Saturday, April 20, 2013

FotoSketcher secrets - tricks you may not know :-)

Dear FotoSketcher users,

Over the years I have added quite a few shortcuts and hidden features in FotoSketcher. Even if you are a regular user, there might be a few that you did not find. 
Since I never really mustered up the courage to write a full fledged manual, this post will help you discover some of the useful little secrets of FotoSketcher.

Interface tricks:

1: this is the zoom indicator. If you click on the percentage (shown here at 100%), you can manually enter the desired value (from 5% to 1000%).

2: if you left click on the left magnifying glass icon, you will zoom out of the image. You can keep your finger on the mouse button and FotoSketcher will zoom out further. Now, the fun bit: you can also RIGHT-CLICK on this icon, for faster zooming out!

3: if you left-click on the middle magnifying glass icon, the zoom level will revert to 100%. However, if you RIGHT-CLICK the icon, the images will be automatically zoomed to best fit their respective panels (pretty useful for large images).

4: yes, you guessed it... you can also RIGHT-CLICK on this icon :-)

5: if you click and drag on the division line, this will resize the two panels. Now the fun part: if you DOUBLE-CLICK on the division line, both panels will automatically resize to their default widths.

6: you probably know that you can click and drag the image around. But did you know that DOUBLE-CLICKING will show you a full screen preview?   

In the drawing parameters window, there are also a few useful tricks.
First of all, if you double-click on the name of a parameter (like "image simplification" as shown below) this will reset its value to the default (10 in this case).

Also, for some effects, it is possible to increase the number of iterations. Simply double-click on the value at the right of the trackbar (255 in the example below) and the value will change to MAX. This increases the time taken by the effect (and hopefully the quality of the rendering!).

 So far, this trick works with the following effects: 
  •  Painting 7 (brushstrokes) - for the "number of brushstrokes" parameter
  •  Emergence - for the "number of iterations" parameter

Another tip is that in Windows explorer you can drag and drop a picture onto the FotoSketcher icon and the program will start with your image loaded. If FotoSketcher is already started, you can simply drag and drop an image onto the first panel (source image) and it will open.

Keyboard shortcuts:

There are quite a few keyboard shortcuts you can use in FotoSketcher. Most of them are listed in the menus, as shown below:


If you have a keyboard with a number pad, you can also use the + (plus) and - (minus) keys to respectively zoom in and zoom out.

I hope these tips will help you enjoy playing with FotoSketcher even more!

All the best,