Snap Art 3 on the way

Snap Art 3 will be available in August 2011. For those of you new to Snap Art, it quickly turns photos into works of art that look handmade. When it is ready we will announce it here, on our home page and to our e-mail list.

Until then, I can tell you that the art looks even more natural than before. Version 3 uses more refined stroke placement, so edges are sharp and people remain clear and recognizable.

Instead of oval focus regions, Snap Art 3 has a detail mask that let’s you quickly mark areas where you want more detail. This gives you the control you need for critical jobs like wedding portraits.

We redesigned the user interface to be more convenient. For instance, the 10 filters are now combined into one so you don’t have to leave Snap Art to switch media types.

There are new presets, including ones for crayon. You can see an example of that below in the rainy kids sketch.

Snap Art 3 will cost $199 USD. Owners of Snap Art 1 or 2 may upgrade for $99 USD. Free upgrades will be automatically sent to everyone who purchased Snap Art 2 directly from Alien Skin Software in April 2011 or later.

Here are some examples we made with Snap Art 3. All of these started as photos and were quick to make.

About the Author:

Jeff Butterworth is the founder of Alien Skin Software. He used to create the products, but now he does marketing and gets coffee for the programmers.


  1. Paul Lindqvist June 9, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Ill be sure to buy this ones it’s available it looks great!

    Paul L.

  2. Stewart Baird June 9, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Great news about SA3 – I thought you guys had forgotten about it! I love Snap Art 2 – makes it so easy to create art effects. Really, Photoshop doesn’t hold a candle to SA with its filters. I like to use the Art History brush in conjunction with Snap Art. Super product and can’t wait for the upgrade!

    • Ed Elvidge June 16, 2011 at 12:32 pm

      I certainly would love to know how to use the art history brush with SA as mentioned.

      thanks, Ed

  3. Al Newman June 12, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Will it be a plug-in for Lightroom also?

    • Mary June 13, 2011 at 11:05 am

      Yes, it will be a plug-in for Lightroom also.

      • Al Newman June 13, 2011 at 11:18 am


  4. shibani khanna June 14, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Wow! i have snap art 2… when will this be available? WOW ! i mean….keep up the good work

    • Jeff June 14, 2011 at 11:29 am

      It will be available in August 2011 at the latest.

  5. Steve Harrison June 16, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Fabulous! Looking forward to it.

  6. Eric Davies June 16, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Excellent! I cannot wait. I’ve loved SA1 and SA2, and am extremely glad to see you’re continuing to enhance SA. Thanks for great products!

  7. Warwick Raverty June 16, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Nice oil and crayon effects, but will SA3 have some ‘realistic’ watercolor wet-in-wet effects? That’s the test!

    • Jeff June 21, 2011 at 2:42 pm

      All of the media types in Snap Art 3 are improved, but I don’t think the watercolor will do the really messy wet color bleed effects. When Snap Art 3 is released, run it in free trial mode to check out the improvements.

  8. abutalib June 16, 2011 at 11:30 am

    very very good

  9. George Carter June 16, 2011 at 11:46 am

    I am a purist when it comes to photography. You have some nice manipulations, but why screw up a great photograph? I use some of your plug ins and the one I find that I use the most in digital photography is recreating the film grain for certain images. To me that is the best plug in you have.

    • Jeff June 21, 2011 at 2:52 pm

      It sounds like you are referring to Exposure for film simulation. For many people that is their favorite product because the results often do not look like any computer processing was done.

      I respect your philosophy of not screwing up a great photo with digital manipulations. When the results look digital, we have failed. In Snap Art we are trying to reproduce human techniques so well that the result looks like a real painting. Sometimes visitors to our office are surprised to learn that the canvases on the walls are not real paintings. We will keep improving Snap Art until the results never make you think “digital”. Once we release Snap Art 3, it will be interesting to see whether people who try it think we are there yet.

  10. Jacob Rosenfeld June 16, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Been an AlienSkin customer since the days of EyeCandy (pre-4000). Looks like I’m going to have to upgrade my SnapArt 2. Can’t wait!

  11. JB Haber June 16, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    I’m looking forward to the enhancements, especially the detail masking. Here are a few of my favorite digital paintings created with SN1 and SN2:

  12. Daryl Young June 16, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Looking good! I’ll certainly give this a test run when this version is released (or before if you are still looking for comments and suggestions.)

