Painter 2017

Paint­ing in­no­va­tion Corel’s lat­est ver­sion of Painter brings new tech­nol­ogy for nat­u­ral-look­ing brushes while keep­ing bloat at bay

ImagineFX - - Reviews - Price £314 (£159 up­grade) Com­pany Corel Web www.painter­

Af­ter a few it­er­a­tions of a prod­uct, there’s a ten­dency for the pro­gram to be­come stale as fea­tures are bolted on, but Corel’s Painter 2017 nav­i­gates around this mine­field with con­sid­er­able fi­nesse. While it does fea­ture some bril­liant new brush tech­nol­ogy, there’s also been some care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion into mak­ing Painter 2017 a more stream­lined and cus­tomis­able ex­pe­ri­ence.

If you were new to pre­vi­ous ver­sions of Painter it was easy to be­come over­whelmed by the many tools at your dis­posal, and it could be a chore to nav­i­gate through them. So it’s great to see how 2017 has made life eas­ier. The Brush Se­lec­tor still di­vides tools into cat­e­gories, but each brush within is nes­tled into the right-hand side and hov­er­ing over it gives you a pre­view, mak­ing it that much quicker to find the ideal brush.

The over­all lay­out is con­sid­er­ably less clut­tered now too, with the en­hanced Prop­er­ties bar show­ing con­text-rel­e­vant op­tions and the abil­ity to show tem­po­rary fly-out menus or pop-out cus­tom op­tions if needed. Th­ese can also be sorted into cus­tom Pal­ette draw­ers that are eas­ily min­imised, re­sult­ing in far fewer pal­ettes ob­scur­ing your workspace.

Painter 2017’s new of­fer­ings in­clude Dab sten­cils, Glaz­ing brushes and Tex­ture paint­ing brushes, which are great on their own, but more im­pres­sively can all be used with each other. Dab sten­cils give you con­trol over how paper tex­tures af­fect tools, which en­ables you to paint in a more nat­u­ral-look­ing man­ner. You can choose from mul­ti­ple Flow maps and ad­just their sizes to suit your needs. Glaz­ing brushes, mean­while, make it pos­si­ble to tint ex­ist­ing paint, or to add a translu­cent tex­ture ef­fect.

The over­all lay­out is con­sid­er­ably less clut­tered now… there are far fewer pal­ettes ob­scur­ing your workspace

There are two cat­e­gories of Tex­ture brush: tex­ture cover and tex­ture source blend­ing. Tex­ture cover en­ables you to choose from mul­ti­ple tex­tures that are trans­formable, so that you can cover the spe­cific area you need. You can change the tex­ture on the fly, which means you can quickly vary the tex­ture paint­ing, mak­ing it feel much more ana­logue and unique. Tex­ture source blend­ing, per­haps as the name sug­gests, makes it pos­si­ble to add tex­tures that blend nicely with the source im­age you’re paint­ing on to.

If you’re an artist who loves dig­i­tal, but strives for a more ran­dom and or­ganic feel to your work, th­ese new fea­tures are per­fect for you, es­pe­cially when you com­bine them. Over­all, Painter 2017 is a well-crafted and ver­sa­tile ad­di­tion to Corel’s cat­a­logue. It’s a worth­while up­date for ex­ist­ing users, or a great time to jump in if you’ve never tried Painter be­fore.

Painter’s strengths may lie in its tra­di­tional me­dia tools, but the pro­gram can still han­dle ‘cleaner’ art styles such as manga, as Hec­tor Sevilla’s art shows. Dab Sten­cils en­able you to make gor­geously tex­tured and de­tailed work, like this neb­ula.

Em­u­late the work of Re­nais­sance masters by lay­ing down translu­cent brush strokes, with the new Glaz­ing brushes. Now you can blend your own tex­tures into your art us­ing a range of brush set­tings such as pres­sure.

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