Paint­Can

Trans­form photos with painterly ef­fects, us­ing smart brushes that ad­just them­selves

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - In Depth 3d Tools -

Trans­form photos with painterly ef­fects, us­ing smart brushes that ad­just them­selves.

Paint­Can sits some­where be­tween a photo fil­ter app and a flex­i­ble art tool, and is bound to ap­peal if you’re cre­ative in other medi­ums but still work­ing on your con­fi­dence to oil paint from scratch. It en­ables you to cre­ate painterly rep­re­sen­ta­tions of im­ported photos and im­ages. That said, it’s not just a one-click ef­fects app: there’s plenty here for the dab hand too, such as smart brushes and pre­set ma­nip­u­la­tion, and it should please any­one feel­ing the loss of the Oil Paint Fil­ter in re­cent ver­sions of Pho­to­shop CC.

You open an im­age and paint over it on a sep­a­rate can­vas layer. The app boasts in­tel­li­gent, in­tu­itive con­trols, and its con­text-sen­si­tive brush strokes are gen­er­ated us­ing an un­der­ly­ing im­age’s ex­ist­ing colours and com­po­si­tion, but when used with pre­sets and zoom of­fers a high de­gree of free­dom.

The Light, Heavy, Coarse and Out­line pre­sets con­sist of broad Back­ground strokes for lay­ing down your scene; com­bin­ing them with De­tails pre­sets – us­ing Light strokes with the Or­ganic pre­set for paint­ing nat­u­ral land­scapes for ex­am­ple – can re­sult in im­pres­sive (and im­pres­sion­is­tic) ef­fects. The Face pre­set han­dles fine fea­tures adroitly, re­sult­ing in nu­anced por­trai­ture, while Lines and Struc­tured pre­sets smartly hook on to an­gu­lar, ar­chi­tec­tural el­e­ments in a scene. Man­ual set­tings, on the other hand, make it pos­si­ble to take your own course en­tirely, which should prove a boon for ex­pe­ri­enced artists. Mul­ti­ple un­dos are also a tap away, and the snap­shot tool en­ables you to save a spe­cific im­age state to re­turn to it at a later time.

At first you’ll find your­self mak­ing fair use of this fea­ture – ex­per­i­men­ta­tion is key to get­ting the hang of the app – but with time and a lit­tle pa­tience the re­sults can of­ten be sublime, leav­ing you free to snap a photo (or even down­load one), open it up in Paint­Can and be­gin work­ing up your next oil paint mas­ter­piece.

Paint­Can has just the right learn­ing curve

for as­pir­ing artists, yet enough free­dom

for the more dis­cern­ing pain­ter.

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