Why everyone's gone mad for the Prisma photo app

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The awesome photo-editing app now on Android and iOS...
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Why everyone's gone mad for the Prisma photo app

Now available on Android and iOS

There’s no shortage of photo effect apps out there, but every once in a while something special comes along - like Prisma, free on iOS and now on Android too. It’s one of the biggest new apps around (apart from Pokemon Go, obviously), with over one million daily users already. Let’s see what all the fuss is about.

What is Prisma?

Prisma describes itself rather humbly as an "editor for Instagram", but there’s a lot more to it than that.

Prisma’s easy to use filters can transform your photos into stunning works of art, in the styles of famous artists such as Van Gogh or Picasso. The results, as you’ll see from the examples below, wouldn’t look out of place on a gallery wall.

The app is able to produce such spectacular images with a combination of artificial intelligence and neural networks. The exact technological details aren’t clear, but here’s how Prisma co-founder Alexey Moiseenkov describes the process: “We do the image fresh. It’s not similar to the Instagram filter where you just layer over. We draw something like a real artist would.”

How to use Prisma

Prisma is incredibly simple to use. You take your photo, apply a filter, adjust its intensity, and when you’re happy with the result you can share it online. That’s pretty much it.

There are over 30 filters, and more are being added all the time. Some are based on iconic works, such as Munch’s The Scream or Hokusai’s The Great Wave. Other filters are less specific, and can make your photos resemble pencil drawings, mosiacs or comic strips.

Our Prisma hints and tips

When you’ve chosen a filter, dragging from left to right across your image increases its effect. We suggest you be brave and dial it right up to 100% – it gives you the most interesting results.

Photos with both light and dark areas work best on Prisma, because it’s easier for the app to identify the edges. For example, a picture of a well-lit face against black background should work well.

We’ve heard some people complaining about the fact the Prisma adds a watermark to your finished creations, but don’t worry – it’s easy to stop this appearing. Simply go into the app’s settings, and turn the ‘enable watermarks’ button off.

What’s Prisma capable of?

Here are a few examples of what Prisma can do. It’s hard to believe that these stunning images started off in life as humble photos...

If you’ve already tried out Prisma, tell us what you think. Is it the best photo effect app you’ve ever used? Have you been able to create a great looking piece of art? Share your comments below.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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