Software to give images the effect of having been created with natural media has been around a long time. Perhaps the most accomplished in this genre is Corel Painter, with the stripped-down Painter Essentials providing a simple way to convert images. But there are many more such progams, as well as Photoshop plugins and apps for mobile devices.
Like Painter Essentials, GMX-PhotoPainter makes it easy to give images a variety of natural media effects. The conversions are composed of many overlapped brushstrokes, with users able to choose and combine their own settings, while being guided by the application’s choice of colors and the directions of the brushstrokes. Users can employ the supplied styles or create their own styles from scratch using 40 parameters, such as the shape of the brush, texture, color sampling technique, width, length, color variation, pen and ink behavior, and transparency.
GMX-PhotoPainter first performs a topological analysis of the image’s content and builds a matrix of flow direction vectors. Users can then paint a few quick strokes across the desired features of their image. The application then employs this information to generate something that looks more like a hand-drawn image. Also interesting is the ability to render output at any resolution to avoid loss of image quality.
New features for Mac version 2, which brings it up to speed with its Windows sibling, include the ability to use the Freehand tool to draw brushstrokes; a pattern editor; the addition of Color Only and Brightness Only blend modes; and multicolor painting. New for both Mac and Windows are Color Picker and Color Mixer tools; the ability to specify more than one brush in a given style; and support for importing user-created brushes.
GMX-PhotoPainter 2 for Mac and Windows can be purchased on the Gertrudis Graphics site for $59. Trial versions are also available for download.