Funtastic Photos is an amazingly powerful, feature-packed, easy to use little photo editor application. The user interface is clean and uncluttered in homage to iLife conventions, but a vast array of photo correction and enhancement tools are included.
Funtastic Photos taps into OS X technologies like the Quartz graphics engine, Spotlight, and ImageIO Kit, and offers advanced photo enhancement technologies like non-destructive editing with unlimited “rewind” undos, shadows and highlights, blurring, digital flash, contrast, saturation and more.
The app opens with a browser window that displays photo archives stored in iPhoto, folders, or even on other connected volumes. A tool bar at the top of the window taps into Apple’s OS X Leopard Quick Look feature, with buttons for other basic navigation and organization tasks.
Double-clicking a photo in the browser directory opens it in the Edit Window, with a different set of toolbar tools, including a handy button that zooms your currently-selected photo to full screen size, as well as toggling various file and cropping functions. A helpful Before & After command in the View menu provides side-by-side renderings of pre- and post-editing changes.
Hit the “Advanced” button, and an expanded choice of image manipulation options (40 different effect modules) opens in a sidebar, with capabilities in many instances approaching what’s possible with full-featured image editors like Photoshop Elements or Pixelmator. Advanced editing tools are grouped in four categories: Fixing Tools, Color Adjustments, Artistic Adjustments, and Finishing Touches. You select the desired tool using checkboxes, and the function will either apply automatically, such as with Sharpen (which is a little too aggressive, IMHO), or sliders will appear permitting manual adjustments of qualities like exposure, contrast, color balance, levels, and so forth. If you don’t like a result, each tool has a reset button.
Another hide-able button bar at the bottom of the Funtastic Photos window displays sets of one-click special effects and styles options, such as Framed Oil Painting, Wanted Poster, Vintage Camera among others which gives you ten style options including 1830 Daguerreotype, 1880 Sepia tone, Date & Stamp, or Faded Color Photo, plus Artistic Adjustments that include blur, line art, mosaic and more. I found myself partial to the line art conversion effect.
Funtastic Photos supports saving standard file formats as well as adding the photos to your iPhoto library, uploading to online galleries like Facebook, Picasa Web Albums, MobileMe and Flickr, or sharing via email, all from within the program.
The Print & Layouts window provides a selection of print layouts and allows you to print in a variety of image options including a mosaic or collage option, which can be useful for printing up Christmas greetings and such. Print & Layouts is live with changes instantly visible. Printouts can be saved as images and used in the main photo editor.
What didn’t I like? The Sharpen command, as noted, is a bit too enthusiastic and needs an intensity slider, and the crop tool, while it works, uses a non-Mac-like box motif rather than a cursor-controlled selection marquee tool. There is no free-rotate function. Help documentation is sketchy and organized mainly in tutorials rather than the searchable instruction manual format I prefer for quick reference. Also, even though Ohanaware says some of the 1-Click Styles and effect modules are up to 330% faster in Funtastic Photos 1.0.2, I found the program more than a little sluggish in response on my getting-long-in-the-tooth 1.33 GHz PowerBook G4, but I expect that any Intel Mac would address that complaint handily.
Funtastic Photos sells for $34.95, but during December, 2008 is on sale for $27.99.