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Customer Review

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!!!, October 24, 2012
This review is from: SketchBook Pro 6 [Old Version] (CD-ROM)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a great program and quite an upgrade from an earlier version I tried a year ago. The part I like best is it has a very robust set of sketching tools. But additionally there are some new paint brushes and pen tools that are fantastic. I started sketching and was having so much fun adding value and color that before I knew it I had a fully rendered painting. It was pretty awesome!

I normally use Corel Painter 12 and there are some similarities between the two programs. Sketchbook Pro has the textures embedded into the brushes like Photoshop. Whereas painter has a paper and texture palette you can dial up or down. I feel fairly confident that I'll get used to this new mode. Photoshop users should have no problems making the transition. Another thing I found lacking was the layers functions. There are only four; add, overlay, multiply, and screen. Painter has about 22 or so and Photoshop has almost as many. There are some functions like darken and colorize that I miss. I love Photoshop's vivid light function. Oh well, maybe in future versions they will include more.

I also really love how logical all the menus and toolbars are. I'm currently using a Wacom Cintiq 12WX with a MacBook Pro so real estate is pretty scarse. But drawing seems pretty comfortable due to the very compact navigation tools and menus. A few tools acted a bit quirky for those of us who use other programs, such as the lasso tool. When you're tracing a shape the two ends are always connected by a straight line which for me will take some getting used to. I like all of the color selection tools, there's a lot of variety to them, and the Copic library looks very promising (it is a series of preset libraries that have hue and value transitions). Most of the commands are identical to Photoshop so its nice I don't have to learn a bunch of new commands.

All of the painting and drawing tools seem to operate as advertised (unlike in Photohop with the blur, dodge and burn tools, among others). Although there are so many brushes I haven't had time to check out everything. Some of my favorites are some really great smudge tools and pencil tools that actually act like pencils behave in the natural world. Non-true-to-life pencils have been one of my gripes with Painter and Photoshop. The brushes seem very customizable as well. The French curve tool is equally awesome. When you hit a button in the tool box a virtual, semi-transparent French curve pops up. Your line is forced along its edges as you draw. The curve is completely customizable so you can get the exact curve you need. Very cool!

Other things that Painter and Photoshop have that this program doesn't are adjustment layers like levels, curves, and hue/saturation. Plus it doesn't have a channels menu so you can't save your selections.

There are some navigational tools called pucks I found very useful. There is one for brushes and colors plus one that is very similar for enlarging, rotating, and moving the image within the screen.

So while this program doesn't have everything (some features like hue/saturation I miss) if used in conjunction with Corel painter or Photoshop this is a monster sketching and painting tool. Many people will be able to use this as a stand alone program. I'm probably a bit spoiled but I have no doubt that for the money this is probably one of the best packages you can buy. Another big plus is that most people will be able to jump right in and start drawing/painting (Corel Painter's learning curve is pretty steep and I've yet to master painting in Photoshop). This program is very intuitive. Overall I was pretty amazed.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 10, 2012 3:38:00 PM PST
This program does have Hue

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2012 4:44:04 PM PST
Brad Teare says:
Cool! didn't find it right off but I will look for it. Thanks!

Posted on Dec 3, 2012 8:29:34 AM PST
I'm buying Christmas gifts for my 14yo daughter who draws ALL THE TIME. I will definitely upgrade her to Sketchbook Pro from Sketchbook Express because she loves the program. I would also like to start her on a Corel program, such as Essentials. I thought about Painter 12 but was worried about the learning curve and it making her computer crash, after reading some reviews. Which Corel program do you use? And if you have any other advice, I wouldn't mind hearing it!! Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2012 8:47:39 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 3, 2012 8:48:00 AM PST
Brad Teare says:
It is true that Corel Painter 12 is a little more buggy than Photoshop but it is still a great program. If your daughter is at all technical she will have no trouble getting the hang of Painter. It can be as deep as she wants to get. I find my nephew gets the program faster than I do. I think Sketchbook Pro would probably be enough to keep her busy drawing and painting, especially since Painter is quite a bit more expensive and the two programs overlap quite a bit. But if money is no problem get her Painter AND the Cintiq, its the perfect drawing combination.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2012 10:46:14 AM PST
Thanks, I appreciate it!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2012 12:07:18 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 3, 2012 12:10:34 PM PST

I think she'll love the upgrade in Sketchbook!

As far as Corel, I would go with Essentials. I am on a Mac with Essentials, and it does crash on occasion, but not nearly as often as what I have read upon the full version; hardly at all actually. Also, you are correct about the learning curve. Essentials would be much easier, and more fun, to start on. No one wants to work on software that just makes them frustrated.

Something to consider: drawing with a tablet is so much easier than a mouse. If your daughter does not already have one, the Wacom basic tablets come with software. Mine (Bamboo Fun) included Photoshop Elements (the easier, yet very effective version of Adobe Photoshop) and Corel Painter Essentials. If you buy both of the software separately, it would cost more than the tablet. Here's an example from Amazon: Wacom Refurb Bamboo Create Pen and Touch Tablet CTH670 (Certified Refurbished)

The best part is, she can use all the software together. She could draw in Sketchbook, then open it in Essentials to add color and texture, then finish it off in Elements with their cool affects and photography properties.

Hope this helps!
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