My name is Ivan Kutskir, I am 28 y.o. and live in Prague, the Czech Republic. I studied Computer Science and I enjoy programming.

I am the author of , which is an advanced image editor, that works in a web browser. There was about 1.5 millions of visitors in October.

After the first 7 000 hours of work (around 5 hours a day during 3.5 years), I haven't made a single dollar (it was just my hobby during the college). Then, I put advertisement into it, and it makes me a decent income now (decent for a single person in Prague).

Many people are surprised, when I tell them that I am still working on it by myself. I am ready to answer any questions :)

Proof: I put a link to this AMA to!

Comments: 2258 • Responses: 63  • Date: 

aldanathiriadras9034 karma

Do you take feature requests?

(Triple-click to select a full line or sentence of text would be nice.)

ivanhoe9025545 karma

That sounds like a great feature! I just implemented it.

iluvtheinternets4323 karma

Have we given his site the reddit hug of death?

ivanhoe904597 karma

Seems like you did! Wow, it never happened in five years ... :D

ivanhoe903089 karma

There was a problem with statistics, which grew unexpectedly. Everything works well now :)

Joker55002451 karma

This is fantastic! Thank you! Do you have a place to donate? I prefer to use Adblock, but you deserve my money

ivanhoe903827 karma

Thanks! I offer "Premium accounts". Press the Account button at the top, and order a Premium :) Unlike AdBlock, Premium will spread the workspace into the area, where the ad used to be :)

acidofil2243 karma

You've created really excellent product, are you even human? ;D How did you learn javascript and are you satisfied with the code, or do you feel the urges to refactor?

ivanhoe902762 karma

Thanks! I learned programming (and related skills) at the college, it took me several years. I learned javascript using some online tutorials in a week (and got comfortable with while using it).

The programming language is the least important thing for me in programming :D But the performance is important to me (I would not use JS, if there was no way to make it fast).

Some parts of Photopea are quite complex and ugly (functions with hundreds of lines of code), but I could not simplify them even after several days. I am scared of the day when I will have to look into them.

GymBronie61 karma

Curious, are you taking advantage of GPU processing/libraries?

ivanhoe9041 karma

Photopea uses the GPU through a WebGL interface. Otherwise, it would be impossible to render 10 MPx document with lots of layers at 60 fps (e.g. when moving a layer, we need to redraw it smoothly).

ZeusAmmon1470 karma

What are the advantages to using your program over other alternatives such as Gimp?

ivanhoe902544 karma

Photopea can load popular formats, such as PSD, Sketch, PDF, SVG ... which Gimp can not load. Photopea can load files from Gimp, too.

In terms of features, Photopea offers the Spot Healing brush, Quck Selection, Refine Edge tool, Liquify filter ... which are not present in Gimp (actually, I think they are not present in any free program except of Photopea).

MSgtGunny341 karma

Does Photopea support loading text layers as text from a pad instead of rasterized?

ivanhoe90625 karma

Yes, Photopea can edit Text layers in PSD, and it can store the new text back into a PSD file (you can even Warp text!). I believe that Photopea and Photoshop are the only programs, that can do that.

FiveMagicBeans1378 karma

So, is that "Photo-pea" or "Photo-pee-ah"?

(The idea of naming it after a small green vegetable amuses me)

ivanhoe901912 karma

I pronounce it "Photo-pee". Sadly, I am not amused anymore, after so many years of saying it :D

followups1182 karma

Hey no questions, I just wanted to thank you for making this available! I've often been working on a computer that isn't my own, but required Photoshop, and this has always worked in a pinch. Keep it up. Cheers!

ivanhoe90881 karma

Thanks! Now, if people search the internet for "edit PSD online" or similar phrases, Photopea should be the first result :)

Guardiansaiyan814 karma

PLEASE don't sell out to Adobe.

Many people who are interested in this product can't afford their stupid subscription based software so you making this really helps us out!

Concerning this program are you thinking of making an Illustrator or InDesign equivalent? What about After Effects?

ivanhoe90655 karma

I don't think Adobe would be interested in my work, since they already have everything I have (or even a better version of it).

I never used Illustrator or After Effects, but many users have asked me to make a video editor.

Brek_Shea712 karma

Do you use photoshop still?

Also, what do you do for other income?

ivanhoe901412 karma

I am not a designer, and I use Photopea for all my "designing" needs today. After finishing college, Photopea is my only source of income.

