Oct 262010

Picnik is the web-based photo editing software that Google bought earlier this year and added it to Picasa.  If you want to play with our pictures, trying out different effects and add-ons, this is *really* fun.

Here’s an example of the fun I had.  It’s called the Crystal Ball effect.  Read on and I’ll tell you how I did it.


Using Picnik

You start in Picasa.  Select the photo you want to play with and click the Picnik button in the Basic Fixes.  Click ‘Yes’ when asked if you want to edit this picture in Picnik.


Then wait …. this part takes a while.  Picnik is completely web based, and it has some very powerful features.  You need a very good Internet connection for this to work.  Once it is loaded, you will now see your picture and have all of Picnik’s editing tools available to you.  The really fun stuff is on the Create tab.


I found ‘Crystal Ball’ on the featured list of tools as part of the Halloween series.  Just click once on the Crystal Ball tool, and here’s what you get:


Then there are lots of options to play with including the color of the crystal ball, the placement of the picture, and how distorted it should be. If you like the results, you click ‘Save to Picasa.’  You can choose to overwrite your original, or make a separate copy.  I make a separate copy.

Have fun!  Notice that some of the tools say ‘Premium.’  That means you have to be a paid subscriber in order to use those.  The fee is quite reasonable at $24.95/year.  They even have a link for you to give a Picnik subscription to someone as a gift.  Could be a great addition to your Christmas list!

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

Members may want to view the following tutorial videos.  Not a member?  Join now.

Basic Edits


Retouching Photos

Fix Redeye

How Picasa Handles Edits






  5 Responses to “Fun with Picasa and Picnik”

  1. […] photo editing software that Google bought in 2010 – was closed.  No more could you enjoy the special tools it brought to the table like framing your pictures or adding ‘stickers’ (little clip art) or […]

  2. Mrs. Geek, maybe you can give us some clues as to which Piknik features are free and which or how many are part of their fee. I had hoped to use cloning but that’s part of their subscription. I had the picture cloned and only when I tried to save it did they tell me I had to pay up.

    It sounded like a good idea at the time.

    • Barb,
      I haven’t really analyzed it – the features that have a charge should have a label next to it called ‘Premium.’ There is a screenshot in this article:

      • As a strong user of Picasa I am very disappointed that we have to pay for the cloning and other tools that we all were so looking forward to using.
        With Picasa being a free program im sure alot of us thought we wouldnt have to pay for new features it would already be included as a new tool .
        This was very disapointing to me.
        I feel this is a way for google not to add more features to the Picasa program also havent they fixed the sharpening tool ?

  3. I just love your tips. Keep them coming, please.

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