Produced by KelbyOne

Corel Painter 11

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NATURAL-MEDIA EMULATION ART STUDIO

Corel Painter 11Corel has just released Painter 11 and, as with previous versions, this release is packed with new features, tools, and upgrades. In fact, there are so many new and cool features it’s hard to know where to begin, so let’s just start in the creative category with hard media variants. After all, what is a painter without her brush? There are more than 40 new brushes available in multiple brush categories, including Acrylic, Blenders, Chalk, Pencils, Pens, Pastels, and Watercolor. The new hard media variants have their own Hard Media palette that enables users to create and save their own custom variants.

There are also new brush markers with some awesome controls that enable the artist to customize how the media dries on the canvas. This allows for new options in blending, as well as the ability to control color build up, just like traditional markers. Accompanying these new brushes and markers are a new Colors and Mixer palette. Both palettes are now resizable, so you have a better view of available colors and more room to mix custom colors. You can also add swatches to the Mixer palette for even more color creativity.

Corel added some new technical goodies in Painter 11, including keyboard color selection. Simply tap your pen in the hue ring to activate the color wheel’s predominant color, and use your Arrow keys to fine-tune to the color you want. It’s a very nice feature, especially with the enlarged Colors and Mixer palettes on a secondary monitor.

My pick for the coolest new toy is tablet tilt. You can now control the width of brush strokes by the tilt of your pen, just like a real traditional brush! A vertical pen angle will create a narrower stroke, and holding your pen at a slanted angle will create a wider stroke. Tablet tilt works with any of the dry media (Chalk, Charcoal, Pens, Pencils, and Markers) that are marked as “real” media.

Now you can save color profiles for every painter document in RIF, PSD, TIFF, PNG, and JPEG formats. Whether you’re importing a PSD file or a scanned image or photo, Painter will recognize the color profile associated with that file to help maintain color consistency.

There’s a new Polygonal Selection tool, and all the Transform tool modes have been combined into one property bar for easier access. Improved transformation flexibility allows you to transform either the entire document or just select portions of the document. This is another contender for the coolest new toy award.

Overall enhancements to Painter 11 include improved copy-and-paste that’s faster and allows you to copy from multiple layers, as well as all visible layers; a 30% increase in brush response speed; Vista support (I’m happy to report that I was unable to crash Painter); and new PNG file support.

This latest version of Painter is Corel’s best product yet. There are many important new creative and technical features and enhancements, but as a natural-media emulation program, the creative side is far more important to me as an artist than the technical gizmos. I have to admit, however, that the technical gizmos are pretty rocking in this release!

Users of Painter X should definitely consider upgrading to Painter 11. The tablet tilt feature alone is worth the price, but there are so many other things that you get that I don’t see how you can go wrong with this version.—Tami Fry-Pietsch

PRICE: Box: $429 (Upgrade: $229); Download: $399 (Upgrade: $199)
FROM: Corel Corporation
WEB: www.corel.com
RATING: 5

LAYERS VERDICT
HOT Tablet tilt function; save color profiles to decrease color shift
NOT

8 Comments

  • WilhelmR says:

    Painted 9 was the last one i used, glad to see what’s new 🙂

    I wish the review had more images/screenshots though.. text isn’t that exciting anymore…

  • Elise Jones says:

    I am new to Painter X- haven’t mastered ALL the “Tips & Tricks” but I am sold on this enticing review of Painter 11…..I can see where the “tablet tilt” feature would be so “life-like” to traditional painters who’ve given up the real brushes and dove into digital!!!

    Again, the Team at Corel has simulated the Natural Brush Strokes of the Masters and captured the Fine Art of digital painting….Linking the two worlds and satisfying both palettes for so many artist & designers!!!

    Many Thanks,
    Elise Jones

  • Soupy says:

    Thanks for deleting my comment. Once again this program is bad news. You do a real disservice by openly recommending it over Painter X until it has been significantly revised. You guys get paid well for positive reviews?

  • Ryan says:

    I love Painter and a long time user of Painter. I’m currently very happy with Painter X and hoping that 11 would be an improvement. Well, lets just say this new version needs patching as there are a ton of bugs yet to be addressed by Corel. Some of them are big show stoppers like random crashes. I have a Macbook Pro, Mac Pro and a Mac Mini and Painter 11 exhibits the same problems on all machines. Readers can check out the Painterfactory forums for more info.

    http://painterfactory.com/forums/53.aspx

  • Sue says:

    Just got Painter 11. Chronic crashing. Couldn’t find a patch on site. This seems to be a problem for others as well. I love this program, but I’ve got a deadline. Suggestions anyone? I’ve already re-installed. I’m using OS 10.4.11.

  • Tami says:

    Sue..

    Can you give me a brief description of what you are doing when you are crashing.

    I honestly have not had this version crash on me even once yet, I have found a couple of interesting things happening but not crashes. I would be happy to try and help you work thru your issue!

  • TM says:

    I have had Painter 11 for a couple months, and now that I’ve really started using it, it’s crashing constantly (like every ten or fifteen minutes), which is REALLY annoying. When I open it, it says there are updates, but then when I try to download them, it always says there’s an error and it can’t do that. Fixable?

  • dgd says:

    Those people experiencing regular crashes should make sure all parts of the hard drive is configured correctly. Also check BIOS as well as speeds of disc drives when installing. Sorry if this sounds a bit obvious. Hope it helps.