Originally posted on 22 June 2021. Scroll down for news of native M1 support.
Corel has released Painter 2022, the latest update to its natural media digital painting software, overhauling Painter’s watercolor system.
The release also improves brush performance and brush selection workflow, and adds new options for customising stamp-type brushes, plus a number of user-requested workflow features.
Watercolor paint can now interact with dry media like chalk
Key changes in Painter 2022 include an overhaul of the software’s watercolor workflow, similar to that for the thick paint system in Painter 2021.
The update makes a wider range of brushes compatible with watercolor paint layers, making it possible to combine watercolor with dry media like chalk.
It is also now possible to transform watercolor layers without having to convert them to default layers first.
Improvements to brush selection and customisation
The other changes are mainly workflow updates, particularly for brush selection and organisation, with Painter’s previously unwieldy set of brush libraries now consolidated into a single library.
The change reduces the total number of brushes available from over 1,000 to around 600 – the legacy brushes are still available to download – and organises them more intuitively.
Users can also now Favorite brushes for quick access, and filter favorites by brush type.
There is also a new brush Size Library panel, making it possible to pick brush sizes visually. Users can customise its layout by adding, deleting or reordering preview images.
Stamp-type brushes have also been overhauled, with new options for customising their shape, plus jitter reduction, support for anti-aliasing, and better interaction with the grain of underlying surfaces.
The process of importing or exporting custom brushes in .abr, .png or .jpg format has also been streamlined.
User-requested changes to the Navigator and to layer workflow
Painter 2022 also includes a number of user-requested changes, including a new grayscale preview option in the Navigator, making it easier to check the tonal values of an image.
Changes to layer workflow include a ‘spotlight layer’ option that shows the layer selected in isolation, making it easier to work with complex documents, and new Color Burn and Color Dodge blending modes.
Further improvements to painting performance, but no native support for Apple Silicon yet
As in other recent Painter updates, painting performance has been improved, with enhanced cover methods, used for dry media and blender brushes, now “up to 50x faster”.
The eraser system and 10 further brush engines are “up to 2x faster”.
However, one user-requested change that hasn’t made it into the release is native support for Apple Silicon: Painter 2022 still runs using the Rosetta translation system on Macs with Apple’s new M1 processors.
Corel told us that a M1-native version of Painter will follow as a free update in “fall 2021”.
Updated 3 November 2021: Corel has updated Painter 2022 to support M1 processors natively.
According to Corel, overall brush engine performance is “up to 4.7x” faster on Macs with M1 processors, compared to when running under Rosetta.
The update is free to users with M1 Macs, by uninstalling the software and reinstalling the latest build.
Pricing and availability
Painter 2022 is available for 64-bit Windows 10 and macOS 10.15+. New licences cost $429. Upgrades from any previous edition of Painter cost $229. Subscriptions cost $19.99/month or $199/year.
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