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Pixlr-o-matic for Vintage & Retro Photo Effects - Free Online Photo Editor - Review

Updated on June 27, 2018
Photo 1.1 - Photo of my cat, Simba, edited using Pixlr-o-matic antonio effect, under Color Filter.
Photo 1.1 - Photo of my cat, Simba, edited using Pixlr-o-matic antonio effect, under Color Filter. | Source

Pixlr-o-matic is an online photo editor that can be downloaded for free. It is easy to use with many choices of built in effects such as vintage and retro photo effects. You will get awesome photos, but be warned, Pixlr-o-matic can be addictive!

Pixlr-o-matic interface is very user friendly and once you download this photo-processing app, you can start working on your photo immediately without having to read any manual or tutorial.

Basically, the app has three separate customization options:

  1. Color Filters
  2. Lighting Effects, and
  3. Borders

I will illustrate these features with photos of my cats.

photo 5.0 Screenshot of Pixlr-o-matic interface
photo 5.0 Screenshot of Pixlr-o-matic interface

Using the Color Filters - 1st Customization Option in Pixlr-o-matic

The attached Photo #5.0 is a screenshot of the color filter option interface.

Under the Color Filter option, you can choose from several filters to change your photo's tone and light effect. You can experiment and see which is the best for your photo. If you changed your mind, you can always redo it. It is that simple.

I choose the following effects, from the many options in Pixlr-o-matic, to give the desired look, that I was looking for.

Original photo of Simba
Original photo of Simba
Original photo of Marche
Original photo of Marche

Simba

For a photo of my cat, Simba, I use the antonio effect to get the soft blurry look in the photo. See photo #1.1 above. I chose this effect as Simba looked 'innocent' in this photo and the soft blurry look kind of accent this further! This feature was made famous in the 70's by the controversial British-born French photographer, David Hamilton.

Marche

For a photo of my cat, Marche, (photo #2.1 below) I wanted the washout vintage postcard look and used the josh effect from the many options in Pixlr-o-matic.

Photo 2.1 - Marche with Pixlr-o-matic  josh effect
Photo 2.1 - Marche with Pixlr-o-matic josh effect | Source
Original photo of Kecik
Original photo of Kecik

Kecik

I wanted the vignetting effect for Kecik's photo (photo #3.1) where the face area is sharp and focused, but the other part of the photo kind of fades off at the edges. It is almost similar to the antonio effect, but not so pronounced. To get this effect, I used the sophia features.

Photo3.1 - Kecik with Pixlr-o-matic sophia effect
Photo3.1 - Kecik with Pixlr-o-matic sophia effect | Source
Original photo of Marche with Kecik
Original photo of Marche with Kecik

Marche with Kecik

If color photos are not processed properly, the vibrant colors will soon fade with times and you may even get the sepia tone effect. I wanted this look for photo of Marche with Kecik (photo #4.1 below) To get this effect in Pixlr-o-matic, I used the ivan features.

Photo 4.1 - Marche and Kecik with Pixlr-o-matic  ivan effect
Photo 4.1 - Marche and Kecik with Pixlr-o-matic ivan effect | Source

Using the Lighting Effect - 2nd Customization Option in Pixlr-o-matic

The lighting effect in Pixlr-o-matic will give your photo an added oomph! Some examples of the effect that you will get are light leaks, neon light & sparkle. However, some of the effects looked artificial and 'static'. So you need to choose with care to get the best effect.

To illustrate the Lighting Effects, I decided to overlay it over photos that I had edited earlier using the Filter Effect. You can, however use it on your original photo and not on the edited photo.

Photo 1.2 - Combination of  Pixlr-o-matic Color Filter and Lighting effects
Photo 1.2 - Combination of Pixlr-o-matic Color Filter and Lighting effects | Source

For Simba's photo 1.2, I combined the Filter Effect, antonio, with the Lighting Effect, rainbow.

The rainbow Lighting Effect in Pixl-O-Matic, however, completely overlaid the antonio Filter Effect and you don't get to see the soft blurry look that I created earlier. However it gives the photo a new dimension and sparkle.

Photo 2.2 - Using Pixlr-o-matic Josh &  bubble effect together
Photo 2.2 - Using Pixlr-o-matic Josh & bubble effect together | Source

For photo #2.2, as in the earlier photo, I combined both the Filter and Color Effect. In this case I used the bubble effect.

This effect still retained the edited version of the Filter Effect whilst giving energy to the photo.

Photo 3.2 - Pixlr-o-matic sophia+subtle effect
Photo 3.2 - Pixlr-o-matic sophia+subtle effect | Source

For photo #3.2, the subtle Lighting Effect gives the impression as if your color negative is covered with dirt and dust, and can be seen in the final photo print as 'sparkle'.

