Saturday, August 14, 2021

FotoSketcher 3.80 is officially released

 

Hi all!

FotoSketcher 3.80 is now officially released. Head over to https://fotosketcher.com/download-fotosketcher/ to download.

Here is a list of all changes and improvements in this release:

  • Larger preview area (21% larger) with a new rotating "in progress" icon
  • Painting 4 can now run without erasing the previous painting. This can be useful to mix effects or to start with broad brushtrokes and then load finer brushes and run the effect again. To run Painting 4 without erasing the previous image, RIGHT-CLICK on the Draw button instead of left-clicking.
  • The scripting function (press the F5 function key to open the window) can also run the Painting 4 effect without erasing the result image. Just add the line "Don't erase background" before adding a Painting 4 effect line in your script.
  •  Painting 4 now has an svg export (once the effect has finished, a SVG button will appear, below the HD button). This exports the basic rectangles, not the brushstrokes.
  • Pencil Sketch 1 has been refined (less blurry)
  • Custom transparent PNG frames are now supported, with 'autofit' and full preview
  • In the "modify source image" dialog box (F9 function key), a new icon is displayed on the saturation line. When clicked, it will automatically improve color vibrancy of the source image.
  • Custom brush directory for Painting 4 is now saved between sessions
  • A new language is now supported, Danish, thanks to the translation by Kenneth TOLLUND
  • Lot's of small UI enhancements and bug fixes
  • All versions (32bit, 64bit, portable and setup) are now digitally signed for added security and hopefully fewer false positive from antiviruses

 

Burano - original photo credit: Dorothea Oldani (https://unsplash.com/photos/LAT4nzIfkXY)

I wish to send a massive thank you to all the great people who have helped me improve FotoSketcher over the years and made it possible for me keep it free for all! So thanks again for your encouragements, suggestions, translations, bug testing and generous donations :)

Have fun!

Kind regards,

David

____________________________________

P.S. As always, FotoSketcher is 100% free, even for commercial use (if you sell your artwork, please ensure you have the rights to the original photos).

P.P.S. Should you wish to support the development of FotoSketcher, you can make a small donation to fuel my tea and coffee addiction ;) 





Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Version 3.80 release candidate available

Hi all,

I've added a few more tweaks in v3.80 and you can now download a stable release candidate (Windows only) here: https://www.fotosketcher.com/FotoSketcher_3.80_RC1.exe

I will detail all the new features upon release, but here are a few elements:

- the custom frame code has been polished and if you load a transparent png frame, FotoSketcher will automatically attempt to fit the image within the transparent area of the png (Autofit checkbox). The preview shows the whole frame.

- I have also added a small feature that can help your colors pop. In the "modify source image" dialog box (which you can open quickly by pressing the F9 function key), a new icon has appeared on the saturation line. Just click it to improve color vibrancy on your source image.

- In the script window (press F5 to open), I have added the possibilty to run the Painting 4 effect without clearing the right-panel image. This allows some new creative ways of mixing effects. Here is an example of a script which takes advantage of this:


If no major bug is found I will officially release v3.80 as soon as I have finished updating some language translations.

Mixed media FotoSketcher 3.80 script - original photo credit: Daniel Abadia.

All the best,

David

Sunday, July 11, 2021

FotoSketcher 3.80 for Windows - new beta version available

Hi all,

I've been ironing out a few bugs in 3.80 (mainly some stubborn ones in the manual brush code) and here is a new beta for the brave souls who would like to test it: https://www.fotosketcher.com/FotoSketcher_3.80_beta5.exe

This version will also remember the directory from which the custom brushes were last loaded and in Painting 4, HD and SVG export should now correctly work if you used multiple passes by RIGHT-CLICKING the draw button. 

Still to do before release: 

  • make undo-redo with multiple passes compatible with HD and SVG export
  • check for bugs in batch mode when rewriting existing files
  • translate the new custom frame menu caption in all languages

In the meantime, here is a high-resolution image from a photo I took in my hometown, Lyon (Pencil Sketch 1 and Painting 8 combined). Click on the image to view full size.

 


Best regards,

David

 

 



 



Saturday, July 3, 2021

How to use Adobe Photoshop® brush files in FotoSketcher

Dear all,

I am still ironing out a few stubborn bugs in FotoSketcher 3.80 (a new beta should hopefully be available soon), but in the meantime here is a small tutorial on how to use Photoshop® .abr files in FotoSketcher.

