Nick Har­ris

ImagineFX - - Reviews -

The long-time ArtRage fan of­fers his thoughts on version 4.5

You’ve been a user of ArtRage for some time. Why?

ArtRage has been on my sys­tem right from the first free version 1. It al­ways had a nice re­sponse time and a user-friendly in­ter­face, but trans­formed into a more se­ri­ous pro con­tender when it got to version 2.5. Sud­denly there were a lot of the layer op­tions, like blend­ing modes that I used in Painter. By version 3, which in­tro­duced a de­cent wa­ter­colour tool and the abil­ity to make cus­tom brushes, along­side speed and other im­prove­ments, I was sold. The in­ter­face has re­mained com­par­a­tively clutter free through to the cur­rent version (4.5.9).

What’s your favourite long­stand­ing fea­ture of ArtRage?

As a con­verted, real me­dia wa­ter­colourist, I like ArtRage’s wa­ter­colour tool. It may not of­fer the bells and whis­tles that Painter does, but its sim­plic­ity is much closer for me to real-world wa­ter­colour­ing. You don’t have to spend an age tweak­ing set­tings, nor wait­ing for the brush lag to catch up.

What are your favourite fea­tures in the lat­est version?

I find the ref­er­ence im­age tool that was in­tro­duced in version 4 very handy. You can paste im­ages (ref­er­ence, sketches, what­ever) on to the screen like Post-it notes. You can scale, ro­tate and zoom each im­age. You can also cre­ate cus­tom paint pal­ettes, mixer pal­ettes and such from the same float­ing tool pal­ette. I also use cus­tom tool­boxes all the time. You can group your favourite brushes along with a cus­tom pal­ette, all making them easy to get to. It’s th­ese fea­tures that make the whole ex­pe­ri­ence more akin to work­ing in the real world. Yes, there must be all the tech­ni­cal stuff go­ing on un­der the bon­net of ArtRage, but they de­liver it in a very re­lat­able way.

Nick is a UK-based il­lus­tra­tor who has been work­ing as a full time free­lancer since 1982, mostly in chil­dren’s pub­lish­ing.


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