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Painter 8

by Corel
Platform : Mac, Windows 2000, Windows XP
2 customer reviews

Currently unavailable.
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
  • Mix your own colors
  • Create sketches from photographs
  • Paint with Digital Watercolor
  • Experiment with over 400 new brushes
  • Group palettes to customize your workflow
  • Keep track of your brushes
  • Preview brushes
  • View brush size as you paint
  • See image information at a glance
  • Open and save Adobe Photoshop files

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System Requirements

  • Platform:    Windows 2000 / XP, Mac
  • Media: CD-ROM
  • Item Quantity: 1
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Product details

  • Item Weight: 454 g
  • Delivery Destinations: Visit the Delivery Destinations Help page to see where this item can be delivered.
  • ASIN: B00008NR3S
  • Release Date: 2 May 2003
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,903 in Software (See Top 100 in Software)
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes

Product Description Review

You can now get very close to natural painting techniques on a computer and nowhere closer than with a graphics tablet and Corel Painter 8.

There are business graphics programs, technical graphics programs, artistic graphics programs and Painter. Painter is a natural media painting program, designed to simulate the use of watercolour, oil, gouache and many other real-world painting media as closely as possible on a PC or Mac. Although you can use Painter 8 with a mouse, most of the professional and semi-professional users for which it's intended will be using a graphics tablet. The use of a tablet and stylus is a lot more natural for this kind of painting and drawing work.

Painter 8 has a revamped interface, pulling it much more into line with other Corel applications and the new combination of tools, menus and palettes is very intuitive to use. At the same time, it has increased compatibility with Adobe Photoshop, and understands Photoshop layers and channels. The program includes several useful extensions to what was available before. For a start, there's the new mixer palette. This enables you to mix colours interactively, using a stylus or mouse and then apply them from the palette to your painting. With over 400 new brushes in 30 categories as diverse as acrylics, conte, felt pens, sponges and Sumi-e, there are a lot of tools to pick from. If this still isn't enough, you can design your own brush by combining attributes of two or more others.

To give you a flying start with a new painting, you can use Painter 8's innovative quick sketch effect to turn a photograph into something approaching a pencil sketch. The digital watercolour effect, also new, can then be used as a transparent colouring medium to produce very realistic looking watercolours. Painter 8 is a consolidation of earlier versions of this natural painting program, but offers useful extensions and an even closer approximation to brush and paint. --Simon Williams


Macworld editors choice award for best imaging software 2003. -- May, 2003

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Sydney on 30 Dec. 2003
Verified Purchase
If you convince yourself you really NEED a paint simulator, you'll be very happy with this one. I don't use it to create whole pieces myself; but for an illustrator looking to do invisible touch-ups on scanned work it's really irreplacable by any existing product. You can seamlessly rework substantial bits of pencil or charcoal pieces, or put in respectable-looking pastel or watercolour washes over rough drawings for some quite nifty fast effects. There's enough small annoyances to make a complementary copy of Photoshop a good idea (such as-- you can't reverse an entire image, you have to do it layer by layer, and then they don't line up... aaaargh!).
For the price, it's an excellent toy for the amateur, and an invaluable tool for the professional. No regrets here. It also doesn't make you choose between your Mac and PC, for which I'm very grateful. 4 out of 5, but just because I'm a perfectionist.
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By Colin R. Porter on 31 July 2010
Verified Purchase
The supplier sent the correct program in good time.

Painter 8 is a wide ranging program which I'm still getting to grips with.

Would be improved if the palette and the tools box were in fixed columns down the sides of the canvas in the style of Photopaint 9 instead of as floating boxes which impinge on the canvas area and have to be moved around to gain access to parts of the canvas.

Photopaint 9 also had a means of selecting a colour from the palette and by lingering on it an enlarged box would open up showing a range of that colour from dead white to dead black, going through all the other shades of that colour which one could select by moving the cursor. More subtle and much easier than trying to exactly adjust the shade on the small triangle within the colour wheel.

Daspite having had Coral Photopaint 9 previously the Coral system for positioning text continues to defeat me whereas the system is straightforward, easy and obvious.

