Best in art mess. A small review of Corel Painter X3

    An overview of the Corel Painter X3 package, which remains an unrivaled benchmark in the field of computer simulation of natural tools and materials for artists.

    Two years after the release of the twelfth version of Painter, Corel released the X3, consonant with the X in the name of the flagship - CorelDRAW X6. The most anticipated innovations relate to working with brushes; obviously, the main bet was clearly made on improvements in this direction. Let's start with them ...

    Search for brushes| In the upper right corner of the program, a text search field has appeared. It is enough to enter the name of the brush or part of its property, for example, “oil”, and these brushes will appear in the drop-down list. Moreover, there may be several keywords - “flat oil”, etc. Given that Painter has 30 types of brushes and each contains several subspecies, this is a great help. Barriers can only be difficulties with English and international dislike of artists to work with the keyboard. In addition to the list of brushes, the search shows a preliminary view of the brush, which is easy to make a choice. While holding, you can stretch brushes directly from the list, creating your own palette of brushes. By the way, specifying X3 or 13 in the search, you will see brushes that appeared in the new version.

    Jitter brush options| The jitter parameter, which is familiar from some illustrative packages, is responsible for the naturalness of strokes. In the new version, the parameters of some brushes can be set to the degree of unevenness or fluctuations in the drawing process. This can be graininess, brush size, transparency, tilt angle, amount of ink, color expressiveness and airbrush parameters. By setting the degree of variability, you can give the very roughness and appearance inherent in natural tools. The oscillation of the general parameters can be set for all brushes, but in addition to this, another 25 parameters specific to individual types of brushes have been added.

    More brush settings| In general, the brush settings palettes have more options, which allows you to more flexibly adjust the parameters and view the changes in real time. And the Advanced Brush Control palette displays the parameters in the context of the selected brush, without overloading the interface with unnecessary palettes. Otherwise (if you display the whole variety of brush settings), the program window will resemble the cockpit of a passenger airliner.

    Guides for perspective| A new kind of guides facilitates drawing taking into account perspective and has replaced a perspective grid. In the settings, one-, two- and three-point perspectives are available. A special tool allows you to flexibly adjust the convergence point. Four presets for perspective distortion are included. Guides, as usual, can be included in the stick mode so that the strokes are built in the given directions.

    Clone Mode | The clone mode has undergone improvements, becoming more visible. Now, the original image can be “put” under the cloned one, so that it will shine through, or display it aside - the crosshair cursor will indicate the position of the cloned area.

    Miscellaneous| Of the improvements that do not claim to be revolutionary, I note the Reference Image Panel, where you can upload a file in one of the main formats and use it as a source of inspiration, or take color samples from it with a pipette. The Mixer palette, among other things, now allows you to select one of four color palettes created by Corel Painter masters: Jeremy Sutton, Karen Bonaker, Skip Allen, and John Macolm. The use of these palettes in the program seems doubtful to me, although it really can inspire someone to look over the luminaries of the profession. Expanded support for multi-touch gestures in the entire line of Wacom tablets including Intous 5 and Cintiq 24HD. In terms of performance, work has been done to support the work with the entire amount of memory for users of “poppies”.

    Photoshop format support | The support for Photoshop (PSD format) as a main competitor and at the same time a faithful partner of Painter in the artist’s work has been much improved - work with alpha channels has been fixed, but not everything is transferred either during export or during import. In an empty document saved from Photoshop CS6 with one text layer without effects, Painter found unsupported effects or modifying layers, although there were none, indicating a lack of understanding of the PSD format.
    And yet, despite a long acquaintance with Painter, I still have a feeling of annoying gaps in the product concept. For example, such trivial operations as working with layers are only now gaining basic capabilities. Developers present as an opportunity to transform several layers at a time!

    What's next| The next free Painter updates will support Leap Motion technology. Using a small device that senses hand movements in the air, it will be possible to draw without any hand tools like a tablet and pen, simply with all your fingers. Just the other day, HP introduced the first laptop equipped with a similar sensor, called the HP Envy 17 Leap Motion Special Edition. It is not yet clear how much this will be in demand, because technologies like Kinect or tools like thereminwax do not go into oblivion, but occupy a rather narrow niche.

    Summary| Painter on the field of digital painting is “perpendicular” to other products, having no competitors due to the excellent imitation of natural tools and materials used by artists. However, it would not hurt the developers to take a closer look at the most popular features of the best vector and raster editors. The new version expands the toolkit due to additional properties of brushes and a convenient search for them.

    Based on COREL Magazine

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