Sunday, December 20th, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

Escape Motions releases Rebelle 4

Escape Motions has released Rebelle 4, a major update to its fluid-flow-based digital paint tool, adding new features for recreating the look of thick paints like oils and acrylics.

The update also overhauls the software’s watercolour paint system, adding new options for layering thin glazes of colour, and support for real-world subtractive RYB colour mixing.

Control liquid paint in real time
First released in 2015, Rebelle mimics the behaviour of watercolour and acrylic paint, complete with fluid flow and blending. Users can control the flow of the paint in real time by tilting or blowing on the virtual page.

Colours blend realistically, and there are controls for smudging and blending paint, and for progressively erasing brushstrokes that have already been created.

The software can also mimic the behaviour of dry media, including pencil, pastel and marker, while commercial add-on packs replicate the textures of real-world papers, canvases and lithography stones.

New in Rebelle 4: new options for recreating thick oil and acrylic paint
To that, Rebelle 4 adds a new system for recreating real-world oil paint, described by Escape Motions as “one of the most requested features” since the software was first released.

The updated impasto engine mimics the three-dimensional look of thick paint, building up ridges at the edges of strokes, and making it possible to scratch through existing paint layers to create sgraffito effects.

The changes are complemented by two new paint modes: Blend and Paint and Blend, which extend the options available for recreating the way that layers of wet paint can be mixed into one another.

Acrylic paints also use the same underlying technologies, but with a lighter impasto effect, which should result in a more realistic paint surface and colour blending.

Updated watercolour system recreates layering of watercolour washes and RYB colour mixing
The release also overhauls Rebelle’s watercolour paint system, improving performance by “more than 4x”, and increasing maximum brush size by a corresponding amount.

Watercolours can also now use a new Natural Colors system for colour mixing, which mimics the subtractive red-yellow-blue mixing of real paint, rather than conventional additive RGB colour mixing.

In addition, Rebelle now uses gamma correction to reduce dark banding where colours mix.

Other changes include a new glazing mode, which mimics the effect of layering of thin washes of paint, with options to set colour mixing to Transparent, Semi-opaque or Opaque: the latter to mimic the look of gouache.

Users can also control how much a new wash re-wets underlying paint layers.

There are also new Paper Texture and Paint Texture settings, making it possible to adjust how much the texture of the underlying paper or canvas shows through layers of thin paint.

New grain texture and stylus tilt effects for brushes
In addition, Rebelle’s Brush Creator has been updated, with support for up to four shapes or grain textures in each brush, and for brushes with tiling grain textures like halftone effects.

Brushes also now support graphics tablets’ stylus tilt functionality, making it possible to set the width of a stroke to vary with tip angle, as with real-world pencil or pastel strokes.

Users can also now share their custom brushes on Escape Motions’ community website from inside Rebelle.

Other changes: ICC colour profiles, layer groups, new Clone and Fill tools
Other changes include support for colour profiles, making it possible to use ICC profiles to minimise visual differences between the image on screen and the way it looks when printed.

In addition, Rebelle’s layer system now supports layer groups, helping to keep large documents organised.

There are also a number of new general-purpose image-editing tools, including a Clone tool and Fill tool.

Pricing and availability
Rebelle is available for Windows 8+ and macOS 10.13+. A new licence costs $89.99.

Read an overview of the new features in Rebelle 4 on Escape Motions’ blog