Photopaint 9 also had a system for drawing straight horizontal and vertical lines merely by pressing a key on the keyboard whilst moving the brush/pencil or what-have-you in the approximate desired direction whereas Painter 8 requires one to devise one's own method of making a vector line either truly horizontal or vertical.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Leave well enough alone! The bad first, then the good... 4 Jun. 2003
By Simon - Published on
As the other reviewer noted, Photoshop users will be on home ground here, but some basic Painter functionality seems to be lost. The "new" brushes are not really worth spending money for a new version, if you don't have any version of Painter already. Painter 7 is a fine program, with a vast functionality, though its learning curve is steep. Along with my compatriot, I mourn the loss of the capable and extremely useful expressions palette. The mixing window is fun, and I would suppose it to be useful to those who cannot mix colors easily. Once again, mixing, then eyedropper choosing was very easy before.
The new brushes palette is not that hard to use, but what really new brushes are there? None that I can see. The Photoshop-like layout is not bad, but why change the interface so much, and not include some of Photoshop's best features? How about some really new filters that no version of Painter ever had? How about allowing difference, color, multiply, lighten, and so forth brush functions on the canvas, like Photoshop does? (If Painter 8 does this, I've missed it!)
Now for the good... if a new user wants to get a Photoshop interface, then this is the program to get, considering it's half the price of Photoshop. For those who want Painter's wonderful brush engine, this version supplies a great deal of it at a great lowering in price from the earlier releases. This really is a fine program, capable of incredible raster graphics. The brushes are great, and the capabilities it presents for designing one's own brushes is a great plus. I like Adobe's interface, but I also liked Painter's interface. Six of one, half a dozen of these over here for me. By the way, the color choosing palettes are still the same as any of Painter's earlier releases, which is vastly superior to Adobe's anemic, hard to use color palette.
Is Corel afraid Painter will supercede their raster graphics programs? (Corel Draw is a vector map graphics interface, hard to use, since it's a memory hog of colossal proportions.) I do not have the answer to that question. For my uses, I find Painter's earlier releases from 5 on up to and including 7 to be superior to ALL the other graphics programs I've ever used put together. That includes Adobe Photoshop, up to and inclusive of 6, Fauve Matisse, TV Paint, Ulead Photoimpact, XRes, Corel Photopaint, Pixia, Paint Shop Pro, and several others scarcely worth bothering to remember. All the named programs are fine, but only Ulead's program comes within sighting range of Painter for creating raster graphics. Adobe's fine program boasts excellent printing capabilities, and a suite of fine filters, but, even for editing photographs, I find Painter better, even this latest version.
My opinion? Painter 8 is a fine program at a reasonable price compared to Adobe Photoshop and Painter 7. For those interested in serious computer graphics and creating art, I will highly recommend it.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5 stars historically, 3 stars for execution. 2 May 2003
By Eugene Arenhaus - Published on
I am reluctant to give this program a low rating, being a long-time user and having a true dedication to Painter. It deserves a high rating for its functionality overall, by all means; but the changes made in this new version do not deserve even three stars. They hardly justify the version number change, in fact, just as it was the case with Painter 7. The changes between 6 and 7 at least were in function (insignificant as they were, like the new watercolor engine that still didn't look quite like watercolor, or perspective grids which support only 1-point perspective). The changes between 7 and 8 are cosmetic at best: the interface had been made closer to Photoshop (which led to oddities like two separate current color displays), and that is about all. Oh, sorry; one new filter effect was added. The almost doubled number of brushes seems to have doubled because most of them are now available in three sizes (in case you didn't notice the size control, I suppose). The advertised Mixer palette does not provide anything that keeping a small test canvas for mixing colors didn't do before. The brushes can now be designed without having to stroke in the canvas for testing, but at cost of not being able to stroke in the canvas for testing: all the settings besides the few basic ones are hidden deep inside Brush Designer dialog, and in general being less accessible: for instance, the Expression palette is gone, now you have to go through all the panels to change the brush's response to stylus using scattered controls. The only (arguably) good thing is that the interface might look more familiar to Photoshop users, but it seems to be rather poorly thought-out for all that.

