Painter 4

COMPUTER SOFTWARE REVIEW  

526  words

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 
mapped imaging.

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 
over time. 

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 
possibilities.

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, 
from 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 
by itself.


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