Photo to Sketch with AKVIS Draw: How It Works

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Tutorial: AKVIS Draw

How to Use the Program


AKVIS Draw creates a work of art from a photo giving it a hand drawn look. The software is available in two versions: as a standalone (independent) program and as a Photoshop plug-in filter.

To make a pencil drawing out of a photo follow the instructions:

  • Step 1. Open an image.

    - If you work with the standalone edition:

    The dialog box Select File to Open appears if you double-click on the empty workspace of the program or if you click on the button . You can also use the hot-keys: Ctrl+O on Windows, +O on Mac; or just drag the image into the workspace of the program.

    The standalone version supports JPEG, RAW, PNG, BMP, and TIFF file formats.

    - If you work with the plugin:

    Open an image in your photo editor by calling the command File -> Open.

    Call the plugin from the menu of the editor:

      in Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements select Filter -> AKVIS -> Draw;
      in Corel PaintShop Pro select Effects –> Plugins -> AKVIS –> Draw;
      in Corel Photo-Paint select Effects -> AKVIS -> Draw.

    AKVIS Draw Workspace
    AKVIS Draw Workspace
  • Step 2. Before applying the effect, in the standalone version, you can use the Crop tool to trim a part of the picture. If you use the plugin, you can do this in your image editor.

    Crop Tool
    Crop Tool
  • Step 3. Adjust the settings of the photo to sketch conversion in the Drawing tab.

    You can apply one of the ready-to-use presets or change the parameters to your liking.

    The result will be immediately shown in the After tab.

    By default, the Autorun Mode is enabled: any changes are displayed automatically. You can disable this mode in the program's Preferences. Then you will have to press the button each time to convert the image into a pencil sketch.

    You can interrupt the process by clicking on the Cancel button right to the progress bar.

    Convert the image into a pencil sketch
    Convert the image into a pencil sketch

    You can process only certain areas using the tools and .

    Strokes Result
    Define the effect area
    • Effect Area . Use the blue pencil to draw an outline within the areas that will be converted to a drawing.
    • No Effect Area . Use the red pencil to outline the parts of the image that will remain in their original state.
    • Eraser . Use this tool to edit the outlines drawn by the pencils. The tool can operate in three different modes:

        - Erase all strokes;
        - Erase only red strokes;
        - Erase only blue strokes.

    Adjust the Size of the tools in a pop-up box that appears when right-clicking in the image.

  • Step 4. You can edit your drawing with the post-processing tools - Pencil , Eraser , and History Brush in the After tab. The tools' options are shown in a pop-up box which appears after right-clicking on the image.

      Attention! Use the post-processing tools at the final step! If you re-run processing with the new effect settings, the changes made with the tools will be lost.

      The History Brush is only available for the Home Deluxe and Business licenses.

    Drawing Effect Using Eraser
    Processing Result Using Eraser

  • Step 5. To make your drawing even more impressive, you can use the Decoration options: adjust the canvas, apply a frame, and add text to your image.

    Hint: The order of the application of Canvas/Frame/Text depends on the position of the tabs. Drag the tabs to change the order.

  • Step 6. If you like the settings, you can save them as a preset and use them later.

    Note: The presets keep the parameters values of the Settings Panel. The actions made with the tools cannot be saved to a preset.

  • Step 7. Share your pencil drawing on Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Google+ with .

    In the standalone version, you can also print your picture with .

  • Step 8. Save the processed image.

    - If you work with the standalone edition:

    Click on the button to open the Save As dialog box. You can use the hot-keys: Ctrl+S on Windows, +S on Mac.

    Enter a name for the file, choose the format (TIFF, BMP, JPEG or PNG) and indicate the target folder.

    - If you work with the plugin:

    Press the button to apply the result and close the plugin window. The AKVIS Draw plugin will close and the picture will appear in the workspace of the photo editor.

    Call the Save As dialog box using the command File -> Save As, enter a name for the file, choose the format and indicate the target folder.

    Pencil Drawing
How It Works How It Works
   — Workspace — Workspace
   — Using the Program — Using the Program
   — Effect Parameters — Effect Parameters
   — Canvas — Canvas
   — Frame — Frame
   — Text & Watermark — Text & Watermark
   — Presets — Presets
   — Preferences — Preferences
   — Batch Processing — Batch Processing
Examples Examples
   — Drawings in the Margins — Drawings in the Margins
   — AKVIS Draw vs AKVIS Sketch — AKVIS Draw vs AKVIS Sketch
   — Pencil Drawings Gallery — Pencil Drawings Gallery
   — Creating a Pencil Portrait — Creating a Pencil Portrait
   — Portrait of Little Marie — Portrait of Little Marie


Draw v. 5.5 - Free 10-day Trial    Download


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