1/ First, you need to find .abr brush files, which are avalaible for free from many websites. You can for instance head over to https://creativenerds.co.uk/category/photoshop-brushes/

   


2/ Then unzip the file you just downloaded and locate the .abr file on your drive

3/ If the .abr file contains only one brush, you can simply convert it to a transparent png image using an online service (no need to install anything), like https://www.coolutils.com/online/ABR-to-PNG


 

4/ Alternatively, if the .abr file contains a set of different brushes, the easiest way to convert them to png images is to use some free software, like ABR Viewer or ABRMate (download for free from https://abrmate.software.informer.com/ and install on your PC)

 

5/ Finally, in FotoSketcher, choose Painting 4 and click on "load custom brush" and choose one or multiple png brush files that you just converted

 

Have fun :)

David


 

 




Tuesday, May 25, 2021

FotoSketcher 3.80 for Windows - beta 1 - available for testing

Hi all,

FotoSketcher 3.80 is almost ready and a beta version can be downloaded here for testing purposes: https://www.fotosketcher.com/FotoSketcher_3.80_beta1.exe

This is a Windows only release.

Side-note : I am still working on the future multi-platform version (Windows + Mac to start with), but I've hit some technical difficulties. On MacOS the Painting 4 effect is painfully slow (much more than on Windows) and sometimes crashes. So more debugging work is necessary.

 source image created with www.artbreeder.com

Here are some of the new features in v3.80:

  • Larger preview area (21% larger)
  • Painting 4 can now run without erasing the previous painting. This can be useful to mix effects or to start with broad brushtrokes and then load finer brushes and run the effect again. To run Painting 4 without erasing the previous image, RIGHT-CLICK on the Draw button instead of left-clicking.
  • Painting 4 now has an svg export (once the effect has finished, a SVG button will appear, below the HD button). This exports the basic rectangles, not the brushstrokes.
  • Pencil Sketch 1 has been refined (less blurry)
  • Custom transparent PNG frames are now supported (as shown in the screenshot above). Just drag and drop the PNG frame onto the right-panel image and voila!
  • Custom brush directory for Painting 4 is now "remembered" and you can open an image from one directory and brushes from another without having to navigate your folders back and forth.
  • A new language is now supported, Danish, thanks to the translation by Kenneth TOLLUND (big thanks to him and all other translators!) 

As always, I hope you have fun playing with FotoSketcher and please let me know if you find any bugs in this beta version.

All the best,

David

 

 





Sunday, February 7, 2021

FotoSketcher 2021 roadmap

Hi all,

I have recently been busy on many fronts regarding FotoSketcher and here are some of my goals for the coming months:

Quarter 1:  release of FotoSketcher 3.80 with enhancements, bug fixes, a new painting effect (currently in development) and a new translation in Danish (a big thanks to Kenneth Tollund!). This will probably be the last release with the current interface and will be Windows only.

Quarter 2: release of a complete rewrite, which will run on both Windows and MacOS, with no restrictions (Catalina and Big Sur will be supported). At first only a subset of the current functionality will be available, but I will gradually add more. Most major effects will be supported from the start, but probably not manual brush, batch mode or scripts.

Thanks to the Patreon and PayPal donations of some generous users, I was able to purchase additional development tools to make FotoSketcher multiplatform. It still requires rewriting most of the codebase, but progress is reasonably fast.

Quarter 3: Android and iOS might well be back on the table, if technical feasibility tests are successful.

Here is a sneak peek of the upcoming multiplatform version of FotoSketcher:


Rant mode on: even though my program is freeware, I will have to pay Apple a $99 annual fee to become an official Apple developer. This is mandatory to enable Mac users on Catalina or Big Sur to run FotoSketcher.

I'll keep you posted here, so stay tuned and more importantly, stay safe!

All the best,

David




 

 


Sunday, September 20, 2020

FotoSketcher 3.70 is officially released

Hi all,

FotoSketcher 3.70 is now officially released. Head over to https://fotosketcher.com/download-fotosketcher/ to download.

This release is a bug fix edition which solves a number of small and not so small annoyances. This download is recommended if you are experiencing issues with version 3.60.

Bug fix list:

 - solved the occasional error message in French at startup ("n'est pas une valeur entière")
- solved the issue where on a few machines (on some PCs and Macs using WineHQ), the optimized code for rotating images and brushes did not work correctly (it breaks Pencil Sketch 1 and Painting 4).
- for Linux and MacOS users, FotoSketcher should now run correctly under WineHQ and Crossover
- fixed the drop down menus and icons which did not appear correctly in WineHQ
- in Painting 4, the directory for custom brushes is now saved to avoid unnecessary navigating between folders
- the main window position is now saved between uses
- fixed the dropdown effects menu which sometimes prevented using the vintage or the merge images effect
- fixed the Pencil Sketch 2 preview which was not accurate
- probably added a bunch new bugs. Will fix in v3.80 ;)

Have fun!

