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SplashUp Review: the future of picture editing?

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Previously known as "Fauxto", SplashUp can (in a nutshell) be defined as a Flash-based, browser-integrated image-editor. It's one of the better ones out there and can be almost be called "Photoshop Lite".

During the recent times, a lot of web-based image-editing programs have been sprouting up. And why not? Web-based solution don't need any additional software to run.

SplashUp offers you the option to open an image from 6 different places. You may open a from some photo-sharing sites (such as Flickr), locally, or else by providing the photo's URL. However I wasn't able to open an image directly from Flickr, SplashUp just kept on giving me error messages. Using a photo's URL works fine though.

SplashUp is the only online photo-editor I know of which supports:
- Layers. Plus: blending modes, advanced layer effects, and opacity changes.
- The ability to open multiple images at the same time.
- A windowed environment, made possible by Flash.
- The creation of images from scratch.

It also offers pixel-level editing, using a variety of brushes and gradients. It also has some pretty advanced text control.

Much like all free services, this program isn't without its flaws/bugs. For one thing, it is missing a couple of major features. One feature missing is keyboard shortcuts. Keyboard shortcuts help streamline your workflow, they save time and mouse clicks. Everyone knows that CTRL+Z is an undo, why they didn't implement these in SplashUp is anybody's guess.

Another feature which is amiss is probably a limitation of Flash itself. SplashUp is missing the context-sensitive right-click menu. When you right-click in Photoshop, you get a menu that's relevant to the tool selected, such as settings for the brush tool. SplashUp sadly misses this useful feature. Flash probably needs this menu for itself. Being totally implemented in Flash, it has to accept the limitations that its programming language has.

Its largest fault however, is that it's buggy, and quite unstable. Specifically, after a while of using it, it tends to crash very often, requiring a restart. Given time, I'll bet that the developers can iron out the bugs. Lastly, the sharpening option sucks big time. There is a workaround - duplicate the layer, apply the 'Sharpen' filter, and reduce the opacity. But who likes workarounds?


SplashUp is a fantastic achievement. It's speedy, resource-light, and offers a vast array of tools and advanced controls that many paid-for programs don't even offer. It wouldn't be unfair to call it a 'lite' version of Adobe Photoshop.

Of course, SplashUp has it's share of negatives, of which there are many. The main one for me was that it's rather buggy and unstable. I hope that future versions will improve on this aspect (there are sections for bug reporting and feature requests, by the way).

Because all you need is a web browser and a Flash player, it can be run from most computers. This makes it great for a quick edit to a photo of yours (even for example adding a watermark), wherever you are.

Highly Recommended (with reservations)

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