CNET Editors' note: Corel Painter X3 has a separate installer for 64-bit PCs.
CNET Editors' review
On Tuesday, Corel released a major update to its Painter series. Painter X3 brings several tool upgrades that include advanced brush behaviors, native search for quick tool access, and multilayer transformations.
The majority of Painter's tools are geared toward the traditional illustrator; Corel's recent updates showcase an impressive array of brush tools that better emulate the physics of their real-life counterparts. For example, watercolors will spread and leave dry marks as a liquid-based paint would behave on a textured medium.
Though Painter's work layout is often compared and contrasted with another certain popular illustration program, Corel has gone to great lengths to make their tools much more accessible. Though it helps to learn the basic tool setup, features like the new Brush Search helps you find tools quickly without having to skim through the toolbars. Queries like "oil" or "gel" will bring up a list of related brushes, each with their own brush preview stroke.
Reference Image is another helpful addition, which lets you keep a static panel of an original image. It's surprisingly useful, especially when you're recreating or using external source images as inspiration.
Corel also includes another inspiration freebie called Mixer, which lets you take existing images and extract color palettes. There are four major palette modes that simulate traditional solid color grids or a more raw, mixed-acrylic approach for traditional painters. It's definitely a refreshing approach to color management; any reference images can instantly become a color palette, which comes in handy when you're trying to convey particular emotions from things like photos or graphics.
The type of user or artist who'd enjoy Painter really depends on the type of work they're trying to create; Adobe users will still have to tweak their workflow and approach ever so slightly should they plan to adopt Corel products for one reason or another. However, it's definitely not as daunting as one might think, especially if you used Adobe products, traditionally, for illustration purposes.
When it comes to Web design, Adobe still holds its ground but the Painter environment excels when it comes to creating custom textures and brushes; it's the perfect playground for artists who want control over tool creation.
Get inspired with Corel Painter X3. The latest in digital art software includes hundreds of brushes, paper textures and media that emulate real-world art materials. Experiment and create with watercolors, acrylics, oils, pastels, chalks, pencils, markers and more using powerful RealBristle technology that replicates traditional art techniques on your tablet. Use the new Brush Search engine to find the perfect brush and learn more about its properties. Introduce an element of creative randomness to your work with the Universal Jitter feature. Improve precision and control with new cloning and photo-painting tools. Plus, new features and Photoshop compatibility makes it easy for artists of all skill levels to learn and use Painter. It's a complete art studio at your fingertips!
What's new in this version:
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All versions:4.2 stars
out of 15 votes
Current version:4.0 stars
out of 1 votes
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