use to make the erase process 7X faster than it was in Photo Studio 10, quickening up your workflow.

When you click the 'Remove Objects' button a new window automatically opens with your images and the Erase, Correction Patch and Clone Stamp tools in. The Erase tool is a quick and easy way to remove distracting objects from your photo. All you need to do is mask out the object you want to remove with the selection tool, click 'Erase' and wait for the software to do its magic. You can adjust the brush size for more accuracy, make one large selection or change the brush type so the software knows you want to make multiple selections. There's also a tool for removing a selection if you've made a mistake. 

The Erase tool is really easy to use and does a great job on areas that don't have complicated textures but in our example, where the sand has all sorts of patterns in it, the software did struggle to make an accurate selection when cloning so results didn't always look natural. Removing cloud from a plain blue sky couldn't be any easier for Photo 11, though, and the results are great. 

 

inPixio Photo Studio 11
 

Those of you who have used Photoshop will be familiar with the Clone Stamp tool which you can use to clone part of your image which you then use to paint over an area of the photo you wish to remove and for ultimate control and accuracy, this is the tool you want to use when removing unwanted objects. You select an area you want to clone by holding down the Alt key and clicking your mouse cursor then you paint over the part of the photo you want to remove. Be careful not to create obvious repeating patterns, though. 

The Correction Path tool is an interesting tool as you can use it to make an identical copy of a select area to duplicate the selection. We found it useful when we had a larger object we wanted to remove from the shot but you could also use it for creative purposes such as duplicating a person/object in a photo. It's quick, easy to use and results are pretty impressive.

A tool we see in a lot of Photo Editing software nowadays is a sky/background replacement tool and Photo Studio has now added this to the pro version of InPixio Studio 11. With the Sky and Background tabs, you can remove the background from a photo then add a new background image, add a replacement sky that's automatically adjusted to fit the dynamic range of your original image or blur a background as if bokeh was created when you first captured your photo. 

To remove a background or sky, you're going to need a cut-out tool and this option has been improved with a new "Enhance edges" feature that allows you to achieve more accurate cutouts, especially on tricky objects such as hair and fur (also available when cutting out images for photomontages). 

 

inPixio Photo Studio 11
 

Again, your photo will open in a new window when using the Sky/Background replacement option and the first thing you need to do is select the subject you want to remove (or keep, whichever is easiest for you). The tools are the same as we mentioned further up the review when discussing cutting out objects for photomontages which keeps things streamlined. It does, however, mean you get the same issues when trying to get the software's AI to make automatic selections for you which can be a bit hit-and-miss (you will achieve better results with less complicated scenes when using the AI to assist you). However, with some patience, you will get there and using the zoom tools and the 'Erase The Marking' tool does make the job slightly easier as your edits will be more accurate.

Once you click 'Continue' you're taken to an interface where you can add a new sky, blur the original background of your shot or add a new image as your background. You also find the option for enhancing the edges here which you can use to refine the outline of your selection to pick up fine detail that may not have been detected originally. This is done with a yellow marker and/or sliders and once you get to grips with it, it's a really useful tool.

 

inPixio Photo Studio 11
 

Plenty of sky replacements are available but you can add your own, too, if you have a specific sky in mind and the image can also be adjusted to make the foreground colour and scale/shape of the new sky a better fit. Not all skies work for every image with some looking really obvious that they've been added after the image was captured but some results do work and work well. Plus, the fact that you can replace an entire sky with a few clicks is great and speeds workflow up ten-fold. Inpixio has also made the AI work really hard as it will automatically adjust your image to match so the dynamic range and overall exposure of the shot looks more natural. 

As well as adding in a new sky, you can also use this tab to add a completely new background for a person or object to sit against. A wide range of backgrounds are available or you can add your own. As with the sky selections, not all backgrounds are as convincingly realistic but you can have a lot of fun with them. If you want to keep your image intact but just want to add a bit of bokeh to the background, select the background as you would if you were replacing it then switch from the sky tab to the blur tab (after you've clicked 'continue'). You can adjust the level of blur with a slider or value input box and you can also introduce grain if you so wish. We were impressed with the blur background tool as it accurately blurred our selection and the bokeh looked realistic. 

 

inPixio Photo Studio 11
 

Two other new features which aren't tool based but do make the software more accessible to all is the fact that you can edit RAW files, giving advanced photographers more flexibility and control with the editing process while beginners can use the in-built video tutorials which provide tips on key editing processes. 

Other tools we've seen previously that make inPixio Studio 11 Pro an all-around good photo editing package include cropping options, effects, frames, filters and the ability to add textures. You can also make several corrections which include automatic red-eye removal, improving sharpness, noise reduction, a dehaze function and a tool for fixing perspective in architectural shots. For more control over general edits such as contrast and saturation, you can use linear/radial gradients or selectively paint your edits into your shot. 

 

inPixio Photo Studio 11
 

All edits, styles, filters and presets are applied live so you can instantly see how a look/adjustment changes your photo and there's no lag, either, so you're not twiddling your thumbs while the software does its thing. 

For those who like to add metadata, you can colour tag, rate with starts and flag your images along with adding a headline, description and copyright info. 

Overall, InPixio Photo Studio 11 is a comprehensive photo editing tool that has something for the beginner right through to the more advanced photographer but to get the most out of the software, the Pro version is definitely worth the investment as you get access to a wider, and more useful, range of photo editing tools. 


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