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Thread: Deciding between Artrage and Corel Essentials

  1. #1
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    Deciding between Artrage and Corel Essentials

    I been trying both programs. Both are quite good. When I'm in Painter it seems like some of the brushes smear though. I can't lay down a thick bold stroke of paint with an oil brush. I have to use an Acrylic brush to get a thick strong stroke of color.

    With Artrage it appears that they have done a better job of providing brushes that lay down thick bold color. Plus they have the oil tube approach which lays down as thick as you can possibly get color.

    Got to say though that I never really like the Artrage interface as much as I like the Painter interface. The Artrage interface has these semi-circles on the lower left and lower right of the screen which I don't like all that much. I wish the developers would have chosen to do more like a Painter interface and just set the brush size by moving a slider or entering a number at the top of the screen.

    Can you think of other reasons why Artrage might be a better choice? I only do oil and I like to paint thick and bold. I like impasto too.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by 357mag View Post
    Got to say though that I never really like the Artrage interface as much as I like the Painter interface. The Artrage interface has these semi-circles on the lower left and lower right of the screen which I don't like all that much. I wish the developers would have chosen to do more like a Painter interface and just set the brush size by moving a slider or entering a number at the top of the screen.
    In case it helps with your decision making;

    You can change the size by pressing SHIFT and dragging right or left as well as by dragging/typing in the bottom left corner, so you can minimise the entire tool picker if you do not need to switch tools (click the corner tab).

    If you are using ArtRage 5 - not Lite - you can detach the corner pickers entirely (right click on the corner tabs and choose 'tear off'). You can also switch to a more Photoshop style interface by going to View > Interface > Docking.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by HannahRage View Post
    In case it helps with your decision making;

    You can change the size by pressing SHIFT and dragging right or left as well as by dragging/typing in the bottom left corner, so you can minimise the entire tool picker if you do not need to switch tools (click the corner tab).

    If you are using ArtRage 5 - not Lite - you can detach the corner pickers entirely (right click on the corner tabs and choose 'tear off'). You can also switch to a more Photoshop style interface by going to View > Interface > Docking.
    Thanks for the tips. The changes are rather slight though. And I would much prefer a real looking palette. Not a color wheel. A palette.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 357mag View Post
    Thanks for the tips. The changes are rather slight though. And I would much prefer a real looking palette. Not a color wheel. A palette.
    I think the docking mode switch is a pretty major change -it has exactly the 'set tool size at the top of the screen' options you asked for and no corner pods (that doesn't mean it's for you, but it is a very different interface to the classic mode ).


    I'm not sure what you mean by 'palette'; do you mean something mimicking a real world palette of paint?

    To select colours you can do a few different things:

    - use Scraps to mix up your own colours and just ignore/hide the colour picker after that (Scraps are loaded from the Refs menu)
    - add a reference image of an actual colour palette of some kind and pick from that
    - create or load samples for preset colours (there are lots of defaults in the program and downloadable colours in the forums)
    - change the color picker to various different modes (e.g. different RGB or HSL arrangements, a tint/tone, or a precise picker that allows entry of RGB + HSL values - the latter is the default in Docking mode).


    (note: I'm not comparing to Essentials because, um, rather biased here as ArtRage staff, but there are a lot of customisation options in ArtRage I can help with).
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by HannahRage View Post
    I think the docking mode switch is a pretty major change -it has exactly the 'set tool size at the top of the screen' options you asked for and no corner pods (that doesn't mean it's for you, but it is a very different interface to the classic mode ).


    I'm not sure what you mean by 'palette'; do you mean something mimicking a real world palette of paint?

    To select colours you can do a few different things:

    - use Scraps to mix up your own colours and just ignore/hide the colour picker after that (Scraps are loaded from the Refs menu)
    - add a reference image of an actual colour palette of some kind and pick from that
    - create or load samples for preset colours (there are lots of defaults in the program and downloadable colours in the forums)
    - change the color picker to various different modes (e.g. different RGB or HSL arrangements, a tint/tone, or a precise picker that allows entry of RGB + HSL values - the latter is the default in Docking mode).


