Photo Filter Apps – Paint Simulations

Overview of Painting Simulator Apps

Today we are looking at paint simulation apps. None of the apps featured here are for creating a hand made paintings using your own marks. These apps are paint simulators that apply painted strokes on your photos. They all are highly rated and have been around for awhile. Some of them are universal, some are for iPhone only, but can be downloaded and run on your iPad. The output size can vary with these apps, not all of them will produce super high resolution at this time. They are certainly good enough for a web site and smaller sized printouts. Many of them also have desktop versions which do output to larger full sized images.

The following three apps are from software creator Jixipx. The company makes a variety off apps that feature artistic effects which can be applied as filters to your digital photos.
They create software apps for both desktop and mobile devices. Their software and mobile apps are very well made, highly rated, flexible and very affordable for both their desktop or mobile versions.



Aquarella HD

AquarellaThe Aquarella app is designed to transform your image into a watercolor painting. The app offers either full color or two toned paintings.
There are many presets styles to choose from as well many options for tweaking the various aspects of the look of the final image.
In addition to various paper types, there are many colored textured layers that when applied create the effect of washes with liquid pooling on your image.
There are also options for creating booming which create the effect of brush strokes and over lapping pigments and edges.
You can create thousands of watercolor styles by simply adjusting the settings and combining color, washes and blooms.
There is also Randomize button to get you started and then you can use the various controls to fine tune you image. You have the ability to save any adjustments as a custom preset.

The usual Undo/Redo button is available as well as posting to social networks right in the app.

Images are saved in hi-res. The image from iPhone 4 I used was 2592 x 1936. When saved, it kept the original image proportions and resolution.
When the image was resized for printing at 300ppi it produced a 8.64 x 6.453 print.
There is also a desktop version of this app.

The price for this app is 2.99, The desktop version is 9.99 at the app store.
Read about the app and desktop products on the Developers Web Page:
Read more about it at the iTunes store:
Get it at the iTunes Store:




PhotoArtista Oil

PhotoArtistaHDPhoto Artista is an oil painting app. Like all of Jixipix it has very clean and simple to use interface. Start with a photo, then choose from 20 oils, 19 impressionism or 3 abstract preset styles.
Once you have your preset chosen go to step 2, this is where you can adjust your preset. There are three types of controls here, they are: Brush, Tone, and Edges.
The Brush offers you 3 types of stroke marks: Straight, Soft Curve or Circular. There are four slider adjustments for each brush option as well. They are: Brush size, Bristle Depth, Canvas & Stroke Variation.
The Tone Option offers slider controls which allows you to Lighten the effect, Shift the color, and add and control the amount of a Tone overlay.
The Edges Options include 17 options for the look of the edges of your painting and a slider of how much of the Canvas Texture appears in the exposed edges. As well as a color box for selecting a color for the canvas.

There’s a Random option that will create some interesting effects that you can use as a starting point. When you get a combination you really like, you can save them as a presets so you can apply them to other images. Your preset will appear with the apps default presets. The usual undo/redo and show the original buttons are there as well.

There are also two in app purchase option for other products that will work inside of the app or independently.

There is a settings preference where you can choose the final image size, they are small, medium, and large. The new preference will not take effect until after an image is open. Set your size preference before you start working on project or you will save your file with the previous settings. Once set it will stay chosen until you change it again.
The image from iPhone 4 I used was 2592 x 1936 and when saved it kept the original image proportions when using the Large preference setting.
The price at iTunes store is 2.99 for the iPhone or iPad version, The desktop version is 9.99
Read about the app and desktop products on the Developers Web Page:
Read more about it at the iTunes store:
Get it at the iTunes Store:




Moku Hanga HD

MokuHangaHDThe Jixipix folks tell us that Moku the Japanese word for “wood” while hanga is known as “print”. This app allows you to create a wood-block print from any image in your photo gallery. The app will take your photo and create outlines replicating a hand chiseled relief look. The usual controls are here for undoing and redoing and the Jixipix Randomize button for really mixing it up. Any of the styles you create via mixing up the slider settings can be saved as presets for use on other images.

