App

Remarkable results from this new art style-focused filter app

Price: Free
Version: 2.1
Size: 14.9 MB
Developer: Prisma Labs

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That pose you just pulled might have felt super-artistic, but do you ever find the result is rarely so impressive? Well, now there’s an app for that. Prisma has been making waves on the App Store after it was released last month, blowing users away with genuinely striking art-style photos.

The app's very simple to use and has an Instagram-inspired design

The app’s very simple to use and has an Instagram-inspired design

On first look it’s a simple app for slapping a filter over your photos, but it’s actually far more impressive. There’s no live filters on show here – you have to snap a photo, or choose one from your library before selecting various styles to apply to the image. It’ll then take a good few seconds to process it. But what it spits out the other end is truly remarkable.

The styles are impressive – you can imagine this one coming out of a graphic novel adaptation of Animal Farm... kind of

The styles are impressive – you can imagine this one coming out of a graphic novel adaptation of Animal Farm… kind of

Prisma aims to replicate some famous art styles – from Munch, to Picasso, but it offers so much more. Each style is named after either its influence, or style, or just a general description. For example, the Munch-style is, predictably, called The Scream and delivers a shot that’s warm in coloration, but elsewhere ragged, and if there’s a face in the photo the chin might be pulled down or pointed somewhat.

Many of the styles are inspired by famous artists. This is your reviewer doing his best Edvard Munch's The Scream

Many of the styles are inspired by famous artists. This is your reviewer doing his best Edvard Munch’s The Scream

But it’s not just classic art styles – there’s some great modern approaches too. There’s a handful of styles out of the massively impressive 35 options that produce a frame that wouldn’t look out of place or non-illustrative in a graphic novel.

Elsewhere, things get surreal, weird, but almost always, incredibly visually satisfying. It’s rare that you’ll apply a style to any image and not find yourself hugely impressed by the output. If the effect is too strong, it’s also possible to adjust its strength.

Unfortunately you can only save images as square, but the output is nonetheless impressive

Unfortunately you can only save images as square, but the output is nonetheless impressive

So, how does the app do it? According to its developers, it uses a unique combination of neural networks and artificial intelligence to transform the images. It’s this powerful engine behind the app which causes it to take a good few seconds to process an image, because it has to do it via the internet – so users note that it will need a connection and use data.

Results can become trippy very quickly. Here's a shot from a trip to a nearby forest

Results can become trippy very quickly. Here’s a shot from a trip to a nearby forest

The best thing about Prisma is that the app is free. Even the watermark can be turned off without any payment, so it’s certainly worth giving it a shot. The only thing that irked us about this app was having to wade through all of the styles before deciding what to apply. There’s little description of its influences or intended use so unless you’re familiar with the art styles you’re not entirely sure what its source is. Furthermore, a live preview or quick apply would be good, but the limitations due to the amount of processing the image has to go through makes its absence understandable.

A great, fun, and hugely impressive free app that provides plenty of entertainment.

Review: Prisma – turn your photos into genuinely striking works of art
Incredibly powerful tool with remarkable results
For
  • Loads of styles
  • It's free!
  • Output is unique
Against
  • A little more information on the styles would be nice
  • Output limited to 1:1 square images
4.5Overall Score