website review: BeFunky.com

Posted: October 23, 2010 in FYI, review

Website
www.BeFunky.com

What is it for?
According to their FAQ: “BeFunky develops innovative digital media tools that let people become instant artists and express themselves creatively without the need for any technical knowledge.”

Pros/Things I like
-The service is free and does not require registration or log-in to edit a photo.
-It offers basic photo editing (e.g. brightness, contrast, convert to black and white, etc.).
-They also offer a large assortment of Photo Effects, allowing users to “stylize” their photos.
-Users can edit colors and other aspects of the Photo Effects for even more options.
-The gallery has samples of what various effects look like.
-Allows users to add shapes (e.g. hats, doodles, seasonal items, speech bubbles, frames, etc.)
-If you choose to register, you get photo storage, plus your work may be featured in the gallery.

Cons/Limitations/Things I don’t like
-Perhaps the most annoying restriction on free users is the limited photo size: max 616×460 pixels.
-With the free service, photos are “watermarked”… but you can use your own photo editor (even Paint) to remove the mark. Just be sure the lower right hand corner is not critical to your picture.
-Also, Photo Effects won’t be added on top of each other… but that can be an asset. It means you don’t have to remember what combo you did to get the effect.

Additional Comments
I have purchased photo editing software, but I’m always on the lookout for more options to use in creating website layouts. There are many free photo editors available on the ‘Net, but the one I use the most is BeFunky.

A few of the BeFunky Photo Effects I’ve used and like are:
-Cartoonizer (free option 1) – makes a cartoon/drawn effect by smoothing out details and adding some outlines to prominent shapes. (On the downside, it can make things TOO smooth and blur/wash out details you wanted to keep.)
-Pop Art (free option 1) – intensifies colors and adds a spotted pattern to lighter areas. (I especially like the results when starting with a solid, mostly dark background and lighter figures. I think it looks very cartoony.)
-Grunge (free option 4) – adds some slashes and faded spots to the picture.
-Underpainting (free option 2) – smoothes things out for a drawing/painting effect and adds soft highlights.

Of course, the best way to see what BeFunky can do is try it out for yourself: upload a picture, try applying different effects and then upload another and start all over.

To create some highly original background/textures for a graphic: upload a pattern, apply an effect, save the result, upload the new pic and apply another effect. The possibilities are endless!

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