May 27, 2010 — AKVIS releases version 11 of AKVIS Sketch for Windows and Macintosh. The software converts photos to color and B&W pencil drawings and watercolor paintings. Version 11 offers the ability to save guidings lines made by the stroke direction tool to a file (.direction format). Introduced in version 10, Stroke Direction makes the effect of a hand-drawn sketch yet more realistic thanks to the ultimate control over the hatch direction. Two new interface modes (Express and Advanced) have been added in Version 11. Support has been added for 64 bit to the plugin version in Version 11. It is now compatible with Photoshop CS4-CS5 64-bit on both Windows and Macintosh.
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.
The Stroke Direction tool makes the effect of a hand-drawn sketch yet more realistic thanks to 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. In version 11 it's now possible to save guiding lines to a file (.direction format), which can be loaded at another time. Files in .direction format are also compatible with AKVIS ArtWork. You can open an image in ArtWork and use the same guiding lines for that image, which you saved in Sketch. A pencil drawing and an oil painting can be created from the same photo with ease.
Version 11 also offers the ability to switch between two interface modes: Express and Advanced. Express mode provides just the features and parameters you need to quickly obtain a satisfactory result, while Advanced mode reveals the features and parameters hidden in Express mode, giving the user access to the full functionality of Sketch. Those features work in Express mode, but are given default values or those of a chosen preset. Note: The features and parameters available in either mode also depend on the type of license chosen.
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 (in Advanced mode), 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. Bring attention to something in an 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.
Users who own versions 9 and 10 of Sketch can upgrade for free.
Please use your license key to reactivate the program after reinstallation. If you have an older version (v.1-8) you will need to pay for an upgrade to v.11 here.
AKVIS Sketch Home License (plugin or standalone) sells for $72 USD or 55 Euro, downloadable from akvis.com. Registered users of the previous versions can ugrade to version 11 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