Dynamic Auto Painter Enhanced for Natural Media Effect Creation

There are programs for creating illustrations from scratch that mimic the look of traditional natural imagery, such as Corel Painter or Psykopaint. Then there are programs and Photoshop plugins that simply attempt to give existing images, typically photos but also 3D imagery, a natural media look such as Snap Art and AKVIS Sketch. Into this latter category falls Dynamic Auto-Painter, a Windows program from MediaChance.

There are several plugins available that make it possible to give photos the look of vintage analog film. Typical is DxO FilmPack, which accomplishes this thanks to color renditions based on the analysis and calibration of the surface sensitivity of each of the films, from which DxO Labs extracted the specific RGB curves. In addition, each type of grain was defined by extraction of a ‘grain matrix’ from the film, which can then be applied to digital images. Dynamic Auto-Painter works much the same way, in that its effects are generated thanks to the developer having "spent years researching the technique of famous painters." Frankly, such programs that offer to make a photo resemble a work created by Van Gogh, Monet or similar artists typically come up short. But if the examples provided by MediaChance are any indication, it seems to have raised the bar for such efforts.

New in version 4 is PhotoReactor, which takes the program beyond just presets and allows users to create their own complex effects via a node-based system (shown below) that starts with 100 effect building blocks. Such an approach provides a lot of freedom when creating effects, which can later be applied to images with a single click. And apparently a processed and exported JPG can later be used to apply its effects to other images, which is rather handy.

New Retouch, Color Adjust and Layers tools can be used to further modify an image after an effect has been applied, with Retouch making it possible to brush back various stages of the painting process. A masking feature has also been added that lets users add thin pencil or light brush stroke effects to defined outlines without producing the dreaded "digital" effect.

Dynamic Auto Painter 4 for Windows can be purchased on the MediaChance site for $99. A trial version is available for download.