Corel’s Painter X; Photo Transformation Page 2

The graphic tablets most used by professionals are made by Wacom ( Their line of Graphire4 tablets offer 512 levels of pressure sensitivity and include both a pen and a mouse--which must be used on the tablet's surface. If you prefer, you can keep your regular mouse connected along with the graphic tablet. In the 4x5" size, they sell for under $100, while a 6x8" is priced under $200. Even larger sizes are available in Wacom's professional Intuos line, which offers 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity. On the pen, there's an eraser and a rocker switch for keyboard short cuts, and buttons on the Intuos tablets, called ExpressKeys and Touch Strips, give you fast access to more keyboard short cuts, scrolling, zooming, and brush size control. For the pen tip, you have a choice of three nibs for different effects. A 6x8" Intuos3 lists at under $330.

To transform a photo into a painting by hand, I began with this portrait of Mira and her daughters Sydney and Aria, 4.5x7" at 300 ppi.
For hand painting, set the palettes to their normal positions by choosing Window>Workspace>Default; then Window>Brush Controls> Show General.
Next, choose File>Quick Clone to create a new "clone" file which is a solid white background with a digital "tracing paper" overlay. You will draw or paint on this tracing paper so you can follow the outlines of the photo.
With the Smeary Camel Cloner brush, I drew strokes in the direction of the lines of the subject, reducing the brush size to paint in smaller details. Then, I used the Restoration palette to bring back detail in the faces for the final effect seen here.

What's New In Version X?
· The new RealBristle Painting System faithfully replicates the interaction between paint, canvas, and brush, reproducing the natural movement of bristles.

· For those who want to design around classical composition techniques, you can call on the new Divine Proportion composition tool, as well as preset and customizable Layout Grids. Session memory retains settings between sessions, including those for grid, tracker (history), and eraser.

· Corel claims significantly increased speed for start up, file opening and saving, as well as rendering.

· The enhanced Auto-Painting palette enables you to transform your photo into a painting automatically. Enlist the new Smart Stroke painting option to apply random paint strokes that vary in type, direction, and pressure while following the forms and shapes in your original photo.

· An improved Underpainting palette offers new predefined Color Schemes as well as new Photo Enhancement controls to modify hue, saturation, brightness, and contrast when preparing a photo for Auto-Painting.

· Dodge and Burn tools have been added to the toolbox.

· A new Match palette effect allows you to match color between two images and includes controls for color, brightness, and intensity.

· The new Universal Mixer palette now works with more brushes and gives better control over color blending between the Mixer palette colors and the canvas.

· A new Workspace Manager makes it easy to set up and switch between customized work spaces for specific tasks, such as working with photos, painting, or sketching.

· Color management has been simplified, with your initial settings being retained until you change them, and with support for ICC profiles.

· Making selections within layers is much improved, and the compatibility between Painter and Photoshop layers has been enhanced. Files saved in the Photoshop PSD format will now open in Painter X with layer masks, alpha channels, and layer groups maintained. On the Painter X side, layer grouping and combining has been improved, as has support for more layer Blend modes. Version X also supports Photoshop compatible plug-ins for Mac OS X.