Acorn Version 3.5.1 Image Editing Software - Digital Photography School
Close
Close

Acorn Version 3.5.1 Image Editing Software

Acorn256Sometimes Photoshop is just too much. Just too much for your image editing skills and sometimes just too much for your needs. And that’s not to forget the demands on your pocket!

As the company says ‘Everyone needs to edit images at some point, but not everyone has the time to learn super pricey wizbang image editing programs.’ With Acorn you can add text and shapes to your images, combine images, work with layers to improve images or create something new from scratch.

An added plus is that Acorn is claimed to be the ‘world’s only image editor with native support for Retina displays.’

After a brief dabble with the application and before I read any guff on its talents … a bit like using a camera under review and before reading the manual! … I fell for Acorn very heavily.

Besides, it does things I have never seen before.

Rundown

Here’s a rough map of its talents:

Apply non-destructive effects to your layers; turn your text and shapes upside down and every which way; Quickmask allows you to zoom in and edit your selections; Instant Alpha — remove backgrounds and other unwanted pixels from an image; Multistop Live Gradients — with this, you have infinite rainbows at your fingertips. It can also convert text to bezier paths, add and subtract points and have edges snap to pixel boundaries. And quite a bit more.

You can export images as optimized PNG, JPEG, JPEG 2000, GIF and Google’s WebP format.

Filters

But my interest in these programs always falls onto the filters section. And boy! Has Acorn got some beauties!

Figures and beach 3

Figures and beach 3 starshine

I picked up a beachside image that just screamed out for a sunflare.

In Filters>Generator I found Star Shine. Great!

First, I could place the centre of the effect. Next, to adjust the radius (size) and cross scale (extent of the rays). Other controls included the ray’s opacity, width and Epsilon. The latter? Dunno!

Clock

Glass effect

Next was a classic image of a railways station clock that just screamed out for some treatment to lift it out of the banal. My choice?

Distortion Effect>Glass Distortion. By carefully limiting the effect to the circular clock face I could impart a pebbled, hand-made glass effect that did the trick.

Strand arcade hats

Strand arcade hats Bloom

A simple shot of a hat shop window showing their range had a bit going for it, but not much. My solution? Filters>Stylize>Bloom. Here I could vary the radius of the effect and its intensity. What I found interesting, and this comment applied to some other filters, was that the intensity of the bloom effect changed only in areas of lightness. Great!

Brush sizes

Lanterns brush effect

Lanterns window

Lanterns brush effect

Then, as if the Filters department was not enough to engage me, I then fell upon the Brush section and, as you can see from this example, there is plenty to enjoy!

If you feel your image making is becoming a bit tired, try an Acorn. From little ones, big things can grow!

System Requirements

Mac OS 10.6 and later. If your OS is earlier, back to OS 10.4 you can download an earlier version of Acorn.

Go to http://www.flyingmeat.com/acorn/

Price: US$49.99. Fourteen days trial version available.

Read more from our Post Production category.

Barrie Smith is an experienced writer/photographer currently published in Australian Macworld, Auscam and other magazines in Australia and overseas.

  • Jules

    Wow, I had to read this whole article to find out it’s just for Mac? Put it in the beginning next time.

  • Pete

    Yikes. This is what DPS has come to? Shilling for shitty software? Sad.

  • Johno

    I can’t tell if this article is supposed to be sarcastic or not.

  • tariag

    Sorry but the review is poor, and the software looks totally uninteresting…

  • http://timlingley.blogspot.ca Tim

    So…are you trolling? Because that’s what it sounds like. I certainly wouldn’t want these effects on any of my photos. Does the software do something besides these cheapening filters? If you’re going to review a product, at least talk about the interface or list some actual uses.

  • http://www.twitterama.com Marcello

    I had to check the calendar after reading this because it surely looks like some kind of early April’s fool…

  • https://www.facebook.com/PointShootPhot mario

    For the price, I’d put my money on Corel’s PaintShop Pro X5. I’ve seen a pro photographer demo it live, with better images to work on. While it isn’t Photoshop, it’s leaps and bounds better than this Acorn, at least from what has been demonstrated on this review. In fairness to Acorn, I haven’t tried it so I can’t say much beyond what’s in this review. Mr. Smith may have done disservice to the software and failed to really highlight its strengths. Based on the review, I can say I’m unimpressed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/PointShootPhoto mario

    If a beach photo screams for a sun flare, I wouldn’t use that cheap star shape that screams of fake. Might as well use a White-Out correction fluid. For the price, I’d put my money on Corel’s PaintShop Pro X5. I’ve seen a pro photographer demo it live, with better images to work on. While it isn’t Photoshop, it’s leaps and bounds better than this Acorn, at least from what has been demonstrated on this review. In fairness to Acorn, I haven’t tried it so I can’t say much beyond what’s in this review. Mr. Smith may have done disservice to the software and failed to really highlight its strengths. Based on the review, I can say I’m unimpressed.

  • Barrie Smith

    Not all readers of DPS are experts! Plenty of people need and would like to use a simple, effective editing program.

  • Jeff

    Why not just use the free version of cs2. But if photoshop is “just too much” then I’d have to say pixlr.com would kick this apps ass all day long.


