FotoSketcher review

A superb free photo editor that transforms your ordinary snaps into works of art, one brushstroke at a time

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Our Verdict

FotoSketcher is a superb free app for transforming ordinary photos into stunning paintings or drawings. It's far more powerful and versatile than the artistic filters built into most general purpose image editors.

For

  • Extremely easy to use
  • Realistic simulation of traditional artistic media
  • Highly customizable

Against

  • Only three file export formats

The popularity of Instagram led to a new market for apps that do clever things with photos – the likes of Prisma, for instance – and free Windows app FotoSketcher brings very much the same idea to the desktop.

Download FotoSketcher freeWith a few clicks of your mouse, you can transform a mundane photo into something really special. It doesn't matter if you're not comfortable using powerful photo editing software - the program takes care of all the complex processing, letting you create something spectacular.

FotoSketcher transformation
FotoSketcher makes it easy to convert an ordinary photo into a work of art you'd be proud to hang on the wall

User experience

FotoSketcher is a joy to use from start to finish. The main screen is split into two, with the left side showing the source image and the right providing a preview of the results based on the filters and effects you've selected.

When you're ready to get creative, hit the artist's palette button and take your pick from a wide range of drawing styles to give your image a unique look. Each effect is ripe for tweaking and tinkering; for example, you can select the minimum size of brush strokes, the precision of oil pastels and the length of pencil lines. You also have the option of adding a frame and choosing a canvas texture. The effects are surprisingly convincing, and even the completely uninitiated will be able to create something impressive very quickly.

If you want to experiment, you can try using a manual brush to apply an effect to just a portion of your photo; this gives you the option of using multiple effects on a single image. If you're particularly enamored with an effect, batching processing means you can apply it to a set of photos at once.

If you choose the watercolor setting you'll see your converted picture being built up using layers of brushstrokes as it's converted - a particularly nice touch that you'll appreciate if your PC is a little slow and conversion takes a while.

FotoSketcher settings
FotoSketcher features a wealth of presets, including paint, pastel, pencil and ink alongside Instagram-style 'vintage' filters. Each effect can be customized using a set of sliders

We liked

The ease of use and range of filters is impressive, but that's not all FotoSketcher has to offer. In addition to its realistic simulation of traditional media, it can also be used as a basic photo editor. All the essential tools you would expect can be found here: rotating, cropping, contrast adjustment, automatic color level tweaking and so on.

If you want to get really adventurous, FotoSketcher even supports scripting, enabling you to apply several effects to an image in one go.

FotoSketcher text and editing
Its customizable filters are its main appeal, but FotoSketcher can also be used to add text to images, crop, rotate and adjust colors

We disliked

There really isn't very much to complain about with FotoSketcher, but some users might be disappointed by the fairly limited number of image formats that creations can be saved in – JPEG, PNG or BMP only.

We also encountered some strange quirks with FotoSketcher when resizing the program window. This might not be something you do very often – or, indeed, at all – but don't be surprised if the window jumps around randomly during resizing.

Final verdict

Download Fotosketcher freeFotoSketcher not only creates stunning results, it's also immense fun to use. In minutes, anyone can become a real artist.

Specifications

Developer: David Thoiron

License: Freeware

System requirements:

  • Operating system: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10
  • Processor: Not specified
  • RAM: Not specified
  • Disk space: Not specified

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