Soft­ware

dou­ble whammy Corel’s up­dated flag­ship paint­ing pro­gram fea­tures tools that mimic tra­di­tional me­dia and dig­i­tal tools that look like noth­ing tra­di­tional

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The Thick Paint tools go be­yond the Im­pasto paint­ing tools that were present in ear­lier ver­sions of Painter

Price £360 (up­grade for £180) Com­pany Corel Web www.painter­artist.com/en/prod­uct/painter/

This new re­lease of Painter has many new fea­tures that will make the dig­i­tal artist quiver in an­tic­i­pa­tion.

Let’s start with the Thick Paint op­tion. This set of paint­ing tools goes be­yond the Im­pasto paint­ing tools that were present in ear­lier ver­sions of Painter. They ac­cu­rately mimic the look and feel of tra­di­tional oil and acrylic paint. You can pile on the paint, push it around, carve into the paint, scrape the paint, and real­is­ti­cally blend the colours and strokes.

The de­fault brushes have been in­spired by their tra­di­tional equiv­a­lents and Corel says that the brush vari­ants have been cre­ated by artists fa­mil­iar with tra­di­tional me­dia. One won­ders how they were de­signed in pre­vi­ous ver­sions. Still, the brushes are flex­i­ble, with new op­tions for blend­ing un­der­ly­ing brush­strokes and vari­able opac­ity. Thick Paint can be en­hanced by chang­ing the di­rec­tion, in­ten­sity, colour and num­ber of light sources that in­ter­act with the can­vas.

Else­where, you can now paint us­ing Tex­ture Cover, Source Blend­ing or the new 2.5D Tex­ture Brushes. Tex­ture Source Blend­ing builds depth us­ing tex­tures. Tex­ture Cover uses the colours found in the ac­tive tex­ture, or you can choose any colour to be used while paint­ing. In­ter­est­ingly, the new 2.5D Tex­ture brushes build sub­tle and di­men­sional tex­tured sur­faces us­ing the ac­tive tex­ture. With these brushes you can change, scale and trans­form the tex­ture at any time while paint­ing.

An­other new fea­ture, Tex­ture Syn­the­sis, en­ables you to pick an area of a doc­u­ment or tex­ture and re­pro­duce it at a larger scale. When syn­the­sis­ing a new tex­ture, the se­lected area of the orig­i­nal tex­ture is ran­domised across the new doc­u­ment, cre­at­ing some­thing unique. You’re not limited to us­ing tex­tures: the brush­strokes in a doc­u­ment en­able you

to cre­ate a new tex­ture. The re­sult­ing im­age can be used as any other tex­ture or as a layer in your paint­ing.

There are a num­ber of smaller, but wel­come new fea­tures, too. The En­hanced Drip and Liq­uid brushes work on an empty layer to blend a colour with an oil paint-like trans­parency or paint us­ing the colours from un­der­ly­ing lay­ers. Ran­dom Grain Ro­ta­tion will ro­tate the ac­tive pa­per tex­ture with each brush stroke, giv­ing a nat­u­ral look. There’s also a re­designed Nat­u­ral Brush li­brary, and you can cre­ate your own se­lec­tion brushes us­ing any dab-based brush vari­ant. Fi­nally, new cloning ca­pa­bil­i­ties give you the abil­ity to ad­just the size and shape of clone sources as you paint.

There have also been a num­ber of back­ground and in­ter­face tweaks, mak­ing the pro­gram eas­ier to use. Over­all, Corel’s done well in up­dat­ing Painter so that, more than ever, it brings the worlds of tra­di­tional and dig­i­tal art closer to­gether.

Corel has worked with tra­di­tional artists to en­sure Painter’s nat­u­ral me­dia brushes can ac­cu­rately im­i­tate oils, wa­ter­colours and more.

Se­lec­tion brushes can be used to cre­ate com­plex se­lec­tions, to help you paint in­ter­est­ing shapes.

Here’s an ex­am­ple of thick paint us­ing the grainy Real Bris­tle Oils flat vari­ant. The en­hanced Drip and Liq­uid brushes en­able you to blend paint in a num­ber of ways. You can add tex­ture to a paint­ing or ren­dered 3D model us­ing the Thick Tex­ture brushes.

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