Akvis Sketch 8.5
Akvis’ Sketch is the only plug-in we’ve seen that produces decent pencil drawing from images.
- Excellent pencil drawing-style output
- Many bugs; odd, slow workflow
Akvis’ Sketch produces decent pencil drawing from images, though the plug-in is let down by a wonky workflow and some bad bugs.
Price$ 218.61 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 5 stores)
There are many plug-ins that claim to turn your photos into pencil art — and most do a worse job of it than a chimp with a blunt 2B. Akvis’ Sketch is the only plug-in we’ve seen that produces decent pencil drawing from images, though it’s let down by a wonky workflow and some bad bugs.
When you first apply the Sketch plug-in, your image appears with the standard layout of tools on the left, commands and before-and-after tabs above and settings on the right. On your image is a small dotted rectangle that shows a preview of the effects of your settings. You modify your settings, then press the Run button to see how your effect will look, which takes five to ten seconds. Then things get strange.
If you want to modify your sketch, you alter the parameters, and return to the ‘before’ tab so that the preview rectangle provides an instant preview of your settings. Except that the preview rectangle is often nowhere to be seen. Certain parameters will update in real-time. We can see why some changes are instant — such as the level of colour that bleeds through — and why some re-render the whole image, but Sketch doesn’t tell you which are which until you try them.
Another deeply annoying bug is that if you attempt to make Sketch’s dialogue box too large, your image corrupts and stays that way, even if you quit out. CMYK images and Smart Objects aren’t supported, either.
What makes Sketch worthwhile is the effect’s quality. You can modify the angle, length limits and size of strokes; the intensity and hatching of midtones; and whether to apply watercolour, charcoal and colouration. You can also apply a canvas effect, and there are tools for applying effects to only part of an image.
Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 HP Stream 11 laptop
- 2 B&O BeoPlay A2 portable Bluetooth speaker
- 3 Acer Chromebook 11 (CB3-111)
- 4 Asus Zenbook UX303LN Ultrabook
- 5 Samsung's Galaxy Alpha review: A peek into the Galaxy S6
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- Sony: PlayStation Network is back online now, really
- Reports: North Korea's Internet access, mobile networks down
- PlayStation Network recovering after outage
- Hackers target Tor as PlayStation disruption continues
- Connected, self-driving cars in the front seat at CES
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.