Tuesday, July 29, 2014

AKVIS OilPaint Software Review




AKVIS was founded in 2004 by a team of IT professionals with software development and programming expertise; its headquarters are in Perm, Russia. AKVIS is dedicated to creating and selling professional image processing software that can be stand-alone or can function as a Photoshop plugin. Their programs are made for Windows and Mac OS X. The name AKVIS comes from a Russian fairy-tale, and refers to a horse that can make owner's dreams come true, very much like AKVIS' software can do for you! AKVIS encourages creative self-expression in their customers and prides themselves upon user-friendly, reasonably-priced and high-quality image software.

What kinds of programs does AKVIS offer?

AirBrush, ArtSuite (frames and effects for photos), ArtWork (painting for photos), Chameleon (photo collage), Coloriage (add color to black and white photos), Decorator (resurface and recolor), Draw (make photos look hand-drawn in pencil), Enhancer (adds detail to photos), HDRFactory (high dynamic range), LightShop (add lighting and star effects), Magnifier (change the size of images without compromising quality), MakeUp (for retouching), MultiBrush (image editing and drawing tools), NatureArt, Noise Buster (removes noise in photos), Pastel (creates pastel paintings), Refocus (removes blur), Retoucher, Sketch (converts your photo to a pencil sketch), SmartMask

I was lucky enough to receive a license key to try out AKVIS' OilPaint V.3.0 Software, for the purpose of this review. AKVIS OilPaint is software that you can use to transform pictures taken from your digital camera or your computer into life-like oil paintings! The program uses an actual algorithim of brush strokes that creates a realistic looking technique and image.

Oil paintings are beautiful, but if you create one on your own, they can be very time-consuming, and, in my case, not so cute. If you buy an oil painting, you will end up paying a lot more than you would for this software. With AKVIS' OilPaint V.3.0 you can print out and hang up images that look as if they were meticulously created on a canvas. The unique features of oil paintings, such as the wide, prominent brush strokes (which give the painting a rough quality), the bright colors, and the blending, are all replicated to perfection. This software is great for people that want to unlock their creative expression, but don't find themselves to be expert painters. Virtually any image will look great when transformed by AKVIS' OilPaint - from landscapes, to portraits, to abstract art.

AKVIS' OilPaint is very user-friendly, and comes with a detailed manual if you run into any problems. This is a picture of the interface below. As you can see, the layout is easy to visualize and the icon buttons make understanding this program simple.


The first thing that you would do to create your oil painting masterpiece is to select an image that you have saved from your computer. There is a little icon, as shown below, that you click on to select and upload your image.


What to choose? Anything will work. I chose a picture of my dog, Lulu, because this is something I could see myself printing out and hanging on the wall. She looks adorable in this picture, and I wanted to see what her face looked like when turned into an oil painting, as I can't really paint to save my life! I have zoomed in on the main portion of the interface below. Your image will pop up in the center, under a tab named 'Before" -- on the right, you will see a tab labeled "After". This is an easy way to flip back and forth between your images to see if you have the final touch that you want, or if you lost too much detail, etc.


 Below, I have zoomed in on the upper right hand side of the OilPaint interface. If you want to leave all of the features at default to see what your final image looks like, you can just hit the arrow and it will transform your image into an oil painting. This is the most basic function, without changing any of the different levels.



If you decide that you do not like your image, you can play around with the right hand sidebar. Here, you will find a variety of different features, all of which have a labeled explanation underneath them when you hover over the name. The painting tools you can use are as follows:
  • Simplicity - The higher this number is, the more rough the brush strokes are on your image, and the less detail you will have. You are adjusting the simplification of your image. A higher number will look more like a painting and a lower number will appear more realistic.
  • Saturation - Change the tone of your image by adding saturation. The higher the number, the more saturated, and the less like the original picture.
  •  Relief - Adds volume to your brush strokes
  • Max Stroke Length, Stroke Intensity, Stroke Thickness, Stroke Curvature, Extra Strokes - All of these options change the features of the actual brush strokes
  •  Mix  - Blends the brush strokes with the original image to soften the effects


There are also text and canvas features on the right hand panel. The canvas option is really cool! You can change the scale of the canvas, how bright it appears, and how embossed it appears. This makes your oil painting look even more realistic!