  13. Adrian Van Leeuwen June 16, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    I have made numerous tests and although I haven’t purchased yet, I probably will, especially since you are enhancing the interface even more. I suppose I don’t have to wait for SA3 to purchase as if I buy now in late June I get free upgrade to SA3. Love Impasto, Pointillism, and Oil which I have tested with my kids photos and also wedding sample portraits effectively. They work best if Portraits are in a landscape nature setting to see painterly effect on surroundings and clothing and a bit smoother on face and skin. And I currently put on a layer mask in PS to blend back with transparent brushes some more detail if I do not get enough in focus areas in face and hands, with effect on top and original on the bottom. Love the way the effects brush strokes follow the form and also often follow the direction of the edge between objects ( I also see this edge effect in pencil mode). I also have “college degree” experience as an illustrator and this is a much faster way with photos to reach a very similar result to fine art painting and my wife likes the effect also. Still wondering how many clients would pick this type of effect at 11×14 or 16×20 as a fine art effect, over a detailed actual photograph also with strong colours. I guess it depends on how much they enjoy fine art paintings and their reaction to seeing the art effect at a large scale on canvas. But I think it has great potential and lots of people could be interested in seeing very unique art effects (when done well in the software) on canvas, instead of the regular photographic way. Very intuitive software and fast to explore settings.

    • Jeff June 21, 2011 at 3:04 pm

      I’m glad you are enjoying Snap Art 2. Snap Art 3 will make it easier to get that detail on the face and hands.

      In our experience, clients are most impressed when they see a Snap Art creation printed on canvas. Canvas really helps give the impression that it is handmade artwork.

      Here is some printing advice and a 10% discount code for APC, our favorite canvas printing company.

  14. LEONTIUS K. FORDE June 16, 2011 at 2:09 pm


  15. ashish June 16, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    i use snap-art2.. looking forward to new version eagrly..

  16. Aaron Bonner June 16, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    This IS great news. I’ll also be one of the first in line for this one. Thank you so much for continuing your research and upgrades to SA.

  17. Diana Schaefer June 16, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    WOW – Great News! I love SA2, so I will be sure to upgrade to SA3.

  18. Dennis Scott June 16, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    I would love to purchase Snap Art 3 but I have been told that I cannot use Snap Art 2. I have a Mac G5 version 10.4.11. I have been hoping that maybe Snap Art 3 would work on my computer. Please advise. I would even like to just have Snap Art plugins for Photoshop instead. Anyway, I hope you work it out sometime so I can use your Snap Art. It looks great.

    Dennis R. Scott

    • Jeff June 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm

      I’m sorry, but we just don’t have the resources to support the PowerPC G5 processors and still keep up with Apple’s other technical challenges. We hate it too!

  19. Ira Satinover June 16, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    I think the upgrade charge is exhorbitant. I liked ver 1, I appreciated ver 3. But the interval change for ver 3 does not appear to me to be worth the upgrade cost. That’s not the way to support long time users. Thanks for nothing.

    • Ira Satinover June 16, 2011 at 8:15 pm

      Sorry for the typo. I meant that I appreciated ver 2. But the ver 3 upgrade price is excessive. I use a number of your plug ins. But incremental benefits do not warrant such high charges. You risk losing me as a customer.

      • Jeff June 21, 2011 at 3:22 pm

        It is true that $99 is a lot of money. When Snap Art 3 is released, play with it in trial mode. I hope you will be impressed enough to upgrade, but I completely understand if you don’t think it is worth it. In any case, I’m glad that you enjoyed versions 1 and 2. We will keep trying to make our products great enough to justify their price.

  20. Susan Easley June 16, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Oh. My. I have used Snap Art 2 for several things (need more day in my time) and am really impressed. Can hardly wait for the upgrade! Please watch for my order to come screaming through the minute I get the email saying its available.

  21. Robert Osborne June 17, 2011 at 1:20 am

    I had snap art and discarded it when I started using another software. Do you still show me as upgradeable and would it work without an active previous version?

    • Mary June 21, 2011 at 12:53 pm

      Robert, I don’t see that are a registered user of any previous versions of Snap Art. Snap Art 3 will work without a previous version but to get upgrade pricing you would need to have a qualifying license code from a previous version.

  22. Peter Stremic June 17, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Will it be compatible with Aperture 3?


  23. Stan Allen June 17, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    I have been a “Photo Based Digital Artist” (I made up the discription) since 1998. Over the last few months I have been using SA 2 on alot of my work, and it has been received very well. Look forward to what SA3 will have to offer.

