I've used Painter since version 9 and I find each new version just keeps getting better and better. I've included a video showing some of the features of the program.
The major advantage of Painter over other digital painting software programs is the great variety of "natural medium" brushes. These are brushes that mimic the look of traditional art media such as oil, acrylic, watercolor, airbrush, pencil, charcoal, pastels, etc. In addition, they have some non-traditional brushes such as glow, shatter, and hurricane that can create some very unique and bizarre effects.
Another feature that Painter does better than any other program I have used (including Photoshop and Sketchbook Pro), is its ability to clone from a digital image such as a photograph. I've included this feature in the video since it is something that is most easily understood once you see it in action. Basically, it allows you to create a painting from another digital image--but it allows you to paint your own brush strokes so there is a lot of room for artistic expression. Photoshop has a feature similar with the Mixer Brushes--but it is more difficult to use.
In the video I also quickly demonstrate the new Perspective Guides feature. This is an extremely useful feature and I believe it will come in very handy. I'm hoping it is so popular that Photoshop decides it needs to add it to their product as well!
A feature I haven't tried yet is the new jitter feature that adds randomness to your brushstrokes. Some of the custom brushes I use already have a randomness to them so this feature didn't rank that high on my priority list.
As an educator, I have always purchased the educational version of Painter which is basically the full working version--but at a reduced price of under $100. If you are a student or a teacher I would encourage you to check out the Education version right here on Amazon.
There was a pretty big change between Painter 11 and Painter 12. I don't see as many changes between Painter 12 and 13. Therefore, my recommendation would be that if you have Painter 12 you may not want to spend the money upgrading unless you really like one of the new features. If you draw a lot in perspective then the new perspective guide feature might just be worth it.
Corel does offer a free 30 day trial which is really nice if you are unsure about purchasing the software. Corel also makes Painter Lite (which I haven't used) and they use to make Painter Essentials 4 (which you can still buy here on Amazon). A few years ago Painter Essentials was bundled with some of the Wacom Bamboo tablets. It is a nice program that had many of the basic features of the full version including the ability to clone paintings. It was the program my digital painting students would use in the college classes that I teach.
1. Painter X3 is a great digital painting program for individuals who want their digital paintings to have the look and feel of traditional art mediums. It is also a great program if you want an easy way to paint from photographs. The non-education version is a bit pricey--but this is the best natural painting software out there. Since the program does so much it can become almost over-whelming at times. I learned the basics of the program by using Jeremy Sutton's books on "Painter Creativity." I think his last version was for Painter 11.
2. If you are looking for an inexpensive and easy digital painting program I would suggest Sketchbook Pro 6. It won't let you create paintings from photographs--but Sketchbook Pro is one of the easiest programs to use and you can create some very impressive work with it. You may also want to check out "Painter Lite" or "Painter Essentials 4."
3. If you are looking for a totally free online digital painting program check out Sumopaint.
1.0 out of 5 starsDISAPPOINTED FOR LACK OF SUPPORT
ByPaulette Mon February 12, 2014
I purchased this program with high hopes, buying two of the education editions and one full edition of painter x3. I have been trying for over a week to get support on how to register since the code that accompanied the program is not accepted on the corel site. I have called the numbers given on the site for support and just receive a written comment that they only sell the product; that I need to get into another site for support. I go to that site and it says I need to register to get help. Hello? Are they missing something in their delivery? I might be a great program but somehow for a beginner at this time it is a serious waste of time and money. I had high hopes and now in this program I have none. I hope no one else makes this mistake. There are other great art programs out there. The sad thing is neither my students nor I will get much help from this program and there is no return for opened CD programs. That information they are very clear about.
I've known of Painter for quite some time but, as someone who doesn't (or, rather, can't) draw or paint, I hadn't really thought about its potential for a photographer. Painter isn't intended to be a photo editor but it turns out to have some extremely interesting functionality for manipulating photos using drawing tools - digital brushes, pencils, crayons, etc. - to "paint" or "draw" photos onto a canvas. The process is quite fun (or can even be completely automated) and the results surprisingly good (at least for someone who can't draw or paint). I've only begun to scratch the surface of what Painter is capable of but it certainly offers a very cool and different approach to processing photos in a creative manner. Now there IS a somewhat steep learning curve but Painter appears to be very "deep" with a multitude of features and there are numerous video tutorials available. Plus, seeing the results of some simple manipulations, it does indeed appear to be worth the effort.
I've also had my Resident Artist, who has used Painter since way back, give X3 a spin and she did not find X3 substantially different from the previous version of Painter.
A couple of random observations: - Painter is designed for "creative" types - Resident Artist liked the new perspective grids - Can be EXTREMELY slow with very large brushes (even on my i7 laptop with 8GB of memory and a decent video chipset!) - You can save to .PSD Photoshop format so you can switch back and forth between Painter and Photoshop and still preserve all your layers, etc.
I hope to spend more time teasing out just what Painter is capable of.
