FX Photo Studio 4.0, Great New Masks

FX Photo Studio 4.0 for the iPhone was released yesterday. The GUI is vastly improved, and there are a wealth of new features which include:

  • Masking Studio: apply effects to any part of the image
  • 7 new effects, including 3-D filter
  • Performance improvements – with some filters 2X faster processing
  • Improved editing tools: gamma, saturation, hues, etc
  • Improved in-app camera
  • Possibility to import images from Facebook
  • Instagram sharing
  • Centering for Tilt Shift, Radial Blur effects
  • Printing
  • Square crop option
  • Enhanced user interface
  • Restore in-app purchases from inside the app.

Although you can’t see it in the list, that very first item of Masking Studio is gigantic. This allows you to apply the effects to a specific region of the image by drawing a mask. The GUI associated with the mask drawing is nice and simple. There is a Paint FX paint brush and a Erase FX eraser. By zooming in you can create a good mask rather quickly. This video gives you a great introduction to the app and how effective the masking feature can be.

I used FX Photo Studio to create the images below. I’ve always been a really big fan of the sketching effects in this app, and being able to quickly use masks to apply different effects in different regions is a superb addition to the app.

Image edited with FX Photo Studio
Image edited with FX Photo Studio
Image edited with FX Photo Studio
Image edited with FX Photo Studio
Image edited with FX Photo Studio
Image edited with FX Photo Studio
Image edited with FX Photo Studio
Image edited with FX Photo Studio
Image edited with FX Photo Studio
Image edited with FX Photo Studio

This app is one of many in what I call the “presets” category. You can apply presets provided by the app and do a few basic image edits (crop, brightness, contrast, etc.). FX Photo Studio is clearly one of the leaders among the ‘preseters,’ and allows you to create some stellar images. A wide variety of effects ranging from basic vignettes to cupid overlays are included, and each preset generally has one or two parameters that can be adjusted.

You can apply as many consecutive effects as you want to which is a very useful tool (many apps don’t have this feature). In some of my images I applied more than a handful of effects to achieve the final shot.

While playing with the app I found several minor bugs in associated with the new masking feature and reported them to the development team. They were very responsive and are working on the problems – hoping to have an update out in the near future. Overall the app seemed very stable on my iPhone 4.

As with every app, there are always a few more things I’d love to see added. In this case the one I’d really love to see is a timeline, such as the one in PhotoForge and Filterstorm. Being able to jump back in time is always fun 🙂

One other thing I’d like would be actual tiny preview images for each effect when you are scrolling through the list of effects – currently you always see the same static image which you start to dislike! I realize this would be far more memory intensive and might slow things down a bit too much, but it would be nice to see this added at some point in the future.

Overall, this app is easily worth the price. It is one of the best of the preseters out there, and is worthy of a spot on your iPhone. My personal favorites are the sketching effects, and adding the masks make those really powerful. The first and last shots above both made use of the sketch + masks (along with a few other effects), and I really like them.

FX Photo Studio is currently on sale for $0.99 (regularly $1.99) on iTunes. [download]
FX Photo Studio: Home Page

3 Replies to “FX Photo Studio 4.0, Great New Masks”

  1. The masks have taken FX Photo Studio from a rarely used app to a go-to app on my phone! Two nice features are the ability to mark certain FXs as favorites and the ability to save custom presets.

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