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)
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.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 2 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
- 4 Oppo A57 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft shows the power of its Pen with a new Whiteboard app and other upgrades
- Windows 10 S will not run Linux, even though it's a downloadable Windows app
- The Windows 10 Game Bar: What PC gamers need to know
- Microsoft redesigns OneNote UI to make it more universally accessible
- Windows 10 Insider build 16199 fills some holes in the Creators Update
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Asus launches laptops to start Computex 2017
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTSenior .NET DeveloperNSW
- FTSales Lead - Healthcare systemsVIC
- FTLevel 2 Desktop Support - Microsoft Office 365 experienceNSW
- FTUAT CoordinatorQLD
- FTIT Systems Specialists - Collaboration SystemsNSW
- CCProject ManagerNSW
- CCTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- FTEnterprise Architect - Network and TelecommunicationsNSW
- FTNetwork AdministratorQLD
- CCdevOps EngineerNSW
- FTSenior Analyst Programmer - Equities or DerivativesNSW
- FTIT Support Level 1 and 2NSW
- CC.Net DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCSolution Architect with Magento experience wantedVIC
- CCSharepoint DeveloperVIC
- FTTechnical Solution ArchitectSA
- FTSenior .NET DevelopersSA
- FTIntegration and Implementation SpecialistVIC
- CCC++ DeveloperNSW
- PTRecords and Information Management OfficerNSW
- TPSenior Project ManagerVIC
- CCChange AnalystQLD
- FTSenior SAP Project ManagerACT