Review: InPaint – An Intuitive Photo Editor for Mac

Review: InPaint – An Intuitive Photo Editor for Mac

Everyone is a photographer, with their smart phones and digital cameras, even music players and tablets take pictures nowadays – so it’s no wonder that there is a new craze surrounding photo apps that allow for the most basic options, like cropping, all the way to complex options like the removal of imperfections, or even people. Inpaint Pro is a desktop application that allows users to transform imperfect photos into perfection.

Overview

Getting started with the Inpaint app was rather confusing, which says a lot, being that photo retouching is something I typically do on a day-to-day basis using Photoshop. To get started, users open an image, which displays within the Inpaint photo editor window, which has a series of tools across the top, and left side. These tools are not foreign if you have ever used Photoshop, marker (similar to the healing brush tool), magic wand, lasso, polygonal lasso are the most easily recognized tools by avid Adobe Creative Suite users.

The tool that seemed to get the most use in the Inpaint program was the marker tool, this tool removes everything from wrinkles, all the way to people and buildings. The size of the marker can be adjusted depending on what you are trying to remove. If you don’t like the changes that were made, you can simply select the undo button. The biggest thing that seems like a no brainer now that I have used the program is once you use any of the tools, you must click the button that looks like the play button on a remote to process the changes.

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Using the Inpaint marker tool is a relatively quick process, however the lasso, polygonal lasso and magic wand tools take longer to process. The major thing that seems to be lacking is basic photo enhancements options like brightness/contrast, hue/saturation, sharpen, etc. Inpaint seems to be for photos that are essentially perfect, aside from stray objects or people in the image. Things like unwanted people ruining a landscape, a date stamp, or scratches on old, scanned photos can be easily repaired using Inpaint.

While Inpaint makes it quite easy to remove unwanted objects from photos, it doesn’t seem to offer much else. Inpaint is not a one-stop shop program. Basic photo edits, aside from retouches, would most likely have to be done using a different program, being that there doesn’t seem to be photo enhancement tools available in the Inpaint program. With that said, Inpaint still offers users the great feature of removing unwanted items, which can be time consuming using programs like Photoshop, especially if you just want that person in the background removed from your vacation photo.

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One last interesting option available using the Inpaint program, is the ability to clone things from other photos. Using the multiview option, users can select an item or person to clone from another photo into the selected photo. The cloning option makes placing a person or object into a photo relatively simple compared to the complex process in the other programs. Clone yourself into a family photo, or get silly by cloning multiple versions of yourself into a photo.

Verdict [rating: 3]

Overall, Inpaint is rather confusing to use initially, but like any new program or platform, it gets easier with time and practice. If you are a frequent traveler, take photos in busy places, or tend to have items in the background of an image that you would like to remove, this is the program for you.

Inpaint Pro is available in the Mac App Store for $19.99, there is also a free trial version available here.

Pros:

  • Easy to remove unwanted items from photos
  • Allows for basic photo/skin retouching
  • Simple clone option

Cons:

  • Processing changes can be a timely process
  • Basic photo enhancement tools are not available

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