This app offers two preset style options to choose from, Multi-Color and Multi-Block. Multi-Color created prints are full mixed color images sampled from the original image with black outlines. Multi-Block uses 5 blocks using colors sampled from your original image. It then uses those colors across your image giving it the look of being printed with a separate woodblock for every color. There are 16 Presets for each style.

Once the Style Preset is chosen you can then make your adjustments via the Adjust Tab.

Here you will find 5 sliders that control the smoothness, width and strength of the chiseled outline. They are Saturation, Image Strength, Outline Smoothing, Outline Weight, Outline Strength, as well as a normal or boost option for the black ink. The Multi-Block style also has a color smoothing slider and color selectors and a randomize color button.

Since paper choice is a major factor in this type of art work, in the Paper tab you’ll find 61 paper options to choose from. There are a very wide variety of styles that include lightly colored and textured papers, to very dark and heavily distress ones. There is also a color picker and slider for adjusting the strength of any color overly you add.

In the Border tab, you will find 17 border options effects. This effect places rough finished edges on your image and controls how much of the chosen background paper shows through the selected edge style. There is also an option for no edge effect, so your image fills the page.

Images are saved in high rez.
The price for the app at iTunes is 2.99, The desktop version is 9.99 at the app store.
Read about the app and desktop products on the Developers Web Page:
Read more about it at the iTunes store:
Get it at the iTunes Store:




AutoPainter HD, AutoPainter II and III

AutoPainter HDAutoPainter HD is universal app for iPhone and iPad. Its sister apps are, AutoPainter II and III for iPhone but will run on the iPad if downloaded to it. These are mobile versions of the highly regarded Mediachance desktop application called Dynamic Auto Painter. Dynamic Auto Painter for desktops is only available for windows but runs very well with emulation software. There is also an Auto Painter Express for Mac Desktops, but it doesn’t save images is the same super high quality as DAP running in emulation.

These apps automatically turn your photos into very realistic looking paintings. AutoPainter uses your photo as a reference and automatically paints a new image with different brushes based on real artist’s brush mark styles. The app runs the effect randomly, so you can paint the same image multiple times and you’ll get slightly different result each time.

The AutoPainter HD version is especially designed for iPad it has a simple interface and the image processing goes very quickly.
There are four preset styles to choose from in this version, they’re based on a specific artist’s color palette and painterly marks.
It is a three step process, pick you image from the gallery or take a photo. Then choose your style of painting hit the start button, then save if you like it, or choose another artist style without reloading the image again.

When the app runs you will get a base underpainting, then a dry reveal which adds back some broad details. Then finally the Details Brush which adds the tiny details.
A nice feature is the ability to stop the process at any time. So, if you want to stop at the underpainting and use it as the bottom texture layer in another program you can do so.

The first one is the ever popular Aquarell, which produces running colors, and other watercolor effects.
The next option is called Benson, which was Inspired by work of artist Frank Benson. This style has a sunny palette with Mediterranean tones. It enhances inner light and color harmony.
Next we have Cezanne which is inspired by late work of Paul Cezanne. This one employs quick brush strokes with warm, reds, greens and yellows in chalky details on an artistic paper.
Last is Van Gogh inspired by, you guessed it, Vincent Van Gogh and his Starry Night painting. Stroke marks consist lots of swirls, and broad strokes with blue tones with orange details.

The developer says that it doesn’t really matter what resolution of the input image is as long as it shows a paint worthy scene. The app recreates the scene by painting a brand new image, not just shuffle pixels around like every other “paint” effect you might have seen. He also warns us that the app needs about 80MB memory when it starts painting, if you have many apps running the iPad may simply deny the memory and the app will shut down. The best work method is to close all other running apps, or to close and reboot if the iPad crashes a lot.

The sister apps work the same way, there are the preset artist types, Auto PainterII features the Illustrators and you have the choice of using Chalk, Book, Felt Tip and Water + Ink. Auto Painter III features Impressionists, where you’ll find the styles of Monet, Camille, Val d’ Orcia and Van Gogh’s sunflower painting style.

