AKVIS Pastel lets you transform a photograph into a pastel artwork. The software can be used independently as a standalone program or in a photo editor as a plugin filter.
- Standalone is an independent program; you can open it by clicking on the program's icon.
To launch the standalone version, run the program directly:
On a Windows computer - select it from the Start menu or use the program's shortcut.
On a Mac computer - launch the app from the Application folder.
- Plugin is an add-on for a photo editor, for example for Photoshop.
To call the plugin, select it from filters of your image editing program.
The program's workspace looks like this:
Workspace of AKVIS Pastel
The left part of the AKVIS Pastel workspace is taken by the Image Window with two tabs: Before and After. Under the Before tab you can see the original photo. The After tab shows the resulting image. You can switch between the windows by left-clicking on the tab with mouse button. To compare the original and the resulting images, click on the image and hold the button pressed - the program will currently switch between tabs.
In the upper part of the program's window you can see the Control Panel with these buttons:
To the left of the Image Window there is the Toolbar. Different tools appear on the Before/After tabs.
Pre-Processing Tools (in the Before tab):
- The button switches on/off the quick preview window.
- The button (only in the standalone version) activates the Crop tool which allows cutting off unwanted areas in the image.
- The button activates the Stroke Direction tool to draw the guiding lines (for Home Deluxe and Business licenses).
- The button activates the Eraser tool used to remove the guiding lines, either partially or fully.
Post-Processing Tools (in the After tab, for Home Deluxe and Business licenses):
- The button activates the Smudge tool which is used to manually refine images by removing paint irregularities.
- The button activates the History Brush tool which lets you fade the effect and restore the image, partially or fully, to its original state.
- The button activates the Pastel Chalk tool which lets you draw soft textured strokes. The tool imitates a pastel stick and helps to strengthen the hand-made effect.
- The button activates the Hand tool which allows you to scroll the image when it does not fit within window at the desired scale. To use it click on the button, bring the cursor over the image, and while keeping the left mouse button pressed move in the desired direction.
Double-clicking on the tool's icon makes the image fit the window.
- The button activates the Zoom tool, which changes the image's scale. To zoom in left click on the image. To zoom out left click with Alt on the image. Press Z to quickly access the tool.
Double-clicking on the tool's icon makes the image scale to 100% (actual size).
Navigate and scale the image using the Navigator. The frame in the Navigator surrounds the area of the image which is visible in the main window; the area outside of the frame will be shaded. The frame can be dragged, thereby changing the visible portion of the image. To move the frame, place the cursor within it, left click the mouse, and then drag.
To scroll the image in the window you can press the spacebar on the keyboard and drag the image with the left mouse button. Use the scroll wheel of the mouse to move the image up/down, by keeping the Ctrl key pressed – to the left/to the right, by keeping the Alt key pressed − scale the image. Right-click on the scroll bar to activate the quick navigation menu.
Use the slider or the buttons and , to scale the image in the main window. When you click on the button or move the slider to the right, the image scale increases. When you click on the button or move the slider to the left, the image scale reduces.
You can also change the image scale by entering a new coefficient into the scale field. The fall-down menu shows some frequently used coefficients.
You can use hot-keys to change the image scale + and Ctrl++ (⌘++ in Mac) to increase the image scale and - and Ctrl+- (⌘+- in Mac) to reduce the scale.
Under the Navigator there is the Settings Panel with the tabs:
Below, in the Presets field you can save the current settings as a preset to use them in the future. The current settings can be saved, edited, deleted. When you launch the program, it uses the settings of the last used preset.
Under the settings and presets you can see Hints for the parameters and buttons when you hover over them with the cursor. You can choose where the hints will be shown or hide them in the program's Preferences.