Sunday, October 7, 2012

Creative Kit photo editor works in Google+, if not in Picasa

This Quick-Tip is about using the Creative Kit, which has been giving me grief recently when I tried to use it from Picasa-web-albums.

Sept 2013 update:   Creative Kit has now been totally discontinued.   Use either Picasa-web-albums or the Google+ photo editor instead.

For ages, I've occasionally used the photo-editor in Picasa-web-albums (the online version of Picasa) to edit photos that I've already uploaded, and want to change without changing the URL.   This editor was originally Picnik - until Google sold that product and replaced it with Creative Kit a while ago.

This has sometimes been slow, which was annoying, but I put up with it because it was just so useful.

But recently it stopped working totally:  it would load, the progress-bar would get about half-way along the screen, and then hang, with a message:
We noticed Picnik is loading slowly. It’s possible waiting
may solve this issue. If you’re still having trouble:
[t1]   Click for Assistance»

Waiting never solved the problem for me (trust me, I tried), so eventually I tried the help-link, which went to this Picnik help page.

After following lots of the instructions, I finally found this helpful line in the Adope Flash Player re-installation instructions:
If you are using the Google Chrome browser, Adobe® Flash® Player is built-in but has been disabled. To enable Flash Player, follow the steps in this TechNote

Which sounded hopeful - it's only recently that I've switched to use Chrome all the time, so maybe this was the problem.   But it didn't help - despite what they said, Flash was enabled in my setup.

Eventually, it occurred to me that since I have a Google Plus profile, my albums are now accessible via the Plus interface too.   So I went there, chose Photos, found the album, opened a photo, chose creative kit ... held my breath for a few seconds ... and the editor opened up and worked nicely.

I'd still like to get this working from Picasa, because it just looks so much nicer from the small screen that I use a lot of the time.   Suggestions are very welcome!

PS   Thanks to Hardeep of Widget Craft who used the picture that I'd made as the thumbnail picture for How to Edit Your Blogger Template in one of his articles, and thus inspired me to start putting my own name onto the image files I make.

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  1. Before I open Creative Kit in G+, the "Photo Details" section on the right of the photo will show the image as 1280x960. However, as soon as I click "Edit Photo" in Creative Kit on G+, the image only shows up as 512x384.

    Here's the stranger part: when I go to Picasaweb to edit my photo, Creative Kit loads the very same image as 1280x960.

    It's as if G+ is only able to edit thumbnails while Picasaweb handles the full photo.... weird, right? I just started noticing this today.

    Creative Kit has never behaved this way before (re: editing photos in G+).

    1. Strange all right. I've never taken much notice of the sizes, apart from making sure they are small enough to load fast. But that would be a worry for some people, I Google are automatically reducing the resolution without telling us.

    2. Apparently that was a known bug in the G+ version of Creative Kit and it's been fixed now.

  2. Hello. Did you ever get Creative Kit working from Picasa Web Albums? I'm in the same situation as you, I can use G+ but I'd rather use Picasa Web.

    Just out of interest, have you enabled two-factor authentication on your Google account? I ask because I tried a different Google account (without 2FA) and it worked fine, suggesting that it's an account-specific problem.

    1. Hi, no I stopped trying after I found that G+ worked. Wasn't using 2FA at the time, but have tried again now after switching it on, still didn't help :-(

  3. I have the same problem, that is why I found this page, looking for a solution. Creative kit still worked in august 2012, but now, a few months later - it started giving me the same frustrating message, while hanging like forever.
    I do not have a G+ account.

    1. Me too -- same problem. Is this going to be fixed ever? I'm liking Picasa less all the time.

    2. It didn't work when in firefox, but I changed to my google browser, left it open, went to Picasa creativekit, and it opened !!! and worked!!....simple

  4. I have exactly the same problem with photo editing - why after all this time the error message still refers to "Picnik" (which has closed down) is beyond me. I appear to have a G+ account, although I never use it. Under "My Pictures" there are only two folders. I assume this is because in Picasa I have set the rest to "Limited". So editing Picasa folders in G+ is not an option.

    I can, however, edit photos I upload to Picasaweb if I do so BEFORE I click "OK" to add them to the album. Very frustrating! I hope someone fixes it soon.

  5. It didn't work in firefox, but when in google browser opened, then the creative kit worked fine......simple !!