Wednesday, December 30, 2009

FotoSketcher 1.95 - Progress report


Here's a quick update on the development of FotoSketcher. I'm currently experimenting a new abstract algorithm called 'coloured circles', which turns a photo into thousands of different sized... coloured circles!

The following is a test image I've produced with this new effect + a new 'vivify photo' filter + the triptych frame:

Photo credit : stock.xchng (thanks to author Mike Korn).

Happy holidays everyone,


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Testing the new 'triptych' frame


Here's a quick preview of the new 'triptych' frame which separates an image into three equal sized panels (border size is user-defined):

This new frame will be added in the next release.



Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Windows 7 compatibility

Hi all,

FotoSketcher 1.9 is almost 100% compatible with Windows 7. However, while doing some tests I have noticed that there is a small problem with the Destktop Wallpaper function:

When you right-click on a drawing and choose 'Set the drawing as wallpaper (ctrl + w)' the FotoSketcher image correctly appears as your wallpaper, but next time you start Windows 7, it will have disappeared.

I have already fixed the problem and the next release of FotoSketcher will not have this issue anymore.

By the way, I'm currently busy working on version 2.0, but I still have some work to do before releasing it. As usual, I'll keep you posted on this blog.

In the meantime, here are a couple of images found on Stock.xchng (thanks and credits to the original photographers) and processed in FotoSketcher:

All the best,


Friday, August 28, 2009

FotoSketcher group on - show us your art!

Hi all,

A FotoSketcher user (thanks *Haibar) has kindly created a group on Flickr, where you can showcase your creations:

If you have a Flickr account (you can create one for free) you can easily join the group and upload examples of your 'FotoSketcher artworks'.

I look forward to seeing some of your creations.

All the best,


Sunday, July 26, 2009

FotoSketcher tutorial (Youtube video)


I have just uploaded a video tutorial on Youtube, which will show you the basics of FotoSketcher.

Here is the link:

You can watch the tutorial in HD.

Best regards,


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Official release of FotoSketcher 1.9

Hi all!

FotoSketcher 1.9 is officially released and can be downloaded from

Here is an example of the new oil painting effect (photo credit Stck Xchng, as usual):

What's new in version 1.9:
- New watercolor effect
- New oil painting (impasto) effect
- Better dropdown list of filters
- Reset a drawing parameter by double-clicking on its name (eg 'Colour intensity')
- When using a lined frame, easily swap colours with a new button
- Some bug fixes, of course (and probably some new bugs added...)



Sunday, July 19, 2009

New beta version is available - with watercolor and impasto effects

Hi all,

After long months of researching, coding, debugging, optimising (then debugging again of course), a new release of FotoSketcher is near. Thanks to all who bought me some well needed coffee!

If you wish to test the beta version, you can download it directly here:

I have added two new painting effects: watercolor and oil paint (or impasto). Both are based on the same segmentation algorithm, which breaks down an image into regions of similar color and then adds brush strokes textures (sounds simple, does it not?).

Here is an example painting:

Have fun with FotoSketcher!
As always, I welcome your feedback.

All the best,


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Advanced tutorial - painterly or cartoony effect

Hi all,

Here is a step by step tutorial showing you how to achieve a painterly effect by combining two different FotoSketcher filters.

Step 1: Open your source image (keyboard shortcut CTRL+O) - You can resize your image if you wish (keyboard shortcut CTRL+R)

Step 2: Press F10 to bring up the drawing parameters screen and choose the "Painting 3" drawing style (with the values listed in the following screenshot). Make sure you deselect "Soften edges", "Add a frame" and "Texture". Then click on the "Draw It!" button.

Step 3: Once the rendering is done, press F12 (to use the resulting image as your new source image). Then choose the "Pencil sketch" effect and use a value of 0 for "Edge threshold" (drag the corresponding cursor all the way to the left). This is very important!
Then click on the "Draw It!" button.

Step 4: Once the rendering is done, press F12 again (to use the resulting image as your new source image). Then press F9 to modify source image and choose the parameters shown in the following screenshot). Then click on the "Apply changes" button.

Step 5: Now add a texture and a frame, by pressing F10 and choosing the "Frame and texture only" drawing style. Don't forget to tick the "Add a frame" and "Texture" boxes as shown in the screenshot below. Then click on the "Draw It!" button and finally save your work of art (keyboard shortcut CTRL+S).

And voilà!!!

I hope this tutorial was useful to you.
Note that on some images, the same combination of effects can give a nice cartoony style to your pictures.

Best regards,


P.S. The source image I have used for this tutorial was found on Stock Exchange ( , a great repository for free images. Credits and thanks to the original author of the photograph (Steve Woods).

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Some user interface tips

Hi all,

I still haven't found time (or mustered the motivation) to write a proper help file. But I have actually found a justification for not doing it: it forces me to create a user interface as intuitive as possible so that no user manuel is needed!

Having said that, here are a few tips for you:
- you can modify the size of the window panes by dragging the vertical separation between both windows.
- if you double-click that separation, each pane regains its original size.
- if you want to zoom rapidly to a specific value, simply click on the percentage and enter a number between 5 and 1000.
- you can also right-click on all three magnifying glass icons.
- right-clicking on the middle one will automatically zoom the image to best fit its window.
- also, if you double-click on an image (either source or painting), a full screen preview will magically appear!

A picture being worth a lot more than my prose, here is a screenshot:

Have fun,


Saturday, February 28, 2009

Version 1.85 is officially released

Hi all,

This release is mainly a bugfix, but there are also a few changes in version 1.85:

- I've added a couple of new realistic frames
- as stated in my previous post, you can now also colorize some frames
- the first sketch effect has been improved, with the ability to change contrast
- also, if you untick the 'Soften edges' box the pencil strokes become more visible

As usual, go to to download the latest version.

Here's a quick example (photo credit Stock Xchng) of the improved rendering:

Best regards,


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New beta available (v 1.85) - update


Version 1.85 is almost ready. I've uploaded a release candidate, which you can download here:

The main change apart from the sketch effect improvement is the addition of coloured frames. Here's a screenshot:

Best regards,


Thursday, February 19, 2009

New beta available (v 1.85)

Hi all,

If you like to be on the bleeding edge, you might want to try the latest beta version of FotoSketcher, which you can download here:

This beta version corrects quite a number of minor bugs, adds two new frames and improves the original Sketch effect.

As usual, your comments or suggestions are most welcome!

Best regards,


Monday, January 5, 2009

Official release of FotoSketcher 1.8

Version 1.8 of FotoSketcher is finally available. You can download it for free at

Here are some of the new functions you will find :
- 3 new effects (sketch 2 - black & white, sketch 3 - colour and painting 4)
- resizeable left and right panes (move the mouse to the separation line)
- right-clickable magnifying glass icons (the center one sizes the image to best fit the pane)
- the zoom percentage value is editable (just click on the value)
- the source image modification functions are now on one screen, with a preview window
- a link has been added to an online help page (which will be available in the future)
- a better text function (you can move the text with your mouse better than before), with the possibility to add a shadow
- if you move the images around fast, they will continue to move in the same direction for a while (useful on large images or if you zoom a lot)

Here are some example images produced with version 1.8 (original photos courtesy of Stock Xchng):

Black & white sketch 2:

Colour Sketch 3 (first version):

Colour Sketch 3 (second version - with different parameters):

Painting 4:

Best regards,