Another year, another release of Corel Painter. The new version is packed with new features that guarantee jaw dropping awesomeness. There just seems no limit to Corel’s ambition to develop an application that is meant to create digital art that looks like the real thing. Combined with the newest Wacom Intuos Pro and its amazing natural feel, Painter 2018 is for digital artists to drool over.
SketchBook Pro users enjoy a whole year of improvements and new features even, for a price of about €30/year. A few months ago, Autodesk’s sketch app was upgraded to version 8, which comes with textured brushes, a new predictive stroke and direct access to brush libraries created by leading professionals. I checked out if the new stuff is worth the subscription money.
When I reviewed the Wacom Intuos Pro Paper edition in May, a question kept nagging in the back of my head: why would you want to draw or sketch a draft on a paper sheet that you clip onto a digitising tablet like the Intuos Pro Paper edition? I did a bit of testing myself and came to the following conclusions.
Compatible with a huge range of iOS devices, Adonit’s Pixel Bluetooth-enabled iOS stylus delivered on its promise of unparalleled precision, better tip drag and pressure sensitivity for comfortable and accurate drawing. I tested with my iPad Air 2.
Wacom’s new Intuos Pro graphics tablet is the thinnest since the company started selling graphics tablets many years ago. Wacom sells its professional line of tablets most often to graphics designers and photographers, but I managed to put it to good use with mocha Pro and Motion as well. The experience led me to try to use the newest Intuos Pro with Final Cut Pro X, my goal being to use it as a poor man’s control surface. For my tests, Wacom kindly sent me a large Paper Edition model.
Palette, a smal Australian company of enthusiasts, develops the Cube Portable Color Digitizer, a small, white cube-shaped scanner that stores up to 20 colours in its internal memory and helps designers and artists find matching colours. A smartphone/tablet app and/or macOS/Windows desktop app complete the offering.
OmniGraffle has been and is for creating precise graphics such as website wireframes, electrical systems, family trees, presentation diagrams and maps of software classes. Everyone from professional artists and designers to casual data mappers and beginning diagrammers will find something gratifyingly new in OmniGraffle 7. I had the opportunity to review the Pro version.
Corel has added more features to Painter 2017 without turning the app into bloatware. The interface has been improved as well. Most Painter artists will want to check out the new version as it has much appeal.
Hydra, the HDR app by Creaceed, has been upgraded to version 4. It has been optimised for Metal, has a new easy-to-use translucent user interface, and comes with an excellent automatic image alignment system. It offers less brilliant manual image alignment, and removal of ghosting artefacts, both with a region delineation tool. In addition, Hydra 4 works with a highly accurate 128-bit internal format.
Creating 3D models can be quite challenging. Applications like Cinema 4D and Maya are all-round 3D apps. They allow you to create 3D worlds and animations that can be used just as effectively in a game as in a presentation or blockbuster movie. Strata Design 3D CX 8.1.0, the Winter 2015-2016 release I got to review, is more focused on presenting 3D model design — objects, products, architecture, interior design... — in the most realistic and efficient way. The app has a learning curve, but it sure isn’t as steep as Maya’s or Cinema 4D’s.