Brek_Shea287 karma

That’s awesome that you can live off an already made product. I assume you have to update and fix bugs and stuff as more OS’s come out?

blah_of_the_meh125 karma

It’s client side in the browser so its browser dependent not REALLY OS dependent (I suppose the case for browser X on OS Y may be ahead of Browser A on OS B).

ivanhoe9088 karma

Exactly, thanks to the web, I don't have to deal with specific operating systems too much. But there are many minor problems, e.g. if you do Ctrl+Click on Mac OS, it works as a right-click. So recently, I discovered, that the feature, which is initiated with Ctrl+Click, does not work on Macs at all (as Photopea is told by the browser and OS, that a right-click was made).

Same goes for Spacebar+Click on Chrome OS.

bisonthryson24613 karma

Have you received any backlash from photoshop?

ivanhoe901307 karma

I was contacted by one of developers of Adobe XD, to coordinate me about the development of the XD format (which is very new and still in development, but I implemented it into Photopea).

I am trying to compete with all photo editors, but Adobe Photoshop is the most popular one today (that is why I worked so hard on supporting PSD files).

WholockianTrekkie454 karma

Can I get it on my phone?

ivanhoe90922 karma

I am trying to make Photopea work well on any kind of device. You can run it in mobile browsers (actually, 15% of PP users use it on phones), but it is quite hard to control on a small screen.

Fitzgeezy446 karma

Are you willing to share how much income you make from 1.5 million visitors in a month? Are you part of an ad network?

ivanhoe90993 karma

I am using Google AdSense. It lets me make about 2 USD per 1000 views (so I make about 2000 - 3000 USD a month from ads, depending on how many people use AdBlock). Here is where are our users from :)

Fitzgeezy312 karma

Wow that's great. Congratulations. I imagine lots of the income is spent on your hosting costs. Are you on AWS?

ivanhoe901208 karma

Actually, I pay about 20 USD a year for hosting. Photopea runs completely at client-side, there is no server-side computation. Once is loaded, there is no communication with the server after that (you can disconnect from the internet and use it offline).

CTHULHU_RDT424 karma

Were you approached by any company that wanted to buy photopea.

If yes do you think it was in order to make it disappear while it's still cheap enough to buy out?

ivanhoe90616 karma

I was approached several times by people wanting to buy Photopea. They had serious plans with it, plans to make it even better.

CTHULHU_RDT245 karma

Why did you decide against selling?

ivanhoe90868 karma

I thought, that I can get even bigger offers in the future. Also, I don't need so much money at the moment (I am not a fan of buying expensive stuff just for fun, and I don't know what to invest the money into).

Seldain329 karma

What's next for you? Not the software specifically, but what are you hoping happens in your future?

ivanhoe90619 karma

I don't know. I am focusing on short-term goals right now. Of course, with more money, I would have more possibilities. I think the big milestone of my professional life will be, when I learn to dedicate work to others :D Because I am still a bit scared of it, and rather do everything myself.

NaoTeEnerves319 karma

How did you make your website to get known? How you did the marketing for ir to get the ball rolling?


ivanhoe90532 karma

It was not in one day, or week, or month. It took many years to get the ball rolling (and we are still accelerating). Users spreaded it among each other. I was posting about it on my blog, Reddit, Hacker News, etc. I also have fan pages on Facebook and Twitter.

In short, I had 3000 visitors a month in March 2014. Then, it doubled every six months.

_spicymeatballs301 karma

How awesome! I'm integrating more technology into my classroom to help my students toward success once they move on to high school and beyond. Photoshop is a skill that I've wanted to share with them but it's been so cost prohibitive that it's never been an option, so this is a fantastic alternative.

Can you tell me what the benefits of a premium account would be and if there's a way to purchase one at a group rate?

ivanhoe90570 karma

The Premium account only hides adds, nothing more. Feel free to use a regular web version :)

kitikitish242 karma

What's for dinner?

ivanhoe90402 karma

I had some chicken :)

MagedEWilliam216 karma

Do you plan to opensource it one day?

ivanhoe90606 karma

I already open-sourced about 30% of Photopea as libraries, that can be used for various purposes:

But I am not so sure about releasing the whole thing :/

averyminya136 karma

What are the supported file types?

I see that you talk about working to make sure .psd files are compatible, but how about .raw or other more ridiculous ones?

I ask because Lightroom failed to load .cdr2 files (from a camera).

Side note: it's amazing that it's all done in browser.

ivanhoe90164 karma

The supported file types are mentioned here:

There are many formats for raw photos. There is an open and free DNG format (supported by Photopea), but many companies still use their proprietary formats (CR2, NEF, etc). I hope they will all move to DNG soon.

_bobby_tables_120 karma

How does this compare to GIMP? Any thoughts on contributing to that project as well?

ivanhoe90183 karma

I wrote about the comparison to GIMP above. Initially, I wanted to make an editor based on the PSD format, which Gimp is not, so making it from a ground-up was the only way to go.

