Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Long Live Picnik

Word has been spreading that Google is killing Picnik, the popular web-based image editor it acquired not that long ago. Rats, I thought, taking this personally. I don't really use Picnik all that often because it doesn't support layers (like Gimp). But Spoonflower has a convenient interface with Picnik. Has had, since we were still on dial-up. Picnik is super easy to use, and super easy to demonstrate. It's a gateway drug to Gimp and more serious Digital Fabric for some of my students. It's beloved by my Local Color classes.

So today I looked into the matter and found some of the Picnik features are being integrated into the "Creative Kit" on Google+. I've been dragging my heels on Google+, even though I use Blogger, Google Docs, and I don't know how many other Googlified thingies. But I did finally set up a Google+ profile the other day, so this morning I did a quick test.

The second image in this post is the original photo I used. The first image is what I did in Google+ with the selection of Picnik tools integrated into Creative Kit. Not everything made the move, but it's still pretty darn good.

I found an awesome mini-tutorial by Brenda Anderson for first-time Creativity Kit users. If like me, you're new to Google+, it's well worth your time.

As for Spoonflower, last I checked they hadn't decided what they're going to do for an interface. I'm sure they'll come up with something wonderful. But I bet it takes a whole lot of work, expense and stress on their part to "fix" something that was working so well.


  1. I am with you all the way. I just re-did a bunch of my "slides" for a class tonight because they all used Picnik as the "how to" example. Even though it will still be up and running for a while, it seems a disservice to teach it when I know it is dying a slow death! My students always seem to object to having to "have an account" for something, so I am trying out Photoshop Express for this class. Spoonflower tweeted about "try Aviary" within the last few days, but I didn't like the interface as well.

  2. I agree with you about Aviary, Becka. Seemed as if you might as well go the rest of the distance and get Gimp or Photoshop, but maybe I'm missing something.

    Photoshop Express is certainly easy to use and has an awesome sketch filter, but not quite as many convenient options as Picnik. I'll play with that one some more. Thanks for the tip!

  3. Unfortunately, I had a total Photoshop Express fail at class last night. It ends up you can crop OR you can resize, but you can't do both. So if you need an image to be a square at 1000 pixels on a side, it takes way too many steps and 2 uploads to do it. I did not catch this when I was testing it out before class. So I am back on the search again. (Grumble grumble redoing slides again grumble grumble.)

  4. There's probably no way we could ransom Picnik back, is there?


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