Tuesday, August 9th, 2016 Posted by Jim Thacker

Corel ships Painter 2017

Corel has released Painter 2017, the latest update to its digital painting software, adding new tools for texturing or overpainting 3D renders, plus ‘dab stencils’ and glazing brushes mimicking traditional oil paint techniques.

The update also further streamlines Painter’s user interface, and adds a number of workflow enhancements.

Overpaint rendered ZBrush sculpts
For 3D artists, the most interesting of the new features will probably be the texture painting toolset, which – among other things – lets you overpaint a 2D render of a 3D model in order to texture it.

The system comes with ZAppLink support, making it possible to send renders of a ZBrush sculpt directly to Painter, complete with alpha channels and automatic layer set-up.

(The system isn’t a live link, and doesn’t export 3D data, so you’ll need to pose your model in ZBrush first.)

Once imported, the rendered 3D sculpt can be textured using Painter’s new Texture Cover and Texture Source Blending brushes.

Painting preserves rendered lighting information, and modifies stroke opacity according to stylus pressure.

Dab Stencils and glazing brushes mimic traditional painting
Other new tools include the Dab Stencils, which automatically mask brush strokes as you paint, according to the underlying paper, texture or flow map.

The new glazing brushes mimic the look of the thin, transparent layers of paint used in traditional oil painting – but also suggested here for use in colouring comic art.

New gradient options, enhanced eyedropper tool
Of the existing toolsets, there is now a new Interactive Gradient tool for more precise control of colour fills, along with a Gradient Express feature (above) that automatically applies a range of preset paint effects to the result.

Another small but invaluable change is to the Dropper Tool, which can now sample the average colour of a user-customisable region of an image, not just that of a single pixel.

New UI presets and customisation options
The software’s user interface, which Corel describes as having previously resembled “the cockpit of a jet fighter” has also been further streamlined.

The system of job-type-focused UI presets introduced in Painter 2015 have been extended, with readymade layouts available for concept art, fine art, illustration, photographic work and manga.

There is also now the option to combine panels, brushes and custom palettes into collapsible Palette Drawers.

Pricing and availability
Painter 2017 is available now for 64-bit Windows 7+ and Mac OS X 10.9+. New licences cost $429.

Read more about the new features in Painter 2015 on Corel’s website

See videos of the new features on Corel’s YouTube channel
(Includes tutorials by Don Seegmiller and concept artist Borislav Mitkov.)