JackUJames42117 karma

I just used this for the first time a few days ago, and I think it's amazing. Have you ever got into any sort of legal trouble from Adobe because of how similar the programs are?

ivanhoe90162 karma

I was not contacted by Adobe. I think all programs in this category (Photoshop, Pixelmator, Affinity, Pixlr) look very similar to each other.

lolwuuut101 karma

Can someone who knows nothing about Photoshop use this? Is there a tutorial? I like the idea!

ivanhoe90246 karma

Of course you can! I wrote a manual at . But it is an advanced program. Don't expect to learn everything in one day.

sock201498 karma

Have you thought of supporting stereoscopic photographs?

ivanhoe90121 karma

I don't know much about photo editing, that is specific only to stereo pictures. Is there any specific problem, that you need to solve?

sock201498 karma

Since there are 2 images, what is done to one has to be done to the other, EXCEPT with the correct amount of disparity, which is what creates the depth. Current best program is which lets you do simple text and cloning.

ivanhoe90321 karma

I see, that people store these photos as one JPG with both parts, one next to another. You can apply basic operations (changing Brightness, Saturation, sharpening) as if it was one photo.

Adding a "stereo layer" on top (and setting its "distance") would be a nice feature :) Or converting it to Anaglyph. If you want, you can make a feature request to and write down all non-basic stereo operations, that you wish to have :)

Ken240296 karma

How are you?

ivanhoe90176 karma

I am great! I did not expect so many questions :) How are you?

tortikolis89 karma

Where are you from, if not a secret?

ivanhoe90281 karma

I live in Prague, Czech Republic. I was born in western Ukraine. My grandma is from Russia. I studied in Switzerland for half a year :)

ShotTargetREDDIT76 karma

Is photopea down? For me it says the site can't be reached. Also are you going to make it so we can use our own fonts?

ivanhoe90139 karma

It is running again. You can load your own fonts using File - Open, see

ScumbagsRme66 karma

What is your favorite thing you have made using your program?

ivanhoe90434 karma

I really don't use my program that much. But when I do, I can find five bugs in ten minutes.

OGCheeseHead63 karma

Can you prove you are the creator?

ivanhoe90162 karma

Sure! I think my photo with a link on the paper would not prove a lot ... so I just made this page with a link to this AMA :)

ancient_scroll56 karma

As far as the OSS / Closed question, what do you think of the Blender model? (i.e. cash in and open-source the whole thing at once)

Many years ago, Blender was free but closed-source. They did a crowdfunding campaign and were able to raise enough money to buy the code and release it under BSD GPL license. At the time it was definitely the best free 3D software and today that's probably still true, it's certainly one of the most successful OSS projects in history.

It was successful partly because it was popular with users and artists, partly because it offered a good opportunity for talented developers to contribute and add features. Today some of the features are better than their commercial equivalents, although that's far from true across the entire package.

ivanhoe9045 karma

We have been discussing it at our forum:

dsmdylan54 karma

I've not used your product (will check it out) but my main frustration with the free alternatives to Photoshop is that they're too different. The shortcuts and button locations are muscle memory at this point and I'm not willing to learn a new product. Have you made any effort to be as similar as possible to Photoshop? (appreciating that there's a point where you're infringing on IP but I don't think shortcut keys and button locations quite do it)

ivanhoe90120 karma

Since the beginning, I was trying to implement the shortcuts and the layout, that is familiar to Photoshop / Pixlr / Pixelmator users. Try Photopea for a couple of minutes and tell me, how did you feel :)

niblince54 karma

Have you wrote your own canvas handling code? For example object selection, layering, etc - or used libraries like Fabric.js?

ivanhoe90141 karma

I did not use such libraries, I made my own system. Photopea uses WebGL whenever it is available (but can work without it).

I am using paper.js to compute boolean operations on vector shapes (e.g. the Intersection or Union of two bézier shapes). I wish somebody makes an alternative, so I can get rid of that extra 100 kB of data, that each user has to download.

wazoaki53 karma

What was the most frustrating thing that you have came across while working on Photopea?

ivanhoe90132 karma

Being stuck with some problem and not knowing anybody who could help me (as there are not many people in the world who had to deal with a similar problem).

Naviers_Stoked38 karma

Any chance you're working on a competitor to Lightroom? I'm sick of paying Adobe a subscription fee...

ivanhoe9035 karma

I never used Lightroom. But Photopea can open raw DNG photos.

Blunt1nstrument22 karma

Have you considered using a service like cloudflare in conjunction with your hosting service, to speed up the service?

ivanhoe9035 karma

I never thought about it. It loads in two seconds where I live. Is it too slow where you live?

