January 28, 2011 — AKVIS releases Version 12 of AKVIS Sketch for Windows and Macintosh. The software converts digital photos into amazing pencil sketches and watercolor, charcoal, and pastel drawings. It's a wonderful tool for those who have always wanted to draw but didn't know how. Version 12 introduces the new Smudging parameter which creates the effect of smearing hatching in midtone areas without affecting the contour lines of the drawing. The algorithm handles semi-processed images more effectively. They are now simpler and more exact.
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, pastel, or watercolor painting.
Version 12 introduces the Smudging parameter which creates the effect of smearing hatching in midtone areas without affecting the contour lines of the drawing. This technique looks like a result of rubbing across a drawing in soft pencil with a stump tool, smooth paper, or a finger. As the value of the parameter is increased, shading becomes similar to soft graphite. It is a fast and simple way to add a soft and blurred texture to a sketch.
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 when the required result is achieved. Due to improvements in the algorithm in Version 12 of Sketch, semi-processed images are handled more effectively. The result is simpler and more exact. The process can be interrupted by pressing either the Esc or Stop button.
Also new to Version 12 is the ability to view a list of recent images by right-clicking on the Open Image button.
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. 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. You can even make your own comic strip.
The program can be helpful to designers who need to quickly bring images to one style for a web-site or an advertisement brochure.
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 of versions 9 through 11 of Sketch can upgrade for free.
If you have an older version (v.1-8) you will need to pay for an upgrade to v.12 here.
AKVIS Sketch Home License (plugin or standalone) sells for $72 USD or 55 Euro, downloadable from akvis.com.
Home users can enjoy the full line of AKVIS plugins in the AKVIS Alchemy bundle (Retoucher, Chameleon, Multibrush, Enhancer, Refocus, Coloriage, Noise Buster, Sketch, Decorator, LightShop, ArtSuite, SmartMask, Magnifier, ArtWork, and NatureArt) 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