by Kay Michael Kuhnlein
If I do not forget it, I usually greet my readers with a „Cordial Welcome“. Whoever wants to present one or another photo in a painted version is exactly right here.
You do not need a canvas, no easel, nor a brush or a spatula, even any kind of colors are superfluous, the working or living room remains clean. Today we do it all digitally and for this I recommend to you PASTELLO from JixiPix Software.
The plugin was installed on Windows 7 Professional 64 bit. Photoshop CS6 serves as host program (I cannot afford a newer version), no problems arose. As is right and proper, Pastello was displayed in the Filter menu of Photoshop. NOTE: The program also works as a standalone version without problems.
Above on the right-hand side it is getting interesting. Here the program lets you work with any number of layers, each layer can be defined by a different painting style. A duplication of an already existing layer is possible too. Below on the right-hand side you can find a variety of sliders which should help you getting the desired result.
Above on the left-hand side there are some tools, e.g. for reducing painting strokes that were already created.
Example – Painting Style: Charcoal
If you really want to get the most out of the plugin, then it will definitely not work without learning. Alternatively you can of course apply a preset to every image and you may nevertheless be satisfied with the result - in this case only a mouse click is required.
What lies closer than exactly creating your own image according to the instructions of the corresponding tutorial?
It is quite obvious that I worked orderly according to the tutorial instructions
The example shown here is not a one-click action, but represents 5 superordinate working steps with 18 different settings and the use of all available options. As already indicated it means a bit of work, but it is fun and worth it.
Example - Painting Style: Chalk with Preset and ...
I judge the real performance of a painting software with the help of a portrait photo and its presets. The results are mostly rather disillusioning instead of eliciting me an "Aah" or "Wow". Now please do not expect such examples here - quite often there is nevertheless a way that leads to a presentable result.
I just do not like it if a model´s face is deformed in some areas (mouth, nose, eyes etc.) with too harsh painting strokes or if the painting strokes may be confused with blemishes.
So let us see the image as a „photorealism“ with a slight touch of painting traces. I believe that we can agree on that. Moreover, as a big format on the wall, the overall impression does essentially change.
Now I will give you a short note about the work process in Jixipix. I started with the preset: Chalk 05, then I additionally created further layers with different painting styles and I used the provided options extensively. It does not make much sense to talk about further details as the results turn out rather different for each image.
Example – Mixture of Painting Styles
After several tests with portrait and semi-portrait photos I decided on black & white painting styles. This corresponds to my personal taste and should not be taken as a general recommendation. See for yourself.
Charcoal, Da Vinci and Pencil hit the target
Example – Preset and Several Own Presets
Welcome again! Oops, sorry, of course you haven´t noticed that I made a break for two days, which is quite stupid of me. As far as a review is concerned you never know quite exactly what kind of scene or painting style my appreciated reader - I mean you personally - actually wants to see. So let us hope the following example reveals to you what PASTELLO is able to perform.
Preset: Crayon 05 – and an additional layer
The painted version has something - it is effectively presentable
Example – Only a Preset ...
Of course it is also possible to confront PASTELLO with an image, followed by testing only one preset and there you go! You like the result that much that you just want to keep it like that. Great, I will show you such a photo with my selected painting style.
Does Vector Painting Also Work?
I have to admit that I have absolutely no clue how many people enhance a vector painting with a painting software. As far as my reviews are concerned it belongs to my standard repertoire. I can learn here very well which changes are undertaken by the program in relation to a photo.
See for yourself:
The end is almost identical with every
review. Even for a change I cannot write: „Do never visit
the website of the manufacturer“. So a visit at www.jixipix.com
is worthwhile at any rate. Here you can find demo versions of all
available programs and a lot of additional information.
Kay Michael Kuhnlein
Return to the Main Reviews page