effects

Adobe After Effects CS6 for Mac review

Adobe After Effects CS6 for Mac provides you with professional tools for creating special video effects and making complex video edits. This subscription software comes with a free trial and is the current industry standard. Because of the sheer amount of features it includes, it requires a powerful Mac in order to run smoothly.

Pros

Large installer and slow installation: Installing Adobe After Effects CS6 for Mac may take a few minutes since the app weighs 1GB. The need to obtain an Adobe ID if you don't have one already further slows down the installation.

Plenty of features: This … Read more

Color Touch Effects review

With Color Touch Effects you can make images more interesting by turning them to black and white and then restoring color only to the subject or to certain elements to which you want to draw attention. This app also features several nice effects you can add after the coloring.

Pros

Responsive controls: Color Touch Effects' brush feels responsive and enables you to color anything without too much trouble. You'll also like the smooth two-finger zoom in and zoom out, which makes the coloring of small parts of the image almost effortless.

Nice effects: There are about 20 or so … Read more

ManyCam for Mac review

ManyCam for Mac allows you to add special effects to the pictures and videos you take with your computer's built-in iSight camera. When you select it as your video source, these effects can be added to your video chats with programs such as Yahoo Messenger, Google Hangouts, or Skype.

Pros

Entertaining effects: ManyCam for Mac offers many entertaining photo effects including objects, backgrounds, and face accessories. You can also draw over video, add text over video, and add date and time. However, some of the other features we stumbled upon while exploring this program were welcome surprises. For example, … Read more

CyberLink YouCam 6 Deluxe review

CyberLink YouCam 6 Deluxe bundles Fun Webcam, Creative Camera App, Smart Work, and Easy Organization features into an all-in-one Webcam and camera utility. It edits photos and videos, adds special effects and filtering, creates video presentations with narration and desktop animation, and organizes videos and photos. Recent updates include HDR and Panorama photos and touch-friendly editing and effects. YouCam 6 Deluxe's free 30-day trial disables some filters and other features.

Pros

All-in-one: YouCam 6 Deluxe bundles a lot into one program, including fun-oriented filters and effects and other features that are all business.

Calendar view: The Calendar view organizes … Read more

PhotoFunia review

PhotoFunia gives you numerous options for mixing your photos with diverse backgrounds and settings to create both unique and bizarre images. No matter what type of theme you're looking for, you're sure to find it in this innovative app.

Pros

Lots of stuff: There are all kinds of effects you can use on your photos in this app, although they might not be the kinds of things you're used to thinking of when you think of effects. What PhotoFunia contains are tons of different scenes and backgrounds that you can insert your photos into, like billboards, calendars, … Read more

Fotor review

Fotor provides you with a nice set of tools that you can use to edit your photos singly or in batches, and create collages for all occasions. Whether you frequently edit photos on your computer or you're new to the process, this app gives you everything you need to get started.

Pros

Lots of tools: When it comes to editing images, there's not much you can't do with this program. There is a nice array of editing tools that lets you adjust contrast, brightness, lighting source, and more. The long list of effects can each be applied … Read more

Instagram review

Instagram provides a platform for you to apply filters and other effects to your photos and then share them with friends. You can choose to post only to Instagram, or you can share simultaneously on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Foursquare right from the app.

Pros

Hashtag searches: In addition to adding your own photos to Instagram, you can also browse through the millions of photos other users have posted. One great way to see the kinds of pictures you're interested in quickly is to search for certain hashtags. And you can also include hashtags along with your own photos … Read more

Add special effects to your smartphone movies

In my youth, I wanted nothing more than to make movies. But the tools just weren't available -- not on my budget, anyway. And even if I'd had a movie camera, special effects were out of the question. UFO invasions, dinosaur attacks, bomb explosions -- these were the purview of Industrial Light & Magic, not little Ricky Broida.

Oh, to be a kid again. Armed with nothing more than a smartphone and the right apps, you can shoot in razor-sharp HD and add all kinds of startlingly good special effects.

You handle the storyboarding and final edits; I'… Read more

The Grid brings an Instagram-like feed to VSCO, but it needs more

VSCO Cam is an elegant photo effects app with a minimalist interface, which lets you create great-looking shots in only a few steps.

VSCO Cam has been available since mid-2013, but the latest release of the app adds a whole new social layer with a photo feed that's sort of similar to what you get on Instagram. Unlike Instagram, the news feed (called "The Grid") is curated by VSCO Cam and doesn't have nearly the user base of Instagram, nor does it have the same controls for "liking" or commenting on photos. But where … Read more

A feast of Hollywood's best visual effects (video)

Amid all the glitz and glam of the red carpet, the center of attention in Hollywood is always the big names. But great films are the sum of their parts, and behind the scenes, creative specialists work to make all those parts flow seamlessly.

Often overlooked among the celebrity fanfare, the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects showcases the masterful use of technology to bring stories to life, from scale models of the 1970s to the more advanced modern digital technologies of today.

Nelson Carvajal conceived and edited this compilation of visual effects, looking back at the films that have … Read more