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Carrying a great range of new features, Painter 12 has begun this new 'full-release' with some great applied mimicry of traditional media like chalk, water-colour and oil paints, pencil and charcoal.
This is Corel's first full upgrade release of Painter since early 2009 and the company believes the performance improvements are just as exciting as the applications new features.
The new brushes are just as fun to use, as those in a copy of Painter I still have from way back. Also, for performance's sake, the new kaleidoscope feature. This feature splits the screen into 12 lines from the centre of the screen and allows the palette to work rather like a, well, Kaleidoscope. As I say, it's just a bit of fun, but this will certainly draw the crowds of never been creative before painters into using at least this feature.
One much more practical change is that the screen clutter seen in previous versions is minimised. Painter is much more focused on the working area, leaving the workspace available for some big images to take over. In fact, I found their menus and panels very light, workable and well-nigh Photoshop-esque. The ability to arrange your panels and palettes the way they are needed has been a big issue for studio workflow speed, and this is a step in the right direction.
The Brushes are reportedly three to five times faster in this release as well, though some reviewers have found some lag between pen down and resultant stroke. I love the Paper selection. I don't know why, I just do. The new Computed Circular brush control panel lets you decide on the 'tip profile' of the brush. The dab opacity and hardness, and dynamic setting like angle and squeeze.
Painter also has now 64-bit support for Windows and a Mac 64-bit release is due out later on in the year. The full product of Corel Painter 12 retails for US$499.00