MacPhun Creative Kit 2016 review

Drama, beauty and bokeh are just a few mouse-clicks away. You can get rid of unwanted bystanders, too

MacPhun Creative Kit 2016

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FX Photo Studio looks the simplest application in the Creative Kit, but this too springs a few surprises.

On the face of it, it's a relatively unsophisticated special effects generator, with a strip of thumbnail images across the bottom that preview the look of your photo with each effect applied. They aren't subtle – but they do take your images in directions you might never have imagined.

MacPhun Creative Kit 2016

The effects in FX Photo Studio are pretty wild, but you can tone them down and they do give you ideas things to do with our images that you might not have thought of.

MacPhun Creative Kit 2016

It also has unexpectedly powerful masking tools for painting the effect into certain areas rather than the whole image or for reducing its strength/opacity.

In fact, you can tone down these effects using sliders displayed at the right side of the screen. The adjustments are pretty basic, often just contrast or saturation tweaks, but they are a start.

And you can go further by using the built-in masking tools. These are easily overlooked and accessed via an Edit Mask button. From here you can use Brush and Eraser tools with adjustable size and opacity to control the strength of the effect and the areas it's applied to.

It's also worth exploring the pop-up menu on the effects strip at the bottom of the window – the effects are organised into categories and this is where you may find out there are a lot more effects than you initially thought.

Not only that, you can add frames to images and save your own effects presets for re-use.

FX Photo Studio CK doesn't offer the in-depth adjustments of other MacPhun apps like Intensify or Tonality, but it does offer a wide range of striking and easy to apply image effects to browse through.

Rod Lawton is Head of Testing for Future Publishing’s photography magazines, including Digital Camera, N-Photo, PhotoPlus, Professional Photography, Photography Week and Practical Photoshop.