  • http://www.jeffreywilsonphoto.com Jeff W

    Sorry, but these effects simply aren’t good. Sunflare? Doesn’t look anything like one. To anyone pondering this software, spend a few extra dollars and get Photoshop Elements.

  • Rob Holden

    GimpShop is a nice and free alternative, though you can do a great deal of image editing online with free web services these days. I agree with one of the posters though, if the software only works for Win or Mac, spill it up front.

  • http://www.orderbyday.com Zib

    These are hilarious filters :D

  • Dave

    Jeff – photoshop cs2 is not free – you are only meant to download and use it if you have a legally licensed copy of cs2

  • Rob

    I read this article and thought ‘Seriously? You like those OTT filter effects?’ I am glad it was not just me :-)
    It looks like something thrown together by an amateur as an exercise while learning a new programming language. Perhaps the reviewer wrote the application himself and is trying to sell it?

    There are many free applications out there with layers and effects that are ten times better.

  • http://www.valentenphotography.com Valenten

    ” In Filters>Generator I found Star Shine. Great! ”

    You killed me :D

Some older comments

  • Valenten

    July 10, 2013 03:51 pm

    " In Filters>Generator I found Star Shine. Great! "

    You killed me :D

  • Rob

    March 29, 2013 08:37 pm

    I read this article and thought 'Seriously? You like those OTT filter effects?' I am glad it was not just me :-)
    It looks like something thrown together by an amateur as an exercise while learning a new programming language. Perhaps the reviewer wrote the application himself and is trying to sell it?

    There are many free applications out there with layers and effects that are ten times better.

  • Dave

    March 28, 2013 06:35 pm

    Jeff - photoshop cs2 is not free - you are only meant to download and use it if you have a legally licensed copy of cs2

  • Zib

    March 21, 2013 09:38 pm

    These are hilarious filters :D

  • Rob Holden

    March 20, 2013 02:31 pm

    GimpShop is a nice and free alternative, though you can do a great deal of image editing online with free web services these days. I agree with one of the posters though, if the software only works for Win or Mac, spill it up front.

  • Jeff W

    March 20, 2013 02:24 am

    Sorry, but these effects simply aren't good. Sunflare? Doesn't look anything like one. To anyone pondering this software, spend a few extra dollars and get Photoshop Elements.

  • Jeff

    March 19, 2013 08:34 am

    Why not just use the free version of cs2. But if photoshop is "just too much" then I'd have to say pixlr.com would kick this apps ass all day long.


  • Barrie Smith

    March 19, 2013 08:26 am

    Not all readers of DPS are experts! Plenty of people need and would like to use a simple, effective editing program.

  • mario

    March 19, 2013 01:54 am

    If a beach photo screams for a sun flare, I wouldn't use that cheap star shape that screams of fake. Might as well use a White-Out correction fluid. For the price, I’d put my money on Corel’s PaintShop Pro X5. I’ve seen a pro photographer demo it live, with better images to work on. While it isn’t Photoshop, it’s leaps and bounds better than this Acorn, at least from what has been demonstrated on this review. In fairness to Acorn, I haven’t tried it so I can’t say much beyond what’s in this review. Mr. Smith may have done disservice to the software and failed to really highlight its strengths. Based on the review, I can say I’m unimpressed.

  • mario

    March 19, 2013 01:46 am

    For the price, I'd put my money on Corel's PaintShop Pro X5. I've seen a pro photographer demo it live, with better images to work on. While it isn't Photoshop, it's leaps and bounds better than this Acorn, at least from what has been demonstrated on this review. In fairness to Acorn, I haven't tried it so I can't say much beyond what's in this review. Mr. Smith may have done disservice to the software and failed to really highlight its strengths. Based on the review, I can say I'm unimpressed.

  • Marcello

    March 19, 2013 12:46 am

    I had to check the calendar after reading this because it surely looks like some kind of early April's fool...

  • Tim

    March 18, 2013 10:24 pm

    So...are you trolling? Because that's what it sounds like. I certainly wouldn't want these effects on any of my photos. Does the software do something besides these cheapening filters? If you're going to review a product, at least talk about the interface or list some actual uses.

  • tariag

    March 18, 2013 07:41 pm

    Sorry but the review is poor, and the software looks totally uninteresting...

  • Johno

    March 18, 2013 02:50 pm

    I can't tell if this article is supposed to be sarcastic or not.

  • Pete

    March 18, 2013 02:33 pm

    Yikes. This is what DPS has come to? Shilling for shitty software? Sad.

  • Jules

    March 18, 2013 01:22 pm

    Wow, I had to read this whole article to find out it's just for Mac? Put it in the beginning next time.

Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

Sign up to the free DPS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

GET DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS Feed

Sign up to the free

DPS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

GET DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS Feed

Sign up to the free

DPS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download
DPS NEWSLETTER
DPS NEWSLETTER
DPS NEWSLETTER

DPS offers a free weekly newsletter with: 
1. new photography tutorials and tips
2. latest photography assignments
3. photo competitions and prizes

Enter your email below to subscribe.
Email:
 
 
Get DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS feed