Fotojet Free Online Collage Maker - An Update

Late last year, I was invited to review a web service that offered a free online "collage" maker. At the time, I found that for the price, it couldn't be beat, although I also found that there were some basic changes that would go a long way to enhance the product.

Recently, the folks at PearlMountain Technology, who run the service, asked me to take another look at Fotojet. Here's a quick summary of what I've found.

First up, the collage portion of the site is pretty much the same as it was back in mid-December of last year. It still works, and still works well, with the same caveats I noted in that earlier review. In other words, the same shortcomings are still present.

fotojet's new online image editing screen.

What has been added to fotojet is a basic image editing feature. While pretty basic, it's not half bad, and there are some nice effects. On my laptop, it runs smoothly.

The editor is broken down into four functions - edit, effects, text, and clipart - each of which offers a selection of controls.

Edit is a basic image enhancement tool, and offers most of the common tools. The familiar layout allows pretty much anyone who's used any image editor to get a nice result quickly. One thing to watch out for, though, is that you must apply any changes made in one sub-menu before moving to another sub-menu.

In the effects section, you'll find a nice selection of pre-rolled image effects, most of which are a little "over cooked" in my opinion. Each effect offers a single slider to alter the intensity of the effect. Effects can be stacked, but like the Edit functions, you have to apply one effect before moving on to the next. I played around with the sample picture of the girl with the hat, and came up with what I thought was a pleasing result.

fotojet's social media sharing screen didn't render correctly on my computer by default. I had to change the text scaling settings for it to display correctly.

Once you finish with an image, you have the option to save the image to your hard disk, or share on social media. Unfortunately, the sharing option screen doesn't display correctly, at least on my computer.

You'd think that another option for your completed image would be to use it in a collage or design. However, when you switch modules, your image is lost, and I can't see any way to transfer it over, short of saving it to your computer and re-uploading.

While I didn't try using fotojet on an iPad or Android tablet, I can imagine that, if it works at all (it didn't when I reviewed it previously), you'd be hard-pressed to be able to utilize it to its fullest potential.

So, while adding the editing module to fotojet is a nice addition, the integration could be better. Frankly, if I have to edit, download, and re-upload an image to use in a collage, I'm probably going to go ahead a prepare my images in another application, such as On1 Photo Pro. If I'm looking to use an online solution, I'll probably opt for the quite mature and robust Polarr app. While not free, these applications offer far greater control over the final output.

The bottom line is that, while there's some good functionality in the new version of fotojet, the work flow just isn't quite there. And, there haven't been any substantive improvements in the older modules.

FotoJet Free Online Collage Maker

Every so often, and especially around holidays, we all need to put together some sort of photo collage, be it for a Facebook post, an e-mail to friends and family, or for some sort of promotional material for our businesses. And, certainly, we can do it in Photoshop or InDesign or Illustrator or even Lightroom - if we have the time. More than likely, though, we need to do it quickly, and most of the "usual suspects" are not conducive to getting the job done right now.

fotojet creative mode templates

fotojet creative mode templates

That's where PearlMountain Technology's Fotojet comes in. Offering hundreds of layouts, some themed, others plain and simple, there's sure to be something there to help you put together a great-looking photo collage, social media cover image, advertisement, or greeting card quickly and easily.

There are two modes of operation: Creative and Classic, though I'd suggest always starting in Creative mode, as there is access to most of the Classic mode templates from within the Creative mode template chooser.

Adding and arranging images, clip-art, and text is fairly straightforward, and there's even an option to import images from your Facebook account. I did find that you can't move objects as a group, nor can you use cursor keys to "nudge" an object. It's also not possible to swap templates on the fly, without losing you're work, making it impossible to "what if?" design choices. I hope that the folks at PearlMountain can find a way to address these shortcomings in the future. But, for the cost, it could be easy to overlook these issues. In fact, at the price, it's really hard to beat fotojet for many quick projects.

The web app is 100% free to use, and works on most browsers running on Windows or Macintosh computers. I was unable to get it to work on my iPhone 6s or iPad Air 2, though PearlMountain have two iOS apps. The iOS apps offer basic functionality for free, and are extendable via in-app purchases.

At present, there's no real indication of how PearlMountain intends to make any money from this endeavor. My contact there indicated that the idea is that fotojet is intended as an introduction to PearlMountain's technology, and that there will be future, paid products coming in the future.