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We previously looked at Painter 9.1, a tool that is undeniably the best digital painting tool available for any platform. However, power and precision come at a price and for some £300 is too much money to indulge in the full Painter software. This is where Painter Essentials comes in – being to Painter what Photoshop Elements is to Photoshop.

Essentials 3 is the latest release, and it offers a lot of art tools for your money. While the application obviously doesn’t have the vast range of tools and brushes on offer in Painter, nor the scope to create your own or load in sets, it does have such brushes as Digital Watercolour, the brilliant Artists’ Oils and a decent range of pastels, palette knives, pens, crayons and other options. In fact, there are more than 75 brush variants, which adds up to less than £1 each.

Control over these brushes isn’t great, how ... Read more »

Category: Software reviews | Views: 756 | Added by: G-Shock | Date: 28.02.2009 | Rating: 0.0/0 | Comments (0)

DAZ|Studio is a rare beast – a fully functioning 3D tool that’s free. Obviously it lacks the power and precision of Maya and the like, but it offers an introduction to 3D and a wide range of positional, lighting and rendering tools.

There are no modelling features as such. The most you can do is import figures, use morph targets to adjust expressions and use standard move/rotation tools to adjust poses. You can add clothes, hair and other props, control cameras and add/adjust lights.

DAZ|Studio is great as a scene-building tool and for creating images quickly. You can either Spot Render a small part of your scene to get a preview or do a standard render. The results are good enough for everything apart from commercial work, and it’s all easy to set up. Worth a look…


Reviev from ... Read more »

Category: Software reviews | Views: 782 | Added by: G-Shock | Date: 28.02.2009 | Rating: 0.0/0 | Comments (0)

Ask any professional, semi-pro or amateur digital artist and you’ll get a unanimous verdict that Painter is the software to have. Just look at the work of Ryan Church ( and Dan Milligan ( and you’ll get an idea of the kind of work that can be accomplished with this program.

The range of brushes on offer is just amazing – more than 30 categories, each with their own controls. Think of a type of brush or a medium and Painter will be able to replicate it, and in great style. From oils, to gouache to watercolours that can be manipulated by wind direction, Corel appears to have thought of everything.

The Mixer palette is a favourite, making it possible to ‘mix’ paint on an easel. We love the fact you can create your own brushes from scratch and create custom palettes as well. This makes customising the tool for your needs ... Read more »

Category: Software reviews | Views: 663 | Added by: G-Shock | Date: 28.02.2009 | Rating: 0.0/0 | Comments (0)

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