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Learn how to apply painting styles to picture using AKVIS ArtWork.


AKVIS ArtWork, a Photoshop-compatible plug-in transforms your pictures by imparting professional painting styles to them. Change the default settings through convenient sliders, and you can end up with any number of painted styles. A special tool brush defines the guiding lines, and a virtual painter can convert any image into a painting directing the strokes to follow the lines within the actual picture. You can add an artist's signature, and there is a choice between a flat background and a rough surface (canvas, paper, etc.).

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

You can download a free 10-day trial version of ArtWork from the AKVIS site.

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


How To Use

Follow the steps to use AKVIS ArtWork:

  1. Open any image in an image editor such as Adobe Photoshop.
  2. Choose the Filter | AKVIS | ArtWorks, as shown in Figure 1, below.

  3. Figure 1: AKVIS ArtWork
  4. Doing so opens the AKVIS ArtWork interface, that you can see in Figure 2, below.

  5. Figure 2: AKVIS ArtWork interface
  6. The interface is explained below:
  7. A. Preview

  8. It has two tabs: Before and After, which show the original and changed images.
  9. B. Navigator

  10. On the top right, you'll find the Navigator.
  11. C. Painting, Text, Canvas

  12. Here you can see three tabs which are explained below:
  13. Painting

  14. This allows to tweak photo-to-paint conversion parameters such as stroke length, stroke thickness, etc.
  15. Text

  16. Here you can add any text such as artists name.
  17. Canvas

  18. Choose between a flat background and a rough surface such as canvas, paper, etc. to give your painting a realistic effect.
  19. D. Presets

  20. This allows you to save the changes you made which can be used in future.

  21. E. Stroke Direction

  22. Here you can see Stroke Direction button which can activate the guiding lines drawing tool, and the Eraser tool used to erase the guiding lines, either partially or fully.
  23. Once done, apply the changes within the plug-in by clicking the Apply button.
  24. This applies and creates a preview of the image. If you want to make more changes, you can change the Painting settings. You can preview the changed image in the After tab, as shown in Figure 3, below.

  25. Figure 3: Preview the changes
  26. 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 ArtWork 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 ArtWork group in your Windows Start Menu.

Here are some before and after samples:




Photoshop Versions: 5+
Platforms: Windows, Mac
Price: USD $72 and above
Trial Version: 10 days


Photoshop: AKVIS Plug-ins (Glossary Page)