A few days ago, I posted a preview of Snapheal, a new content-aware Mac app from MacPhun which claims to let you quickly and easily remove unwanted objects from your photos.
Snapheal for Mac is now available for download in the Mac App Store. I’ve had a chance to play around with the app. While it won’t fix everything you throw at it, Snapheal fixes a lot more than you’d think. It’s a very powerful tool and it’s very reasonably priced at under $20. Right now, Snapheal is introductory priced for only $9.99 for a limited time. Click past the jump for examples.
Snapheal isn’t iPhoneography-related per se. It is, after all, a Mac app, which means processing a photo off of your iPhone. Many iPhoneographers prefer to keep it on their iDevice.
If you work with your images — any photographs — on your Mac desktop or laptop, though (I do daily in my graphic design studio), Snapheal for Mac is a pretty amazing tool. It’s like Photoshop’s healing Patch Tool on steriods. Snapheal has several modes and tools to help clean up everything from small blemishes to completely removing larger objects. It’s a heluva lot easier and faster to use than Photoshop’s Clone tool, although Snapheal has an easy to use Clone tool as well for clean ups.
Snapheal easily and flawlessly fixes skin blemishes. In fact, the smaller the object to remove and the larger the image, the better Snapheal will work. Snapheal also works great at removing fairly good sized objects from large, fairly detail-free backgrounds, such as sky, water, and snow.
Snapheal did a good job removing a few fans in front of Little Rock’s Dickey-Stephens Ballpark. See below for examples.
This was a 5 megapixel iPhone 4 image. Snapheal did its processing fairly quickly. I took a few minutes with Snapheal, but the healing Eraser did most of the heavy lifting. I took a few extra minutes cleaning up some lines and textures with the Clone tool. I’m not sure how long it would have taken in Photoshop, but I would have spent a lot more time jacking with Photoshop CS4’s content-aware Healing Brush and Patch tools than I did using Snapheal.
I thought I’d see how Snapheal performed on an image that is a little more difficult. Here’s a large AutoStitch panorama that I cleaned up using Snapheal:
I spent a bit more time removing the Little Rock (sorry, Arkansas….), removing the graffiti and the plants on the shore. I used more of Snapheal’s tools. I could have spent more time on the image, but in less than 30 minutes, Snapheal even worked well on this image with more object and less content to grab.
It didn’t work as well on some images with a very busy background. It created some pretty bad distortions in the filled-in areas. Really, it would take a lot of detailed work cloning and painting in Photoshop to reconstruct these images. Snapheal has limits. You’ll have to find them on an image-by-image basis.
Also, I found that the larger the raw image like from a DSLR and the greater the area or more complex the processing can slow down Snapheal’s processing — sometimes considerably.
Snapheal also has a basic set of image editing tools, such as Brightness/Contrast, Saturation, Cropping, etc. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of Photoshop, but it can save you time and trouble performing a lot of pretty impressive image manipulations and unwanted object removal. For only $20, Snapheal is a bargain — certainly much less expensive than Photoshop — and Snapheal can quickly and easily do many of the same basic tasks as well. While it won’t fill all of your image processing needs, overall it’s an amazing tool that amateurs and prosumer photographers, graphic designers and production artists will all find very handy.
I’ll be using it often in my graphic design studio. I recommend it. Much of the time, Snapheal really can do magic.
Snapheal is an Intel-only, Mac-only program. Requirements: Mac OS X 10.6 or later. Snapheal is on sale now for only $9.99 in the Mac App Store. It normally sells for $19.99. Grab it now and save ten bucks!