Apr 27 2009
Do you have a blog? It seems most people do these days. What about a Flickr account? Or maybe you frequent an online forum or two. If youâ€™re involved in any of these popular online activities, you have probably needed to post an image at one time or another. (I canâ€™t imagine why anyone would have a Flickr account if they had no intention of posting images!) Iâ€™m going to show you two Mac applications that simplify the process of creating images for blogs and one that will even help you upload and post the images after theyâ€™re created.
First, weâ€™ll start with Picturesque from Aqualia (ah-KWAH-lee-ah). The programâ€™s chief function is resizing and beautifying images for your website. You can add borders, fades, shadows, glows, rounded corners and reflections and adjust each effect to your liking. The interface is very clean and straight forward and it takes all the fiddling out of making your blog graphics consistent. You might even be able to develop a combination of effects that can become your blogâ€™s â€œlook.â€?
Speaking of a consistent look, Picturesque allows you to batch process a group of images so that they all have the same effects and scaling applied. You can drag multiple images to the Picturesque window and apply the same scaling and beautifications to them all before saving them all out to the desired image format.
Skitch has some of the same features as Picturesque, but not many. Skitch resizes, but not in the same way that you resize in Picturesque. Here all you do is grab the corner of the Skitch window and drag. It looks like you might merely be zooming in, but you are actually scaling. This method makes it difficult to work with images larger than your screen resolution, but if youâ€™re using Skitch for its intended purpose you really wouldnâ€™t be using images that big.
To crop an image, you just drag from the edge of the image inward until you find the cropping you like. Skitch crops in on the image and resizes the Skitch window to accommodate you.
Skitchâ€™s left edge is populated with drawing tools so that you can mark up your images with shapes, lines arrows and text. Embellishments made using Skitchâ€™s drawing tools are movable as individual objects after you draw them and are vector-based so that if you decide to scale the image up after making notations, your drawings will not lose detail or crispness. Skitch even works with WACOM tablets and allows you smooth pressure sensitive drawing.
When youâ€™re done with your image, you can just drag it out to your desktop, to your email client or you can configure Skitch to upload to your web space, Flickr account or Plasqâ€™s own MySkitch service. When you enter in this account information into Skitchâ€™s preferences, you can also ask the program to automatically put the URL, HTML or forum code into your clipboard so that you can immediately go about posting your new image to your blog or that forum you lurk in.
Skitch is integrated with iPhoto, so you can Skitch your latest pictures of your dog. And it even keeps a record of all the images youâ€™ve made, posted, emailed or archived so that you can continue to manage them if you need to.
Skitch (Price unknown, public beta available now or very soon)
Picturesque (USD$19.50, free watermarked demo)