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Photoupz review

Ben Pitt
28 Sep 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
9.50
inc VAT

It's far from foolproof, but this little utility has a decent stab at removing eyesores from otherwise great photos

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There are few things more annoying than a carrier bag, electric pylon or gormless stranger ruining your beautifully-composed photo. So when Photoshop CS5's context-aware fill offered a seemingly magical fix, many people thought early demos were too good to be true. It let the user select an offending area of a photo, hit delete and, instead of replacing the area with a black hole, the software generated a new background that blended seamlessly with the rest of the photo.

Photoupz before

In practice, it was rarely perfectly convincing. It failed miserably when trying to rebuild manmade objects because lapses in repetitive symmetry stood out like a sore thumb. However, for landscapes and vegetation that have less structured forms, it could be startlingly effective, with just a few minor patch-ups required to complete the illusion.

Content-aware fill has since appeared in Adobe Photoshop Elements 10, and now a similar process is available from a simple program costing just $15 (around £10). Photoupz does little else, with basic brightness, sharpness and noise reduction filters completing its feature list. That's not necessarily a problem, though – we like a tool that does one job well.

Photoupz during

On first inspection it appeared to be a little more sophisticated than Abobe's content-aware fill, allowing us to draw guide lines to help the software understand how the background should join together after editing without any visual glitches. However, the results of our tests were never entirely convincing. The border between the original and new parts of the image weren't colour-matched, and the software appeared to clone other areas of the photo fairly indiscriminately. The guide lines clearly helped but they weren't enough to give photorealistic results.

We tried Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 on the same photos and it wasn't necessarily much better, but Elements' content-aware fill lets you fill one part of the photo at a time rather than do it all at once, so you can undo unsuccessful changes and switch to the more laborious but controllable Healing Brush and Clone Stamp tools for particularly tricky areas.

Photoupz after

You can't knock a free trial, though. If you're tempted, give Photoupz a go to see whether it works for your photos.

Details

Price£10
Detailswww.photoupz.com
Rating***

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