Corel Painter X
- Even more realistic oil brushes, better tools for making photos into art
- Interface is complex
What's not to like about Painter X? If we had designed it, we would have tried to streamline its interface, which hasn't changed much: Dig into its array of tools, settings and options, and your canvas may get overloaded with palettes and toolbars. Even as is, though, this upgrade is meaty enough to please professional artists and serious amateurs alike.
Price$ 799.00 (AUD)
Corel's painter graphics program has always been about using technology to blur the line between art and reality. Its digital tools simulate real art supplies, from oil paints to felt-tip pens, and it can turn photos into gorgeous paintings. We tried out the shipping version of Painter X, the 10th major edition of the program, and found that this iteration is even cooler than the previous versions, which we liked.
Corel touts Painter's new RealBristle brushes as its most realistic tools yet. That's not hype. They really are remarkably...well, bristly: as you drag your brushes across the canvas, they interact with the paint in a way that's more natural and less predictable than previous Painter brushes were. (As always, a pressure-sensitive tablet is mandatory to get the most out of Painter. RealBristle tools work best with Wacom's Intuos graphics tablet and its optional Art Pen.)
Painter X boasts little tweaks and refinements almost everywhere, but its features for creating artwork based on photographs have received the most sweeping makeover. You can prep snapshots by fixing problems such as bad lighting right in Painter, use the improved AutoPainting feature to do much of the work of turning the photo into art, and then refine the results -- to bring out more detail in people's faces, for instance -- manually.
Another new feature, the entertainingly quirky Divine Proportion, is based on the centuries-old notion that shapes with a proportion of 1:1.61803398874989 (also known as the Golden Ratio) are inherently pleasing. The tool overlays a pattern of lines and curves on your canvas to help you lay out your creations according to this theory. It would probably be a mistake to take Corel's claims for the option (which mention everyone from Da Vinci to Le Corbusier) too seriously. But used judiciously, the tool can help you create appealing compositions.
For dual-platform users, it's worth noting that the Macintosh version of Painter X, which is being released simultaneously, is the first one that runs as a native application on Intel-based Macs, so owners of those machines will see noticeably snappier performance than with Painter IX. Both Mac and Windows users will appreciate the fact that the package comes with more extensive printed documentation than the previous edition did.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 Mazda MX-5 (2016) review: Absolute driving purity
- 3 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 4 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Mozilla Firefox update fixes several vulnerabilities
- Windows Phone can now work on smartphones with Intel x86 chips
- iOS 9.2.1 and OS X 10.11.3 are now available
- New field test lets you install Android apps directly from Google search
- Survey says: Almost a third of US consumers on Windows 10
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTDigital Marketing Specialist | Media BuyerNSW
- CCImplementation ManagerVIC
- FTUX Front-End DeveloperWA
- FTCyber Security SpecialistNSW
- FTAnalyst: Business Intelligence & AnalyticsVIC
- CCService Desk ManagerVIC
- FTTechnical Support Engineer, International SoftwareNSW
- FTSenior Consultant | Project work | National Systems IntegratorNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/Oracle/UNIX) 160203/AP/381Asia
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTSystems Administrator/Engineer | Projects & BAU | Coastal Newcastle NSWWA
- FTInfrastructure Project Manager - NV1 clearance mandatoryNSW
- FTJava Web Development OpportunityVIC
- CCContract System Analyst (JAVA/J2EE/SQL) 160205/SA/881Asia
- FTAndroid DeveloperNSW
- CCEnterprise ArchitectNSW
- CCHigh Level Network Engineer (Communications)WA
- CCProgram Master SchedulerNSW
- CCSAP HR Functional ConsultantNSW
- FTLinux AdministratorVIC
- CCBusiness AnalystQLD
- CCDBA (Oracle/SQL)NSW
- FTInsight / Customer - Data ScientistNSW
- CCWindows System Admin, Administrator, Technical SupportNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystACT