Friday, December 30, 2011

New shattered glass effect

Hi all,

Just a quick word to let you know that I am also experimenting with a simple effect that I will probably call "shattered glass" or something similar.

Here is an early example (click on image to view in full size):

Best regards,


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Season's greetings!

Hi all,

I was hoping to release a new version of FotoSketcher in time for Christmas, but unfortunately I am running behind. My experiments with a new algorithm did not produce good enough results for me to include a new filter in FotoSketcher. I might even have to abandon the ideas I've been working on lately and start on new ones (no worries, I have lots of new ideas, one of them might even produce something nice, lol).

In the meantime, here is the result of one of my latest experiments (based on a picture of young Sean Connery):

I wish you all happy holidays!

All the best,


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Working on some new ideas

Hi all,

I'm currently exploring some new ideas based on the brushstrokes algorithm. I've changed the way the brushstrokes are placed and added a new 'overlap' concept in the code. That way I can choose how much the various brushstrokes are allowed to overlap each other.

It's still early days and the results are not yet completely convincing, but I think I am on an interesting track. Here is an example:

I'll keep you posted as I make progress, so stay tuned!

All the best,


Monday, November 21, 2011

FotoSketcher for Mac - proof of concept

Hi all,

It's been a rather long time since I last updated this blog and I apologize to all my faithful followers. I know that you can't wait to know what's coming in the next release of FotoSketcher ;-)

First of all, I've busy rewriting the official website ( which was in serious need of an overhaul. To cut a rather long story short, I installed and learned Wordpress, chose a nice, clean looking theme and voila!

Then, after some severe lobbying from Mac users ;-), I decided that I would start looking into Mac development. Fortunately, my programming environment Delphi had just been updated to support Mac OS. So I decided to invest in the latest version (Embarcadero Delphi XE2), purchased a (not so) cheap old Mac Mini with 512MB of RAM and tried to start programming for the Mac. Alas, I soon discovered that I needed to upgrade to Snow Leopard (the minimum for Delphi XE2) and that requires 2GB of RAM!

So, following this great tutorial and miraculously not screwing things up, I finally installed Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

And tonight I set up everything to try compiling a test program on my Mac. It actually worked the first time (I nearly fell off my chair)!! Here is proof of my first program running on a Mac:

The snag is that in order to make FotoSketcher multi-platform, I will need to rewrite the user interface and probably quite a lot of the "under the hood"code. So I'll probably continue updating the current Windows only version in parallel for a while.

Best regards,


Saturday, September 3, 2011

New version 2.20 officially released

Hi all,

FotoSketcher 2.20 is now officially released and can be downloaded here:

What's new in 2.20:
  • Pen & Ink 2 effect
  • Manual brush to apply any effect to selected parts of the image
  • Drag & drop (of image files) to the batch mode window
  • 2 new languages (Greek and Latvian) - thanks Aris and Raufs!
  • various bugfixes
The new Pen & Ink 2 effect uses an algorithm which mixes edge detection, global and local contrast balancing and despeckle.

Here is an example (original photo credit Martin Schoeller):

Have fun ;-)


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New beta 2.20 available

Hi all,

Just a quick word to let you know that a new beta version is now available here:

I have tried to iron out most of the bugs related to the new retouch (manual) brush. Don't hesitate to let me know if you still find some bugs though!

***Update (1st sept 2011): a new effect has been added to turn a photo into a black & white drawing. It's called Pen & Ink 2 and here is an example:

All the best,


Friday, July 29, 2011

FotoSketcher 2.20 early beta available

Hi all,

I've just uploaded an early beta version of FotoSketcher 2.20 here:

The main new feature is the manual brush, which enables you to apply an effect to a specific portion of the image (with variable brush size and transparency).

I hope you'll like it and I look forward to your feedback :-)

Best regards,


Friday, July 8, 2011

Software similar to FotoSketcher for Mac and Android

*** 03/03/2017 update ***

Hi all,

In the past months, I have been busy working in partnership with other developers to port some of the FotoSketcher algorithms to platforms other than Windows.

I am happy to introduce you to a very nice app for the Mac, simply called Sketcher, which you can download here:

Even though it is not free, it is very reasonably priced. Here is a screenshot:

As for Android, there are two versions of the PhoneSketch app.
One is 100% free (but doesn't allow you to save your works of art):

The full app is very affordable:

Here is a screenshot:

I hope you will enjoy playing with these apps.

Best regards,


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Upcoming feature: manual retouch brush

Hi all,

I'm currently working on a new feature for FotoSketcher: a mouse driven paintbrush which will allow finer control over specific portions of an image.

Let's take the example of the new Painting 8 (expressive brushstrokes) algorithm. If you use too small a brush size, the resulting painting may look too similar to the original photo. Conversely, if you use a larger brush, the painting may look too rough.

The manual brush will allow you to first render a painting with large and rough brustrokes, and then select the areas of the picture where you need finer details.

Here is an example on a photo of Sir Sean Connery (click on the images to view them full size). The brush size was set at around 100:

As you can see the eyes, nose and mouth brushstrokes need to be refined.

