Painter 11-Thanks Corel...

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  02 February 2009
Thank you for the tip...

Originally Posted by ubermensch76: If u want sketching stuff ( not at the level of painter but pretty neat ) u might want to try the upcoming version of sketchbook pro 2010. From the preview vids its looks like an awesome tool for skteching and roughing things out fast. Some innovative features I had wanted in 2d apps for a long time for professional Digital Artists.

... and headed straight over
  02 February 2009
Mmm, not bad :)

1)Now multi-layered PSD-s images sived with normal one-layer preview image - that means two sweet things: now, then you save multi-layer PSD from painter, you can see it in ACDsee (or anwer image viewer) - no blank white image! And second - there no stupid PREVIEW.PIX files, that old versions of painter generates all time you save layered PSD.
2)FINALLY! Color weel now resizeble -
3)Now option "Draw zoomed-out views using area avergaging" is enabled by default - YEAH, in 2009 year Painter able to make anti-aliasing! Amazing! PS. That options works fine since painter 9.x, in 10-10.1 versions it cause artifacts then enabled, in 6-7-8 versions it wont work if you enable it.
4)10% less kittens!

1)Still painter v6 engine :( - that means nothing seriosly changes, and painter still CANT use more than 1 gb RAM - you can have 16 gb in your system, but painter will swap on HDD after reaching 1 gb RAM limit. You can check it

2)No GPU support... no multhi-tread cpu support... its realy old engine - and still 32 Undo's limit

Anyway - i prefer "SAI paint tool" for drawing ^____^. Painter just for evil brushes or natural media sometimes.

Last edited by Lex4art : 03 March 2009 at 09:50 AM.
  03 March 2009
Personally, I rarely see a product try to cater to both hobbyists and professionals at the same time and still succeed, but I think it's a blurry line when it comes Corel's attempt to cater to the photographers who want to create pseudo-paintings from their photos for clients who want a more painterly look. Obviously, professional photographers are also professionals, except they aren't professional painters, so they need a tool that can allow them to mimic the look of paintings with their photographs, as there is a demand for that style from clients. Whether that form of photography is artistically valid or not is not something anyone can really say with absolute authority, so Corel simply provides the easiest to use tools for it. I can understand their decision to do so, as Corel is first and foremost a business, and they are in it to make a profit.

As for not getting past bugs fixed or adding much requested features, I'm guessing that if we were to get their programmers in here and ask point blank, it's probably due to the difficulty level. I know nothing about the codes behind Painter, so I have no idea if fixing things or adding things would require significant rewrite of the code base. Sometimes software products eventually paint themselves into a corner and cannot evolve any longer because the code is simply too archaic and inefficient for today's operating systems and hardware (after all, the original versions weren't coded for today's OS and hardware). Sometimes a total rewrite is required if the product were to continue to compete in the marketplace, sometimes the company gives up and make it free or open-source, and sometimes they just kill it and forget about it. I don't know if anyone outside of Corel can reliably know where Painter is at and how far it can still go. I do know that there are a few alarming signs, and I've been quite vocal about my personal issues with Painter in the past, and I've done my best to make them known to Corel by either posting about them publicly, adding them to official feature request lists, and actually discussing them with Corel directly. As of now, the answer has been that the problems relevant to my workflow are too hard to fix or not part of their priority according to their place in the market.

I haven't tried 11 yet, but I will soon when I find the time. Can those of you who have tell me if they fixed the most grating problem for professional artists--the way transparent pixels are treated as white color when you blend on another layer without checking the "pick up underlying color"? That is the number issue for me, as professional artists very often must keep as many different things on separate layers as possible--to be able to shuffle them around and edit them at will. Being forced to use "pick up underlying color" negates any benefits gained from having separate layers. The best example is if I want to keep a character's hair on a separate layer so that I can easily change the background behind the hair strands later if I wanted to, or simply change the hair itself to different color or contrast/value. Now, if I wanted to paint soft feathered strands of hair, I must use a brush with some kind of bleed or blend--that's when I run into the problem. If I check "pick up underlying colors," my separate layer of hair becomes useless because now it contains some of the background as well.

