Many people use instagram to take their pictures, add artistic effects and share them on facebook or twitter. But instagram can only be used from a smartphone like iPhone. What if you are on a PC? Do not worry, PC users can take their pictures using their webcam, add effects and share them on facebook or twitter using a free web app called Webcam Toy. It features more than 70 different types of fun effects that you can apply to your webcam pictures.
Using the Webcam Toy app is very easy. First of all, you have to visit the Webcam Toy website and click on the bright pink Ready? Smile button. Before clicking on this button, make sure that you have attached your webcam to your computer and its turned on.
The Webcam Toy app is designed using Adobe Flash. You would see a tiny Adobe Flash settings window popup asking your permission to use the webcam and microphone. You have to click on the Allow button to permit Webcam Toy app to access your webcam. Without this permission, it will not be able to capture your pictures through your webcam. If you have more than one webcam, then you would be shown a list from which you can choose which webcam you want to use.
At this point, you should be viewing yourself in the webcam. The Webcam Toy app shows a few bright pink colored controls over your live webcam capture. You can click on the settings icon and choose basic settings like mirror (to show mirror of your webcam capture), countdown (to do a countdown before taking picture), flash (to show a white screen before taking picture, this almost works like a flash if you are sitting in dark), fullscreen (to switch the app to full screen) and so on. At the bottom, you can click on the left or right arrows to switch through the effects.
In addition to the controls, you can use some hotkeys too. For example, the left and right arrow keys can be used to go forth and back one effect, G is used to show a grid view of nine different effects at once, M is used to mirror the camera, C to toggle countdown off or on, F to toggle flash off or on, I to show settings menu, S to capture a square format of picture etc.
There are over 70 effects to choose from. There are some very nice effects like mirror effects, kaleidoscope, ghost, shuffle, trail, tunnel, quad cam, filmstrip, soft focus, vintage, hazy days, retro, danger, old movie, bokeh, flare, disco, snow, fire to name a few. I personally loved the flare and bokeh effects. After selecting the effect you like, you can click on the camera button on the right to take your picture with that effect. This would open a page showing your picture and options to save it to your hard disk. You can also share this picture directly on facebook or twitter.
You can visit the Webcam Toy site at http://webcamtoy.com/.