Panav Krapoor’s first attempt at an iOS app was already a success: Irish Photo Suite was (and still is) a very good photo editing app, available as two separate downloads for both the iPhone and the iPad. It’s with Laminar, though, that the Indian developer has produced one of the best apps available on the market: with a new, optimized, interface this software has all the features that you would love in its predecessor and a lot more, making it a competitor for other advanced editors like Photoshop Touch and Photoforge2. Laminar is iPad only: if you’d like to have some of its features on the iPhone, you’d have, instead, to consider Iris (unfortunately, it has not been updated since the release of the new program).
Laminar does not have an internal library. When you launch it you’re asked if you want to resume the previous session:
The interface is well structured, and it gives immediate access to most of the app’s functions.
Automatic settings, such auto-levels and white balance, leave honestly more than something to be desired. Hopefully this is just a temporary issue, since they work pretty well in Iris.
Each layer has its own undo history. Because of this, image flattening cannot be undone.
The Fx section is rich of filters.
Each filter has his own strength setting, and that is very good… but the result of changing it may not necessarily be what you could expect.
Still, you’ll be able to apply the effect as a new layer, which is great.
Laminar has a lovely “Light Engine”, that can produce some great effects.
The Touch FX section needs, in my opinion, some improvement. Blur can be too strong even with lower hardness settings, while the opacity slider behaves irrationally.
In the FX section you can also add external texture, replace colors, change the white balance amd apply tilt shift effects.
In the Brushes section you have several standard editing tools, including Clone, Burn & Dodge. Once again, edits can be applied as a new layer.
There are two different ways to apply a text: one in the Brushes section and one in the specific Text section. In both cases you don’t have a chance to preview the font before you apply it. That would be a nice addiction.
Once you have a layer, you can edit its mask using standard tools like Lasso, Gradient, Brush, Eraser and Magic Wand to blend it differently with what lays behind. This works greatly, but I think the Magic Wand tool should be redesign to offer better visual feedback of what is going to be masked out. Also, the addiction of Bezier and Scribble selection tools (this one seems to be exclusive to Photoshop Touch, at the moment) would be a welcome addition to the set of tools!
Finally, some fromes: Laminar has a nice set of them!
In conclusion, even with some little flaws and bugs here and there, I feel that Laminar is a wonderful application. Given its low price, I definitely consider it a must have for anyone interested in some advanced photo editing on the iPad. Photoshop Touch might have more functions, no issues and a few stronger tools, but it also misses a few of the features that Laminar has, such as full resolution editing and more presets and features.
|Developer||Ventessa (Panav Krapoor)|