I don't program so I have no idea if it's even possible to fix the white as transparent pixel problem. In Photoshop, since there's no actual blending going on between the layers, when you use the smudge tool, you are only altering the pixels on that layer--but what that allows is for you to fake a blend, feather, soften, without any artifacts. It's not totally ideal if you want a realistic wet-on-wet solution, but it's still better than nothing. I wish Corel could at least implement that as an alternative so we can use it if we want, instead of having to use Photoshop to get it.

Last edited by Lunatique : 03 March 2009 at 05:41 AM.
  03 March 2009
Unfortunately, that 'white pixels for transparent layer' is still a problem.

I also noticed these white pixels appearing around the edge of the canvas using blending tools (something I can't remember seeing in Painter X).
Home -
Sketchbook thread
  03 March 2009
Thumbs down Corel Programming

In response to "Lunatique":
I do believe you're being too kind. First and foremost, because Corel has a "hobbiest" version (from their website): Painter Essentials 4 - "Transform photos into stunning paintings".

I have no problem with them adding that feature into Painter "Pro". I DO have a problem if that is the only part of the program that they are working on, considering the huge number of user complaints re: bugs, and not taking the time to update their GUI to 2009 standards, or make Painter work with modern, new computers and tech.

Re: GUI - I as well no one here has asked them to redesign their GUI to look like PS, or any other for that matter. However, it HAS been agreed on I think unanimously, that there are areas that they should... and if I must say personally...MUST... fix and/or improve upon.

Re: Programming - certainly I believe it is a time consuming and demanding task. However, THAT is their business, just as creating illustrations is yours and mine. We do our utmost to deliver thoroughly professional jobs, at a competitive price. Why should we not hold a software company to those same principles?

As I mentioned in a previous post, when I go through my tool box on my Mac, the ONLY program that stands out as NOT being up-to-date technologically... is Painter.

Corel has shown with it's other products, that they CAN do a new GUI on an existing core engine... again, see Painter Essentials. Only difference is that they decided to cripple the version, so as to up-sell to Painter "Pro". From a management and program perspective, a totally stupid implementation, because the GUI in Essentials and Painter are completely different, and will seriously confuse someone when switching i.e. start over learning the Painter "Pro" version.

Good GUI Example: let's take Pixelmator.
Started in 2007 by 2 brothers. Appears to be about 6-7 additional contributing programmers on their team. In 2 years time, that small team has built a serious, low-cost (~$60,00) alternative to the almighty PhotoShop, that does elegantly, 90% of what a lot people do with PS or PS Elements. 100% Mac native and Photoshop compatible. NOTE: if you don't know already, Painter was developed first and foremost for the Mac... I believe in '87. Emulating, to an extent, the GUI guidelines from Apple, is not a bad thing for PC programs geared towards the graphics industry and future tech.

Yes, it is apparent that I use a Mac... HOWEVER, some of the deficiencies and inefficient GUI problems, are also on the PC side, where I also worked from '99-2004 (84-99 and 2004-present Mac). It will only become worse, as we have already heard from posters working on Vista 64, soon to be Win7.

Painter the program, is not the problem. It being in the hands of Corel...IS!
Set it free. Sell it, give it away, invite other innovative programmers to take over development... whatever. But PLEASE do not let it die or stagnate, until the day where we can no longer even install it because we are using a post-WinXP operating system and modern, new computer.

We as users have tried to help Corel:
with wish lists; bug fixes, tricks, workarounds and help; volunteer, user-contributed forums for newbies, like this one here, etc. THEY have refused to respect us by at least giving us a stable base to work from (Painter); have NOT even scratched off the Top 10 most posted about bugs and/or GUI problems; and continue to shyster us out of our money for half-baked new "versions"... which in truth are almost always just an "update"... that tend to break more things than it fixes. (Almost 4x what those brothers want for the whole program? - for an "upgrade"?!)

PS: Take a look at the Pixelmator site only as an example... and dream what Painter COULD work and look like... or what those 2 guys could do with the Painter engine.

