Corel Painter Essentials - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Corel Painter Essentials

CNET Editors' review

Corel Painter Essentials 4 is a slimmed-down version of Painter for home use, but don't let that fool you into thinking that the average home user will be disappointed. For those who like to play around with their photos, tweaking them artistically, Essentials provides a deep toolbox under its intuitive layout.

All the tool icons in the palette are large and easy to understand, there's nothing obscure or hard to remember here. Brush sizes and opacity can be adjusted at the top of the editing window using sliders, and while a few main brushes live on the main left-side toolbar, you can change those by accessing the Brush Drawer. The program features two workspaces, Drawing & Painting and Photo Painting. The first is a standard image-creation template, while the second lets you upload a photo and "paint" over it.

The Photo Painting was quite impressive. When you upload an image, you select which parts of it you want shown by using the same variety of paint tools available in the Drawing & Painting workspace. The choices are quite deep, too: you can choose to change the texture of the image by changing the paper, you can change the brush type and width, and even use different kinds of paints to change your staid photo into an Impressionist work of art.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    4.1 stars

    out of 15 votes

    • 5 star: 7
    • 4 star: 3
    • 3 star: 5
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 0
  • Current version:

    4.1 stars

    out of 15 votes

    • 5 star: 7
    • 4 star: 3
    • 3 star: 5
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 0
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 11

  • 3.0 stars

    "great with photo editing, not so good for creating"

    October 24, 2011  |   By fetne

    Version: Corel Painter Essentials 4

    Pros

    The Photo Painting Section is superb.
    The video tutorial included let you learn easily how to use each of its features.
    The function autopainting takes your fotos and transforms them in artworks (you just have to choose style and tecqnique and possibly add some finishing touches).
    As an artist who works with oils I find this tool extremely helpful because i can make realistic studies and experiments before painting on canvas.

    Cons

    The drawing and painting section is a little disappointing. It may be fun for children but has a series of little flaws that make me unwilling to pay for it. For instance:
    I find that i cannot draw lines perfectly smooth (very important in ink drawings) and the thinnest line available is too thick for me.
    The bucket fill tool with the gradient option is a joke. There are only 5 gradients available and cannot be edited.
    The realism of the paint is pushed well beyond reality. I have discovered that white and pale colors in general cannot be used over dark or intense ones. To apply higlights (e.g. the white speck in the eye) I have to create a new layer and paint on it.
    Painting on a new layer means that i cannot smudge or blend the pale colors with the dark underneath.
    In other cases the problem is opposite. I can't understand why the pastel (a dry media) picks up the colors present on the canvas. One is never sure of the color one will get.
    Etc.

    Summary

    It has some very powerful and impressing features for foto editing but the drawing and painting section takes time to get used to. And it is satisfactory only if you have limited expectations.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Absolutely Astounding!"

    July 5, 2010  |   By Ratzki

    Version: Corel Painter Essentials 4

    Pros

    Easy to use.
    Amazing results for the average computer user.
    60 days free trial. I wanted to buy it immediately.

    Cons

    Nothing at all.

    Summary

    Once every few years I find software that just blows me away.
    Corel Painter Essential 4 is one such product.

    It takes ordinary photographs and makes them a work of art.
    You are always in control with simple, intuitive buttons.
    The video tutorials are easy to understand but Corel Painter
    is so simple to use you will be able to create, save and print
    something amazing in 15 minutes.
    If you can take a digital photograph with one click, you can master
    this software.
    Show your family and friends what a creative genius you are with
    cards and framed prints.
    I cannot praise Corel Painter Essentials 4 too highly.

    Updated on Jul 5, 2010

    Start with "Auto Painting". Import a picture you like from your computer.
    Then just click on the Auto Painting button. Save the result as a jpeg to print or
    keep in My Pictures.
    You will want to try the other options and more complicated stuff later, but this easy start will get you going - and addicted.

    Updated on Jul 5, 2010

    Start with "Auto Painting". Import a picture you like from your computer.
    Then just click on the Auto Painting button. Save the result as a jpeg to print or
    keep in My Pictures. You will want to try the other options and more complicated stuff later, but this easy start will get you going - and addicted.

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Easy to use"

    July 9, 2008  |   By datadude2

    Version: Corel Painter Essentials 4

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Slim yet Powerful"

    June 23, 2008  |   By rob.ruiz

    Version: Corel Painter Essentials 4

    Pros

    The UI is superb! It may be a slimmed down version of Painter X, but all that you would need is practically included. Your creativity will just flow!

    Cons

    It is very addictive. hehe.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "good"

    February 29, 2008  |   By centsoftinc

    Version: Corel Painter Essentials 4

    Pros

    good

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Amazing"

    January 12, 2008  |   By Lad_funnymoney

    Version: Corel Painter Essentials 4

    Pros

    It was good

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  • 4.0 stars

    "very good"

    December 20, 2007  |   By brianjones13

    Version: Corel Painter Essentials 4

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Fabulous"

    December 9, 2007  |   By cmpegraham

    Version: Corel Painter Essentials 4

    Pros

    There is nothing to not like. I did have to hop over to Adobe and download a new version of "Acrobat Reader" for the manual, but no big deal. EXCELLENT DOCUMENTATION, full featured product. Corel treated me like a queen when I had difficulty with their downloads. I think all we artist types should own this product.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "aung"

    November 29, 2007  |   By Aung min hein_2007

    Version: Corel Painter Essentials 4

    Pros

    min

    Cons

    hein

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Best of its class"

    November 21, 2007  |   By DrBoo

    Version: Corel Painter Essentials 4

    Pros

    A good set of tools for the price. It is available for free with the WACOM Grafire4 tablet which you pretty well need.

    Cons

    Steep learning curve for many users. Brush settings are arcane. No very wide brushes as in ArtRage.

    Reply to this review

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Results 1-10 of 11

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Corel Painter Essentials