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Platform: Mac OS
Amazon.com: Painter, the natural-media emulation tool for digital artists, has survived yet another ownership transition and is now up to version 7. The new owner, procreate, seems committed to the software: version 7 includes some important new features, numerous bug fixes, and compatibility with Mac OS X.
Any digital artist worth their salt is at least familiar with Painter. Painter has tools like no other image editing application, and it is capable of imitating watercolor, oil, crayons, markers, and pencil to a remarkable degree. Combined with a graphics tablet, a talented artist might never pick up a physical paintbrush again.
Painter 7 raises the stakes in natural-media emulation. The new Liquid Ink technology emulates thick paint on a surface, and the new watercolor layers are so realistic you'll worry that they'll drip down into your monitor.
Other enhancements include a continuous, variable zoom tool, total compatibility with Photoshop (including the ability to open and save layered PSD files), and perspective grids to act as an aid when drawing freehand objects.
Painter 7 is also OS X native, meaning it takes full advantage of the Aqua interface and opens in OS X without the need to start up Mac Classic OS 9. As of this writing, there are still some issues to be ironed out with Wacom's tablet drivers, which prevent Painter 7 from being pressure-sensitive, but it's still early in the OS X game.
Overall, Painter 7 offers numerous new and improved features, making it more than just a worthwhile upgrade. --Mike Caputo
- Power Mac G3 or faster processor
- Mac OS 8.6 or later, including OS X
- 64 MB RAM (128 MB for Mac OS X)
- 24-bit color display with 800 x 600 resolution (1024 x 768 for Mac OS X)
- Mouse or tablet
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