Corel ships Painter Essentials 7
Corel has released Painter Essentials 7, the latest update to the entry-level edition of its natural media painting software, adding new AI-based photo painting features.
The release also revamps the software’s user interface, adds new Dab Stencils and Glazing Brushes, and improves performance when working with large documents.
A capable natural media painting package for under $50
Although Corel’s marketing material presents Painter Essentials as a tool for beginners, it’s actually a fairly fully featured tool for creating illustrations or concept art.
As well as more hobbyist-friendly tools for stylising or tracing photographs, it comes with a good range of brush types from Corel Painter itself.
That includes both conventional natural media brushes, including oil, acrylic, watercolour, chalk, pastels and markers; and newer procedural tools including particle brushes and ‘pattern pens’.
You also get a standard basic range of image-manipulation tools, plus mirror and radial symmetry painting modes, and the software can import or export layered PSDs in order to exchange files with Photoshop.
New in version 7: new AI-based photo painting presets
Painter Essentials 7 adds eight new AI-based presets to the Auto-Paint system, which generates brushstrokes of progressively diminishing size over a source image until it resembles a drawing or painting.
Each of the new presets has been trained to recreate the look of real-world source images, including pencil and charcoal drawings and oil, watercolour and acrylic paintings, using style transfer techniques.
Updated interface and new tools from the full edition of Painter
The release also features many of the same changes to the user interface made in recent updates to the full version of Painter, including the dark UI theme and redesigned icons.
Other UI changes include better brush previews and a revamped colour picker.
Painter Essentials also gets several new tools from the full edition, including Dab Stencils for masking out parts of a brush stroke, and Glazing Brushes for building up thin transparent washes of colour.
Pricing and availability
Painter Essentials 7 is available now for Windows 7+ and macOS 10.13+. It works with both Wacom-compatible graphics tablets and Windows devices that support the Real-Time Stylus API. It costs $49.99.