PaintShop Pro 2019 is more well-rounded with 360 compatibility, speed boost

Corel’s Photoshop competitor PaintShop Pro is getting both new tools and a performance boost. On Thursday, August 9, Corel launched PaintShop Pro 2019, an update to the popular photo editor that expands creative tools, enhances performance and simplifies usability. Among the changes are new 360 photo editing support and an artificial intelligence tool that mimics classic painting styles.

The 360 photo support adds a handful of features unique to immersive photography. A tripod removal tool, for example, allows editors to select a tripod (or even a drone) to remove it from the image. A straightening tool is also included. 

PaintShop Pro 2019 can also convert a 360 photo into different formats. Tiny Planet wraps the view around a sphere, Rabbit Hole inverts that sphere or editors can convert the image into a panorama. The conversion tools allow for dragging the field of view or altering the aspect ratio. PaintShop Pro’s adjust and effects menu can also be used with 360 photos.

Along with the 360 photo compatibility, the update brings what Corel calls Pic-to-Painting. The tool uses artificial intelligence to convert the image into a style of painting, popularized by mobile apps like Prisma. Users choose a painting style and adjust the strength — the effect then becomes a new layer on the image, allowing for additional edits. Pic-to-Painting is a free plug-in available for the 2019 software, a decision that Corel says was made to keep the footprint of the program small.

The updated features come with faster performance for existing tools, including crops, cloning, and the One-Step Photo Fix. Corel says that the update focuses on improving performance for the most used tools. The update also enhances 4K stylus support, adds support for more stylus and graphics tablets, and includes support for over 100 new RAW file types.

The performance updates and new tools join enhancements to the program’s usability. The crop workflow is enhanced with four new shortcuts in a toolbar above the crop tool. The custom content including plug-ins, brushes and other third-party content also automatically updates with from older versions of the software, by up to three versions. Users can also change the font size on the user interface.

“PaintShop Pro 2019 is absolutely the Photoshop alternative — we have a number of different photo editing tools, it’s absolutely affordable, and it’s subscription free which we will maintain,” Chris Pierce, the senior product manager for photography programs at Corel, said in a statement. “And it’s packed full of features.”

PaintShop Pro 2019 is available for about $80, or bundled with PhotoMirage Express, Painter Essentials, Perfectly Clear 3.5 SE, Corel AfterShot3 and Creative Collection for $100. Existing users can upgrade for $60 for PaintShop Pro only, or $80 to upgrade the bundle.

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