Photowipe

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Photowipe is a free program that can easily remove unwanted parts or elements of a digital image and “fill in” the gap algorithmically based on a the information in the areas/pixels surrounding it.

Have you ever had a perfect digital photograph that otherwise had a little detail that was completely off and that you wished you could remove? Say you’ve finally managed to get every member of your family posing and smiling in sync in front of a gorgeous backdrop, except down by the right hand corner a passerby’s foot and a little of their leg is intruding on the scene.

Or let’s say that you’ve just taken a picture of your car that you want to sell on ebay; you’re about to post it when you suddenly see what you had somehow missed earlier, that a bird had mistaken your car for a toilet, leaving tiny but problematic traces on the roof and one of the left-side windows.

Enter Photowipe, a program designed to remove unwanted parts of an image. Here are some notes on this program:

  • Standalone program: not a plugin for another image editor.
  • Photowipe is extremely easy to use: blot the picture elements you do not want with black paint, then run (see screenshot).
  • The time it takes to process depends on the image, but is very fast (not more than a few seconds in my experience).
  • Examples where Photowipe works well: spots, blemishes wrinkles, dirty area of a photograph, etc. It can also work well for, say, removing small watermarks, (especially ones that may be placed in a corner of an image and that are not the main focus of the image). Another potential use would be with screenshots that may contain personal information that you might want to remove/hide, or hiding the features of people in an image to make them anonymous.
  • This program is well suited for removing little details, but when I tried to use this to remove a large part of a picture (an entire person
    which amounted to approx 25% of the area of the photo), the end result looked like a photograph that had acid poured on it.

The verdict: this is a fast and easy way to remove unwanted elements from an image. It works fairly well, especially given that what it attempts to do is often not an easy task. For the best results you may still have to go over your processed image in an image editing program like Photoshop (or the freeware Gimpshop) and do a lot of manual manipulation. Still, in many cases the Photowipe intervention alone is sufficient, as in general it does a really good job.

Version tested: 1.11

Compatibility: WinAll.

Go to the program home to get the latest version (approx 830K).