Review: PostworkShop 1.1

by Scott Chitwood • Saturday October 23rd, 2010
Posted in More Than Words

Artistic Effects for your Images; Transform Pictures Into Works of Art

Chances are we’ve all seen these two expressions applied in some similar form to more image editing apps we can/care to remember.  Yet the true measure of this, or any other product, is whether or not those promises are delivered.

PostworkShop meets and exceeds those promises in a big way; effects are artistic, transformations run the gamut from subtle to spectacular.  Add a couple of other strengths to that list…

  • Easy to use and fun to play with.
     
  • Powerful and accessible features the average consumer can quickly understand and make use of.
     

These strengths are all due the backbone of Styles that PostworkShop uses to transform your images.  Comparably we might think of these as Effects/Filters built into other image editors (Photoshop, etc.) and we would even find that many Styles perform the same/closely similar functions to what the big kid down the block uses.  Things diverge a bit from there.

Organized within major categories and related sub-categories are 350 Styles: User, Building Blocks, Drawing, Painting, Graphic Arts, and Photo are all on the top tier.  Drill down through each of the sub-categories and you’ll find a wealth of artistic avenues to explore.

PostworkShop Styles Tab

Adding a Style to your composition is an easy drag and drop into the Style Layers menu.  And this is where things start to get interesting, adjustments to opacity and layer blending options are highly recommended for fine-tuning the default Style.

PostworkShop Properties + Preview tab

In addition to that, most Styles can be further tweaked from the Properties + Preview tab.  The Browse button within this particular dialog gives the user an opportunity to switch out the brush tip and paint media.

PostworkShop Style Drag & Drop

Though I’m not sure if this is the correct terminology, Style Stacks open the door to a nearly endless array of artistic possibilities.  Drop three or more Styles over one another, apply blending and opacity settings, you’re the Picasso of 2010 kids!

A combination of Brightness Contrast, Dreamworld, and Expression 1 Styles were applied to the image below, then I used the ‘Save Current Style’ command to combine the three settings as a new Style in my User/My Styles folder — neat feature!

PostworkShop Randy

A two-part system is used to save your work in PostworkShop…

  1. As Projects that are stored within the program itself, available at the touch of a button.  This method is non-destructive, your original image remains intact and the Styles within your composition are preserved.
     
  2. As an exported image with a nice selection of formats to choose from, including a Photoshop option that preserves the Style Stacks by converting them to layers.
     

Two additional powerful features are also built into PostworkShop; a node-based Style editor, and Batch Processing.  The application is a cross-platform product for Mac OS X and Windows.  More information, tutorials, and a users forum can be found at the PostworkShop website.

As a digital artist I’m very pleased with the results I’ve seen in my explorations of PostworkShop, it certainly makes the grade as a primary tool for pushing my photography and other digital compositions into new and exciting directions.  Three thumbs up!  I’m feeling inspired :^)



1 Comments

  1. Mark Horne
         December 3, 2010

    Looks like neat stuff. I think tools that are simple to use (easy to understand), with straight forward controls and a minimal of “Menu Diving” should rule the day. Too many programs offer results but with much more work that can be hard to get to or find in the program.
    I like the idea of this software package.

    Thanks “Rampant One”

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