    (note: I'm not comparing to Essentials because, um, rather biased here as ArtRage staff, but there are a lot of customisation options in ArtRage I can help with).
    Wells. Little squares with paint in them. Not a color picker. What a palette looks like.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by 357mag View Post
    Wells. Little squares with paint in them. Not a color picker. What a palette looks like.
    they are called "color samples" in artrage, available from the "view" menu.
    you'll have to add them from the color wheel, pre-mixed color on a scrap, or directly from the document (or by importing pre-made ones you can find online), but it is all there.

    Quote Originally Posted by 357mag View Post
    I have to use an Acrylic brush to get a thick strong stroke of color.
    I'm not sure what exactly painter essentials brushes do - I don't own their entry-level app, but there's a good chance that code behind that thick stroke brush type is based on artrage team's contribution to painter, and is an indirect relative of artrage's paint roller.

    With Artrage it appears that they have done a better job of providing brushes that lay down thick bold color.
    correct; a better job on program stability, UI (which is subjective tho), photoshop layer modes support and performance too, btw.

    Plus they have the oil tube approach which lays down as thick as you can possibly get color.
    most recent desktop painter version features an attempt at imitating layered thick paint, but the program itself is priced accordingly.

    Got to say though that I never really like the Artrage interface as much as I like the Painter interface.
    as someone who used to paint with artrage alongside with painter (before phasing painter out), artrage interface never bothered me; in fact, it is less cluttered.

    The Artrage interface has these semi-circles on the lower left and lower right of the screen which I don't like all that much. I wish the developers would have chosen to do more like a Painter interface and just set the brush size by moving a slider or entering a number at the top of the screen.
    which, actually, is precisely what you can do if you switch the interface mode to "docked" (applies to artrage 5) - it's the only number in the top-left corner of the screen, next to the small color swatch;

    Can you think of other reasons why Artrage might be a better choice? I only do oil and I like to paint thick and bold. I like impasto too.
    better oil simulation in artrage aside,

    painter produces awfully compressed ugly jpeg files on export, and this issue is seemingly never getting fixed.
    budget painter app doesn't support custom brush creation/import.
    depending on your system (windows or mac), you might run into issues that are caused by painter code not playing nice on the newer OS versions, and you will be forced to pay for compatibility upgrades
    (if they come at all, in case with essentials.)
    painters stability and performance are still very much questionable; it's color management is atrocious, and completely behind the times even in comparison with free-ware apps such as gimp.

    if you don't use painter's blenders - that are better in full version than in the economic one, your overall painting ~experience~ in artrage will be much more intuitive, once you get past your lack of experience with artrage UI.
    Last edited by nekomata; 1 Week Ago at 08:25 AM. Reason: typing too fast sometimes, not checking spelling enough.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 357mag View Post
    Wells. Little squares with paint in them. Not a color picker. What a palette looks like.
    As nekomata says, those are called 'samples' in ArtRage.

    Open the Samples from next to the color picker
    Name:  artrage 5 color samples.jpg
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    Or from the upper menu bar in Docking mode
    Name:  artrage 5 color samples docking mode.jpg
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    Or go to View > Color Samples.



    You can display just colours, or you can display by name. There are lots of built in collections of colours, as well as many downloadable sets in the Art Supplies forum or at https://www.artrage.com/manuals/digi...color-samples/

    It is also easy to create your own temporary or permanent colour sets.


    Here is what the collections look like.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	oil spectrum colour samples.jpg 
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    These pages may also help:

    https://www.artrage.com/manuals/gett...olor-palettes/
    https://www.artrage.com/manuals/gett...rage-4/colors/
    https://www.artrage.com/manuals/digi...color-sampler/

    (note: the feature didn't change in AR5, the previous guides all still apply. Samples are a standard feature in Lite, Android and iOS as well, albeit with fewer options).
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