Fotowall is a free, open source tool for combining images and text, and creating photo collages of many images from multiple sources. It is a photo manipulation tool that, to it’s credit, feels less like a photo editor and more like a toy.
The Fotowall experience: in Fotowall, all images as draggable, clickable objects. You can twist them around, resize them, change their opacity, change their perspective on a 3D plane, and of course retitle them or add text, etc.
The interface: part of Fotowall’s appeal is the sparseness of the interface, with only a few tools in the file menu on the upper left, that stands in direct contrast to the intimidating busyness of most bitmap editors. Hover over an image with the mouse, and little icons appear that let you manipulate the picture further. There are many effects that you could apply, and I like that it will let you crop a part of each image on the spot.
Web integration: want to find an appropriate image quick? You can simply grab images from the web (Flickr, Google images) right from inside the application.
Input and output: Photowall can import and export most popular image types. It can also export to SVG vector image, useful for creating posters with PosteRazor. It can also create images suitable for use as CD and DVD cover artwork.
The verdict: this app has a lot of appeal, which comes from the sparse interface that invites you in, and the sense of possibility you get once you start adding elements to the blank page. Creative types will find themselves spending more time tweaking and playing with it than they expected they would. You can get some very nice results very quickly.
This program is still in it’s early stages. It is open source and a lot of people seem to be doing stuff with it, running it on tablets and experimenting with gesture controls and the like. I expect to see it being improved and becoming a lot more mature going forward. In the meanwhile try it, you will like it.
[Thanks for reader Panzer for the tip about this program].
Version tested: 0.9
Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7.
Go to the Fotowall program page to download (~3.34 megs).