If you’ve ever visited a museum and imagined what it would be like to create a beautiful work of art, check out FotoSketcher, software that allows you to create artwork from your photographs.
I first learned of FotoSketcher from Mike Maynard whose blog, Mike10163’s Blog, is one of my favorites. I recently came across one of his pins on Pinterest, but noticed that it wasn’t his customary scenic photography. Instead, the image seemed to be a pencil drawing.
When I asked Mike about the image, he wrote a post about the software he used to create the image: FotoSketcher. I immediately downloaded it and began using it with my images. The software is so fantastically fun to use that I couldn’t wait to share it with Wonder of Tech readers.
Ever since I first discovered Dynamic Light, enhancing my photographs has become a favorite pastime. Like Dynamic Light, FotoSketcher gives you the tools to enhance your photographs. But FotoSketcher uses enhancements that make photographs seem as if they were drawn or painted. FotoSketcher is free software for your computer that has dozens of features giving you control over the enhancement of your images. Using the software is easy and intuitive.
To get started, download FotoSketcher to your computer and open the program. Open a photo in FotoSketcher by clicking on the blue icon in the upper left corner of the screen. Your photo will appear twice, on the left and the right sides of your screen. A control panel will appear over the photos.
By using the control panel you can choose the category of effects you want to use:
- Pencil Sketch
- Pen & Ink
- No effect (just the framing, resizing, etc.)
Within each of these categories, you can choose from a number of effects, depending on the category. For example, under Painting, the choices include oil painting, watercolor, brushstrokes, and five others. FotoSketcher gives you a sample window to preview the outcome of each effect.
After you’ve chosen the type of painting/drawing effect you want, you can alter the effects using the sliding controls. For example, in Painting you can choose the maximum and minimum brush width, number of brushstrokes, how soft the edges are and how precise you want the brush strokes to be.
You can also add text and custom frames to your enhanced images.
Once you’re satisfied with the effects you’ve chosen, click the “Draw!” button and FotoSketcher will begin to work its magic. Be patient, the effects are not instant. Like a true artist, FotoSketcher takes its time in altering your photo. Well, not exactly like a true artist. The creation takes a few minutes, not a few months.
If you minimize the window while FotoSketcher is working on your art, the icon in your task bar will show the progress (Windows 7 only), but then you’re missing the entertainment of watching the software work.
This YouTube Video demonstrates how easy it is to use FotoSketcher to turn your photos into artwork:
Let the artist in you play around with the different effects. You may wish to use the watercolor effects for colorful scenery:
For a portrait, you may wish to use the oil painting effect:
For more inspiration, check out Mike’s blog and FotoSketcher’s Flickr page.
Have fun using FotoSketcher. If any of your images end up on Pinterest, please feel free to link your creations in the Comments section below.
Have you ever had dreams of being an artist? Do you like to add effects to your photos? Have you tried FotoSketcher? Let us know in the Comments section below!
*Pub image courtesy of Mike Maynard