Posts Tagged 'Drawing'

Virtual Spirograph – Feel Like A Kid Again

Visit Inspirograph to play with a free online Spirograph. It is very faithful to the original version, but without the stickpins to secure the wheels to the cardboard mat.

Cityscape Savant: Drawing Our World Entirely By Memory [video]

Number 2 Pencil [video]

Collaborating With A 4-Year-Old [pics]

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I don’t know anything about this set of pictures. Apparently, the artist lets her 4-year-old daughter help with with her drawings. I think the results are quite good and unexpected.

See the pics HERE.

 

More Than You Want To Know About Pencils [infographic]

pencil_sThe complete(?) history of the lowly lead pencil is contained in this infographic.

Drawing With My Eyes [video]

In the recent exhibition Drawing With My Eyes, artist Graham Fink drew portraits using only his eyes, some software and enviable amounts of concentration. Fink worked with a programmer to develop software for an eye-tracker that would allow him to draw simply by looking at the screen. original Wired.com source

Drawings That Seem To Jump Off The Page

Moillusions.com posted a page of illustrations by Alessandro Diddi that seem to leap off the page.

Check them out HERE

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Can Blind People Draw? [video]

Tommy Edison, who has been blind since birth, responds to the popular request to draw various objects based on how he thinks they look including a cat, a car, and himself.

XnSketch – FreeFile Review

FFR-WP-logoxnsketch-logoXnSketch is a program that turns any photo into a drawing; producing a work of art that requires no talent – just a click or two. Previously, I reviewed a similar program, FotoSketcher, and will use it as a benchmark for XnSketch. Both programs offer about 20 presets that work very well without additional tweaks. XnSketch’s adjustments are basic photo-type adjustments (brightness, contrast, saturation), but FotoSketcher has adjustments for the way that the preset effects are applied. That makes  FotoSketcher more versatile and more complicated to use. Both programs have attractive, fairly simple interfaces, but most will find XnSketch easier to navigate.

What’s good – XnSketch is dead simple – just select the style of drawing and save. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Presets such as halftone and “Obama Hope poster” are not available in FotoSketcher.

What’s bad – XnSketch lacks any adjutments to the drawing parameters. It feels poorly written or unfinished (labels on halftone presets are misspelled “Haltfone”). Finally, the ‘Save’ function is a bit wonky – it defaults to a 512 pixel size and will not automatically append the correct file extension onto the saved file. The saved dimension can be changed by clicking the down arrow next to the ‘Save’ icon and choosing ‘Original’ before saving.

– – – – The Bottom Line – – – –

Despite its problems, XnSketch is an excellent solution for someone wanting to create a drawing as easily as is possible. It produces quality drawings quickly, simply. Those wanting more control over their drawings will prefer FotoSketcher.

Download XnSketch HERE

Download FotoSketcher HERE

Read more FreeFile Reviews at Dan Kostecki.com

FreeFile Review – PixBuilder Studio

I just recently became aware of PixBuilder Studio. This free image editor is similar to Paint.Net, which I reviewed earlier this year – both are quite capable, but with a few differences.

Installation offers the options of a full install or a portable install (very nice). I chose the portable install on Windows 7 and had no issues. PixBuilder Studio is for Windows only. The user interface is very clean and modern and it can be customized to one’s tastes.

Most of PixBuilder Studio’s image adjustments (brightness, contrast, color controls, etc.) are found under the Colors menu on the toolbar. All of these controls perform quite well as do the limited drawing tools. I was surprised to find a Healing Brush Tool, but I found its performance subpar. The Clone Stamp Tool performs much better. Text is edited in a seperate window – my preference is for inline editing – however, in this case, the text editing is well done. My favorite feature is the Zoom Panel. It offers the easiest way to zoom in and out of the workspace that I have seen. This feature should be included in all image editors. Another surprise is the icon editor that is built into the program. Finally, the program performs quickly and reliably.

The only big negative that I found was the few filters and effects included with PixBuilder Studio. It is possible to install Photoshop filters, but few users will go through the involved process to enable them. Hopefully, this will be resolved in a future version.

– – The Bottom Line – –

I was pleasantly surprised by this well done piece of software. Anyone needing a basic photo editor will be very satisfied with PixBuilder Studio. The icon editing functions really make PixBuilder Studio stand out from the crowd. Try it for yourself.

Download PixBuilder Studio HERE

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

FreeFile Review – FotoSketcher

I’ve been a fan of  FotoSketcher for a few years and version 2.0 was recently released. This free application will convert any photo into a hand-drawn or hand-painted masterpiece. Basically, it is a Photoshop type filter that runs as a stand alone application. It does one thing and it does it well.

The installation is simple, and a portable version that doesn’t require installation is also available. The interface is very slick – pleasant to look at and easy to figure out. There are nearly 20 different drawing styles available (pencil drawing, painting, cartoon, etc.). Each of the styles has a ton of adjustments in the Drawing Parameters window. The program offers some very basic photo editing options (crop, resize, rotate), but I prefer to use other software for those operations. Text can be added and batch operations are possible.

I don’t use FotoSketcher often, but when I do, I’m always pleased with the results. Sometimes the default parameters are perfect, sometimes the parameters need to be adjusted. Don’t be afraid to play around with them, and remember that certain photos will look better with different drawing styles. Experimentation is key with this program.

Some of the more complicated filters may render slowly on older, slower computers. One thing that I would like to see changed is the Drawing Parameters window. It is currently a floating window, but I think that integrating it into the main program window would be an improvement. A larger preview window would be nice.

– – The Bottom Line – –
Very few free programs do what FotoSketcher does. It gives excellent results with a minimum of fuss. If you’re feeling creative, give it a shot.

Download FotoSketcher HERE

Visit DanKostecki.com for more FreeFile Reviews


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