Corel's attitude towards the once innovative and unique product is disappointing; and their online support and promotion for Painter line is so vestigial that it begs a question whether they are not feeling that it's a danger to their own product line.
In short, the two releases of Painter after it left the Metacreations ownership did not add much to the program. Painter 6 still remains the best version, despite its awkward handling of masks.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Slimmed down, slicked up--big improvement 19 Dec. 2003
By Joanna Daneman - Published on
I've been using Painter since it's very inception as "Sketcher"--a b&w version that was sold in a cigar box to imitate a sketcher's kit of charcoal and pencils. The ensuing versions added virtual artists' media like oils, chalks, pencils and pens and textured papers to allow digital artists to create some astounding work.
Painter 8.0 is now marketed by Corel, and it's definitely been slimmed down; the loading time for installation was very fast, indicating that the program overhead had been lightened considerably. Some improved features:
1. Mixer Palette allows mixing of colors interactively--a big plus. Before, you only had the option to mix colors with a kind of blending algorithm and no control at all.
2. Brush controls now are on a slider panel; you pull down the brush after loading the type of brush (oil, water, chalk, for example) and then can change the size with the slider. No need to pull down a menu to do this.
3. The watercolor brush has been improved tremendously; the effect is like watercolor and wash, not just a smeary or blurred effect. It looks wet.
4. The Image Hose (a brush that sprays or paints images rather than a stroke of paint) now has a fun cousin; a brush that lays down a flat stroke of patterns in a similar way. You can paint with feathers, stucco pattern and this is a very good enhancement to the idea of a digital image brush. For the image hose, you load pre-created images as the nozzle or make a custom nozzle from your own images. The pattern brush uses pre-loaded patterns (like the stucco) or you can create a pattern, capturing it from a graphic, and load it instead. This pattern brush is a wonderful addition.
This program got an award from MacWorld (it comes in Win or Mac versions) and I think it deserves the award. While I use Photoshop Elements for photo manipulation, I still prefer Painter for digital art creation. This new version really impressed me.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A fresh release 5 Jun. 2003
By M. Hamoui - Published on
Today, a creative professional can only notice how mature the graphics software industry has become, new software are offering more and more features that are using more and more computer resources, without being adding real marginal benefits. New upgrades are only to keep the products alive, on the expense of making them more cumbresome.
Painter 8 is a different story altogether!
Corel® has made a great effort to make this upgrade of a previously clunky yet powerful product, a much more versatile, standardised and user-friendly juggernault. Gone are the days where you have to hopelessly search among dozens of panels for a particular brush, style or method. A slick bar at the top dynamically changes according to the tool you're using, where you set the size, opacity, curviness..etc.
Another thing that was greatly improved is the process of choosing the brush (that used to be very annoying with the old selective dimming). The brush selector is tucked at the upper right part of the screen (also in that slick bar,) in a much more logical and standardised way.
One also has the feeling that painter 8 was given something similar to the Macormedia® MX treatment, where the palettes can be customised into different panels and the layout saved according to the project.
The mixer panel IS useful, and is very consistant with the philosophy of this new painter release: the small things that make your work faster and stress-free. The os X over all performance is much snappier, not to mention the beefed-up photoshop compatibility, and o! have i mentioned that you get both a windows and a mac version with the license price ?
In short, If you thought painter was too eccentric and boggy for you, this is the upgrade you've been waiting for. Its new slick interface made me thank God that Corel® had taken the torch from Metacreation.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Excellent for painting... 10 May 2004
By John S. Buchmann - Published on
I come from years of experience using Photoshop. I was VERY pleased to find out that the interface is VERY similar to Photoshop, so the learning curve was very very low. I find it extremely easy to learn.
I find it interesting that in some areas it is the BEST program, and in other areas it stinks. It has by far the most powerful painting/drawing brushes anywhere. Simply amazing. It puts Photoshop to shame. But then simple things like Transforms (rotate, scale, etc) are just plain bad! For example, when you scale or rotate something, all you see is the bounding box... you cannot see how the image looks until you commit to it. Also, if you have a layer mask on a layer, and you then scale or rotate the layer, the layer mask is deleted.
If you're looking to use Painter as a total replacement for Photoshop, you will be disappointed. Use Painter for your artwork (painting/drawing), and do most everything else in Photoshop!
4 of 5 stars is pretty high... that's because the brushes are soooo good! :)
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