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AKVIS ArtSuite 3

Explore a Photoshop plug-in that adds various effects and frames to your pictures.



AKVIS ArtSuite 3 is a Photoshop compatible plug-in that provides impressive frames, edge effects, and textures that can be customized -- these customizations can then be saved as your own presets and libraries.

AKVIS ArtSuite 3 is the newer avatar of their Frame Suite product. This version includes three new effects: Black and White, Shift Colors, and Channel Mixer. Also added is an Autorun button -- so that you can automatically preview any changes in real time.

ArtSuite 3 is from AKVIS, a company based in Russia that specializes in graphics programs. Apart from ArtSuite, AKVIS also creates other Photoshop compatible plug-ins like Retoucher, Chameleon, Stamp, Sketch, Enhancer, Decorator and Coloriage.

You can download a free 10 day trial version of ArtSuite 3 from the AKVIS site...

My contact at AKVIS for this review was Kat Kharina, thank you Kat.


How To Use

Apart form applying frames and edge effects, AKVIS ArtSuite 3 offers several other effects -- you can learn how to apply a frame on an image in a previous review....

In this walkthrough, we'll look at Black and White, easily one of the best new features in this version:

  1. Open any image in an image editor such as Adobe Photoshop.

  2. Choose Filter | AKVIS | ArtSuite, as shown in Figure 1.

    AKVIS ArtSuite
    Figure 1: AKVIS ArtSuite

  3. This opens the ArtSuite 3 interface, that you can see in Figure 2 below.

    AKVIS ArtSuite interface
    Figure 2: AKVIS ArtSuite interface

  4. The interface is divided into two parts: the left side is the preview window where you can see the picture and the changes made, the right side of the interface has the list of frames and effects with the setting.

  5. Select the frame list provided as show in Figure 3 and choose the Effects option.

    Frames list
    Figure 3: Frames list

    Figure 4 shows the list of effects.

    Figure 4: Effects

  6. Choose any effect you want. For this tutorial I choose Black and White, as shown in Figure 5 .

    Black and White
    Figure 5: Black and White

    Play with Black and White effect properties to get some nice effects.

    This effect is a more intuitive version of Photoshop's Hue/Saturation adjustment option -- but it's far more intuitive and allows you to choose individual color values to desaturate. The thumbnails in Figure 6 show you some effects possible with this effect.

    Figure 6a

    Figure 6b

    Figure 6c

    Figure 6d

  7. After done with the applying effects, click the either the Autorun or Run icons (see icons below).

    The difference between both of these options is that while the Autorun option shows you automatic previews of any changes, the Run icon only shows you changes when clicked.

  8. This applies and creates a preview of the image. If you want to make more changes, you can select another effect as required. You can preview the changed image in the After tab, as shown in Figure 7.

    The Before and After tabs
    Figure 7: Preview the changes

  9. Once you’re done with playing with the effect, apply the result to the image by pressing the Apply icon (see icon below) to return to the image editor.


Note: Although the instructions above showed how you can use AKVIS ArtSuite 3 as a Photoshop plug-in, the product also works in the same way in standalone mode -- just launch the application through its icon in the AKVIS ArtSuite 3 group in your Windows Start Menu.



Photoshop Versions: 5+
Platforms: Windows, Mac
Price: USD $49 and above
Trial Version: 10 days


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