Corel Painter 17 adds new brushes, gradient tools, and texture painting

Painter stays on top with new features and enhancements for professional artists.

Corel Painter has a long history of serving fine artists, illustrators, comic and manga mavens, and photographers, and every year the company conjures up new features and enhancements to dazzle the faithful. Corel Painter 17, released Tuesday, comes across with some innovative brush actions, alongside new gradient tools and advanced interfaces.

Corel is also moving Painter into new 3D territory to accommodate users working in gaming and entertainment. The company has announced a new integration with 3D sculpting app ZBrush, via a ZAppLink plugin. Designed to work with the app’s new Texture Painting feature, you can now export a ZBrush file directly into Painter as a layered 2D image to add realistic and painterly textures while preserving all lighting and effects previously applied in ZBrush. When done, your images are sent back to ZBrush via ZAppLink and re-projected into a 3D model.

Brush and gradient tech

Texture Painting is a new brush category that offers a variety of surface textures to help you fundamentally alter the look of drawings, photos, and paintings by blending new textures into an existing image. Just choose or create a texture with the specific brushes designated for that task.

painter4

Texture painting flattened 3D models.

Speaking of brushes, Painter 17’s new Glazing Brushes offer enhanced control over the opacity of your painting on a per-stroke basis, letting you work with transparent and translucent transitions. These brushes give you stroke-level opacity so each brushstroke is applied independently and each dab of paint builds up smoothly, achieving seamless blending between colors without undesirable colors in overlapping dabs.

painter2

Glazing brushes.

Corel is touting Painter’s new Interactive Gradient tool as a cure for the blank canvas by letting you quickly create and edit gradients with depth and lighting variations. Got a blank canvas? You can start by immediately filling the background with a gradient from Painter’s library of built-in gradients and testing various presets. A new Express Paint button works with the tool to apply a vast assortment of painting styles to gradients.

painter3

Interactive gradients and express painting.

Interface improvements

Painter 17’s new Artists’ Layouts, collections of pre-defined user interface workspaces, are designed for different kinds of workflows, letting you view only the relevant palettes and tools for your piece with a single click. There’s even a minimal interface that frees up space for tablet users. You can also choose the two workspace layouts that you use most often and switch between them to suit the current task or the display mode of your device.

painter6

Palette drawers.

The new version of Painter also debuts Palette Drawers, a workflow enhancement that unclutters your workspace while keeping essential tools available. With it, you can combine panels and custom palettes in the best grouping to suit your project or workflow. When you’re not using a Palette Drawer, you can minimize it with a click.

Enhanced features

In addition to new brushes and gradient tools, Painter 17 updates some existing features. Dab Stencils offer full control over brushstroke opacity based on the active paper, flow map, or texture. Property bars have been enhanced to make it easier to control and adjust brushes.

painter1

Dab stencils.

An improved Dropper tool makes it easier to sample color, featuring new options that let you average the colors of pixels in larger sample areas, from 3×3 to 101×101 pixels. Plus, you can sample a color from the active layer or from all visible layers.

Finally, you can now display the Brush Selector as a panel so that your recently used brushes and variants are immediately available, alongside the entire Brush Library.

painter 5

Brush selector panel showing 2017 brushes and updated property bar.

Corel Painter 17 is available for $430; upgrades are $230. It runs on Mac OS 10.9 or higher.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jackie Dove

Macworld.com
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?