November 19, 2009 — AKVIS Software Inc. releases version 10 of AKVIS Sketch for Windows and Macintosh. The software converts photos to color and B&W pencil drawings and watercolor paintings.
Version 10.0 has a new tool – Stroke Direction, which makes the effect of a hand-drawn sketch yet more realistic thanks to the ultimate control over the hatch direction. New presets have been added, the Preview Window improved and other features made available. The program is now compatible with Windows 7 and Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6). The plug-in version also works with Photoshop CS 4 64 bit and PhotoShop Elements v. 8. This version competes with hand drawn art in flexibility and will spur the creativity of the user.
This year the program was awarded the Best of 2009 Soft prize of PC Magazine/RE.
AKVIS Sketch is an award-winning program for conversion of photos into pencil sketches and watercolor paintings. The program has already won the recognition of professionals and delighted home users with its neat results. However, there is no end to perfection and the company released a new version of AKVIS Sketch with many improvements.
With AKVIS Sketch you do not need to handle a pencil to feel like an artist. All you need to create your original work of art is good taste and AKVIS Sketch. Make any photo look like a B&W or color drawing, imitate the technique of graphite or color pencil, charcoal or watercolor painting.
Version 10 presents a new tool - Stroke Direction, which makes the effect of a hand-drawn sketch yet more realistic thanks to the ultimate control over the hatch direction. Draw guiding lines to set the hatching, for example, for round objects (like apples, the moon, etc) and the hatching will follow the curves of the object, as if it was drawn by a human artist.
Also new to v.10.0 : a new parameter in the Edges tab called Edge Strength, which controls how edges are drawn by affecting the intensity of lines and details. The Preview Window has been improved. Due to popular demand, the Preview Window now not only displays how the photo will appear as a drawing, it also shows the effect of applying a canvas, making the selection of just the right texture faster and more efficient.
The new version offers three new AKVIS presets and is now compatible with Windows 7 and Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6). The plug-in version is now compatible with Photoshop CS4 64 bit and PhotoShop Elements 8.
As the program offers a new installer, it is important to deinstall the previous version before installing the new one.
The program works in an entertaining way. You can observe the conversion of a photo into a drawing or watercolor painting in real time and even interrupt the process (Esc button) when the required result is achieved.
Once you have converted your photo into a drawing, you can add some special effects (the Background tab). Create a blend of a drawing and a photo; imitate motion or add a “time machine effect” by swirling the background. Put an accent to certain parts of the image by blurring the rest of it in an artistic way. It is especially useful when the final drawing contains too many details in the background that divert attention.
Also, the parameters on the Canvas tab let you add a rough surface to your image, as if it has been drawn on canvas, corrugated paper, brick wall, etc.
It is also possible to add a signature or a greeting to your pencil drawings to personalize the work of art.
Many photo editing enthusiasts have already appreciated the Sketch’ s features. Take a look at the examples gallery (many created by users) at akvis.com.
Sketch can be useful on many occasions. Surprise your friends and relatives by presenting them with their pencil portraits. Make a watercolor drawing out of a photo from your last nature shooting to decorate your room. Convert your own photo into a color sketch to print on a T-shirt. Create a comic out of your party videos.
The program can be helpful to designers who need to quickly bring images to one style for a web-site or an advertisement booklet.
Using batch processing in Photoshop or Paint Shop pro (only for the plug-in version) you can even convert a film into a cartoon. Like here.
For a free trial, AKVIS offers 10 days of fully functional use. Details are available at akvis.com/en/sketch/.
AKVIS Sketch is available as a standalone application, as well as a plugin to a photo editor.
The plugin version of AKVIS Sketch is compatible with Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, Corel Painter, Corel Photo-Paint, and Paint Shop Pro, ACD FotoCanvas, and PhotoImpact. AKVIS Sketch runs on Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/Window7 and on Macintosh Mac OS X 10.4-10.6.
AKVIS Sketch Home License (plugin or standalone) sells for $72 USD or 55 Euro, downloadable from akvis.com. The upgrade for the users of version 9 is free! Registered users of the previous versions can ugrade to version 9.0-10 for $39.
Home users can enjoy the full line of AKVIS plugins in the AKVIS Alchemy bundle (Sketch, ArtWork, Chameleon, MultiBrush, Retoucher, Coloriage, Noise Buster, Decorator, Enhancer, LightShop, SmartMask, Magnifier, ArtSuite) for USD $325 USD, huge savings over purchasing each separately. For business licenses consult the official web-site. One license key allows activating the software on two computers, for example, on a desktop and a laptop.
About the program: akvis.com/en/sketch/index.php