COMPUTER SOFTWARE REVIEW
Title: Painter 4; Developer/Publisher Fractal
Design Corporation; US$549.00
Reviewer: Raymond Saint Arnaud,"For the visual
artist who wants to produce work electronically
while maintaining contact with tradition, Painter 4
is in a class by itself."
Painter 4, is in a class by itself
Painter 4 is software I've secretly desired for several
years. I only knew of its capabilities by reputation.
I've used various image editing and illustration programs,
but felt they missed something for that extra edge.
Having waited as Painter went through its various
releases has probably lengthened my learning curve,
and heightened my anticipation, but it certainly was
worth waiting for.
Painter 4's basic premise is to offer in a computer,
Natural Media drawing tools that duplicate the look
of traditional painting and drawing instruments. Fine
artists, graphic artists, designers, multimedia
developers and web page designers can reduce
their painting studios to the size of a desktop.
Painter 4 also mimics the feel of canvas and art papers
through a varied texture library. The combination of tool
and texture allows the artist to produce work that rivals
the look of any traditional media .
Painter 4 occupies a unique position in the imaging
market. It offers the users of image editing software
capabilities to expand their repertoire of effects
in many directions.
Because Painter 4 also incorporates the use of vector
or bezier graphics, it acts as a bridge between the
users of vector based illustration software and bit
Painter 4 was the first product to offer floating selections
and is able to interact with PhotoShop 3.0 Layers. The
great advantage of layers or floating selections is that
it allows the artist to manipulate selections independently
Prior to floaters, the artist had to save multiple copies
and versions of all current files until the end of the project.
The saving in disk space and the release from the
confusion of multiple files with similar names and slight
differences in imaging is a great blessing.
A new feature in Painter 4 is Mosaic. It allows the artist
to create the look of tile mosaics. The artist has a choice
of working from a photograph or drawing or to simply
paint with mosaic tiles. There is some clever programming
here and I found it to be quite entertaining. Once the novelty
of Mosaic wears off, I think it will offer some interesting
The Internet has not been forgotten. Painter 4 supports
Image maps for Web page creation. Image maps incorporate
"hot spots" that link with other pages or objects.
Net Painter is an astounding feature that permits multiple users
to collaborate in the creation of an image over any network,
including the Internet. Aside from collaboration, it literally opens
a door to the world for an artist to work for a client anywhere,
I have to comment on the Painter 4 Tutorial and manual. I found
both to be clear and consistent. I particularly like the fact that
the authors always give you the complete "address" for a
function or feature throughout the manual.
Painter 4 shares features found in image editing programs
(Adobe PhotoShop, Micrographic Picture Publisher) and
with vector based illustration programs (Corel Draw, Adobe
Illustrator, Macromedia Freehand). It also offers features
these other classes of imaging programs cannot duplicate.
For the visual artist who wants to produce work electronically
while maintaining contact with tradition, Painter 4 is in a class
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