You're a keen amateur photographer, but no matter what camera you use to take your pictures, it never gives you the results you really want.
Though a quality camera will help you achieve better pictures, it's often software programs that can turn them from dull, uninspiring pictures to eye-catching works of art.
One program I've been using recently is called Dynamic Auto Painter (DAP), which can turn very ordinary photographs into stunning painting type pictures that you would proudly hang on your wall.
Though the software program cost $99 (approximately £108), it's well worth the money, if you're looking to spice up your photographs. The program is currently in its 5th version and is basically suitable for anybody, no matter what your skill level is.
There are over 50 different effects you can choose from and in most cases, your pictures can be converted in just a few clicks without any complicated editing. Unfortunately, the process isn't particularly quick, though it will depend on the effect you have chosen and the power of your PC.
If you fancy being a bit more adventurous, there are a host of editing options you can apply before or after to give your pictures an even more personal look.
What Can You Convert?
You can basically use any type of image, though for best results photographs you've personally taken yourself are recommended. You don't have to have an expensive DSLR camera, but it definitely helps if your camera is of a reasonable quality as it helps to bring out more detail, though this will totally depend on the actual effect you are using. You can also use random images from the Internet and apply effects to them, though you'll definitely notice that the quality isn't as good as these are often compressed files with a low pixel count.
Using the Program
A lot of image editing software programs can be unbelievably bamboozling to use but that's not the case with Dynamic Auto Painter, which remains relatively simple, especially if you don't fancy doing any extra tweaking. If you simply want a ready-made effect all you have to do is import the image from your computer into the program select the painting effect and click the start button and then wait for the program to apply the effect.
Examples of What You Can Achieve
Even if you're a complete computer novice, you really shouldn't have any difficulties in using Dynamic Auto Painter. Simply import your chosen image by clicking on "file" or the "open file" icon in the top left-hand corner and select "open image" and import an image from your computer into the program. Once that's done, the image you have chosen will be displayed in the central window with all the effect options displayed on the left-hand side window, once the "present" tab is selected at the bottom.
The program has approximately 50 effects, and some effects also provide different variations of each effect. With the latest version (DAP PRO V5), you get a preview of each affect once you place your mouse cursor over the chosen effect. Certain effects also have a star or a recommended symbol next to them, which naturally indicates they are highly recommended.
To apply the effect to your chosen image, you simply select one of the effects from the left-hand table, and providing you don't want any other fancy editing options, simply click on the "start" button and the process will begin. For example, in this demonstration I have chosen to convert a photograph of a horse that I've taken personally and apply the effect known as "Glamour Ultra Detail (Variation 2).
The first picture you see below is the unedited version and the second is with the "ultra detail" painting effect. Though you won't see the full, rich detail of the effect because I've had to compress the pictures you can still see a remarkable difference. The second picture now has a painted effect with rich glossy details.
Another personal favourite of mine is "Gruppe Revisited" which gives your chosen picture a very realistic painted look.
Or, perhaps you just fancy a rustic pencil type painting, which I find particularly useful for low quality images you want to convert off the Internet.
Out of the 50 or so effects that are available, not all of them will provide the desired look that you want. It really is a case of testing them out one by one to find the best effect for your pictures.
Once you're happy with the desired effect you can save it to your computer by selecting "final output" from the bottom tab and choose one of the options on the left-hand side.
Advanced Editing Options
Though Dynamic Auto Painter works brilliantly with just the one click option, you can add a host of advanced editing options to your image before you begin, or after it's been processed.
These options can be found at the bottom of the programme and include the following: present, painter, advanced, retouch, outline, canvas, material, colour adjust, layers and final output.
Presets naturally presents a list of the available effects on the left-hand side.
Painter allows you to add a host of options before you add the effect. Among these includes the option to choose your canvas output size, whether you want to choose an oil canvas or paper affect, and the ability to adjust the overall processing time and quality.
Advanced gives you options such as the ability to adjust the colour shift and the ability to adjust the canvas strength, et cetera.
Retouch as the name suggests, allows you to retouch your image with a host of options.
Outline allows you to adjust the outline of your image with a wide range of options.
Canvas allows you to choose from several different types of canvas with the ability to increase or decrease the strength.
Material allows you to choose from several different material types and the ability to adjust the light.
Colour adjust allows you to adjust the colour with options that include: shadow, gamma, highlights, micro hue shift and pigment brilliance, et cetera.
Layers gives you the option to add layers to your picture from a set of premade present effects.
Final output allows you to save your image in several different formats. For example, you can choose the file name, file size and DPI (dots per inch).
Dynamic Auto Painter is an excellent and easy to use software program, that can turn ordinary pictures into beautiful painting type works of art. Not all the effects will be to everybody's taste, but since there are so many you'll surely find something you like. The only major downside is that the program isn't particularly fast when converting your images, but that will depend on the effect chosen and how powerful and modern your PC is.
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