Painter 7.0: Win98/ME/NT4/2K

The Good Unique painting tool; simulates traditional media (such as oil paints and watercolors); spectacular special effects; imports and exports native Photoshop files; its CMYK color values improve printed output.

The Bad Hogs system resources; makes it difficult and complicated to create custom tools.

The Bottom Line Serious illustrators don't really have another option, but even if they did, Painter 7.0 would still take the cake. It's indispensable for graphics pros.

Editors' Rating
9.0 Overall

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Painter 7.0: Win98/ME/NT4/2K
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Review

Painter 7.0: Win98/ME/NT4/2K

Nov 2001

Painter occupies a unique niche in the graphic arts community. Its toolset, which includes oil brushes, watercolors, chalks, and mosaics, is designed to generate tactile, realistic images far beyond those of conventional image-editing programs. Painter 7.0, the first major release since Corel acquired the software, should more than reassure Painter's core user base and should woo new users, too. Thanks to a reworking of several basic technologies, Painter 7.0 delivers even more realistic simulations of natural art media than its predecessor. It's a must-have purchase for any professional illustrator who wants to create a painterly effect in the digital realm. Painter occupies a unique niche in the graphic arts community. Its toolset, which includes oil brushes, watercolors, chalks, and mosaics, is designed to generate tactile, realistic images far beyond those of conventional image-editing programs. Painter 7.0, the first major release since Corel acquired the software, should more than reassure Painter's core user base and should woo new users, too. Thanks to a reworking of several basic technologies, Painter 7.0 delivers even more realistic simulations of natural art media than its predecessor. It's a must-have purchase for any professional illustrator who wants to create a painterly effect in the digital realm.

Watercolor world
Painter 7.0 revamps and dramatically improves a favorite old tool: watercolor technology. Instead of simulating watercolor effects exclusively through brush characteristics, Painter 7.0 introduces a wet media layer that more faithfully simulates the physics of pigment suspended in water. Now, rather than painting with watercolor brushes on the canvas layer, you can create a multilayer composition in order to overlay wet and dry media types. In addition, the wet layer boasts attributes such as Wetness, Pickup, and Dry Rate that allow you to control how your brushstrokes diffuse into the medium, interact with each other, and react to the paper grain. The attention to detail is truly astounding. For example, the Wind option lets you control the direction of the drip edge. Gorgeous.

System drain; minor learning curve
As with previous versions of Painter, version 7.0 hogs system resources, especially if you use complex brushes. The new watercolor technology is no exception. We ran out of memory testing an extremely large brush size on a 400MHz processor equipped with 128MB of RAM. In addition, the watercolor effects come with a learning curve: longtime users will have to alter their painting technique--as well as their custom brushes--in order to get used to the more sophisticated controls that replace older brush attributes. For example, the versatile Wet Fringe brush attribute, which was extremely popular in previous versions of the program, simply does not exist in Painter 7.0.

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $499
  • Brand Corel Corp.
  • Category creativity application
  • Compatibility PC
  • OS Family Windows
  • Version 7.0
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