Thursday, August 13th, 2015 Posted by Jim Thacker

Corel ships Painter 2016

Corel has released Painter 2016, the latest update to its digital painting package, adding a range of new physics-based brush options, a reworked blending system, and the option to import Photoshop brushes.

New physics-based brush options
Top of the feature list is the new Special Media Brushes, which build on the particle brush system introduced in Painter 2015, combining physics-based brush effects with the properties of natural media.

You can see some of the possibilities in this video: the section beginning at 02:20 shows sprayed watercolour running under the influence of gravity, for example.

Other particle-based features include a new Dynamic Speckles option, which generates brushstrokes from discrete spots of colour, and comes with options to adjust speckle count, size, randomness and opacity.

There’s also an Audio Expression feature, which enables brush properties to react to an audio waveform. The results are presumably difficult to control exactly, so it’s more of a randomising element in an image.

Outside of the physics options, Painter now imports brushes in Photoshop’s .abr format; while custom Painter brushes, patterns and palettes can now be packaged as a Custom Toolbox to share with other users.

The layer blending system has been reworked, as shown in the video above – among other things, to enable colours to blend on the transparent parts of a layer – and should make blending a lot more usable in practice.

There are also new options to rotate papers and flow maps for more controllable paint effects.

In addition, the interface has been tweaked further: changes include a toggleable Presentation view, which hides part of the UI clutter, and visual tooltips, which show rather than tell how brush controls work.

Pricing and availability
Painter 2015 is available now for 64-bit Windows and Mac OS X, price $429.

Read more about the new features in Painter 2016 on the product website