Color me a fan of Apple’s Mac App Store. It’s easy to use. Prices are mostly competitive. Apps are easy to purchase. The mini reviews sometimes are brutally honest. Updates are automatic.
So, what’s the problem? Everybody and his brother are creating apps to sell. A few are great, many are very good, and some need a little more seasoning to be ready in time for your next meal of apps.
Release Your Inner Charcoal Artist
You might think today is One Trick Pony Day. To be honest, I don’t mind an app that does only one thing, especially if it does the one thing very well, and it’s priced in line with its value.
CharcoalArtist is an amazingly simple app with great promise.
As you may suspect by now, it’s a one trick pony app. It converts your color photo into a charcoal sketch.
No, there’s no charcoal involved, so CharcoalArtist is something of a green app (except for the black and white results) and it’s about as simple to use as an inexpensive app should be.
Drop in a color photo and it’s converted to a charcoal sketch image.
See? Not bad, huh?
Attractive, professional looking charcoal sketches with a click. Or two.
Basically, converting a ho hum, boring color photo into a classy looking charcoal sketch could not get much easier.
The CharcoalArtist Inspector pops up and provides five tools to enhance the image conversion to various degrees of charcoalness.
Density, Tip, Angle, Brightness, and Contrast are all controlled by the Mac’s typical slider tool. Changes are instantly reflected on the image.
Images can be cropped by resizing the window and saving it to whatever dimensions you prefer.
What’s not to like? It’s relatively inexpensive, the controls are simple and adequate, and the results, well, they vary. Some photos required a little tweaking. Other photos rendered more like a felt tip pen than charcoal, indicating that the controls are limited. An earlier version of CharcoalArtist had problems cropping images appropriately. The most recent version shows improvement and promise.
Another problem is the lack of a try-before-you-buy option on the Mac App Store. How hard can that be? I don’t mind trying an app for 99-cents or $1.99, but go beyond that price range and if the app doesn’t measure up, I feel jilted. That’s not a good thing.