Photoshop plug-in puts artists on notice

Alien Skin's Snap Art 2 plug-in for Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements turns photos into virtual handmade art.

Alien Skin

Whether it's rescuing a photo mucked up by a camera's image processing or boosting interest in an otherwise stale photo, Alien Skin's Snap Art 2 plug-in for Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements aims to let users quickly turn mouse clicks into brush strokes.

The software announced and made available Monday gives users 10 natural media, hundreds of styles (oil paint, watercolor, pencil , pastels, etc.), and several canvas textures. The example above was done using the Impasto selection, giving it the look of thick paint, which would be great for hiding photo flaws. There are more than 700 presets that can be tweaked, and this version allows for greater control over detail retention than the last did.

Plus, this update leverages computers with multicore processors as well as multiprocessor systems, cutting down on rendering times and making work on larger prints possible.

The plug-in is available now for $199 or a $99 upgrade for users of the first version. (The upgrade is free if you bought version 1 after the end of March 2009.)

Lastly, I'm in the process of writing reviews for the latest versions of Alien Skin's plug-ins, including Snap Art 2. Look for them soon here on Crave.

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