Painter 2016

Add some new tools to your dig­i­tal paint­brush and easel

Mac Format - - RATED -

As soon as you launch Painter 2016 you’re shown a re­designed wel­come screen that gives you ac­cess to help­ful tu­to­rial videos. This is a great way to dis­cover more about Painter’s new fea­tures, even if you’ve used an older ver­sion.

Like its pre­de­ces­sors, the 2016 edi­tion has an abun­dance of brushes and ef­fects. Some are ob­vi­ous, like wa­ter­colour and paint brushes, but there are a num­ber of new and more un­usual ef­fects, such as the rather fun Dy­namic Speck­les. Though we found a lot of the brushes in this set to be fairly or­di­nary dur­ing our ex­per­i­men­ta­tion, the Par­ti­cle Firestarter Glow gave a nice ran­dom ‘fire­work’-type ef­fect.

An­other ef­fect that we re­ally liked was the Au­dio Ex­pres­sion brush. We had a few prob­lems get­ting this work­ing at first, but af­ter tweak­ing a few set­tings we soon saw our brushes’ size, colour and other at­tributes chang­ing in time to our mu­sic. When this tool is com­bined with other brushes you can get some in­ter­est­ing and unique re­sults. It makes for a fun ad­di­tion to your toolset, al­though we doubt it will get much use af­ter the nov­elty has worn off.

Painter is by far the best dig­i­tal easel out there, and this new ver­sion main­tains that sta­tus. With plenty of tools and func­tion­al­ity packed in, we cer­tainly think that it’s well worth the money if you’re af­ter a great app for cre­at­ing dig­i­tal art.

That said, if you al­ready have Painter 2015, the new fea­tures prob­a­bly aren’t worth the money – even though you can up­grade for £159 (about half the cost of a new copy). Yes, the new tools are fun, but con­sider care­fully whether they will be a key part of your toolset once their nov­elty has worn off. James Robin­son

Great soft­ware for the pro­fes­sional and am­a­teur alike – and at a rea­son­able price, too.

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