Don't have the time of the resources? services does it for you
The better the image, the better the effect. Like the old adage, 'garbage in, garbage out', here it has a distinct meaning. The overall quality of the image will produce a better result when the image has proper contrast, lighting, color fidelity and sharpness of focus.

View larger manipulated
images by clicking the
thumbnails on the right

Choosing the right image is important for achieving the best artistic result from the Action effects. First, there are the physical properties of the image.

A good image to use
Not a good image to use

Images that are blurry, either by artistic desire or a good case of the shakes, is less suitable for applying an art effect, whether ours or any others. When painters paint or artists sketch, the focus factor doesn't come into play. By nature of the media it's impossible, if not very difficult to draw 'out of focus'. On the other hand, with digital photography, its sometimes hard not to. Typically, avoiding blurred, dark images will help the viewer realize that the action applied to an image is actually a watercolor, painting or a sketch before they have a chance to perceive it's a manipulated digital image. This impact happens in a split second. A clear, uncluttered, well lit digital image will yield the best results.
Which image better expresses 'working with difficult software'?

By the way, if you can find your Photoshop's actions palette or where you've downloaded our scripts to, is about all the difficulty you'll have in using our software.

Choosing a good image is important. An image should be one where the subject matter is compatible with the effect. For instance a close up portrait would be perfect for the Rough Pencil effect but the same effect would have less visual impact then on a image of a crowd due to the smaller detail.

Secondly there is an emotional component to what is shown. Traditional artwork is an expression that comes after long periods of working with the art, unlike it is now in the digital age. Even in the decades of the photographic film era, the set up, development and printing produced a less immediate result. The subject matter, composition and execution were weighed against the cost, time and effort to bring it to its final steps. With or without the One-Click Actions, the better picture is the one that is a thought out picture.

More impact Less impact
What you think is good and what your customer thinks is good may be at different ends of the galaxy.

Until you can find a way to pay yourself what you're worth, better be prepared to worm hole it! LOL
Third, not all One-Click actions are best suited to every image. Matching the effect to the image and its use will help make the split second viewer impact a stronger one. I think that this is the basic reason why portraits of CEOs in banks are not drawn with crayons and that paint rollers aren't used for medical drawings... not that you couldn't, but it becomes more difficult to get your point across.

Good choice of effect Questionable choice of effect
The Actions and Scripts we develop are based on a number of consecutive manipulations which build to the final result. We encourage you to experiment using a number of Actions and Layer Styles we provide, to add the finishing touches to your artwork.

Although less is sometimes more, the whole is more than the sum of its parts.
Even with all you do to make an image a piece of art, you need to take it that one last step, by finishing it. Pencil Pixels provides Actions for those finishing touches to your artwork. Here are two examples, producing fuller impact by using actions with other actions, like our frames, textures and masks to the final image.

Action, Surround mask
Matte & frame
Action & a One-Click frame
A number of Pencil effects work best when the background is light or white or a background that doesn't have a lot of distracting patterns.

These examples are just One-Click Effects

Both images, having proper contrast and clarity, yield good results from the effect.

Most of the Pencil effects appear better when the background doesn't compete with the main subject.

Likewise a 'Paint-like' effect needs a visually complex background to look better.

       [Pencil]    [Paint]
Some of our effects are designed to reduce the visual complexity of backgrounds. Sometimes it's as simple as loosely selecting a part of the digital image. Very little effort is needed to isolate the main subject and arrive at a good effect.

Loose selection for drawn background Loose selection for drawn background
Art tools of my past making Photoshop tools of the future - PencilPixels