9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
You've come a long way...,
This review is from: Corel Painter 12 (PC/Mac) (DVD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)I first encountered Painter in its third incarnation when it was a freebie bundled with a Wacom tablet. Painter seems to be the one thing that Corel bought from Metacreations that hasn't suffered: indeed, Painter 12 is very obviously the many greats grandchild of Painter 3, and as such is usable as soon as installed, Something it does very quickly and neatly, although I had to re-direct the extras to the folder I'd installed Painter in (I like software to go where I want it to go, not the manufacturers' choice).
It's not a Photoshop replacement, but rather a complimentary program: it does for naturally painted media what Photoshop does with photographs. However, it does make it easier to give completely computer generated art that "is it a photograph or is it real?" look. I should point out that most, if not all, my work is either abstract or surreal.
Palettes fly out quickly, showing you the incredibly wide variety of brushes and styles available. Photoshop-style layers are available, as is the ability to open files saved in Photoshop's native format. A warning - you really do need a graphics tablet to make the most of this program: a mouse just doesn't have the precision, no matter how careful you are. It's a program that demands a certain level of artistic ability from you before it will give you its best. If you're comfortable with a pencil, pen, brush or whatever in your hand, you'll be able to replicate the experience directly into Painter. If you're looking for more direct creation and manipulation of images, you might do better with Photoshop or the cut down version Photoshop Essentials.
I can't close without mentioning the packaging, which, in these days, is absolutely sumptuous. A laminated card case, beautifully illustrated, holds a hardback book (the installation disc sitting in a pocket inside the cover). When did you last see software come with a hardback book? Or indeed any book other than a pdf file? The book is short, only a hundred or so pages, but then it only claims to be a getting started guide: a true user's guide would turn out to be one of those thousand page tomes. But the getting started guide is full of hints, tips and examples, printed on heavy duty semi-glossy paper more suited to a coffee table book: it serves to underline that you've bought a high quality bit of software. But buy a tablet to go with it...