Home Digital Art Review Corel Painter 2020 evaluation – Evaluation

Corel Painter 2020 evaluation – Evaluation

Corel Painter 2020 evaluation – Evaluation

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Corel Painter 2020 lastly tames the digital portray software program’s famously messy UI, and provides much-needed efficiency enhancements by means of GPU assist.

Corel Painter 2020 is now out there and after final yr’s model – known as Painter 2019 – launched a Darkish UI theme and efficiency enhancements, it appears to be like like Corel has determined to once more think about making the person expertise a key focus. This yr’s model – with subsequent yr’s title – brings improved brush choice, a revamped property bar, common color choice and color harmonies and a very massive deal: GPU acceleration.

At first look I wasn’t precisely overwhelmed with what was on supply with Painter 2020. I do really feel that these variations come spherical too typically and a few may very well be pushed out as updates moderately than making customers pay for upgrades – however I’ll admit to be being pleasantly shocked at simply how significantly better 2020 works. That is primarily all the way down to the brand new efficiency optimisations and the introduction of the brand new Brush Accelerator, which evaluates your system and applies the optimum settings to permit Painter one of the best efficiency out of your CPU and GPU.

Methods to use Corel Painter 2020’s Brush Accelerator

The Acceleration engine could be accessed from the Welcome display screen, beneath Preferences > Efficiency – in addition to for every brush within the Superior Brush Controls. You run it the primary time you open Painter after you improve to 2020 – although it’s price operating once more after any {hardware}, OS or graphics driver upgrades you put in in case they positively or negatively have an effect on efficiency.

First, you ensure shut off every other operating purposes, the hit Optimise Now. Painter runs a script that generates a big, new massive doc and proceeds to generate a bunch of brush strokes utilizing a big brush, enabling Painter to check your system. As soon as the take a look at is accomplished you get offered with a show telling you the way your machine fared.

You’ve an total rating, a bar telling you the way every element contributes to the efficiency, a sign of whether or not your system meets the really helpful spec after which one other breakdown on the important thing areas Painter appears to be like at.

The brand new model’s Brush Accelerator even makes Painter usable on an ageing pc, like this 2012 iMac. 

If you wish to take a look at out the brushes which were optimised to utilize the GPU, open the search from the toolbar and kind GPU. This may show a listing of brushes that can enable your GPU to assist course of brush strokes, making them sooner and extra responsive at bigger sizes.

You’ll be able to actually see the distinction this makes on massive brushes by turning off the acceleration through the efficiency palette beneath the superior brush controls, the comb lag is absolutely noticeable. It’s also possible to seek for AVX2 and multicore to view brushes which have these optimisations. For the time being not many legacy brushes can assist these new accelerations – it’s simply the stamp brushes – however hopefully down the road extra will be capable of make the most of the brand new system.

Taming Painter’s UI

Painter’s interface has all the time been a difficulty for artists attributable to its myriad of brush choices – and with every new model, Corel has seeked to streamline and enhance the person expertise, whereas nonetheless sustaining entry to the controls. 2020 isn’t any exception and right here Corel has made some adjustments that actually are helpful – although partly as a result of some previous variations have really made issues worse.

First up, the Property Bar now teams instrument choices into related sections: Stroke, Dimension, Opacity, Grain, Media and the like. All the pieces is a bit simpler to know and extra importantly the enhancements imply that there are extra choices and flyouts out there immediately from the Property Bar (under).

Which means much less display screen house is taken up by palettes and palette drawers, which you simply don’t want lots of the time. These flyouts themselves have mixed related properties. For example the brand new ‘grain’ group combines the paper grain choices together with papers and paper libraries and so they even have icons to show the related palettes as effectively.

Because the Property Bar is now context delicate, teams and icons all change relying on the comb you’ve got chosen. For instance, in case you’re utilizing an airbrush the property bar will show choices related to that class. Change to an oil brush and so they’re totally different once more.

The Property Bar additionally adjustments to show the properties for whichever instrument you’ve got chosen – whether or not a brush, choice, gradient or eraser.

This new Property Bar and the way it streamlines the UI is a large enchancment, every thing is much extra acceptable to what you’re working with making choices simpler to seek out and person pleasant.

You’ll be able to go a step additional and through the preferences flip off the Property Bar labels and the Brush Selector labels making it much more compact. That is nice for customers who’re already acquainted with Painter and don’t really want the labels.

Fewer superior controls – however that is a great factor

The Superior Brush Controls palette has additionally gotten an overhaul: with the brand new Property Bar displaying so lots of the choices the Superior Brush Management palette feels extra compact.

A brand new Form and Media part has been added, mirroring the Property Bar. This part toggles the related controls within the Superior Controls palette. There’s additionally a brand new Stroke Choices button within the Property Bar, the place you’ll discover properties that modify brush strokes resembling Mirror portray, Perspective grids and Align-to-path. This makes it far simpler to modify these choices on and off as you’re portray with out having to entry their respective instruments.

The Brush Selector (under, proper) has been improved. It now has a brand new stroke preview mode which reveals a greater view of the dab and stroke together with the title for every brush. This may be modified to point out roughly information by proper clicking and selecting an possibility: variant show / dab, listing, stroke or all variants.

