Snap Art Photoshop Plug-in

Reviewed by: Mario Georgiou, February 2007
Manufactured by: Alien Skin Software
Requires: Photoshop CS or a Recent Edition of a Plug-in Compliant Host Application; Windows — Windows XP or Vista, Intel Pentium 4 processor (or compatible), 512MB RAM; Apple/Mac — Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, PowerPC G4 or G5 processor, 512MB RAMAlmost any television will do
MSRP: US$49.00

I'm a big fan of art and luckily I am also able to draw, paint and sculpt. However, for many folks, creating art is something of a challenge (if not completely impossible) when it comes to producing something which they conceive of as ART. For those of you who take photos and who also enjoy playing with your images, Photoshop and several plug-ins have enabled you to create art-like images. Snap Art helps you create images that evoke the feeling and style of many traditional and real world art styles.

The Snap Art plug-in consists of 10 Photoshop-compatible plug-in filters, each of which creates a very distinctive effect. Effects include; oil paint, impasto, pastel, pencil sketch, pen and ink, Pointillism, Comics, Watercolor and others. It is very similar in the range of effects it creates, to some of the styles I've found in other artistic effects emulation plug-ins. Although it won't turn you into an artist, Snap Art is very easy to use and the results are much more configurable than most other similar plug-ins.

I tend to use tools like this in combination with the other features in Photoshop and also with my Wacom graphics tablet for line work. I found that I wasn't overly impressed with the pencil sketch and watercolor styles, but several other styles were very useful. My favorites so far are oil paint, impasto and comics.


In addition to the style presets there are several key settings which allow you to modify the default settings including tone, canvas, and lighting. The capability to save your own presets is an excellent feature.

While many of the Snap Art plug-in effects are cool, they can also be created with
Photoshop itself using its native filters and effects. By putting all the controls in a powerful interface what Snap Art does is take all the fuss and time out of looking for and trying to remember what combination of filters to use. Snap Art could be improved by allowing some kind of quick switching mode so that you can move from style to style more quickly.

Cons: Some of the presets are not quite evocative of the style being emulated.

Pros: Easy to use. Highly configurable. Ability to save user settings. Snap Art is aimed and priced at all users of photo based software. Although many of the effects created with the Snap Art plug-in can be achieved using Photoshop alone, Snap Art makes the process of creating your art easy because it places all the necessary controls in an easy to access interface. Recommended.

KSN Product Rating:





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