Here is the final image that I created using HIGH simplicity, which means that I added more brush strokes and lost a little detail, to make it look more like a realistic oil painting. I really like the way it turned out.


On the left hand side, there are also a few options that you can play around with. The first, 3D Brush tool, allows you to further personalize your new image by adding in additional brush strokes, volume, and relief. Every time I added them it looked like I messed up my image, but you might be better at it than me! This would be a great tool for abstract pictures turned oil paintings.

Another tool, the Oil Brush tool, allows you to make high-quality strokes that look like and imitate the real thing! As you use this tool, you do change the colors, as if you were actually blending and moving the paint around yourself.


If you image is done, there are three quick ways to have it for life -- you can click the save button to save it to your computer, the print button to print, or the globe button to share it on your social media outlets! Another option that I forgot to mention is that little pair of gears on the image below. This is called "batch processing", and it allows you to process multiple images using the same settings as the first.


 There are three options for purchasing AKVIS' OilPaint V.3.0, all good for one year of the program: a home license, a home deluxe license, and a business license. The Home License is $49 for the standalone version or the plugin, and is for non-commercial, personal use. You can register this software on a maximum of two computers. The Home Deluxe License is $69 and includes the plugin and standalone version. This is also for non-commerical, personal use, and can be registered on a maximum of two computers. The Business License is $89 and includes the plugin and standalone version. It is for commercial, profitable use, and can be registered on a maximum of two computers.

All-in-all, I really enjoyed the AKVIS OilPaint software. It is easier enough for ANYONE to understand and work with -- even people who aren't too familiar with image editing. The final images are beautiful and really do look like authentic oil paintings...with the canvas, brush strokes, and all! I think this is a great investment, especially for people with businesses or for people that want to advertise in a unique way. It is also great for people like me, who just want to print out awesome images to decorate the walls of their apartment!


Interested in learning more about AKVIS? Check out the links below:

YouTube


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

41 comments:

  1. I need this system in my life!!!

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  2. Lulu is just so cute. I cannot wait to meet her. This is a neat software. The "painting" you made of her is adorable!

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  3. very detailed, but i think im really stuck on using Photoshop. it looks like a really good software though

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  4. I did not know all of this. Luvn the software

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  5. That is really cool I have never heard of this before. I currently use photoshop elements for all my editing.

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  6. This is really cool! I can see myself over using this by having way too much fun and destroying my picture! :)

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  7. This looks so cool! I think it'd be neat to have an oil painting of my family.

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  8. How neat! This could be fun to play around with. Thanks for the review.

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  9. Looks like a really good software for those who are creative.

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  10. So cool!!! Im borderline ignorant when it comes to software and design programs! Must check this out!
    xo,
    Dee T
    http://HauteFrugalista.com
    @HauteFrugalista

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  11. For me this is a win win! This is my sons favorite things to do. And now they can be combined!

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  12. Wow, that's a neat program. My daughter received an extensive art kit, but we've been at a loss for the oil paints. They require more talent than I possess.

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  13. That looks like great software. What a great effect on the dog picture.

    Michelle F.

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  14. I would love to take a class on a good photography software, this was a very informative post just also need help going through it

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  15. This Is Great I Really Need To Get This Thank You!

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  16. That is so cool! I've got to get this. I'd love to do this with a picture of my son.

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  17. Have never heard of this software before. Looks fun, will have to try it out.

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  18. How cool! This definitely something I'm going to have to check out.

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  19. Very cool! I am excited to check this out and play around with it. Thanks

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  20. That is great that it can work as a photoshop plugin. I love how many programs integrate now. Thanks for sharing.

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  21. Seems like handy software if that's what you're after. Just need to spend the time using it

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  22. Seems easy enough! THanks for the info!

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  23. I love how detailed this review is here. I really feel like I have a good hold on what the software is and what it does. I think it's really nice!

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  24. What a neat idea! I had no idea there was software that let you transform your photos like that. Thanks for sharing and I am going to tell my photographer friends.

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  25. Pretty neat. Looks like fun. I bet my son would love it.

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  26. Some really neat effects! I would love to mess with this software

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  27. What a neat piece of software. I like how that turned out!

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  28. looks easy enough. I wonder how it compares to picmonkey?

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  29. Its no replacement to Photoshop but it looks like it does what it does very well!

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  30. It looks like a pretty cool piece of software. I always like trying new programs. Great job.

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