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FotoFlexer: Incredibly clever image resizing

Seam carving is the latest thing in intelligent image resizing, and we tried it out with online photo editor FotoFlexer

Given what a jaded bunch of hacks we Cravers are, it's odd how easily distracted we are -- usually by shiny things. But the advent of seam carving made us ooh and aah like a bunch of five-year-olds at a fireworks display. You may have seen the demo video (above); now the so-simple-it-must-be-genius image-mangling technique has a home at Resizr and has been integrated into FotoFlexer.

For the unitiated, FotoFlexr is an online photo-editing tool that integrates effortlessly with Facebook, MySpace, Photobucket, Flickr and Picasa to edit or 'flex' your images. There are lots of distortion and colour effects, although some are more subtle than others. The 'beautify' menu even features a wrinkle-cream option, and there's the slightly freakish option to paste your face on to the head of a gorilla or Paris Hilton.

FotoFlexer even has that most essential and inconsequential of 2007 accessories: the Facebook app. Once you've loaded the app to your profile, you can click on your pictures and those of your friends to cartoonify, Warholify, or X-ray-ify, among others. FotoFlexer have also made their API available for integration into your own site.

Seam carving is a new method of image resizing that allows you to chop out unwanted portions of an image and seamlessly smush together the bits you like. For our first go at some seam carving, click through the photos. -Rich Trenholm

Your know what it's like: you're on the beach, lining up that perfect shot, when some passerby wanders right into the middle. Wouldn't it be great if you could just chop those pesky bystanders out? Fortunately, this passerby is quite easy on the eye, so we'll keep her, but let's rearrange the geography and put her slap bang in the centre of the image.

To work that resizing magic, simply mark out the areas you want to keep (in green) and the areas you want to remove (in red). Some zooming in and carefully cutting out pays dividends. Or you could just mouse about with the hamfisted abandon of a monkey on shoreleave, like we did. And the results?

Not perfect, perhaps, but certainly impressive. Seam carving works best on things with edges -- such as our lovely model -- or on repeated patterns, like the shingle, rather than on the sky. But not bad for a first attempt.

Other online photo editors include the layer-based Fauxto -- see what they did there? -- and the excellent Picnik.