PSS: Calling John Derry and Original Painter Team: "Remember way back, when you were those guys? Wouldn't it be great to experience your youth again?!"! Hint-Hint
  03 March 2009
Well, obviously as the Forum Leader for this particular corner of cgtalk, I'm obligated to be diplomatic about these things. I tried to put thing as nicely as I can, but I'm sure you can read between the lines and feel my frustration--one that's been there for years. I do feel that venting anger may not help the situation when you are the minority voice, but at the same time, if enough people start venting their anger and disappointment, it'll serve as a wake-up call to the company, as the evident danger of losing user base becomes real. This happens when the user base gives up on a company, but I'm not sure if we're quite there yet--at least I don't think the majority feels that way. I don't mind negative comments here--that's why I rarely ever step in and moderate when people starts venting and bashing Corel. As long as it's done in a civilized and constructive manner that's in accordance with cgtalk's general policies, I'm fine with it. Companies NEED negative feedback to understand why the user base is unhappy.

Last edited by Lunatique : 03 March 2009 at 10:51 AM.
  03 March 2009
My issues with this situation run along roughly the same lines as ThePixelDoc's.

First off, I have developed software for 20 years and although I've never developed painting software, and I've no idea what Painter code is like, I'd take a bet that most of the bugs that have been mentioned in the past few years could be fixed inside a couple of weeks. Many don't even involve the brush engine, which I imagine is prohibitively complex, rather basic stuff like toolbar management, resizing windows, changing an icon, making a preview window bigger than a postage stamp.

As for alpha and beta testing, heaven above knows what went on there. Within 5 seconds of opening a canvas I - and many others - found that the artefact bug effectively rendered the software unusable.

Bugs aside, the other thing that gets me is where the clearly limited development effort is being centred. Painter is a Natural Media Painting Tool. Its purpose is to simulate various forms of painting as accurately as possible using digital software.

Yet instead of these - admittedly excellent - core functions being purged of bugs and developed further, effort seems to have been spent on developing "fun" functions to better trace a photograph amongst other things of no use to serious digital painters. What is the reasoning behing this?

Is it a drive to recruit the hobbyist market in the knowledge that there's no viable competition for natural media software and serious users don't have much choice but to stick with Painter? Well, maybe so, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone out there is working - right now - on a dedicated oil / watercolour / pencil similation package that has a fraction of the features of Painter but is solid and stable and absolutely dedicated to doing what 90% of Painter users want - pure simulation of natural media. No animation, no tracing, no magic instant pictures, no one-click wonder filters, no farting around - just painting. And if that happens, and Corel has not got focused, then Painter will die overnight.

Now that's absolute last thing I want. As I've said I've used Painter for years - and nothing else - and I love it. I've supported and promoted Painter and regularly sing its praises and even after all this I'll continue to do so, but when I see such ill-advised asshattery going on it's incumbent upon me to speak out and hope that this time, Corel takes note.
  03 March 2009
A bit of nostalgia; Mark Zimmer interview (1996). The audio is in Real Player format.

  03 March 2009
Indeed I never could figure out what is Painter's Focus for the past couple of releases ?
  03 March 2009
I'm under the impression that the hobbyist and photographer market is probably a lot bigger than you guys think it is. In fact I think it's probably a misconception that the professional artists are the majority of the user base. The professional artists and their endorsement of the software add an air of prestige, and I'm sure Corel welcomes that kind of publicity since the hobbyists will follow the professionals they look up to, however, evidence points out that the hobbyists and photographers appear to dominate the user base of Painter, or at least make up a sizable chunk--enough so that Corel has to cater to them in a significant way--perhaps at the cost of putting features needed by serious professionals on the back burner. This is only my own speculation though.

I have told Corel time and time again (when I had direct line to their engineers and managers) that IMO, Painter must try to match Photoshop in the areas of toolset, ease of use, reliability, power, and workflow, because at this point many people need to use both Photoshop and Painter because their strengths are mutually exclusive. I warned that, if one day Adobe decides that the market for natural media simulation has become lucrative enough, they will assign manpower to R&D that area, and as soon as Photoshop comes out with its own toolset for natural media, Painter's share of the market will rapidly shrink until the same fate that has befallen Deep Paint 2D will happen to them. The answer to that has always been that Adobe is not interested in that market because all the other markets that need Photoshop are far bigger in comparison, and Corel has no intention of competing with Adobe at all because they want to concentrate on natural media and most of Photoshop's tools are aimed at Photographers. I don't necessarily agree with that because as we all know, an artist is just as capable to turning out stunning paintings in Photoshop as he is in any other 2D software, including Painter, and those so-called Photographer's tools are one of the main reasons why Photoshop is awesome for 2D artists in general--those powerful editing tools are one of the main advantages of doing digital art in the first place!

