MacDirectory Magazine

Summer-Fall 2009 (#42)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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106 MacDirectory REVIEW COREL PAINTER 11 Corel Painter has long held the title as leading natural media art application. It provides a wide array of drawing and painting media, papers and canvasses, and it simulates the real thing with a quality that you can almost smell the turps and feel the cool stickiness of the pastels. While best known for painting and drawing, tools are also provided for composition, photo enhancement and animation, as well as an assortment of filters and other features that make for a very well rounded package. While it can be used with a mouse, it is specifically designed for graphics tablets, with particularly strong support for Wacom tablets , including the new Intuos 4 series. There is a huge amount of control for everything from blending, drying time, smudginess, and for the effects of pressure, angle and speed. Oils blend just like the real thing, impasto has an authentic 3-D look, and the same applies for just about the entire tool set. Some of the features that set it apart from the real thing are such digital fare as layers, multiple undos, the ability to continue work infinitely beyond normal drying times, and the ability to record and play back your strokes, to name a few. Painter 11 also plays well with other application, offering color management tools and support for layers and color consistency with Adobe Photoshop. New and Improved There are a number of interesting tweaks with hard media, such as pencils and chalk, in that you can create shading with the edge of the pencil or side of the chalk by using the stylus at a low angle. Overlapping marker strokes can intensify color saturation. Pens can be set to adjust thickness according to stroke speed as well as leaving splotches. A unified transformation tool provides a one-stop solution for moving, skewing, resizing and the like. The colors palette now included sliders for manual color adjustment and can now expand up to 800 pixels. The hue ring now supports fine-tuning via arrow keys. Resizing the mixer palette dynamically changes the number and increment of mixer swatches. In addition, brushes perform up to 30 percent faster than Painter X, which is a big deal with such tools as impasto. Further enhancements include a polygon lasso tool and improvements with the magic wand and marquee tools. Painter is one of that special range of applications that covers its bases so well and has reached such a point of maturity that there is not a limitless range of improvements on the horizon. If you are in the market for a drawing or painting application, Painter is the only solution you need. In addition to the full $399 Painter package, you could opt for the more compact $99 Painter 4 Essentials or the slightly more ambitious $119 Painter Sketch Pad. A nice bonus with Painter 11 is a high- quality tutorial DVD featuring the highly regarded fine artist and illustrator Jeremy Sutton. Further support is provided in the form of online videos, downloadable papers, nozzles, brushes and other goodies, as well as links to books and other resources. Recommendations Painter 11 is the best natural media art application there is. If you are using a version that is growing a bit long in the tooth, this would make an excellent opportunity to broaden your capabilities. Users of Painter X will also find a lot to like in the latest release, but might not consider this to be a gotta' have upgrade. If, however, you are new to the world of digital drawing and painting and would like to experiment a bit you could snag a bundled copy of Painter Essentials with an entry level Wacom tablet and see what you think. WORDS BY TREY YANCY Product Painter 11 Made by Corel Price $399 (upgrade $199) Pros Great new hard media variants, velocity control Cons Some interface quirks, tiny layers panel Rating ★★★★★

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