Apparently, the design industry is dominated by those with actual talent and experience and I had and have neither. Yet I persisted, lowered my sights a bit and thought about becoming a cartoonist. Amazingly, that, too, required artistic talent and a way with words. Go figure.
These days I massage my dreams of youth with one-trick pony apps that do what I could do in Photoshop if only I were willing to rent it by the month forever and ever, and take the required two or three years of college level classes to learn Adobe’s flagship beast.
Artoon is drop dead simple and requires only the ability to click. Oh, you need to take some photos to get started.
There’s a bit more to Artoon than just instant cartoons, though. Drop in a photo and select a particular cartoon illustration style; from Vector to Cartoon, or Pontoon and Monotoon. Adjust the brushes with slider bars for the size and opacity. Use other slider bars to adjust color smoothing, vibrancy, and outlines.
If sliders are just too much to master, Artoon comes with 80 presets, but the sliders give you more controls over a particular style. And style is what you get with just a few clicks. Even mundane photos become cartoon-like works of art with little effort.
Here are some samples.
What’s missing is an option to create line art from an image or photo, but that’s a nit, not a deal breaker; especially considering the nominal price tag. If some of your photos are boring then you’ll find Artoon a good way to turn them into creative masterpieces; without all the trouble of having artistic talent or Photoshop.
Now, speaking of Photoshop, since Adobe’s Creative Cloud became subscription only, Mac users have been treated to a host of photo and graphic design apps that are better than at any time in the Mac’s history. Artoon is one example, but there are many, many others. In fact, the same app developer has about a dozen such apps that range from Portrait Painter to Impresso to Black & White to Simply HDR, each of which does some of what you can do in Photoshop, yes, but mostly point and click.
What you get are useful photo editing tools for just a few dollars. Artoon is fun, but the others can be used as more serious photo enhancement utilities.