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Colorcinch Review: Is It the Best Photo-to-Painting Software?

The world of photo editing can appear complex and daunting. From memory-heavy programs to an arsenal of buttons, there are lots of hurdles in the post-processing world. It’s even more difficult if your client or friend asks you to turn a photograph into a painting!

And that’s where Colorcinch found their “in” – as a (primarily) web-based editing program that lacks the above complexities but still delivers results, and that promises to create realistic paintings from any photo.

But how does Colorcinch actually perform? Is it genuinely easy to use? Can it really turn your photographs into convincing paintings? Here is our hands-on review of Colorcinch!

Colorcinch Overview

A powerful web-based photo editor and painter

This application is an easy to use, all-in-one editing program that lets you turn photographs into paintings.

Very reasonable price for premium features
Extremely easy-to-use interface
A slew of editing capabilities, such as overlays and masking
Absolutely excellent photo-to-painting ability
Available as both a browser editor and a standalone app
Features are quite limited compared to industry-standard programs

Colorcinch is a powerful editing program. Unlike software that requires downloading, Colorcinch can be accessed directly from your internet browser. You also have the option to install Colorcinch as a standalone app, which comes in handy when editing without consistent internet.

Colorcinch, formerly known as Cartoonize, has a reputation for transforming photographs into beautiful paintings (some convincing, others not so much).

And if you’re a digital artist, you’ll appreciate a few bonus perks, such as free-hand drawing with the various brushes and tools.

Ease of Use 

The team behind Colorcinch writes, “Photo editing shouldn’t be difficult. As creatives ourselves, we recognize the need for a simplified platform that not only provides access to professional editing tools, but constructs a process that makes it easier to achieve all the same stunning results, with a fraction of the experience.”

And I am thrilled to state that this mission statement could not be more true. Colorcinch is incredibly simple to use with no real learning curve. You simply upload an image and use the convenient tabs on the lefthand side to get to work! The interface design is sleek and simplistic, with everything readily available at your fingertips.

The program even offers a bit of descriptive text explaining each feature to users. Not only does this allow Colorcinch to welcome newcomers to their editing program, but it’s also a great learning tool for those still dipping their toes into the post-processing aspect of photography. 

And though the browser version requires an internet connection, you do have the option to install a standalone Colorcinch app if you plan to post-process while traveling or you’re plagued by spotty Wi-Fi. In fact, you can now grab Colorcinch as a desktop app, a Chromebook app, or an Android app – all of which work when offline – allowing you to use Colorcinch on a host of devices.

Editing Features

For the purposes of this review, I will be using an image of Molly (below!) to test the various features Colorcinch has to offer. This file features a ridiculous 61 megapixels of resolution, so you can see how well Colorcinch handles a massive file.

Now, to start, you do need to upload your file. I had to convert my image to JPEG format because Colorcinch does not support RAW format – a bummer for some photographers, but not a big deal for the average user. 

Basic Edits

Let’s start with the very first set of editing features you will come across: the basic editing panel. Here, you will find settings such as cropping, exposure, tint, and more. The exposure features are comparable to other programs, and allow you to accurately adjust your overall exposure, your shadows, your highlights, and your contrast. These tools all work very well and I did not encounter any issues. 

The Tint feature was similarly easy to use and apply. What I found very interesting, however, was that you can adjust the opacity of the tint – something not available in the other programs I use. It’s a small detail, but I liked this little extra touch of control.

As someone who color grades a lot, the color tab was way too basic for me, but it would likely be good for quick adjustments. 

Filters and Scenes

If you’re an avid Instagram user, you’ll know all about the power of filters; these preset edits can be applied with just the click of a button. Many of the Colorcinch filters mimic a variety of different cameras, styles, and aesthetics that are currently popular.

The results weren’t bad, and that’s saying something, because I’m someone who doesn’t actually favor filters in the first place. Each filter has an Opacity slider that allows you to adjust the intensity of the effect. 

The Scene option struck me as very similar to the filters. Scenes felt a bit more intense, but like the filters, can be dialed back. They could be a good solution if you need to modify the original lighting conditions. 

Overlays

I actually use overlays in my photo editing already, and so it was nice to have a grand array of these already included in Colorcinch! The application was quite accurate, and I liked how well the program was able to distribute the new color associated with each overlay. The overlays included sun flares, bokeh artifacts, rain, snow, and so much more. 

