Sketch Anything In A Click

very good
key review info
application features
  • Fast conversion of image to sketch
  • (4 more, see all...)

We live times when you can do almost everything you want with an image, without paying for expensive software or appealing to professionals to make modifications. Actually, it is pretty easy for you to become quite a professional artist yourself, with a little effort. I bet getting your sketch done in just a few minutes is a quite hard to believe idea. Yet it can be done by any of you, no tax, no charge, no strings attached.

Sketch effect can be obtained via different software if they come with a sketch plugin or a sketch effect and as Photoshop is the uber-daddy of all digital photography editing, users often appeal to its abilities and components in order to obtain a simple effect. So a free alternative would definitely sound appealing enough to consider.

Photo to Sketch is an easy, at hand solution for the issue and can be used absolutely free of charge for a period of seven days if you go with the Pro version or for as long as you want if free version is chosen instead. The differences between the two are not dramatic and consist in the fact that the free edition comes with a few limitations (Pastel function is disabled, there are fewer texture alternatives and there is no batch convert option). There are differences at interface level, as well as paid version is well polished and with rounded edges with a Mac look while free one comes under a more "raw" form, with sharper edges.

Anyway, if you asked me, the differences are minor and if all you want is create a sketch, the free edition deserves a look. For practice reasons, the software makes available a test image which seems like it was made using film camera (see that stray hair in the left hand side?), but this is not a major concern.

If you want to test Photo to Sketch's default conversion capabilities, all you have to do is press "Convert" button in the lower left side corner of the window. Adjusting settings depend on the mode you are in: automatic or freehand and are available at the opposite end. The easy way, automatic mode, consists of two sketching instruments (pencil and pen), precision adjusting and setting up the thickness of the line drawn. Additionally you can use one of the seven textures available with different patterns that can be either tiled or stretched.

Freehand mode unlocks the two options greyed out under Automatic mode (Brush and Erase) and gives you the possibility of setting up the size of the brush. All the rest depends on your artistic eye and talent of your hands, as you can choose any of the drawing instruments for re-touching the automatically rendered sketch (save for Pastel). Careful that the eraser will rub out all elements it moves over, not just the changes you've made.

If you are looking for more tools for editing your image, Photo to Sketch can actually deliver them by launching the default image editor in Windows, Microsoft Paint. But before loading the picture you will have to save it on your hard disk under BMP format. From there, you can also take it to printing.

Clear function in the interface will not eliminate all modifications you made up to one point, or act as "undo" option, but it will actually remove the entire image and all your work will be discarded. Unfortunately there is no Undo function in the software, which is a big minus for it, especially that the Pro version missed it as well.

Mail sending option activates the default email client and will automatically attach the current image as well as add the subject and an alert for the receiver to take a look at the attachment. Sure, you can edit the message and remove all additional text promoting Photo to Sketch or just modify it so as receiver's anti-spam instrument does not mis-interpret the email.

As for the quality of the sketch, I have to say I've seen better, but Photo to Sketch comes very close to a real crayon drawing. It fails to provide the best quality because there is no pixel blending, bringing out any imperfection. Sure, this makes for a great effect, also, as it leads into believing that the sketch is genuine and that the author was a bit sloppy during the process. But the result would be better if the user would have the choice to clear out imperfections.

Other softwares providing sketch options have different methods of processing the image to reach sketch effect and, in many cases, it is quite visible the digital touch in the process, due to smoothing out the image. Photo to Sketch results are very realistic though and I guess the little defects in the image contribute to this in a certain measure.

The Good

The app is handled with the utmost ease by any type of users, including your granny. Automatic mode is the shortest way from a regular picture to a nice looking sketch.

There are different instruments you can use for adjusting the final result to its best. Users can set up precision of the sketch transformation or the thickness of the pen/pencil tip.

The Bad

There is no "undo" option available so that you can correct your last modification. Sending the image to the printer requires loading it into Microsoft Paint and printing it from there.

Textures are limited in number and not quite the best choices, with few exceptions. Diversifying the palette would add more value to the software.

There are no editing features available, so if you want to brush the image to a final result, you'll need a different software.

The Truth

It is extremely easy to handle and, regardless of the skill level, no user will experience a hard time while working with it. Automatic procedure can be adjusted to the result you best like by simply dragging by some sliders and hitting a button, so it can't be too much of a pain.

Photo to Sketch can get you amazing results if you use pictures with even lighting and even if you don't, the outcome is still very good. With regards to the list of options, the software fails to deliver the comfort a regular user would need. The lack of the "undo" option is the most painful and the short list of features comes next. But, with a little effort, it can turn into a full-fledged sketch converter, with everything necessary to reach an utterly amazing final result.

Here are some snapshots of the application in action:

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user interface 4
features 3
ease of use 5
pricing / value 5

final rating 4
Editor's review
very good

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