I like this effect on Kecik's photo as it gives that 'twinkle and flicker' look!

Photo 4.2 - Pixlr-o-matic ivan+beep effect
Photo 4.2 - Pixlr-o-matic ivan+beep effect | Source

I used the beep Lighting Effect in Pixl-O-Matic, for Photo #4.2, to get the 'neon light' look. I wanted to give the impression of the cats looking and playing with this light.

This effect is similar to long exposure taken of a moving light.

Using the Border / Framing Effect - 3rd Customization Option in Pixlr-o-matic

As with the previous two Pixl-O-Matic customization options, the border and frame customization also have many choices to choose from. Try them out to give the look that you want.

The frames and borders that I used on Photos #1.3, #2.3, #3.3 and #4.3 are just some examples that you can try.

Photo 1.3 - Combination of Pixlr-o-matic antonio effect, rainbow effect and the border, rustic
Photo 1.3 - Combination of Pixlr-o-matic antonio effect, rainbow effect and the border, rustic | Source
Photo 2.3 Using Pixlr-o-matic josh+bubble+dirt framing
Photo 2.3 Using Pixlr-o-matic josh+bubble+dirt framing | Source
Photo 3.3 Using Pixlr-o-matic sophia+subtle+grunge border
Photo 3.3 Using Pixlr-o-matic sophia+subtle+grunge border | Source
Photo 4.3 Using Pixlr-o-matic ivan+beep+sand border
Photo 4.3 Using Pixlr-o-matic ivan+beep+sand border | Source

Download Pixlr-o-matic for your desktop

Interested to use Pixlr-o-matic for vintage and retro photo effects? Get it free online.

Download Pixlr-o-matic for your desktop here.

Pixlr-o-matic can also be used directly from the web browser without having to download to your computer. This will save you on your computer memory. The option is yours. I decided to download to my computer as it allows me to work offline.

Pixlr-o-matic is also available for iPhone, iPad and Android mobile platform. For this version you can connect to messaging services such as Skype or IM.

Pros and Cons of using Pixlr-o-matic

Pros

  • It is free
  • Simple interface with only three customization options
  • Easy image preview
  • Edited photo can be amended and redo easily
  • Many options to choose from for the Filter, Lighting and Border Effect

Cons

  • The desktop version does not integrate with social network sites or photo services
  • Can only apply the effect one at a time
  • To apply any additional effects, you need to save the edited photo, then reopen it
  • Cannot control the intensity of the effect
  • You need to remember the filter name and the effect it will create as the names given doesn't truly describe the effect.

Conclusion

If you are not looking for any advance features, then Pixlr-o-matic is perfect for you. It is easy to use and it is free. Download it now and use it to jazz up your photos.

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© 2012 Mazlan

Comments

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    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      5 years ago from Malaysia

      idigwebsites, I did not know that Photogramio.com is also Pixlr. Thanks for the info and thanks for dropping by and commenting

    • idigwebsites profile image

      idigwebsites 

      5 years ago from United States

      Thank God for Pixlr! Photogramio.com is also Pixlr, btw, and that was where I learned all about it. :)

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      6 years ago from Malaysia

      @tim-tim , we all love freebies and Pixlr-o-matic is a freebie with lots of useful tools. Try it.

    • tim-tim profile image

      Priscilla Chan 

      6 years ago from Normal, Illinois

      Love freebies!

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      6 years ago from Malaysia

      @metaluserful , you are welcome or "De nada" ..is that how you say that in Spanish?

    • profile image

      metaluserful 

      6 years ago

      seeeeeeeee muchas graxias

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      6 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi coffeegginmyrice, thanks for dropping by. Pixlr is great for the vintage and retro look. For other options, you should give BeFunky a try, its free and easy to use. You can check out my article on this software. Thanks again for the visit.

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image

      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 

      6 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      I like Pixlr too now that Picnik is ending.

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      6 years ago from Malaysia

      Thanks prairieprincess for the compliment and I hope this software will help with your photo editing.

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 

      6 years ago from Canada

      This is cool! I have just recently gotten into photo editing and am using the tools from my Chrome browser. After reading this article, I have now added this extension unto my Chrome and it is a neat product. You did a nice job with your cats,too. Thanks for the heads-up!

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      6 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi Melovy, I hope your daughter will enjoy jazzing up the photos using Pixlr-o-matic. Thanks for the vote and sharing.

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 

      6 years ago from UK

      This is really interesting. My daughter loves doing this kind of thing so I will bookmark this hub for her. Thanks for the hub. Voted up and sharing.

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      6 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi Peggy W. That was quick. Thanks for dropping by so fast. Thanks for sharing.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Some great effects you achieved using Pixir-o-matic. I may have to check this out. Thanks! Voted useful and will tweet so that others can also learn.

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