My son, who is in the Web development industry simply doesn't understand that Corel Painter can do things that Photoshop can't. Corel Painter X3 is no exception. I study with a Corel Training Partner; an online school.
I wanted X3 because of the new perspective tool. I haven't had a chance to play with it yet, because I've been busy painting for class. I really never thought I'd be painting! I'm doing really good.
My start was Photoshop, and I took a class making a black and white photo appear to be in color, among other projects. I didn't know perspective, and that always held me back. With X3, there are a few really neat new features. My favorites are the new perspective tool, and flow maps. I can draw anything in perspective, and I can make flow maps that can make really neat effects with dripping of watercolor.
I've been learning to make selections for abstract paintings. It's really easy. It is as good as making custom shapes in Photoshop. I've been making patterns for the pattern pen. Masked patterns are really cool. I'm going to upload my abstract made with masked patterns.
There is not much you can't do with Painter in the way of emulating natural media. I am eternally grateful to the man who told me about it.
I was going to get a Cintiq, but I opted for a Wacom 5 Touch medium instead. A small Wacom will do.
I've devoured videos and how-to books to become an artist. I cannot go get a fine arts degree. This teaching myself has panned out. I paint watercolors in 2 real art classes at the "Y". Never thought I'd be doing that. It took 6 months to learn. Now I am ready for anything. Corel, as Painter on a Mac does crash intermittently. Not bad, though, for a new, right from the box program.
I'm hoping Adobe will integrate some of X3's new features in CS7. This is an awesome program with a steep learning curve. But, the classes I take are only $45 for a four week class -- and they're currently open enrollment! I'm learning from the best of the best with the greatest software!
I'm a dabbler but I feel that this is not a beginner's app but a full-featured creative program that is approachable for the beginner.
(I used to use Painter when it first came out in the 90s... after a long break, I have to say I'm so impressed with it now!
Compared to Photoshop... It's easier to use, more creative, more powerful and just more fun! Plus, no monthly fee like with Creative Suite.
Here's what excites me in this version: - Go to Corel's website/Google the X3 tutorial videos - they are actually useful - So much easier to approach than Photoshop... - DVD contains Mac & PC software (YAY!) - The UI layout is awesome - The brush tools are intuitive and useful - so many options! - I'm not an artist, but I really enjoy playing with the different brushes, paper, textures and options - Differently versatile than Photoshop - Performs well on my Early 2009 Mac Pro (with a ton of RAM) - Excellent Mac memory management!
I used it for some digital manipulations of colors and textures of photos. I personally found it easier than Photoshop. I've only ever dabbled in Photoshop, and I'm a dabbler in Painter, so for me, this UI is more intuitive and the tools more easily applied to what I want to do.
I chose this software from Vine due to my interest in photo editing. Whether it's worth the extra dosh for professional graphic artists to update is, of course, a personal decision, and I'm not about to enter the fray. But, for my needs in multi-layered photographic creations, the tool is ideal.
The video I took some time to put together here with freeware is a simple illustration of the concept of layering: A seagull onto a desert landscape. - I could have chosen a camel, but how boring! - The seagull also illustrates sharply and with what a fine brush you must employ your fine motor skills in order to erase away the hue of his native sky whilst retaining those things necessary to a seagull, such as a beak and tail-feathers.
The Corel X3 Painter has been a godsend to this photoediting artist. Everything looks far more polished and beautiful once I've spent the several hours necessary to gain the required aesthetic effect.
Over 20 years ago I purchased Painter, then by Fractal Designs, and it came in an a paint can. I have been in love with it ever since. I was concerned when Corel bought the product but time has shown that my concern was misplaced. I should have know that Corel, who has always been a leader in vector based graphics, would do justice to the Painter legacy. Although the paint can is gone Painter lives on and if X3 is any indication of what we can expect then the future is indeed bright. Corel has chosen not to dramatically change the product but to improve on it, which is exactly what I hoped. Anyone who loves to paint will love this program. I seriously suggest you get a Wacom digital tablet, it is much easier to use Painter with it. I can not express in words how much I love Painter, just trust me when I say that it is simply amazing and I strongly recommend it.
I've only just started to learn about digital art and my photo editing skills are limited to looking up tutorials and following along. I also use Paint Sai Tool, which I find a lot simpler for just creating digital art, but that's because there are a lot more features on Corel Painter that I have yet learned about. Before you take the plunge, try out the 30 day trail on their official website. Also, if you are a student, Amazon sells an educator one for about 1/3 of the price, so look into that if you are a student.
I use this on a 12.5 inch laptop that is connected to an external monitor with a wacom drawing tablet. I find that there is no lag, even with larger drawings. I can also run photoshop on here perfectly fine too as long as I have a laptop fan or something to prop it up so my laptop doesn't overheat and slow down. But I always prop up my laptop anyways because it gets warm no matter what programs I run. Painting software doesn't make it burning hot though, like online gaming, such as league of legends or similar games.
I can't tell you much about all the functions because there is so much more for me to learn. I've used the drawing tools and played around with some color theory and to me, but there are so many more features and brushes to download. I would highly recommend trying out the trial to see if you would want to purchase this product.
