ArtMasterPro

He created one of the most celebrated album covers in the history of pop with his seminal sleeve for Sgt Pepper, so he should know what he’s talking about. Do we agree with him? Not really. ArtMasterPro is lots and lots of fun though.

While other image-manipulation apps include drawing, selection and touch-up tools, ArtMasterPro is all about filters. The program launches into the Adjust screen, where you can change the brightness, contrast and hue of digital images. Frankly, there’s nothing here you can’t do in Photoshop better but ArtMasterPro comes into its own in the Studio.

Here you have access to 15 bundled filters, which apply artistic effects to an image. A step-by-step wizard provides full instructions on further processing and lets you choose from a series of automatically generated variations shown on screen. Bundled filters include watercolour, pencil, chalk and ‘pop art’. These are all highly configurable, using innovative visual hue and saturation, brightness and contrast controls that Adobe would be wise to take a look at.

Filters can be applied manually too, enabling you to brush on or fill areas with specific effects. Again, full instructions appear live on screen when you select this mode. When you’re happy with the results they can be saved in JPG, PNG or TIFF format.

OUR VERDICT

ArtMasterPro is a graphics program in the mould of 90s classic Kai Power Tools, rewarding experimentation with intriguing results. We’d urge you to download the demo from www.fo2pix.co.uk and play with it yourself. If you’re a fan of natural media effects, check out Studio Artist 3.5 from www.synthetik.com too – it’s a similar tool that takes a more painterly approach.

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