Allow me to go out on a couple of limbs. First, if you’ve mastered Photoshop, you can do just about anything to a photo or graphic design. All it takes is time, experience, and paying the monthly freight.
Second, if you’d like to do some of what Photoshop can do to a photo but not get involved in the learning curve or the monthly expense, you need to collect a few one-trick pony apps for photo enhancements. Here’s one of my favorites.
PhotoSketcher is arguably the best of the photo-to-sketch apps for the Mac, though the proof is in the taste of the pudding. The idea is to take a decent photograph and turn it into an artists sketch. PhotoSketcher does that with a click. A few more clicks and the photo becomes an artistic masterpiece.
Here’s a taste of what you get.
Not bad, right? Almost any portrait image with a lighter background is good for point-and-click photo-to-sketch.
Here’s another example.
How do you go from simple photo to artist sketch? PhotoSketcher does most of the work behind the scenes. Simply drag a photo onto PhotoSketcher and it automatically turns it into a pencil sketch.
You get controls to adjust pen size, background, color, moisture, brightness, contrast and a few other items, and you can see the side-by-side comparison of before and after, including colorization.
Controls are easily adjusted to change the effects, and the results– on certain photos– are clearly remarkable.
Therein lies the rub.
PhotoSketcher seems to require crystal clear photos with distinct contrasts. Use a photo with a busy background scene and the results are less than stellar. Most photos with a light or neutral background work well.
The right photo ends up looking just like an artist’s sketch. This isn’t a digital effect you’ll use often, and makes up just on of the many one-trick pony apps you’ll need for photo enhancements beyond iPhoto (and less than Photoshop and a college course on how to use it), but it’s hard to beat for the money.