An iPhone 4 photo at 2592 x 1936 if processed in any of the mobile Auto Painter apps is saved to an image that was 1280 x 954 pixels.
1280 x 972 (17.778×13.5 inches @ 72 ppi) when the image was resized for printing at 300ppi that will produce a 4.267×3.24 print.

For the Mac desktop version of the app, Auto Painter Express, the original 2592 x 1936 iPhone 4 photo came out as a 2000 x 1492 image.
That is 27.778 x 20.722 inches @ 72 ppi, when the image was resized for printing at 300ppi that will produce a 6.667 x 4.973 print. A bit bigger than the mobile apps.
If you really like the effects of these apps and you’d like higher quality output you might want to check out the Windows only app and run it in emulation on your Mac. The web site tells you all you all you need to know about how to do that. All of these styles plus more are included, and many more powerful features, like making and saving your own brush styles.

The price at the app 2.99
Read about the app and desktop products on the Developers Web Page: for the app: and for general information about their other apps and support:
Read more about it at the iTunes store:
Get it at the iTunes Store:





popsicolorThis is a universal app that runs on both your iPad and iPhone. It produces highly stylized images that have an inky, watercolor effect. The app offers high resolution output for those running IOS 5 or greater and theres easy access to social sharing networks in the app. It has a very simple interface with lots of options for producing fun colorful images.

Once you have selected your image you’ll find 24 Gradient and Blending options, with 23 varieties of Intensity or Focus. There are also options for adding a Border, black or white inks, and Auto-Enhance and Inktensity settings. Another really nice feature is the inclusion of images that you can experiment with to get the hang of the setting before working on your own.

It works this way, first import your image. Once imported, using the paint brush icon, you can choose a top color and a bottom color and if you’ll use black, white, or rainbow ink (inkintnsity). Then you move to the sunglasses, these are the focus options. Choose from 16 different styles to apply the ink to bring out the image on your canvas.

Next comes the bullseye icon. There are 24 ways to choose how to mix and distribute the ink. i.e, a gradient, evenly from one color to the other, from the corners, in a swirl, etc. Depending on your choices you might find drips and different levels of ink opacity.

The little heart icon lets you save the file, send to Instagram, FB and Twitter, open it in other apps, copy to paste into other apps that allow it, send as a postcard and get access to the settings. Settings is where you will set up the size of the image. It will save your original file size, but you must set it to do so, and file type, JPG or PNG. It will not upsize to a larger image size than was imported.

Not all images work well for this app, but it does produce some great effects. This is another app where the image can be used as a foundation or layer for a more complex layered image to produce great texturing and painterly effects.

The price at the iTunes store is 2.99
Read about the app on the Developers Web Page:
Read more about it at the iTunes store:
Get it at the iTunes Store:




glazeGlaze is a stroke-based non-photorealistic rendering app that uses special algorithms to paint your image with digital brush strokes.
A wide variety of painted styles can be achieved, including thick, acrylic paint, or Gouache, with thin or thick, sparse or dense strokes.
It offers two work modes for creating your image and uses a simple interface of icons with image styles representing the effect.

First there is Standard mode. It offers lots of preset styles. Each style you apply is temporally saved so you can compare your choices.
When you find one you like, save your image.

Workshop mode allows you to create your own styles by generating variations and combinations of the included popular styles. Personal styles are controlled through a button palette which is saved and restored each time you use Glaze. Generate random new styles to expand the range of possibilities and mix the random styles on your palette.
Images are saved in the same resolution as your original imported image and Glaze will use and save images unto 21 Megapixels.

This app is free and there are non intrusive in app purchases available. They are .99 each or 2.99 for all styles.
The price at the app 2.99
Read about the app and desktop products on the Developers Web Page:
Read more about it at the iTunes store:
Get it at the iTunes Store:





  1. It was a very nicely written article. I like to read it. It was totally informative tips you share.vapedubaishop

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.