Review: Sketchoto Lite lets you convert photos into drawn pictures

Convert photos from your camera or photo library to hand-drawn pictures.

The plethora of photo filter apps on the App Store sets the bar very high for any new app that attempts to carve out a space for itself. So it is with that in mind that Sketchoto Lite hits the iPhone, offering a number of clever, but oftentimes limited drawing and sketching filters for your photos.

The idea behind Sketchoto should be familiar at this point. You load a photo into the app or take a new one with your camera, crop it to fit the size of the app, and then choose a hand-drawn filter. Each filter will convert that photo into a new image that looks hand drawn, sketched, or dot drawn. Once you select a style, you can choose a paper type, and then save your image to Facebook, Twitter, or your camera roll. It's very similar to other apps in this genre, and while the filters more or less work as intended, there are some drawbacks. Photos without good light tend to wash into just a handful of lines. Photos with too much light tend to be over stylized. It's rare to find a photo that looks as good as the sample screen when you open the app.

That's not to say that some photos don't look very good, however. Sketchoto offers a good number of options for free, does not limit export (a paid upgrade unlocks more filters), and it is quick and easy to use. There are better filter apps on the App Store, but for hand-drawn effects that are easy to implement, Sketchoto is a good place to start.

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