AKVIS OilPaint can work independently as a standalone program as well as a plugin to a photo editor.
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.
To call the plugin, select it from filters of your image editing program.
The first time you run the program, it is displayed in Express mode, with a simplified interface and a minimal set of sliders, which help to quickly obtain a satisfactory result.
Experienced users who are familiar with the capabilities of AKVIS OilPaint can switch to Advanced mode: the interface's appearance will change, granting access to the full functionality of the program.
Note: All features and parameters work in Express mode as well; some are hidden and the program uses values of a chosen preset.
The Presets button in the top panel allows you to switch to the visual display mode of presets (Presets Gallery).
The left part of the AKVIS OilPaint window 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 clicking the tab. To compare the original and the resulting images, click in the image and hold the button pressed - the program will currently switch between tabs.
In the upper part of the program's window, there is the Control Panel with the following controls:
To the left of the Image Window, there is the Toolbar. Different tools appear on the Before/After tabs.
Navigate and scale the image using the Navigator. The frame in the Navigator surrounds the area of the image which is visible in the Image 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 drag.
To scroll the image in the Image 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 the scroll bar to activate the quick navigation menu.
Use the slider to scale the image in the Image Window. When you move the slider to the right, the image scale increases. When you 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 Presets list and the tabs of parameters:
Under the settings, 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.