  24. Angela Stanton June 17, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    !! I can hardly wait!!!! That crayon sketch is amazing!! I have Snap Art 1 and 2 and I have always loved what it does but boy!! Snap Art 3 looks to be just awesome!!!! Do you have a beta we can test and try? Thanks, Angela

    • Jeff June 21, 2011 at 2:34 pm

      Sorry, but you will have to wait until Snap Art 3 is released. Our beta testing is done with a small private group. We will try to finish early so you don’t have to wait long!

  25. A.G. Shaw June 17, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    This is great! As a Mac user I cannot use most of the other painting software that is availible, but now I can produce the art that I want. I am sure to pick this up when it comes out!

  26. Robert Vitale June 18, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Wow! I just bought SA2 and coverted most of my pictures into paintings,I love it! Can’t wait for the upgrade to SA3. Nice work!

  27. marc kilgore June 19, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    I’m waiting, bring it on!

  28. VinC June 21, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Dear Jeff,
    I suggest a feature request.
    Please enable CUDA & OpenCL (OCL) in SnapArt3 for preview and rendering even if it delays its release. It is worth to enable CUDA & OpenCL (OCL).

    It will very much reduce rendering time and will enhance real time preview. Also, it will enable snap art apply art effects on very large files easily.
    Already some PhotoShop plugins like ‘BeautyBox’ are supporting CUDA. and the difference in performance with CUDA support and without CUDA support are very significant.

    Some links related to BeautyBox plugin performance,2770-8.html


    • Jeff June 21, 2011 at 2:32 pm

      Thanks for the suggestion. We are always looking closely at hardware acceleration. It is true that CUDA or similar technology would speed up Snap Art immensely. However, that approach comes with many technical challenges and possibly increased tech support. Snap Art 3 will not use CUDA, but perhaps version 4 will.

  29. Joy Gates June 22, 2011 at 10:26 am

    I too have been an AlienSkin customer since the days of EyeCandy (pre-4000). I’ve found the company to be very helpful to non-tech savvy oldsters like me, which I appreciate more than I can say!!!

    I have Snap Art 2, greatly enjoy playing with it (also do photograph-based digital art), and will buy the upgrade to version 3 in a snap! I’m looking forward to it!

  30. Monte Krause June 25, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    I made several Snap Art 3 music videos from still-image sequences. Each image treated with my favorite Snap Art effect, Stylize. They came out great!

    • Jeff June 28, 2011 at 1:29 pm

      Cool stuff, Monte!

      Here is a video that shows how to use some of our products on video. It isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but Exposure and Snap Art can look good on some videos.

  31. Michael Altheim June 30, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    This looks unreal I thought that 2 was good, but this will blow it away cant wait.

  32. Michael Altheim June 30, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Can it be used in Lightroom3

    • Mary July 1, 2011 at 10:35 am

      Yes, it will work in Lightroom 2 or later.

  33. Jan Hansen July 3, 2011 at 4:38 am

    Best of the best art programs I ever knew about. Looking so much forward to SnapArt 3 and deff. gonna buy it ! Will it by any chance be competible with the old PhotoShop 7.0 ? even i work most in CS5 these days ?!

  34. larry darnell July 9, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    i’ve just upgrade to cs5 from cs4 on a new machine. i’m not sure how to get snap art 2 to install, as it doesn’t seem to want to work by just dragging it into the filters folder. i’ve used it in the past, would like to use it now…. and, now, you’ve got 3 coming….

    i’d appreciate some advice on getting 2 working first, as i don’t think i can wait to do the 3 install.


    larry darnell

    • Jimmy July 14, 2011 at 2:09 pm

      Hi Larry,

      Snap Art 2 does work with CS5. Most likely your issue will be fixed with a fresh install, however it’s probably best to fill out a support ticket for good measure. Here’s a link:

  35. Mike July 9, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    How about some more example art showing off the new functions?

    • Jimmy July 14, 2011 at 2:20 pm

      Hi Mike,

      We’re working on some right now! We appreciate your patience.

      • Mike July 18, 2011 at 7:14 pm

        I saw the release page for SnapArt 3, very nice. Will the trial version of SnapArt 3 work with a trial version of Adobe software?

  36. Bob October 2, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    What does the “activate tab when drawing” do and how to use it?

  37. marco November 18, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Good evening, which use paper to print these pictures? to look like a real painting …

    • Robert November 20, 2012 at 9:58 am

      It all depends on the artistic medium. If it’s a watercolor, you may want to use a thick paper. However, if you are using the impasto or oil paint settings, you may want to try having it printed directly on a canvas.

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