Corel Painter X
- Even more realistic oil brushes, better tools for making photos into art
- Interface is complex
What's not to like about Painter X? If we had designed it, we would have tried to streamline its interface, which hasn't changed much: Dig into its array of tools, settings and options, and your canvas may get overloaded with palettes and toolbars. Even as is, though, this upgrade is meaty enough to please professional artists and serious amateurs alike.
Price$ 799.00 (AUD)
Corel's painter graphics program has always been about using technology to blur the line between art and reality. Its digital tools simulate real art supplies, from oil paints to felt-tip pens, and it can turn photos into gorgeous paintings. We tried out the shipping version of Painter X, the 10th major edition of the program, and found that this iteration is even cooler than the previous versions, which we liked.
Corel touts Painter's new RealBristle brushes as its most realistic tools yet. That's not hype. They really are remarkably...well, bristly: as you drag your brushes across the canvas, they interact with the paint in a way that's more natural and less predictable than previous Painter brushes were. (As always, a pressure-sensitive tablet is mandatory to get the most out of Painter. RealBristle tools work best with Wacom's Intuos graphics tablet and its optional Art Pen.)
Painter X boasts little tweaks and refinements almost everywhere, but its features for creating artwork based on photographs have received the most sweeping makeover. You can prep snapshots by fixing problems such as bad lighting right in Painter, use the improved AutoPainting feature to do much of the work of turning the photo into art, and then refine the results -- to bring out more detail in people's faces, for instance -- manually.
Another new feature, the entertainingly quirky Divine Proportion, is based on the centuries-old notion that shapes with a proportion of 1:1.61803398874989 (also known as the Golden Ratio) are inherently pleasing. The tool overlays a pattern of lines and curves on your canvas to help you lay out your creations according to this theory. It would probably be a mistake to take Corel's claims for the option (which mention everyone from Da Vinci to Le Corbusier) too seriously. But used judiciously, the tool can help you create appealing compositions.
For dual-platform users, it's worth noting that the Macintosh version of Painter X, which is being released simultaneously, is the first one that runs as a native application on Intel-based Macs, so owners of those machines will see noticeably snappier performance than with Painter IX. Both Mac and Windows users will appreciate the fact that the package comes with more extensive printed documentation than the previous edition did.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Motorola Moto X Style review: A no compromise flagship
- 2 Oppo R7 Plus review: a stellar sub-$600 phablet
- 3 Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (9.7) 4G review: Samsung does a lot more with a lot less
- 4 Motorola Moto G (3rd gen) review: Is it worth an extra $100?
- 5 Jawbone UP3 review: 3 months with Jawbone's best fitness tracker
Deals on PC World
- Networking, Wireless & VoIP
Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Windows 10 growth slows, but breaks 100M device mark
- Google Photos’ big, helpful Android update goes live
- Microsoft’s Sydney store will open its doors on 12 November
- Tim Cook on Apple and Microsoft partnership: 'It's what customers want'
- Microsoft's Office 2016 intro guides are here, a week late and short on useful details
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
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.
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.
- FTDatabase Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTMid level IT consultant | Systems Integration & Managed ServicesNSW
- CCE-Commerce - Senior Web Application DeveloperNSW
- FTSystems Administrator | National commercial law firm | MS, AWS & eDiscoveryNSW
- CCMilitary simulation programmer with C# and Unity - 3 monthsNSW
- FTAccount Manager | Client Side - Previous Agency Experience Welcome!!NSW
- FT1st & 2nd level IT support all-rounder in beautiful rural BathurstNSW
- FTAccount Manager | Music IndustryNSW
- FTLevel 2 IT Support TechnicianVIC
- FTSales SpecialistNSW
- FTSenior Consultant | Project work | National Systems IntegratorVIC
- FTSystems Administrator - Managed ServicesNSW
- FTLinux Administrator with AWS & DevopsNSW
- FTField EngineerNSW
- FTBusiness Development & Account ManagementNSW
- FTAndroid DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Account Manager - PR AgencyNSW
- FTManual Test Engineer | Financial Institution | Web testingNSW
- FTProduct Marketing ManagerNSW