David


 


Sunday, August 30, 2020

FotoSketcher 3.70 alpha version available for testing

Hi all,

The upcoming release of FotoSketcher 3.70 will solve quite a few bugs and compatibility issues.

A test version is available for download here: https://www.fotosketcher.com/FotoSketcher_3.70_alpha1.exe

Here is a list of some of the issues being corrected:
- the occasional error message in French at startup ("n'est pas une valeur entière") has been solved
- on some machines (on some PCs and Macs using WineHQ), the optimized code I used in v3.60 for rotating images and brushes does not work correctly (it breaks Pencil Sketch 1 and Painting 4). I have added code to revert to the previous image rotation algorithm if needed.
- for Linux and MacOS users, FotoSketcher should now run correctly under WineHQ and Crossover
- all drop down menus and icons which did not appear correctly in WineHQ have been rewritten
- in Painting 4, the directory for custom brushes is saved to avoid unnecessary navigating between folders
- the main window position is now saved between uses
- a bug in the dropdown effects menu sometimes prevented using the vintage or the merge images effect.

For MacOS users, I have been communicating with the people of Codeweavers, who make CrossOver for Mac, which is a great and inexpensive solution (a one-time purchase is available from $39) to run Windows apps on Macs. Contrary to other solutions, it does not require purchasing and installing a copy of Microsoft Windows.

Should you wish to test run CrossOver for Mac, a free 14-day trial is available:

This is compatible with MacOS10.15, so if you successfully run FotoSketcher on Catalina, I'd be delighted to hear from you :)

Best regards,

David

 

 



 


Saturday, July 11, 2020

FotoSketcher 3.60 is officially released

Hi all,

FotoSketcher 3.60 is now available for download from https://fotosketcher.com/download-fotosketcher/


Change log for version 3.60:

- UI/UX improvements (new splash screen, new material design icons in menus, for both light and dark themes, support for the keyboard right and left keys in the parameters window).

- better brushstroke placement in the Painting 4 algorithm.

- support for High Definition export in Painting 4 (up to 20,000x20,000 pixels).

- possibility of loading and optimizing multiple custom brushes in Painting 4.

- saving of Painting 4 custom brushes in a .fsk parameters file.

- support for a different background color in the Oil Pastel sketch and Painting 4 effects.

- Speed improvement for Pencil Sketch 1.

- bug fix in Painting 7.

- new tool available to reset the .ini file if FotoSketcher crashes on startup.

Should you get an error message at startup, this could be due to a corruption in the FotoSketcher.ini file. Here is a tool which will delete and reset the .ini file automatically: https://www.fotosketcher.com/ResetIni.exe

Have fun!

David





Thursday, July 9, 2020

FotoSketcher 3.60 Release Candidate 1 - available for testing

Hi all,

FotoSketcher 3.60 is almost ready and a release candidate is now available for testing.

Here is a list of changes since version 3.50:

- UI/UX improvements (new splash screen, new material design icons in menus, both for light and dark themes).

- better brushstroke placement in the Painting 4 algorithm.

- support for HD export in Painting 4. After processing in Painting 4, a HD button will appear which allows you to export the painting to sizes up to 20000x20000 pixels. Great for printing at larger sizes.

- also in Painting 4, there is now the possibility to load multiple custom brushes (transparent black & white 32bit .png files). When opening the custom brushes, press CTRL or SHIFT to select multiple images. The loaded brushstroke images can then be automatically optimized for best results.

- if you have loaded custom brushes in Painting 4, you can save this information in a parameters file for later reloading of the same custom brushes.

- In the Oil Pastel sketch and Painting 4 effects, you can now choose the background color of your painting. To do so, choose one of those 2 effects in the drop down list, then right-click on the preview image.

- In the parameters window you can now change the position of the slider simply by pressing the left or right keyboard keys.

- Speed improvement for Pencil Sketch 1 (the oldest effect in FotoSketcher, which dates back to 2007!)

Here is the download link to FotoSketcher 3.60 Release Candidate 1: https://www.fotosketcher.com/FotoSketcher_3.60_RC1.exe

Enjoy :)

David