For artists with a tra­di­tional me­dia back­ground who want all the ben­e­fits of work­ing dig­i­tally, this is the nat­u­ral choice

ImagineFX - - Feature -

Squarely po­si­tioned in the ‘tra­di­tional me­dia ex­pe­ri­ence’ class of dig­i­tal soft­ware, ArtRage has come a long way since it was launched as a straight­for­ward oil-paint­ing pro­gram way back in 2007. Ver­sion 5, re­leased at the start of the year, came with a more de­vel­oped pas­tel and pen­cil arse­nal, per­spec­tive guides, more op­tions for cus­tomi­sa­tion and an al­to­gether swifter na­ture – all wel­come changes.

Yet the pro­gram’s main ap­peal re­mains the same. “What sets ArtRage apart is its abil­ity to recre­ate the flow and tex­ture of oil paint like a mal­leable medium, right there on the screen,” says

Phil Gal­loway. “The paint be­haves as paint should – and for an artist with a fine art back­ground com­ing into a dig­i­tal art world, this is key. ArtRage ticks all th­ese boxes for my loose style, en­abling

me to use swathes of colour and nat­u­ral emo­tive strokes that other paint­ing pro­grams don’t seem to be able to do with­out the process feel­ing a lit­tle un­nat­u­ral.”

Ev­ery tool acts dif­fer­ently, all re­spond­ing to tex­ture and blend in dif­fer­ent ways, so pick­ing the Felt pen ver­sus an Oil brush is a much big­ger leap than choos­ing a dif­fer­ent-shaped brush. “This is the op­po­site of most dig­i­tal art pro­grams,” says ArtRage’s

Uwe Mau­rer with more than a hint of pride. “Such pro­grams have one ‘ ba­sic’ brush and then go on to cre­ate mul­ti­ple vari­ants based on it, and call them all dif­fer­ent brushes.” What cheek, eh?

Yet it’s not just the brushes you can ex­per­i­ment with. You can ad­just Thin­ners in the Oil brush and Water­colour tools to achieve much run­nier paint; you can turn on Smooth­ing for the Ink pen to have it au­to­mat­i­cally smooth out a shaky stroke; or sim­ply ad­just the Soft­ness and Grain­i­ness of the Pas­tel and Pen­cil tools. We also like the way ArtRage has em­braced mo­bile, link­ing up iPad or An­droid with desk­tops. The iPad and An­droid and ver­sion 5 edi­tions can record script files, which can be played back in the desk­top edi­tions to recre­ate ev­ery brush stroke, and it can do so at any res­o­lu­tion, which en­ables you to scale your mo­bile paint­ings up to any res­o­lu­tion for print­ing larger art­works.

Whether the ad­di­tions of the lat­est it­er­a­tion sound in­ter­est­ing or not, ArtRage re­mains the lead­ing tra­di­tional art paint­ing pro­gram.

What sets ArtRage apart is its abil­ity to recre­ate the flow and tex­ture of oil paint like a mal­leable medium

clas­sic toolset The de­fault brushes fo­cus on tra­di­tional me­dia: oils, pen­cil, pas­tel, felt pens, water­colour and pal­ette knives. Each tool comes with a se­lec­tion of de­fault pre­sets de­signed to in­tro­duce you to the dif­fer­ent pos­si­bil­i­ties, and en­able you to jump straight into cre­at­ing. bet­ter use of ref­er­ences Ver­sion 5 re­fines the con­cept of us­ing ref­er­ence images as part of your paint­ing process. Now you can pin mul­ti­ple images to your screen, but also re­size, move them around or even zoom right into them, if you only need to fo­cus on one area. In­tu­itive in­ter­face The in­ter­face is in­tended to be in­stantly easy to nav­i­gate, so that it’s straight­for­ward to choose tools and colours. Af­ter all, who wants to fight var­i­ous menus while try­ing to paint?

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