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LunaPic - Free, One Click Effects and Animations for Your Images and Animated Projects

Tiny World Effect - LunaPic.
There are many different, free, graphic and photo image editors out there, I particularly recommend Krita as an all in one, free graphics tool. However if you want something online, browser based, and connected to a bunch of sites you probably use that can apply a wide range of filters, artistic, and animation effects with one click, LunaPic is well worth looking into.

It's two key features, in my opinion, are:
  1. So many different effects, filters, and animations, I kept getting distracted from writing this article trying many of them out. I lost hours of time and still barely scratched the surface. There is everything from automatic background removal to templates for turning your images into motivational posters. Not to mention a good selection of animation effects too, from converting an MP4 file to an animated GIF file, through to adding animated water effects to an image.
     
  2. Quite a number of the effects are one click to apply, with a single slider to adjust the strength of the effect. It's for this reason alone I kept getting distracted. Since, for many effects or filters, there's no complex settings to learn, I kept going in and selecting an effect just to see what it did (and I didn't even need to since for many menus you can bring up a page of thumbnails showing the results of each filter/effect).
A selection of some of LunaPic's many Art Filters.
A selection of some of LunaPic's
many art filters.

LunaPic works on both desktop and mobile devices making it convenient to use almost anytime and anywhere. While you can upload images to it from several different sources a nice addition is to also open images simply by entering an image URL.

There's really too many effects and options to review. In terms of using it as part of your animation workflow, my main thought was, it would be a very good way to give you animations a unique and unified artistic style. Simply apply a filter to all of your graphics and go from there. Definitely worth experimenting with.

Of course it's also a quick way to add some really interesting animation effects into your scene quickly as I demonstrate below.

Applying a Water Reflection Animation to a Cartoon Animator Project

Animation of a Zombie Reflected in water standing in front of a castle.
To inspire you a little more to check out LunaPic I created this short, looping animation of  a zombie standing in front of a lakeside castle. The animated lake was created entirely in LunaPic.

Creating this scene, I exported a single image of my complete background scene (Nightmare by Dave Art) and uploaded it to LunaPic.

Next I applied the Reflecting Water effect from the Animation menu.

I then cropped the image so I just had the actual reflecting water part of the animation using the Simple Crop Tool from the Edit menu.

To save the image as an MOV video file I selected More Options from the links below the image (last link on the right) which gave me more save options. I selected Save as MOV (Movie).

With my water reflection video file, I simply dragged this onto my scene, on the stage, in Cartoon Animator, and imported as a Prop when prompted.

The Zombie character (from Reallusion's All Hallows' Eve Pack) I added afterward and applied a standing tired motion.

3D view showing the structure of my scene in Cartoon Animator.
3D view showing the structure of
my scene in Cartoon Animator.
I then duplicated the zombie and vertically flipped it so it would mirror the original character and movement.

To finish off I reduced the brightness of both zombies by -20 using the Render Style menu, then reduced the opacity of the reflection zombie by 50% so the ripples of the water would at least show through even if the reflection itself wasn't rippling like the rest of the scene reflection.

---o ---o--- o---

LunaPic won't replace your preferred graphics editor since it is limited in the file types it can edit. However it is a very handy online app to have, considering how simple it is to use, and how much it can add to your creativity without too much extra effort.
 

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