Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 Posted by Jim Thacker

Corel ships Painter 2018

Corel has released Painter 2018, the latest update to its digital painting software, adding a new 2.5D painting system, support for texture synthesis, and improvements to the cloning and selection tools.

New thick paint system mimics the look of traditional impasto
One key addition to Painter 2018 is the new thick paint system, shown in the video above, which mimics the look of traditional impasto painting.

The system gives a realistic 3D look to the surface of an image, with users able to work with the bristle brushes or palette knife tools to pile up paint, or scrape it back to expose the underlying paper texture.

Surface lighting can be adjusted via a range of sliders and a ZBrush-style spherical gizmo, which you can see at 08:30 in the video, enabling you to control the self-shadowing on the brush strokes.

The lighting can be adjusted on either a global or per-stroke basis, which creates a range of effects.

2.5D brushes transfer surface relief from source textures
On top of the 2.5D effects created by thick paint, there is also a new set of 2.5D texture brushes, which enable users to transfer surface detail from a source texture to an image.

Depending on the settings, you can either paint in the surface relief from the source image, which works in a similar way to applying a bump map to a 3D model; or both surface relief and local colour.

As with the texture painting system introduced in Painter 2017, the system preserves the lighting information in the original image, making it an interesting way to overpaint renders generated in 3D software.

And again, it’s possible to adjust the surface lighting to control the relief effect.

New texture-synthesis system
Other new features include a texture-synthesis system, which generates a seamlessly tiling texture of a size of your choosing based on a selection of a source image.

Options for adjusting the scale of the texture details are limited, which results in very visible repeats when compared to tools intended for 3D work, but it’s really there to generate source textures to paint from.

Other features include improvements to cloning and selection
The update also revamps Painter’s cloning system – it’s now possible to clone from source images with a transparent background – and adds a new set of selection brushes, which do what their name suggests.

There is also now support for random grain rotation on brushes with grain enabled, resulting in a more organic look to images; plus a new texture fill system.

Pricing and availability
Painter 2018 is available now for 64-bit Windows 7+ and Mac OS X 10.10+. New licences cost $429.

Read a full list of new features in Painter 2018 on Corel’s website