Quick New Tool for Healing & Restoring Photos: Snapheal

Image editing can be a real pleasure, but it can also be exhausting, especially if you want to make changes that require either professional apps that cost a lot or skills that only come from years of experience. Removing unwanted objects from photos – cars, wires, people, trees, trash, anything of the kind – can be either very simple, depending on the background and general composition of the image, or a real headache. For mac users, Snapheal can make this task easy as never.

snapheal photo retoucher

Quick retouching of everyday life shots or vacation photos

What if you’re a photographer who wants to remove unwanted sections in your composition without buying and learning a whole editing suite? That’s where it comes in. Basically, Snapheal is a $20 Mac app (reduced to $9.99 for an indefinite time) that does one thing and does it well: content aware fill. It’s not Photoshop or GIMP, but then again it isn’t trying to be.

The reason for this is that PS is a full editing application, offering you thousands of options to work with. Snapheal, on the other hand, focuses on exactly one thing: removing objects. That allows for a much simpler user interface and you can actually start using it right away. Snapheal removes unwanted objects on photos, fixes skin imperfections, restores damaged pictures faster, easier and better than other apps using a series of patented algorithms to determine what should be filled in where the object you removed was. It smartly and quickly repairs the photo with intelligent guesses about what to fill in.

skin retouching

Quick fix of portrait subject skin imperfections

Designed to be a powerful automatic cloning tool; and the simplicity of the interface makes it the ideal choice for the photography enthusiast who only ever uses the cloning tool anyhow. All you have to do is select your brush size, mark the area you would like gone and click erase button, choosing 1 of 3 erasing modes and let the program “do magic.” Snapheal’s patented algorithms will allow you to achieve even better results than with expensive photo editing software.

Here is a video showing the process erasing objects with Snapheal compared to Photoshop content aware feature performance:

More cases where Snapheal can edit your photo in minutes on snapheal.com.

The app offers Lightroom and iCloud support, it works smoothly with Mountain Lion. Shapheal supports most all image formats, including RAW with resolution support up to 32 megapixels. Requires OS X 10.6 or later. The app provides wide sharing opportunities: via Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, E-mail. Icons in Snapheal intuitive interface are pretty clear on what you can do, removing the need for excessive descriptive texts.

Tip 1: A selection of Erase Modes

There are three of them and each one is suited for different tasks: Wormhole is best with smallish changes, Shapeshift is more suited for larger objects. With the proper mode selected the quality of the healing goes up significantly. If you erase in multiple steps, you can fine tune it even more: do a Wormhole for your smaller portions, apply, and then do the larger objects with the Shapeshift effect. One more little tip: if your target object is too large, Snapheal might not have enough surrounding textures to make good guesses. Sometimes you’ll have to do the removal in stages.

removing background elements

Simply select any object in the background that you want to remove and its gone

Tip 2: Lasso tool

There are also two interesting options, the Lasso and Polygonal Lasso. While the normal brush allows you to paint over an area that you want to remove (especially useful for tiny objects), the lasso tools allow you to outline an area. The benefit? Instead of having to paint over large objects (like buildings or a person in the foreground) you can encircle it and let Snapheal worry about the rest.

Tip 3: Precision slider

The precision slider within the healing tab controls how precisely Snapheal will calculate adjustments/changes. If you select the highest setting, applying the fixes will take quite a while. Leaving it at the normal setting still produces very good results as well but with shorter processing times (and it’s much faster than in the last version of Snapheal).

Tip 4: Besides the fact that Snapheal is best at removing objects from photos, it does have a variety of other image editing tools like crop, clarity, saturation, sharpening and the usual array of editing features.

restore old photos

Restoring old scanned photos usually takes a lot of time, but snapheal can do it very quickly

The app has a very nice split-screen mode so you can see the original photo and the edited version. So, if the content-aware features of the newest Photoshop are something you want, but you don’t want to pay the high Adobe tariff, or you don’t want to learn the fine art of image editing Snapheal will give you that feature at a low price. It’s easy to understand and the results will please you if you’re willing to invest a little time into your image.

Cutting the long story short, if you are looking for a powerful and non expensive image editing tool that requires no special knowledge to deal with Snapheal is here for you.

Opportunity for PictureCorrect Readers:

When we requested a review copy of this new software, they also included an opportunity for you, our readers: Everyone who picks up a copy of Snapheal will get a FREE copy of FX Photo Studio PRO for Mac. To get it you just need to send a picture from inside the app to gift@macphun.com with the following email subject “PictureCorrect promo“.

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