Project Description

A tour of Snap Art’s range of effects and a quick look at controls for perfecting your image.

Photo: Tyson Robichaud


Inside of Snap Art, let’s focus on the presets pane, on the left. I’ll start with the Favorites folder, which contains a sampling of each of the different artistic styles. It’s the best place to start hunting for the perfect look. If you find something you like, here. You can open the appropriate folder below to see different variations using that medium.

Let’s take a tour through some of the artistic styles. I’ll start with Oil Paint.

Oil Paint effects are very diverse. You can use a highly detailed look that reads almost like a photograph--or there are abstract options, too. With any of the presets, there are plenty of middle-ground options. On the right, the controls in the Background panel can be used to customize whichever preset you choose on the left.

Pencil Sketch mimics hand rendering with graphite or charcoal. These effects are strongly affected by the amount of coverage. Lowering the coverage slider will break the effect up into a more abstract look.

Crayon emulates the build-up of wax-based crayons or grease pencils. Coloring pigments in soft media like this produce a motley, or highly varied, appearance and character. If you prefer more subtle color variation, it’s easily adjustable with the color variation slider on the left.

Impasto imitates the signature thick buildup of painting with this technique. The extra level of highlights and shadows can give the painting a sculptural quality, adding expressiveness to the piece. The paint thickness slider controls this behavior.

Watercolor effects emulate the building up of semi-transparent colored strokes. The behavior of this technique plays up the energy in a shot. I recommend using Photorealism slider alongside of the Overall Brush size parameter. Small brush size with high levels of photorealism will bring back details lost in the effect.

Pastels use large and soft-edged brush strokes. The stroke color varies more subtly than in the Crayon presets, which makes these a good choice for shots of people. Using longer stroke lengths can blend the brush effects together which can soften the effect. On the other hand, shorter strokes create more energy.