In the future release of FotoSketcher (2.20) you will be able to change the different parameters (for instance reduce the size of the brush to 25) and click on the areas you want to retouch (shown in purple):

When you release the mouse, the finer brushtrokes are automatically applied to the selected area. After a few similar retouches, here is the final result:

The possibilities are endless as I intend to make this manual brush available for most (if not all) effects, which means that you will also be able to apply different effects to different portions of your picture.

All the best,


Thursday, May 5, 2011

FotoSketcher 2.10 is officially released

Hi all,

FotoSketcher 2.10 is now officially released. As usual, you can download the new version here:

If you already have FotoSketcher installed on your PC, there is no need to uninstall the previous version, it will be replaced automatically during setup.

Here are the new features in this version:
- new painting 8 (expressive brushstrokes) algorithm, with custom brush support
- automatic saving of current image directory and custom brushes directory
- 4 new languages (14 languages included now: Afrikaans, Arabic, Czech, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish)
- batch processing now supports also bmp and png formats (as well as jpg)
- various user interface improvements and bug fixes
- optional FotoSketcher browser toolbar (for Internet Explorer or Firefox), with direct access to the FotoSketcher application, homepage or Flickr group
- support for drag and drop of images from the web directly to FotoSketcher (drop an image to the left panel to open it as a new source image)

Thank you to all beta testers who gave me their feedback and also to the translators who help make FotoSketcher a multilingual application.

Here are a couple of examples of the new Painting 8 effect (photo credit stock.xchng):

Best regards,


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Close to release...


A quick word to let you know that I've finished debugging and tweaking the new painting algorithm (Painting 8 - expressive brushstrokes). I've used a softer brush than previously and have improved the brushstrokes' placement.

As usual, the beta version can be downloaded here:

I still have to add some new languages and will then be ready to release version 2.10.

All the best,


Sunday, March 20, 2011

New beta available

Photo credit: Sias van Schalkwyk (

A new beta version has been uploaded. You can get it here:

The painting 8 filter has been fine tuned and is close to final.

All the best,


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

FotoSketcher 2.10 - early beta available


I've just uploaded a new beta version of FotoSketcher 2.10 if you want to play with the new Painting 8 (expressive brushstrokes) effect. You can download it here:

The new effect is very processor intensive, so despite some optimizing it still takes a while to run. I suggest you don't use it on larger images ;-)

Here is an example of the new filter:

Don't hesitate to let me know what you think!

All the best,


Monday, February 21, 2011

Upcoming new effect: expressive brushstrokes

Hi all,

Still working on a new algorithm which uses brushtrokes (like the Painting 7 effect), but with a completely different stroke placement.
I think it gives a nicely expressive touch to the painting. Here is an example (click on the picture to enlarge):

I hope you'll like it.

Best regards,


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Testing new ideas

Hi all,

I'm currently experimenting (fooling around) with new algorithms ideas. Here is an example on the famous parrot:
It's early days yet, but I think it could be promising.

All the best,


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A fun time waster

As if you didn't waste time enough as it is with FotoSketcher, here is a piece of totally useless fun (crank up your speakers and click on the following image) :

Enjoy ;-)

Monday, January 10, 2011

FotoSketcher tutorial - how to apply multiple effects on the same photo

Here is a step by step tutorial on how you can apply two different filters on the same image, using FotoSketcher 2.00.

Step 1:
Open a photo and apply your first effect (here Cartoon 1).

Step 2:
Then copy the resulting image to the clipboard (either by right-clicking on the drawing and choosing 'Copy drawing to clipboard', or by pressing CTRL+C or by clicking on the third icon in the toolbar).

Step 3:
Now apply your second filter (here Painting 6 - oil painting, with increased brushstrokes intensity).
Once the painting is finished, paste the previous cartoon image from the clipboard (either by pressing CTRL+V or right-clicking on the first image and choosing 'paste image from clipboard' or click on the fourth icon in the toolbar, as shown here).

Step 4:
The Cartoon image you had created in step 1 is pasted in both panes. Your oil painting has disappeared, but no panic, this is normal.

Step 5:
Just click on the undo icon (as shown) or press CTRL+Z.

Step 6:
Now the cartoon image in on the left and the oil painting is on the right. The final step is to choose the 'Merge source and result images' effect and voila!

The result:
With a frame and texture added.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

Best regards,


Saturday, January 1, 2011

For the New Year... FotoSketcher 2.00 finally released

Happy New Year to all!

After months of hard toil FotoSketcher 2.00 is finally available for download (

I am especially endebted to all the users who provided me with feedback, suggestions and encouragement.

And also a very special thank you to the people who translated FotoSketcher: Zdeněk, Date, Ari, Josef, Luca, cienislaw, Andrei and Bela.

What's new in v 2.00:
  • 10 languages in all (English, French, German, Czech, Polish, Italian, Romanian, Dutch, Finnish, Russian)
  • Crop source or drawn image
  • Lossless 90° rotation
  • Improved and more responsive interface (12 skins, flicker-free icons, real-time preview of brushstrokes)
  • One-click automatic contrast adjustment
  • Check for updates
  • Automatic saving of language, window size, position and chosen skin
  • 4 new realistic frames
  • New custom brushes loading for Painting 7 effect
  • New vintage photo effect (sepia, vignette, old photo texture)

I hope you'll have fun with the new FotoSketcher :-)

All the best,