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Corel Painter 16 adds sound-sensitive brushes, promises more realistic effects

11 August 2015, Nick Peers

Corel Painter 2016Corel has unveiled Corel Painter 16 for Windows and Mac, a major new release of its acclaimed digital paint program for professionals.

The new build introduces new brushes – including a selection that react to sound – as well as paper and flow map rotation. Corel also claims Painter 2016 delivers a significant performance increase over previous builds.

Painter 2016’s headline new feature is Audio Expression, a series of brushes that react to sound. Users can play back music in the background or through their computer, and the sound will react with the brush to change its size, angle and colour variability as it’s used.

Corel Painter 2016

A revamped Blending tool promises more responsive and accurate blending in Corel Painter 2016.

There’s also a new Dynamic Speckles tool, or”Particle system physics combine with brush thickness control”, as Corel describes it. The aim is to produce even more naturalistic effects by generating speckles in the brushwork as the user paints or splatters on the canvas.

Greater realism is also delivered through Special Media Mixing, which introduces new dab styles that utilise a mixture of particles and either liquid ink, watercolour or impasto.

Painter 16 also allows users to change the angle of paper textures and flow maps, again to change the variety of brushstroke work and deliver more naturalistic effects.

Corel Painter 2016 also comes with the promise of faster performance, with Corel claiming its brushes are up to three times quicker than with the previous version. Improved blending tools – dubbed Blending 2.0 – also help speed up performance when editing blending brush variants. Blending 2.0 also avoids leaving white fringes on the canvas that was prevalent when using the older tool.

Adobe Photoshop users also gain the ability to import their pixel-based brush stamps into Painter and customise them for use in the program.

The new version also gives users greater control over the user interface, allowing them to apply different colour schemes (including dark, sepia and frost) as well as change the UI background using the colour wheel. Also implemented are enhanced document views, which support the quick switching of default, single document and presentation views.

Mindful of criticisms regarding the program’s steep learning curve, Corel has also integrated various learning tools into the program itself: context-sensitive brush hints, visual tooltips and enhanced content sharing.

A 30-day trial of Corel Painter 16 can be downloaded now for Windows 64-bit or Mac. 4GB RAM and Intel Core 2 Duo processor is consider a comfortable minimum entry requirement, along with 750MB HD space. The full version costs $429, with upgrades costing $229.

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