You know how most image editing apps have a “paint” filter that supposedly makes you photo look like it was actually made with oils or watercolors? And you know how they all – ALL – suck? Then Waterlogue is going to utterly amaze you, as it’s the first app I’ve seen that gives results that really look like a watercolor painting.
Then again, as the app comes from the folks behind Popsicolor and Percolator, it’s not that surprising that it’s so damned good.
Waterlogue is a $4 universal app, and it works a lot like Popsicolor. You load a photo from your camera roll and pick an effect from the row of thumbnails along the bottom. The image then renders before your eyes, as if it were a video of somebody finger-painting a picture of, say, Morgan Freeman.
The results are spectacular, and although they do rely on you picking a good source image, Waterlogue is a lot more forgiving of busy, muddled photos than other apps. To try different effects, you just tap a different thumbnail and a larger thumbnail of your won picture is generated and shown on the bottom left. If you like what you see, tap this thumb and the full image will be rendered.
It takes a few seconds even on the speedy new iPad mini Retina. But you know what takes longer? Actually learning to paint watercolors and then painting a picture.
To see a large sampling of what’s possible, check out the “Made With” page on the site for images users have shared via Instagram and Twitter. Like I said, I’m impressed. Some of the pictures are absurdly realistic. Who needs paint anymore?