AKVIS Sketch can work independently as a standalone program as well as a plugin to a photo editor.
Standalone is an independent program. You can run it in the usual way.
In Express mode, the program's interface is extremely simplified. It has the minimal set of parameters needed for a user to quickly obtain a satisfactory result.
In Advanced mode, the full functionality of the program is available: all parameters, under the relevant tabs Sketch, Background, Decoration, as well as the toolbar.
Note: All features and parameters work in Express mode. Some are hidden and use default values or those 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 program's window is taken by the Image Window with two tabs - Before and After. The Before tab shows the original image, the After tab shows the resulting pencil sketch. To switch between the tabs and compare the original and the resulting images, just left-click on any point of the image.
In the upper part of the program's window you can see the Control Panel and the following controls:
In the Advanced mode, to the left of the main window there is a Toolbar. Different tools appear depending on the active tab, Before or After.
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 then drag.
Additionally, you can move the image in the Image Window with the scroll bars or by holding down the space bar, then holding down the left mouse button while moving the mouse. The mouse's scroll wheel can move the image up and down, and holding Ctrl (⌘ in Mac) – while using the scroll wheel will move the image left and right. Holding Alt (Option in Mac) will scale the image. Right-click on 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 and pressing the button Enter (Return in Mac). Frequently used scale coefficients can be found in a drop-down menu.
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.
The Settings Panel has three tabs of settings: Sketch, Background, and Decoration.
On the Sketch tab you can adjust the settings for photo-to-sketch conversion of the selected style.
On the Background tab you can define the area of the picture that should be blurred, or the areas that should remain in their original state.
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.
Attention! The presets save only information about the settings in the Sketch and Decoration tabs (not Background!).
Under the Settings Panel 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.