The dab and stroke preview have been up to date to raised characterize the comb variant. The stroke reveals orange for blenders – a number of the stroke for mild blenders and many of the stroke for heavy blenders – and the dab preview appears to be like rather a lot higher. This preview is changed by an icon for the particle brushes and are particular to the kind of particle (eg move, gravity, spring).

In addition to the primary Brush Selector, which has been round for fairly a while now, there’s additionally a brand new Compact Brush Selector (above, left). This has been optimised to take up much less display screen house and could be docked or added to a palette drawer. It’s price noting that this may be made even smaller by proper clicking and selecting to point out a unique variant view (eg simply the dab icon or the stroke). You even have the choice of utilizing the total Brush Selector as a palette as effectively. Proper clicking on the Brush Selectors additionally offers you choices to import or export brushes and libraries, buy extra brushes, conceal the comb promotions and choose libraries.

A brand new ‘final used brush’ toggle button has been added to the properties bar, which is useful in case you’re going forwards and backwards between a few brushes. This may be assigned to a keyboard shortcut, pen or pill key/toggle or a customized palette command. The command is known as ’choose earlier variant’ and could be assigned from the Edit Preferences > Customise keys > Software Menus > Brushes.

It’s taken a while however now the eraser has turn into extra customisable. New dab profiles, measurement and opacity and different superior controls can all be saved for the default Eraser brush – excellent news for these utilizing the eraser on their Wacom pen!

Dodge and Burn instruments have additionally been improved and present considerably much less lag. With regards to brushes, two new brush classes have been added, Quick Ornate and Quick Easy. As you would possibly anticipate, each include brushes which were optimised to utilize any out there efficiency enhancements your system can supply and really feel notably responsive – even on an older machine.

Color picks

Together with the GPU assist, one other space that’s been given lots of consideration are the Color Choice instruments. Painter’s Color Wheel is now unified all through the applying – the Fill and Form instruments now have a wheel, sliders and swatches similar to the Color palette. A pleasant addition is that the primary color choice is now break up to point out the present and former color. That is actually helpful for making small changes to the color choice.

Color ramp sliders at the moment are in color – making them far more comprehensible. The sliders default to RGB however like most customers, but it surely’s preferable to modify the mode to HSV.

There’s a brand new compact Color palette, which takes up much less house than the default color palette – however even that has choices to show off the bits of the color palette you don’t want. You’ll be able to entry the compact color palette through Window > Color panels > Compact mode.

Compact mode is nice to make use of along side the Temporal Color Wheel, which I all the time have as a keybinding to the again button on my pen. The Temporal Color Wheel additionally will get a small replace with a menu button. This offers you choices over whether or not to have it pinned on-screen always or unpinned so it opens on command and closes whenever you’re carried out – plus to clone colors, swap fundamental or further colors, and possibility for left-handed customers so the choice isn’t hidden by the hand on show screens.

Color harmonies have been added. That is actually helpful. There are six totally different modes: defaulting to Complementary, however with choices for Analogous, Cut up, Tetradic, Monochromatic (mild and darkish) will also be proven. factor to recollect is that you could select a fundamental color then lock the concord, in case you don’t the colors will preserve altering to any new picked colors. Harmonies could be saved out and added to the color set libraries. I’ve discovered the monochromatic harmonies to be particularly helpful whereas working as they provide you fast entry to the values of your chosen color.

There have been some enhancements to the Layers palette which were a very long time coming to my thoughts. The context menu now presents you extra choices resembling flipping the canvas horizontally or vertically, clearing impasto, preserving transparency, pickup underlying color and creating layer masks. Preserving transparency and pickup underlying color at the moment are additionally out there through the Layers menu, with keyboard shortcuts additionally being out there for these two helpful instructions.

You’ll be able to (lastly) lock the canvas layer and even higher, you’ll be able to now not by chance paint on a hidden layer – why has this ever been a factor you are able to do?

A few different layers bugs have been addressed : copying and pasting with paste really coming prime of the energetic layer moderately than on the prime of the stack and hidden layers now not present up if you choose a number of layers and merge them collectively. So no extra hidden sketches or information layers showing within the merged flat picture.


All in all that is definitely probably the greatest upgrades we have seen to Corel Painter thus far. Admittedly a number of the enhancements really feel like they’ve been a very long time coming – but it surely’s nice that they’ve been made.

The efficiency updates are clearly a giant deal and every thing actually does really feel extra responsive – even older imported legacy brushes really feel higher (with a few tweaks). The Color Choice instruments, enhancements to the Layers workflow and new Brush Selector are all good however to my thoughts the applying as a complete has been enormously improved with the remodeling of the Property Bar.

Over time I’ve heard so many new customers complain about how sophisticated Painter is compared to different purposes – and to be honest, it’s. There’s a lot you’ll be able to regulate on 900+ brushes, all of the palettes and controls are a nightmare to a brand new person and even an current one.

With 2020 it seems like Corel has actually turned a nook and have given one of the best person expertise but – a lot in order that I’d suggest customers who’ve tried it earlier than and hated the interface to present it one other spin.

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