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Corel adds new brushes, performance boost to Painter 2016 illustration app

corel adds new brushes performance boost to painter  illustration software audio expression brush

The new Audio Expression brush reacts to sound, either from music being played in the background or from a music file. It affects the brush's size, angle, and color.

Corel Painter 2016 is out, and it comes with new brushes, streamlined workflow, and new performance features. If you’re an Adobe Photoshop user, Corel also introduced new brushes via a plugin called ParticleShop.

corel-painter-2016-boxNew features in Painter 2016 offer novel possibilities that were difficult or even impossible to accomplish previously, according to Corel. The list of new features and improvements is lengthy. Performance improvements include speed and stability enhancements. Corel made the brushes up to three times faster from the previous release, and nine times faster than Painter X3. Blending 2.0 means better blending across multiple layers and media types. You can now bring files over from Photoshop with the Adobe Photoshop Brush File Import tool, which transfers brush stamps of pixel-based Photoshop brushes and applies techniques native in Painter.

The user interface has new features including color options, a background color update, and enhanced document views. With new color options you can change the tone of photos and other works with dark, sepia, and frost effects, in addition to the default gray. Background color allows you to work with any color on the Painter wheel. Document Views allows users to change views from default to single document and presentation.

Corel is stressing its new brush technology, with four new improvements including Audio Expression; Dynamic Speckles; Special Media Mixing; and Paper and Flow Map Rotation. Audio Expression gives you brushes that react to sound from music played in the background or on the computer. Audio can modify the size, angle, and color variability of any brush. Dynamic Speckles use particle system physics and brush thickness control to splatter the pictures for a different look. Media Mixing offers new tools such as Liquid Ink, Watercolor, or Impasto to create more realism. Paper and Flow Map Rotation allows you to change the angle of the work and apply different brushstrokes to get the desired look for the file.

Dynamic Speckles brush. According to Corel: "Particle system physics combine with brush thickness control, allowing users to create luscious Natural-Media brushstrokes or splatters. Speckles in the brushstrokes are truly dynamic and are generated as the user paints."

Dynamic Speckles brush. According to Corel: “Particle system physics combine with brush thickness control, allowing users to create luscious Natural-Media brushstrokes or splatters. Speckles in the brushstrokes are truly dynamic and are generated as the user paints.”

There are also integrated learning tools that help you learn the features. A new Brush Hints tool provides context-sensitive brush suggestions, while Visual Tooltips provides illustrations. Content sharing has also been enhanced to help users export custom brushes, papers, patterns, and flow maps via a custom Toolbox file.

Painter 2016 is available for $429, or existing users can upgrade for $229.

Related: Adobe Creative Cloud 2015’s big update brings new tools, stock photo service, Android apps

Adobe Photoshop users can also get more brushstrokes from Corel. The company released ParticleShop, a brush plugin. The $50 plugin (plus $30 for brush packs) adds brushes with effects such as spring, flow, gravitate and glow. Users can add hair, fabric, fire, smoke, fur, dust, or lighting to photos using ParticleShop brushes. These effects can be added with less effort and time than currently available.

“Without ParticleShop, a designer on a tight deadline or a budget might not even attempt to bring these effects to life, but now it’s virtually effortless,” says Corey Barker, education and curriculum developer at KelbyOne, in a Corel statement.