Portra: shades of Prisma?
Portra, a new photo-enhancing app, lets you use art-like filters. But is it better than Prisma?
When photo-editing app Prisma was launched last year, filters got a whole new definition. What made Prisma exciting was its use of a combination of neural networks and Artificial Intelligence to transform pictures and videos into artworks.
Now, a new app, Portra (available on Android, iOS for free), offers similar art filters, in minimalistic fashion. When you launch Portra on your device, it takes you straight to the front camera. The main screen is devoid of options apart from buttons to click a photo, upload one from your gallery, and switch to the rear camera.
It’s when you select a picture to be edited that Portra’s real features emerge. You can choose from 17 different filters. Some of them are named after colour tones (violet, indigo, fuchsia, sepia), others get their name from sketching-related terms, such as croquis and fusain.
Portra takes less time than Prisma to process pictures. There’s a marked difference in the output from the two apps as well. When we tried both the apps on an Android device, it was clear that Portra retains a lot of the original picture’s visual composition. Once you apply one of Prisma’s many filters, however, it’s tough to perceive the original.
Apart from the filters, Portra has some other interesting features. Once you have chosen a filter for your picture, you can switch between the different themes with a simple left or right swipe on the screen. If you swipe up or down, you can even add a frame to your edited pictures. The app has around eight frames. Two slider buttons let you control the depth of a filter and colour/contrast.
Portra lets you share edited pictures directly on social networks such as Facebook and Instagram. Other than that, the user interface has nothing much to offer. Prisma, however, offers a “Feed” feature that lets you share your best artworks (edited pictures) with other Prisma users and discover new works through the app.
This is where it gains the upper hand.
Portra currently has 17 filters but the app’s developer, Playlist Corp., might introduce new ones soon.
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