Review by Emily Major, Common Sense Education | Updated October 2017
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Adobe Photoshop Mix - Cut out, combine, create

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Impressive photo-editing app focuses on compositing, blending imagery

Subjects & skills
Skills
N/A

Subjects
  • Arts
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
3-12
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (1 Review)

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Pros: Powerful features streamline formerly tedious photo editing tasks.

Cons: Learning curve for those new to this kind of editing; working on a phone can make detailed editing tricky.

Bottom Line: While it's tackling a slightly niche design need (blending, layering, compositing photos), PhotoShop Mix is an incredible tool that makes these processes shockingly simple on mobile devices.

Use PhotoShop Mix (PS Mix) as an engaging, relatively easy tool to introduce students to the wonders of photo compositing. Start with basic photo editing and design skills, then unleash PS Mix’s power by exploring layering, merging, and text overlay. As a class, explore entertainment, product, and service advertisements; examine the design and layering elements, discuss how it’s all assembled, and brainstorm photo compositing projects together. Consider PS Mix to create custom composite posters for school plays, unique composites of characters for a book report or pivotal time in history, or advertisements for school events. Imagine student-created, custom composite images for a class YouTube channel or Facebook banner. Export PS Mix creations to other Adobe apps for further editing or share to social media via the camera roll or to social media.

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Photoshop Mix (PS Mix) is a photo-editing and design app specifically focused on creating composite images. It relies on Adobe's Creative Cloud service, so users must log in with an account. With PS Mix, teachers or students can layer parts of photos upon others and precisely select and edit parts of a photo, edit out foreground/background, add text, etc. -- then merge everything into a single composite image. It's fairly easy for beginners, thanks to great in-app help and tutorials, but it'll require some playing around to learn the vocabulary of Adobe-style design tools (layering, blending, masks, etc.). There’s lots to impress savvy users, too -- especially on-the-go. PS Mix is built on Apple’s Metal framework and is optimized for the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. While it's certainly best with those tools, it does work on smaller iOS devices, Android, and Windows mobile devices but fine-tuning can be challenging. Beyond easier detailing, an iPad Pro supports really large image files (up to 64 megapixels).  

Standout features are many and include multi-layering, improved Auto Cutout (separating, for instance, a person from a background scene), pro-quality Text Layering, Image Harmonizations (color/light matching of foreground/background layers), Looks (pre-made and custom filtering), and an easy Meme Generator. As with most Adobe apps, full integration and compatibility with Adobe Creative Cloud is a big bonus.

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PhotoShop Mix (PS Mix) is an outstanding and creative addition to any photo editing toolkit. Photo compositing can be a bit tricky, but PS Mix helps to demystify the process and gives students pro-levels tools to precisely selection and compile various photo elements into a unique composite image. Coupled with Photoshop Express for general photo editing (and bonus collage-maker), PS Mix can unleash the previously unimaginable. While desktop users may find PS Mix laggy and frustrating on a mobile device, and students brand new to photo editing may need a healthy amount of ramp-up to accomplish what they envision, PS Mix stills erves both amateur and pro-level users well. And, as with any Adobe product, is supported by the industry leader in photo editing. Sharing and compatibility with any other photo editing apps, including the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, is a cinch.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

An impressive mobile photo compositing and editing tool fully integrated with Adobe Creative Cloud. Optimized for iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, but compatible (if a little tricky) with smaller iPads and iPhones.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Powerful tool for teaching photo compositing, or supporting design projects. The in-app meme generator is fun, and it's social-media friendly for creative, on-the-go sharing.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Great in-app tutorials and help with animated pop-up text overlays that demo actions. There's also FAQs and the Adobe Forums, Blogs, and online Community. 


Teacher Reviews

(See all 1 reviews) (1 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Michelle N. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Lebanon Senior High School
Lebanon, PA
Create composite photos quickly and easily!

Adobe PhotoShop Mix is an excellent addition to students' (and teachers') digital toolboxes. The interface is simple to navigate and the features are easy to use. Although users of the full Adobe Suite may find the app too simple for professional use, Mix finds a home with students. And, as an Adobe product, it works well with other Adobe apps and gives users an authentic Adobe-feature feel. The only drawback with the app is that one of the merged images need to be "clean" (fairly simple background).

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