Truth is, for any half-way decent artist that understands the principles of surface polish (brushwork, line quality, textures), they can use Photoshop and make a painting that looks very organic--as organic as anything that they can do in Painter. Maybe not the same kind of media emulaition, but nonetheless very organic and natural (Look at Craig Mullin's work--his Photoshop pieces are in no way any lesser than his Painter pieces). But you cannot say the reverse about Painter--it cannot handle image editing nearly as well as Photoshop, and very often in a digital workflow, the editing tools are the straws that will break the camel's back, not the brushes. I can do any piece of artwork 100% in Photoshop, including all kinds of editing and post processing, but I cannot do a piece of artwork 100% in Painter because I would have to boot up Photoshop at some point to finish it.

If an artist doesn't take full advantage of the flexibility that digital affords him, he might be fine with Painter, since much of his workflow still revolves around traditional methods and mentality, but for cutting-edge artists that really push the envelop with their innovative workflow that utilize the full capacity of today's 2D software, Painter still has a ways to go. Whether they ever get there remains to be seen.

For the moment, Painter is still the best software out there for natural media simulation, and that's what I'll continue to use it for, and tag team Painter with Photoshop. I really wish I could just stick to one software that has everything I need though, and I don't really care which company makes it happen. I guess it's kind of like the 3D market--you often have to use more than one software to get things done--Maya, Zbrush, Motionbuilder...etc.

Last edited by Lunatique : 03 March 2009 at 02:40 PM.
  03 March 2009
Originally Posted by Lunatique: I'm under the impression that the hobbyist and photographer market is probably a lot bigger than you guys think it is. In fact I think it's probably a misconception that the professional artists are the majority of the user base.

Yup, I think you might be right, Certainly in my experience, in the various forums Painter that I visit, the hobbyist and photographer are by far the majority; whether they are more vocal or that most professional "Painter" illustrators are too busy to join forums, is anybody's guess.
  03 March 2009
Originally Posted by agiel: Add to that :
- the same funky color banding issues when painting or blending over a transparent layer

That is still in there? My god! I thought that would have been fixed in a point update for V9.

OK, so a lot of hobbyist use the program... do they not want layers to work properly?

I can't bring myself to upgrade until that is fixed or there is a "summon beautiful woman" button!
  03 March 2009
I think that if we want to get Corel to address the issues that we professional artists have with Painter, we may have to do some work and promote our cause among the hobbyists and photographers--to make them understand why these features are important and why these bugs are unacceptable. Many of them probably never use the same features we use, and vice versa, and we may have to introduce our workflow to them and maybe they'll see the value in our workflow and begin to pester Corel with us.
  03 March 2009
Sorry to go off on a tangent, but w/the reality of P11 being so, so far short of what us professionals here thought even half would be included w/this product update, and the Photoshop talk here....

... I gotta ask:

Like Simon, I do 100% of my painting in Painter —yet I am stunned what I see coming out of hardcore PS illustrators -- I just about literally don't know how they do it. Painting in PS seems so awkward to me (I use PS on every assignment to do the image editing, composting, and know my way around pretty well), but I am so green when it comes to painting in PS. Picking colors even seems awkward (nothing as friendly as the P color wheel, right?), changing brushes is not as friendly, right? It just seems clunky for this -- but am I clueless? (Speaking of "clunky", I have bought Adobe Illus CS4, wow this vector stuff, talk about foreign!... as I am "teaching" myself)

I have a dumb question like, can you work on different " papers" in PS? Do they have brushes that pick up this texture (it seems to me the certain brushes impart the texture only, not related to the canvas paper, right)? Does PS have adjustable color variability on strokes like P? I am told the adjustment on brush tools is very limited compared to P, true?
Does PS CS4 have a leap in the brush engine over CS3 (my current version).

Is there a book one can recommend to an experienced user of P and PS (but not in painting in PS)? Example the Painter "Wow" series really do shine in getting "devil in the details" hints to self motivated Painter uses into messing and tweaking w/stuff they might not be ware of in Painter.

