MacDirectory Magazine

Summer-Fall 2011

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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Page 103 of 115

REVIEW COREL PAINTER 12 >THE FINE ART OF SOFTWARE DESIGN WORDS BY RIC GETTER For true natural media artists, Corel's new is still missing a couple of things. There's no pungent smell of oils and turpentine while you work and there's no sound of a piece of charcoal across rough-surfaced drawing paper. But it doesn't seem to be lacking much else. If you're an artist who has already made the move to digital media via Painter, you'll discover that a great deal has been added to this new release in terms of both bringing the experience even closer to natural media and opening up new horizons of opportunity in the uniquely digital realm. Familiar Look Though Adobe's Photoshop has added a number of Painter-ly features in recent years, it still cannot supplant Corel's venerable product. But a large proportion of Painter users (whose legion includes some of the world's top digital art talent) frequently move quite fluidly between the two programs. In response, Painter 12 has made some changes to its interface elements and added more flexibility to its workspace customization capabilities to make the transition between the two applications smoother for artists. These include a pre-built custom interface that offers a screen layout that Photoshop users will be quite at home with. (There's also a handy "What's New" layout to highlight Painter 12's many enhancements.) One of the more significant additions to Painter 12 is a composite method for blending objects between layers. Many of these parallel Photoshop's Blending Modes. Others, like an effect called GelCover and Pseudocolor are unique to the program. as you drag a Also, with the interface design, there's no shortage of one-upmanship going on. For example, Painter 12's implementation of its new Navigator panel lets you rotate the orientation of the document as well as moving around it; for tablet users, it's like being able to place your sketchpad at the most comfortable angle. The Temporal Colors palette will pop up and float over your artwork with a keystroke (or toggled by a button on your Wacom tablet). Better Brushing Painter 12 also helps keep your brush on the artwork while you change its attributes on the fly. A combination of keystrokes and stylus/mouse moves can change brush size, opacity, angle, and squeeze (shape). A heads-up display tells you which attribute you're changing and shows its numeric value. Another very useful change is the new and far more intuitive organization of the brushes palette. Painter has always sported a selection of drawing tools that would be the envy of a big-box art supply store. Now, they are far more accessible and more logically organized. The palette has moved (by default) to the properties panel at the top right of the screen and the visual relationship between categories and variants makes far more visual sense. As in the real world, spending some time managing your collection of brushes and tools is always worthwhile, but Painter 12 goes to great lengths to keep what you need in easy reach (including a recent- brushes feature in the property bar). The Mirror and Kaleidoscope Painting modes offer up some interesting possibilities for artists. Mirror Painting, as its name suggests, reflects your brushstrokes on a vertical and/or horizontal plane—a great time-saver if you're doing work that can benefit by accurate symmetry. Kaleidoscope Painting lets you reflect that symmetry out to up to twelve planes. The results can be striking, particularly when the effect is added as a repeating design element in an illustration. Painter 12's new High Quality Rendering feature smooth's an image to screen resolution as you zoom in so what you're seeing is much closer to a printer's output. The Clone Source palette is a great new feature for merging multiple images for either retouching or compositing effects. It lets you have multiple source files open in a single illustration, letting you blend together elements from each. Speed Bump Though it remains, for now, a 32-bit application on the Mac platform, Painter 12 received some performance improvements, particularly with brush effects now running on multiple cores. This is particularly noticeable with the new Wet Oil and Real Watercolor brushes that blend, flow and absorb in real time as you're painting. Even if the delay in the move to 64-bit is a disappointment for Mac users, there are still no shortage of reasons to celebrate Painter 12's many improvements and enhancements. It opens up many new creative opportunities for artists to explore, adding capabilities that are unique to the digital realm while expanding the variety of traditional tools and significantly enhancing their look and feel. And yes, it's still available the famous paint can packaging. Product From Corel ( Price $429 (full version); $229 (upgrade) System Requirements OS X 10.5 or later; Core Duo (min.) processor Pros An abundance of new features, brushes and tools; Interface enhanced (more like Photoshop); Multi-core aware for improved performance Cons Mac version still 32-bit Rating ★★★★★ 102 MacDirectory C P a i n t e r 1 2 s c r i t c h - s c r i t c h o r e l P a i n t e r 2 1

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