Improve Your Photo Booth With 90 Free Effects [Mac]

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Every Mac that comes with an iSight is loaded with Photo Booth. When I was Mac-less, I used to frequent Apple stores and somehow Photo Booth seemed to appeal to me then. Sadly, after I bought a Mac for myself, the attraction didn’t last very long and later, I sort of forgot about this nifty application which attracted me in the first place.

To bring back the romance, I went on a search to see if I could add more effects to Photo Booth. There were only a few interesting pre-packaged ones and most of them had something to do with image distortion (squeeze, bulge, dent, mirror etc.). That was fun for a while but I need the “Wow” factor back desperately.

In my search, I managed to uncover a few sites that offer a good collection of free Photo Booth effects.

photo booth effects

From B-L-A-C-K-O-P, I found CatEye, which is a collection of 5 sets of effects. Each set has its own theme:

  • RetroPixels – adaptation of 60’s and 70’s video effects.
  • Love For 80s – bringing back Space Invaders, Pong and VHS (yes, that’s video tape quality, ladies and gentlemen!).
  • Bent Pels – optical image distortion with a twist.
  • BoobToob – a set of TV screen effects.
  • FewTile – tiled-images effect.
  • I especially like the BoobToob set, it makes me feel like I’m on television. If you’re sick or bored with the default Photo Booth effects, this will definitely bring back some fun.

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    CatEye will only work on Leopard and is free (direct download link)

    photo booth effects mac

    From another site called Macpoupou Factory, I found a collection of Mac Photobooth effects which has been around for quite some time: MoreIchatEffects. After adding these effects, I realised that I have been missing out on a lot of fun! The effects are incredibly awesome beyond the ones Apple provide, especially Hologram – if you’re a Star Wars fan, you’ll love this one. It’s strangely uncanny.

    More iChat Effects 2.0.3 (direct download link)

    Besides that, several other effects like ASCII art and Line Overlay are pretty cool.

    photo booth effects for mac

    photobooth ascii effect

    MoreIchatEffects bundles 48 different effects and will only work on Leopard.

    UPDATE: This effects bundle crashes when running on Snow Leopard in 64-bit mode. More information here.

    I can’t remember how I managed to find this next site but it offers 4 Photo Booth effects (Leopard only), from which I only like one. Visit the site and guess which one it is and let me now in the comments. (Hint: Did you know that Photo Booth has the ability to record video? You can ask Bush what he thought about the shoe).

    Finally, a Photo Booth effect that must not be left out: Obamafy. Following in the footsteps of President-Elect Barack Obama, you can now quickly and simply create your “Hope” posters. Remember, Leopard only.

    UPDATE: Obamafy crashes Photo Booth on Snow Leopard. At the time of writing, it worked on Leopard. Save the effect in /Users/{your username}/Library/Compositions.

    photobooth obamafy effect

    In order to remove unwanted effects, just delete them from the appropriate folder. Keep in mind that if you add a lot of new effects at once, Photo Booth will crash while loading them. It’s best to add one set at a time.

    Also, these effects will work with iChat! So, you can fool your friends into thinking that something’s gone wonky with your iSight or that they’re really seeing you through a hologram.

    Got more effects to share? Know about other ways to bring back the fun to Photo Booth? Share with us in your comments. Lastly, if you’d like to use your iSight for something more productive, check out my article on Gawker and Eyesight.

    UPDATE: I strongly advise you to install each set of effects individually. Remember to quit Photo Booth before installing. To uninstall, empty the ~/Library/Compositions or /Library/Compositions folder.

    If Photo Booth becomes unresponsive, Force Quit the application and delete the effects from the Compositions folder.

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