Recreating Reality with Corel's New Tools

By Rob Enderle August 11, 2015

On Monday, Corel launched two new products, Painter and ParticleShop (a plug -in product that enhances their PaintShop Pro product and other offerings like Photoshop).  In all cases, these are products that allow us to alter the reality in what we can take with a photograph, or simply our imaginations, and create something that is photorealistic - but that never actually did, or often could, happen in real life.  I think more of us could have fun with this class of product and in the context of this release let’s talk about that. 

Altering Reality

These latest products from Corel are particularly good with difficult items to deal with realistically like hair, fire, fir, smoke and magic.   Yes I said magic.  With Painter as a standalone product or ParticleShop as a plug-in, you can now easily draw these elements - vastly enhancing and changing what your audience sees.  Want to show longer hair, you just paint it without having to individually paint each hair, want to show a haunted scene or recreate something from Harry Potter but with your kid as the lead magician, you just add the magic with simple blush strokes. 

While the talented artist has been able to create these things for some time, the process is lengthy, requires a great deal of skill, and apparently wasn’t worth the effort otherwise a lot more of us would have had far more amazing Christmas pictures without having to dress our relatives or pets up in silly costumes and deal with their objections before they see the cards while we are safe in the Bahamas. 

Computer Performance

Much of the reason we can even use tools like this today is because PC performance has come so far. We can now get a Windows tablet like Surface which can run applications like this and have the stylus accuracy to make it all work and monitors with stylus and touch capability have been coming down in price as well if we want to push the envelope a bit in terms of how fast we can do things.  Of course we can fall back on using a mouse or a tablet digitizer but there is really nothing quite like being able to draw on the medium that you are creating or editing. 


So with the range of hardware available to us the capabilities have never been more powerful and this could lead us into getting into all kinds of trouble, or out of it. 

New Ways to Create

Painter has a couple new ways to create that deserve special mention.  One is that there is an audio expression feature that alters the brushes in response to sound.  You can basically draw in your favorite tune as your brush changes size, angle, and color in synchronous response to what you are listening to.  There are other features like Dynamic Speckles, Special Media Mixing, and Paper and Flow Map Rotation which are currently beyond my skill set but that potentially add even more realism. 

In the end, this tool can result in some rather amazing pictures and while you can get going rather quickly, the more time you spend with it the better you are likely to become. 

Wrapping Up:

It is kind of amazing how far we have come in terms of digital tools like this in the last decade.  It used to be that you needed a professional to create something that even came close to looking real and now a novice like me can do some rather impressive things with just a little bit of concerted training.  I expect we can also get in quite a bit more trouble as we draw loved ones and friends into rather embarrassing situations that look real but never occurred in real life. 

After playing with these tools for a while, I’d recommend starting with PaintShop ($55 on Amazon for Ultimate) and adding the plug-in for ParticleShop ($50 on Amazon) once you are comfortable with your skill set. Then, advancing to Painter ($430 on Amazon) as you exceed capabilities in the base product - otherwise you are likely to become overwhelmed.  But if you’ve ever wanted to learn how to use your imagination to recreate a picture and specifically if you wanted to add a little magic to that special shot, Corel’s tools are worth checking out and most come with free trials. 

Maybe a final project before the summer gives way to fall.    

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

President and Principal Analyst, Enderle Group

Related Articles

Mist Applies AI to Improve Wi-Fi

By: Paula Bernier    11/9/2017

Mist has created an AI-driven wireless platform that puts the user and his or mobile device at the heart of the wireless network. Combining machine le…

Read More

International Tech Innovation Growing, Says Consumer Technology Association

By: Doug Mohney    11/8/2017

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) is best known for the world's largest trade event, but the organization's reach is growing far beyond the CE…

Read More

Broadcom Makes Unsolicited $130B Bid for Qualcomm

By: Paula Bernier    11/6/2017

In what could result in the biggest tech deal in history, semiconductor company Broadcom has made an offer to buy Qualcomm for a whopping $130 billion…

Read More

How Google's 'Moonshot' Could Benefit Industrial Markets

By: Kayla Matthews    10/30/2017

The term "moonshot" encapsulates the spirit of technological achievement: an accomplishment so ambitious, so improbable, that it's equivalent to sendi…

Read More

After Cisco/Broadsoft, Who's Next for M&A?

By: Doug Mohney    10/27/2017

Cisco's trail of acquisition tears over the decades includes the Flip video camera, Cerent, Scientific Atlantic, Linksys, and a couple of others. The …

Read More