Monday, August 20th, 2012 Posted by Jim Thacker

Project Dogwaffle team ships PD Pro 8 Howler

Colour mixing tools in PD Pro 8 Howler. The latest update to the digital paint package focuses primarily on updates to the core paint features, plus the new procedural vegetation-painting toolset.

The Project Dogwaffle team has released PD Pro 8 Howler, a significant new update to the digital paint tool.

Whereas recent releases of Howler have focused on VFX-related features such as particle-based brushes, roto tools and retiming, version 8 revamps the core painting tools.

“Back in version 5, we started a concerted effort to modernize and revamp the program with new techniques, technologies and algorithms,” said Dan Ritchie, author of Project Dogwaffle. “Now, in version 8, we’re coming full circle and getting back to basics: let’s paint and have some real serious fun!”

In addition to updates to the brush system, tablet support and overall performance enhancements, the release also features one major addition: a rules-based system for painting vegetation, based on the particle brush.

PD Pro 8 Howler is available now for Windows, priced at $139. Various time-limited discounts and upgrade offers are available, and can be found on sales site.

PD Artist 8, a lighter, lower-cost version of the software without support for animation, is currently in development, but no release date has yet been announced.

Updated 20 August: PD Artist 8 has just shipped. The MSRP is $79, but you can currently get it at a launch promo price of $59.

What’s new in PD Pro 8 Howler

  1. Many external filters and plugins have been internalized, resulting in great speed improvements.
  2. The Custom brush system is now multi-threaded, further targeting multi-core architectures for even better performance
  3. Visual FX on brush strokes added or enhanced: Gel, Gouache, Impasto, Pigment parameter, Edge bleed, and many more, to provide new paint effects.
  4. Support for more drawing tablets and modes such as brush image spin based on pen angle (when using Wacom Intuos). Tablet pressure enabled by default.
  5. Clone Fill mode for quick photographic reconstruction or elimination of unwanted details.
  6. Integration of new filters, such as the 3D Designer and Twirl filters, into the animation Timeline. Keyframes can now be moved along the timeline and provide real-time visual preview feedback of their changing effects.
  7. Localization support: There’s a new option under utilities that saves out all the text strings from panels that are loaded in memory The file can then be edited for translation of menu items and put back in the same folder with Howler.
  8. Enhanced Spherize tool: new bump map texture modes and specular highlight enhancements, size control and more.
  9. Enhanced 3D Lighting: new options make the 3D Lighting tool yet another great example of integration of 3D with paint. There are now controls for elevation extrusion depth, multiply with original colors, specular highlights and more.
  10. Foliage: a new extension to the particle brush system (in addition to Optipustics, Bristles and Orbicles). This rules-based system attaches a dynamically growing plant system (trees, bushes, shrubbery, weeds) to your paint brush strokes. In a single stroke you can grow and paint fabulous types of foliage. The system employs Dogwaffle’s internal 3D engine for added realism and trickery such as alpha coverage and Z-depth.

Read a full list of new features in PD Pro 8 Howler