I wanted to really take my time testing out Corel Painter X3. For the first week, my daughter (a graphic arts student) and I put it to the test without a drawing tablet. It works with the mouse, but I highly recommend making the extra purchase and getting a the drawing tablet.
We installed Painter on my son's desktop. He's a computer software engineering student and built his computer to meet the rigorous demands of college. Corel's software really isn't memory intensive, so we could have used it with any of our laptops, but the desktop seemed more centrally located and a better choice. The system's requirements are given in the manufacturer's description, so I won't go over them other than to say you have to have Windows 7 or 8 if you have a PC. If you're still running XP, this program isn't compatible.
Corel Painter is not cheap at $429. However, it is an amazing piece of software in the right hands. I'm not much of an artist, my daughter on the other hand, turned out an Impressionist-style painting that blew me away. The range of brushes make the program feel very real, like you have the oil paint, palette, and canvas in front of you. With the advanced brush view, you see the stroke you've made before it goes on the screen, and that's a handy feature to have.
We're still getting used to all of the features - there are tons of them - and seeing just how far Painter can go. At this point, it's a valuable program for anyone with a strong interest in digital art. I do think though that you really need to take your time, especially if, like us, you're new to Painter. There are many features that simply cannot be mastered overnight.
A Review of Corel's Painter X3 The Premier Digital Art Software. $429.00 For PC and Mac
Painter X3 is for the artist what Photoshop is for the photographer. It emulates the traditional art studio on a computer just as Photoshop replaces the darkroom. With the help of a computer, a graphics tablet and stylus, an aspiring artist can use PainterX3 to create digital imitations of various art media such as watercolor, oil, chalk, pencil. It can also supply background textures, patterns and many effects.
But Painter X3 is much more than an imitation of traditional art media. It is a whole new universe of artistic possibilities. The heart of Painter X3 is the brush.. There are 35 categories of brushes in my version of Painter X3 and each category has many variants. These brushes can respond to pressure, tilt, rotation, velocity and even jitter. One category of brush I just noticed is Photo. It has variants to dodge and burn, blur and sharpen, saturate and diffuse, remove scratches, and add grain. Watch out Photoshop!
Another great thing about Painter X3 is that you can make your own brushes. A new button brings up all the Brush Adjustment panels in a flash and just as quickly disposes of them. This really helps make space for all the other panels and tools on a crowded desk top.
Click on "What's New" when you open the new Painter X3 and presto you are on the web with a whole table of contents and an index and a new search bar. Everything is immediately at your fingertips to browse and discover Painter X3.
New to this version is a search bar for brushes. Write in a brush name or characteristic and up it pops. New Perspective Guides allow you to accurately draw in one, two or three-point perspective by using preset guides. The Perspective-Guided Strokes constrain your strokes to direct them towards the vanishing points. Also new is the ability to open a Reference photo for inspiration or to sample colors to use in your image.
I just began playing with some of new Art Brushes: the new Sargent Super Jitter and Coarse Jitter and Tubism brushes. With a few uninhibited strokes I produced this. Wow! Sorry you cannot see it on this review site.
There is plenty more to describe Painter X3. There are new specialized work spaces for working from photos or just painting. There is a workspace for photos developed by Jeremy Sutton, who is a Master Painter Teacher with a PaintboxTv.com Web site for teaching about Painter.
If the reader is interested, visit the Corel.com web site for many more tutorials and you can also download a copy of the program for 30 days free to try it out. I just love this program and so give it Four Big Stars XXXX [ASIN:B00DT04I9W Corel Painter X3]
I'm not an artist and I've never used Photoshop, so the learning curve was fairly steep for me. But by watching tutorials and really paying attention, after several days of using it and playing around, I've gotten good results. So far I've been using it mostly to turn my photos into paintings (which is SO much fun), and I've scanned in a few hand drawings and used the program to color them in. There is so much more to Corel Painter X3 and I'm looking forward to getting more use out of it. Like others, I do recommend using the free 30-day trial available on Corel's website so you can get a feel for it before you buy. I think it's a top-notch program though, I'm very happy with the results.
Note: I'm using this on my 2012 Mac mini, 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7, with 16 GB memory. No problems at all.
I'm a long-time fan of Corel graphics software, which is every bit as good as Adobe's at a lower price, and with more intuitive interfaces. Painter X3 is a very powerful freehand drawing/painting program. Although it includes a photo editor, if that is your main need buy Corel PhotoPaint (sold together with their Draw program last time I looked). Painter X3 includes a huge number of brushes and other tools, carefully grouped in submenus for easy location, and there is a brush search engine. The new perspective guides are very useful (I have always had problems with perspective). Any program with a large number of features gets critics muttering about "steep learning curves," but you don't need to learn the whole program at once and Corel provides a good set of online tutorials. However, there is no manual and I wish there were, because now I have to look for a book in addition to the software. I found installation to be sufficiently fast and easy on my PC. This disk also includes Painter X3 for the Macintosh.