Picture to People (P2P) is a massive online database of text and photo effect tools to help you create professional looking typography, apply image enhancements, add cool frames to your photos and do all sorts of amazing edits to your images using only your web browser without having to download anything or pay anyone.
As a developer I found the fact that these guys have managed to pull something like this off in a web environment using PHP libraries just plain awesome. I mean the sheer amount of effects you can apply to your photos is easily comparable to Adobe Photoshop and other similar expensive software except that these guys don’t even ask you to reference their website in your projects. How cool is that?
At first I didn’t believe it was free
When I first landed on the Picture to People website my usual skepticism immediately kicked in and I didn’t believe it was free as the overall look and feel (design wise) sort of gives you the impression that sooner or later you’re supposed to download something or enter your credit card details somewhere in order to sign up for a trial.
However upon taking a closer look inside of what this service was really offering, I realized how incredibly wrong my first impression of them had been. For starters, they don’t even care whether or not you reference their free tools anywhere in your projects, which for a guy like me who truly believes in this sort of unconditionally free-for-all approach is just awe-inspiring and simply epic to witness.
Freelancers at risk… or not?
I just spent half an hour browsing through some of the astonishing text and photo effects that these free tools help to create in a matter of seconds (see examples below) and I couldn’t help but wonder whether it’s the end for the average freelancer who makes a living designing logos for businesses?
Well, yes and no. While I can see how the free photo editing tools of P2P can rival the skills of an entry-level freelance designer, there are still a lot of cases where these tools just aren’t enough. For example when your client requires you to draw stuff by hand or do advanced warping and retouching of images (more on this later).
Take a look at these examples
Keep in mind that the samples below have been generated inside a web based platform and not in a third party image editing software.
I believe I took this back in December when I was out hiking in the forest. It’s a photo of an old tree stump twisted in a spiral (original can be found here) and I applied this awesome aged effect to my picture in just a couple of seconds by uploading it to P2P, editing a few settings and hitting the convert button. That’s it!
Additionally there are tons of text effects you can apply to your letters, words or sentences like these realistic chalk on a blackboard, graffiti on a brick wall or lava effects:
Or if the above examples didn’t get you excited, how about this sticker for your next MLM project?
As you can see there are a lot of possibilities in P2P and with the help of their powerful image rendering engine, you can expect the same high quality anti-aliased drawings normally only seen in expensive commercial software like Photoshop.
Picture to People Cons
While P2P is a collection of some pretty powerful and advanced tools, there are certain things you just can’t do with them. For instance, if you wanted to make someone’s thighs look thinner for a magazine cover photo, you’d quickly realize that there is no way to actually modify the existing shapes in your photos directly as there is no interface for it so warping and retouching is out of the question.
Secondly, because it’s a web based project, there is no real-time photo processing happening right in front of you which makes the whole process of working with thousands of different effects kind of tedious and frustrating as you’ll have to keep going back and forth between the settings page and the results page until you finally achieve the desired effect.
Picture to People (P2P) is a powerful, free and web based image editing platform that allows anyone to quickly add amazing effects to their pictures without having to use expensive software that pretty much do the same things. And while it takes a little bit of time to get used to the slightly less advanced user interface, it’s definitely worth it especially if you don’t have any prior experience in working with photos.