Thanks. It's really too bad the P11 version has fallen so short of what many of us were realistically looking for. Right, the white when painting on a layer is a pretty symbolic issue. There is really a good discussion going on here in a couple of threads in regard to P11. Corel could/should glean a lot... as way way too much was left on the table, not including the software is not even working right (wow, like Simon, I find it unusable). Total buzzkill... as we want to be champions/apostles of Painter, not tomato throwers.

  03 March 2009
Talking “Summon a Beautiful Woman” button.... reference to the Avatar picture, and in reply to Lanatique's comment:
I believe that you are correct in your assumption re: hobbyists, photogs and "pro illustrators". However... and not to belittle your in-depth argument, I will repeat: Corel has 2 distinct products already, one that specifically claims to be for photogs. and hobbyists. Let them go with that approach, and more power to them if the succeed. But at this point, they are both completely different worlds. Once they do move up to the “pro” version, as The Baron so eloquently (what a luscious prose!) questioned: do they not want Layers or transparency to work correctly?

I definitely like your choice of words regarding the “Tag Team” approach of working between PS and Painting, because it definitely is a pugilistic blood-bath at the moment. I would love to see the day when at the very least we could replace “Tag-Team” with Tango. There will always be the need for PS. Adobe surely has us all by the... well, whatever Painter, as you’ve pointed out to them... not so. Some of the time-saving improvements to PS CS4 are straight out of Painters “play book”: dynamic resizing of brushes and rotatable canvas... and one thing I suggested to Corel even before CS4 came out, that is Zoom Snap-Back.

I’m just happy that other people care about the program and take a minute to post. As you can see here, it doesn’t seem that a lot of pros care, are even bother anymore, considering a long 3-year line of fiasco-upgrades from Corel. More and more I see that Photoshop is the only prog used for the multitude of masterpieces here at CG. Could be that Corel has already lost their “pro” market. A sad shame.

About that Beta: I went to sign up for it a couple of months ago. However, I was unable to because Corel’s website refused to recognize Firefox or Safari as a valid browser, and went so far as to “suggest” I use Internet Explorer 4 - 6(!). Simply: I said forget about it. BTW: It was only recently that their main website was half usable.

Not sure where that company is heading, but it doesn’t look pretty or reassuring on a lot of fronts... or sites. I’m sure there are some good people working there, but where’s the leadership, vision, innovation, and management? Looks like only Bean-Counters and Marketing gurus to me.

I’ve said my mind, prodded Corel, yelled (in capitals) at certain people here and at PaintedFactory (my apologies again), and made myself out to be an old capital “A”-___.

I do believe I’ll take a break as well, until that “Summon a Beautiful Woman” button is added (love that one!!!) in Painter and not just here... or see what the new version of SketchBook 2010 comes up with. Just sad though.

PS: Thanks “Sand Dragon” for the great link to the Mark Zimmer interview! I’ve mentioned ColorStudio in a number of my posts. I demoed/presented the software here in Germany at CeBit in March,1990 for the lone authorized distributor here. Nostalgia: do you realize ColorStudio 1.0 had Bezier Tools and Paths, Shapes, Clipping Paths, 3 point Gradients... among other things... BEFORE a Wacom tablet or PhotoShop 1.0 existed? I'm friggin' old!

Is there no wonder we (I) expect more today?

PSS: I just finoished listening to the Mark Zimmer interview, and must make a correction: Wacom tablets did "exist" in 1989.... however, here in Europe they appeared on the scene in late 1990, when I bought my first one. Set me back almost 1000,00 DM (roughly the same in dollars) for an ADB A5, for my Mac IIfx.

I would suggest that Corel listen to this interview as well, especially the comment at the end regarding redevelopment/reprogramming/updating parts of the program to take advantage of the technology at hand. The part regarding GUIs is also most interesting.

I would like to hear what Mark or John Derry think today regarding the current state of Painter. I may ask for an interview... or considering that Kai Krause (KPT fame) lives in a castle a few kilometers away, possibly seeing about an "audience" with the Master. Now there was a nutty GUI designer!

Last edited by ThePixelDoc : 03 March 2009 at 07:14 PM.
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