Way back in the early 90s, I got to test the first Windows version of what was known as Fractal Design Painter. Many people probably don’t realize that some of the programmers of Fractal Design Painter were also involved with Ventura Publisher. Here we are many years later and both products are owned by Corel. The sad news is that Corel only seems to realize they own one of the products.
This brings us to the announcement that Corel has released a new version of Painter, Corel Painter X. I’ve not yet had a chance to use the newest version, but I can tell you that anyone who has ever held a brush in their hands should be using Painter on their computer. If you want to get the most out of Painter, you should be using a Wacom Tablet. This can make it feel like you really have a brush in hand, with your strokes appear on your monitor instead of a canvas. This has been enhanced with support for even more of the tablets in Wacom’s product line and the RealBristle Painting System introduced in this release.
If you are working on one of the newer operating systems, you’ll also find that the new Painter X works on both Windows Vista and Mac OS X. There is also improved support for Adobe’s Photoshop PSD file format.
Best of all, the can is back! Painter was unique in that it shipped in a real paint can. For a short time users in North America can get Painter in a can again. This is still the best packaging I’ve ever seen for a software product.