You get full control of each of the overlays, from their placement all the way to how the effect is applied. Overlays can be burned into the image, can adjust colors within the photograph, or can be plopped right on top. This is very reminiscent of Photoshop’s layer palette, which allows you to adjust how each layer impacts the one below it by changing the layer type. 

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Masks, Shapes, Text, and Graphics

Other useful features within Colorcinch include the ability to do different mask shapes and styles, add text, and use graphics. Each feature offers a slew of controls and adjustments. The rendering was quick and easy, and I had quite a bit of fun playing with these adjustments. You can even go so far as to adjust custom colors on, say, the sticker graphics. 

Having all these options available right off the bat is incredibly convenient and allows users to quickly turn photographs into photo art. This aspect actually reminded me a wee bit of Canva, although Canva is more geared toward designing marketing materials. 

The Photo-to-Painting Tool

Colorcinch’s most talked-about feature is its ability to turn photos into paintings. There is a slew of painting styles to choose from, each with an Opacity slider so you can control the intensity of the paint effect. I found that the effect of this particular feature was quite grand and adjusted my photograph of Molly to mimic various artistic mediums! 

Photo-to-painting tools are available in other software, but I actually liked how Colorcinch did it, as the results were much more flattering. Although not all of the painting effects were convincing, they were still beautiful. 

This is a great way to create custom gifts for loved ones, and you can also use it to breathe new life into an old image. I would certainly recommend the photo-to-painting aspect! 

Pricing

Colorcinch is the most reasonable of the subscription services. Many users don’t love the subscription model, but it’s an unfortunate reality we all must face. 

Colorcinch Plus (the premium service) is priced at $3.99 per month, paid annually (which totals to $47.88 for the year). Alternatively, you can pay $5.99 for the monthly plan. Not bad at all! Adobe’s most basic photography subscription model (which includes Lightroom, Lightroom Classic, and Photoshop CC) comes out to around $120 for the year, making Colorcinch a much more affordable option if you don’t need too many fancy functions. 

Otherwise, Colorcinch is free to use and try. The key difference between the paid and unpaid services is the access to the features. Only essential effects and features are present in the free version – whereas the Plus plan offers the full editing suite on top of endless projects and access to graphics. 

Colorcinch Compared to Alternatives 

Colorcinch is not (and probably isn’t intended to be) a direct competitor to industry giants such as Adobe and Skylum software. 

Compared to Lightroom and Photoshop, Colorcinch is very limited and offers a lot less control. And the lack of color grading features prevents me from embracing the software, simply because I favor color grading in my own photos. However, the basic features (such as exposure) are quite comparable. 

Skylum products like Luminar are heavily AI-based, something Colorcinch lacks (excluding their painting features, which feels AI-based to me).

Overall Review of Colorcinch Photo-to-Painting Software

Product Name: Colorcinch

Product Description: A web-based, all-around editing platform best known for its photo-to-painting features.

  • Ease of Use
  • Editing Features
  • Photo-To-Painting Capability
  • Price
4.6

Summary

Colorcinch is a fantastic editing solution for those who don’t want to download heavy software, pay expensive fees, or struggle with a complicated program.

Pros

  • A fantastic price for premium features
  • User friendly for every skill level
  • Great explanations for each feature
  • A tremendous amount of editing capabilities, like overlays, masks, and more
  • The photo-to-painting ability is a major selling point for this app
  • Available to use with or without internet

Cons

  • The editing capabilities of each feature are limited in comparison to industry-standard programs

In my review of the software, I found Colorcinch to be a fantastic photo editing program. Although it is not as advanced as, say, Lightroom Classic, Colorcinch can still achieve professional-looking results without the hassle of downloading software. 

For those looking to edit in a pinch or who are just dipping their feet into the post-processing world, Colorcinch is a great solution. From an easy-to-understand interface that walks you through each and every option to beginner-friendly tools and quick downloads, Colorcinch is amazing for the layman user. 

Even the professional will appreciate Colorcinch in certain situations – such as when your own computer isn’t available and you need to do some basic edits on an image ASAP. It’s always good to have some sort of backup plan in those scenarios, and Colorcinch can be one.

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