Top critical review
35 people found this helpful
amazing but flawed
on 3 July 2009
I have been using Corel painter since version 4 and think the best version is version 6. Since Corel took over the application it has seen some improvements; painting along a path is ingenious and the oil painting although of limited value to my own working method is really cool. But parts of it have got steadily worse with each release, brush size sliders are now 'drop down' (WHY?), dragging a brush out to place it on the canvas causes it to grow a large panel when the small icon would be infinitely better, the pressure sensitivity is jumpy at best (even with the new Intuos 4), the keyboard short cut for changing brush size is not accurate enough to be anything other than a gimmick, it would be much better to have the brush size slider appear at the tip. I could go on; I have a long list complaints collected over the years which I talked to Corel about but to no avail.
Painter is vastly better than photoshop for painting digitally and is the only application I would use but it is very flawed. The application is confusing and burdened with too many features that are not useful to a professional artist. The claims made for various brushes are nonsense...I would challenge someone from Corel to tell me the difference between say a 'fine tip marker' and a 'smooth round pen' ; they may be different under the hood but they look exactly the same when drawn on the canvas.
The new release Painter 11 is good for one reason; they finally introduced a 'polygon lasso'. but having bought it a few months back I don't use it because it is so buggy (missing strokes being the worst bug) and have gone back to 10. If you do buy it, my advice is to open the brush creator and switch off all the settings and experiment with each setting one by one, saving a brush when you get one that works. You'll soon have a collection that suits your working method. Also make use of the keyboard shortcuts; this is a fantastic feature which allows you to keep all the shortcuts at your non-drawing hand which means you can paint without ever looking away from the screen.
Painter is an application that needs to be wrestled free from those who want to add gimmicks to justify each new release and put in the hands of developers who would have the guts to strip it down to the great application hiding under all the garbage.