Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I stumbled upon a nifty piece of software for doing natural media digitally. After having some frustration with Painter's stability, I thought I'd take a look around to see if there were any packages out there. I came across ArtRage. I was skeptical at first because of the price ($25). Then I started looking into the forums on their website and seeing what users were doing. I was blown away. I saw that one of the users actually uses both Painter and ArtRage and was kind enough to give me feedback on how they compared.
ArtRage is impressive in its ease of use and still able to deliver professional results. While it has a consumer price, the product quality and results go well beyond. The painting above was started with an image that came with the product. I spent almost no time in the manual or looking at the actual tutorial (just enough to figure out how to set up a tracing, which didn't take much!).
The programs tools have a nice feel. The choice of hot keys are user-friendly (I figured out all the major ones without resorting to reference). And even cooler is how the palettes get out of the way if your brush gets close to them. A small but nice feature is how the program opens up a document, ready to paint, without asking you questions first. Another nice touch is if you right-click, the only thing on your screen is the painting, all other distractions are gone. Best of all... it was fun!