Note, that Photopea is about 1.5 MB, which need to be loaded.

Megustoelbertolucci20 karma

How did you start it?

What algorithms or what "stuff" do you use to edit photos?

Did you "mash up" existing code from somewhere and then polish and refactored it to optimize it?

Have you applied any kind of development framework to help you in the development?

This in a extremely interesting ama, thanks!

ivanhoe9043 karma

I started simply by making a little experiment, which got out of hand. I made most of code myself. There are all kinds of algorithms used, it is hard to mention even a specific category of algorithms.

matlab3019 karma

Why I always hear about brilliant programmers from the Czech Republic ?

ivanhoe9037 karma

Me too.

himarwahshi18 karma

What tips would you give to amateur programmers?

ivanhoe9064 karma

I don't know. I made just one big program in my whole life. I prefer it much more, than working on a completely different task each month.

goldayce18 karma

This is amazing. I can't believe you made this in a web browser, and by yourself!!!! Amazing. Why did you start this project? Did you think you'd get this far when you got started? Do you like painting or photo editing?

ivanhoe9026 karma

Hi, you can find more info here: :) I used to paint a lot when I was little.

BradOldridge13 karma

Hug of death so I can't check the site out at the moment.

In a pinch if I need a photo editor I currently use: Pixlr

My question really.. Is: What key elements does your site have that other online image editors don't or lack?

I will have a look at your site once it's back online.

ivanhoe9016 karma

It is back online :) I believe Photopea has more features than Pixlr (hard to mention, there are hundreds of them). It is probably also faster.

Jsmasterx13 karma

Ok question as a small joke lol. But hopefuly you can responding with some laugh haha.

Did you out spywares in your excellent free software so you can spy on us 24/7 ? :P

ivanhoe9034 karma

I am mining bitcoins on your computers, too! :)

threepw00d10 karma

Can it only be used through a web browser? I'd like to try an installed local version on my PC

ivanhoe9039 karma

I don't want to provide an offline version, because I am afraid of people not updating it and possibly getting angry over bugs, which are already fixed in the online version. Also, ads would not work offline :(

connor-is-sad8 karma

What made you want to go into programming?

ivanhoe9027 karma

When I was a child, I was good at Math, and I was interested in technology (machines etc.). I think that programming allowed me to combine both worlds together.

nus3218 karma

I am such a Photoshop noobie

Would this be a good starting point to learn?

ivanhoe9014 karma

Sure, just go to !

RogueM8trix8 karma

What's your ideal breakfast?

ivanhoe9049 karma

I eat cereals with milk, since I don't like to cook. I admire people who like to cook :)

niblince2 karma

What open source library have you used in Photopea that you’ve found most useful, or impressed you the most?

ivanhoe904 karma

I am using the JPG decompressor, which is a part of the pdf.js library. I also used pako.js a lot (a library for compressing / decompressing data with a DEFLATE algorithm), even though I made my own alternative called UZIP.js

Dheorl2 karma

I find Affinity Photo better than photoshop due to the healing tools and so-on just working that bit better. How do you feel your program compares to Affinity?

ivanhoe907 karma

I never used Affinity, but I am quite sure the PSD support in Photopea is much better than Affinity. The Spot Healing brush in Photopea usually works better than in Photoshop (but don't know about Affinity).

Ph0en1xGeaR2 karma

Do you make money by selling data ? Also props to your hard work bro, good for you! Hope you are financially rewarded for your hours.

ivanhoe903 karma

Thanks! What kind of data do you have in mind? I was thinking about offering some nice Templates or Fonts to users to buy, but I don't know if anybody would be interested.

vufka1 karma

Do you have any plans to replace "photoshop" as a verb with "photopea"? "I'm gonna photo pee that" doesn't sound as catchy out loud.

ivanhoe9013 karma

I don't think I have any power to coordinate the development of the language :D Let's see what will the users come up with :)

kukienboks1 karma

What’s the best kind of roof for my garage?

ivanhoe9019 karma

I have no idea :(

But I always found it weird, that the garage is usually more expensive, than a car. Like, if the box to protect a present was more expensive, than the present itself. So strange.

ChicDoom-11 karma

So why waste all that time and effort and not simply improve Gimp?

ivanhoe9018 karma

It is not that easy. It is a bit like asking "Why build a car, when you can improve a bicycle?" Photopea is not a car yet. But the core of both programs is a lot different. You can not always rebuild one thing into another thing (or at least, it is not always the easiest way to go).

ArrowRobber-20 karma

Why didn't you make two free alternatives to Photoshop? Wouldn't that have given 3 million people the tools they need?

ivanhoe9014 karma

I don't know what you mean.