Everyone has some flawed photos: some random people in the background, unwanted objects ruining an artistic scenery and many other problems. InPaint is a photo restoration program aimed for amateurs, since it promises to do the job without being forced to fiddle with too many settings. In fact, the whole restoration process consists of selecting the problem area and pressing a universal “fix it all” button.
Installation & Requirements
InPaint installs quickly with no complicated settings and requires a PC with at least 256 MB of RAM and a 1 GHz CPU or better.
The program supports all versions of Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 and the trial version comes with limited functionality.
InPaint has a very clean, functional interface with practically all of its tools organized as toolbars. The whole restoration process is reduced to adding a photo and selecting the problem area. Of course, InPaint offers multiple selection tools to ease the task: marker, magic wand, lasso and polygonal lasso. Using one or more of these, lets the user make a reasonably accurate selection, although InPaint promises it can get the job done even with a rough selection.
For the sake of the review, we’ve tested a few different situations in which we wanted to remove various objects from the image. The first one is a person on a complex background. Since the magic wand selection tool works best for objects with only few colors, we went with the marker tool and performed a manual selection. The next step was to resize the boundary area so that the program will use only the nearest pixels for replacement. The final step was pressing the Inpaint button. After a few seconds the result was displayed. With the small boundary area, the program left behind a lot of artifact. Surprisingly the results were better with the large boundary area. The output image would not look very good at its full size, but if you’d need it at a lower resolution the result is acceptable.
The second situation we tested InPaint was for watermark removal. So we took an image with our own Filecluster watermark placed on it. This case was pretty straightforward since the watermark was on an almost even dark grey background. We used the magic wand for selection since the watermark had few colors and adjusted the boundary area accordingly. The results were almost perfect this time. The watermark removal went great, but we wanted to try another situation, in which the watermark is not on an even background. Sadly, in this case InPaint didn’t do a very good job. In fact, it failed terribly.
Considering InPaint is forced to handle a large variety of situations for object removal and photo restoration with only one function it cannot deliver perfect results every time. However, it is very easy to use so users that feel lost in complex graphic editing applications such as Adobe Photoshop at least have a chance to fix photos on their own.
– User-friendly interface with clean layout and straightforward options.
– Multiple selection tools are offered: marker, magic wand, lasso and polygonal lasso.
– One button restoration/removal process very easy to use even for amateurs with no image editing experience.
– The same function removes objects, time stamps, watermarks, retouches skin, restores old photos…etc.
– The trial version of the program comes with limited functionality. Edited images cannot be saved.
Some situations in which objects or artefacts are on top of complex backgrounds can prove to be difficult tasks for InPaint. However, there are cases when it works brilliantly and can help you save a lot of time and effort, otherwise spent in complex image editing applications.