When it comes to computer graphics, Photoshop is so dominant that "photoshopping" is virtually synonymous with digital image editing. But Adobe's flagship product has some disadvantages, starting with its considerable price tag. It's also so complex that you can take courses in how to use it. But it's the standard against which all graphics editors and drawing tools are measured, which is good news because the many Photoshop clones out there include some tools that give the big dog a run for a whole lot less money. BrainDistrict's PaintSupreme for Windows is just such a tool. It's a full-featured graphics editor and paint and drawing program. It has layers, plenty of tools, additional filters, and just about everything you need to create and edit all kinds of digital images. In fact, if there's a feature or capability you need that PaintSupreme doesn't have, you'll probably have to go to Photoshop or one of its big-box (and big-bux) competitors. PaintSupreme is free to try, though the Save feature is disabled. But the full version costs only $9.99, a tiny fraction of Photoshop's price.
PaintSupreme's white font and dark gray background not only give it an up-to-date look but also make for an efficiently configured workspace. We started by downloading some new filters. Since "photoshopping" is a big part of what PaintSupreme can do, we opened a digital snapshot and cropped it for editing. If you've used Photoshop or similar apps, PaintSupreme's tool palette, Navigation and Layers sidebars, and filters will have a familiar look and feel. We quickly applied a variety of effects such as Old Photo and Fractal filters. We also opened a blank page and created an entirely new image using paintbrushes and other drawing tools. Of course, we were unable to save our creations due to PaintSupreme's trial limitations, but we certainly developed an acquaintance with this capable program.
We've tried many Photoshop clones and competitors ranging in price from free to three bills, and we think PaintSupreme ranks among the best. Better still, it costs about as much as a good lunch, while Photoshop is more like a car payment.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of PaintSupreme for Windows 1.5.