Prequel(opens in new tab), the most popular suite of photo and video editing tools for mobile devices, including AI-based effects, occupies another category, using machine learning for artistic transformations that would be a significant workload for a professional designer. Desktop.
Prequel offers a huge range of filters, effects, and templates that allow one-tap edits on photos and videos. Although the full range requires a subscription, many are available for free with no time limit.
Take a great photo or record a video clip, quickly stylize it with any effects or theme filters, and it’s great for sharing – as an avatar, profile photo, maybe a happy message to a friend, complete with some text. Put together in a few minutes without requiring deep knowledge of design tools.
Like any mobile app, it’s designed for quick fixes on the go, but that’s not to say the prequel is simple. Adding AI opens up a whole new way of using art tools on mobile devices. Make dramatic, beautiful changes to images with just a few taps, followed by filters for more granular adjustments. With a little creativity, you can combine tools and templates to create amazing effects.
The star of the show is undoubtedly the “Cartoon” filter and its anime variants, which give the effect of a hand-drawn cartoon from selfies, albeit with some subtle exaggerated features. The impact on human faces is absolutely incredible and can easily match the efforts of the best AI teams from any of the big global names in design software.
To give you some ideas, we took a selfie and ran it through a cartoon AI effect, slightly adjusting facial features including eye color, giving us a very cute hand-drawn anime version of the subject. We used one of the “Chicago” filters to make the image look like a black and white drawing.
We saved it and loaded it back into the prequel’s brand new Halloween effects, including a particularly cool “Tarot” template with themed text that adds some movement to a still image that emits a short video.
The list of effects, filters and templates is almost huge. Some work only on human face recognition, others are video tools for combining clips in creative ways, and some use a themed template to quickly spice up an image with retro or seasonal effects in seconds. Remarkably the same Cartoon AI technology can process video as well, delivering a really cool short anime clip from any footage. As always, we found well-lit images to be the best raw material, giving the best results out of any effect we tried.