It’s hard to keep up with all the new technology out there. Just when you get comfortable with RealCool 1.0, out comes RealCool 2.0 (also named EvenCooler, just to make things confusing). On April 12, Adobe is releasing the next version of their Creativite Suite, number 5. You can sign up to attend an online kickoff presentation at Adobe.com, or check out this “sneak peek” video, to get an idea of what’s coming in Photoshop CS5. Digital painters will find this post from John Derry especially intriguing. It looks like Photoshop brushes have gotten some substantial tweaks, to say the least.
In addition to a new version of Photoshop, there’s other new stuff out there. Let’s take a look.
Fine Art America on Steroids
A while back, we reviewed an upcoming marketing site for artists, called Fine Art America (see the post here). Fine Art America (FAA) has been offering, for a $30 yearly fee, a print-on-demand (POD) service. Well, now that $30 fee gets you a website, as well, plus a huge number of useful services. This can make your marketing a whole lot simpler, since you can show your work, sell your work (as framed prints or originals), and have your own professional-looking web presence all in one place. For thirty bucks a year! Pretty mind-boggling, I’d say. You can find out more about it here.
Pixelmator for Image Editing
If you’re on a Mac, and you’re on a limited budget, you may want to check out Pixelmator. In fact, even if you’re not on a budget, you may want to give it a look. It’s a gorgeous Mac-ish application, and it plays just fine with the latest OS version, Snow Leopard (OS 10.6, to those of you who prefer numbers to zoo animals). For well under $100 ($59 as of this writing), it’s darn near a Photoshop killer. Depending on how much you use Photoshop, and what you use it for, you may find Pixelmator does all you need. After all, who needs a Cadillac just to drive to the grocery store? For some artists, this won’t be an either-or decision, since there are some nice, unique things about Pixelmator, and you may just find you need both. As with Art Rage, you may find it does all you need, or you may decide it has a place in your workflow alongside Photoshop and Painter. Pixelmator has a free 30 day, full-featured trial, so give it a download and see what you think. Here’s nice short review. Here’s another.
Sumo Paint for Digital PaintingSumo Paint, the online painting app we last mentioned here in December, has continued to add cool features. The image shown here was created using the new Bump Map filter, which creates a 3D-looking image from the darks and lights in an image. I played around with it a bit, and got some very nice results. It combines bump and lighting to create fairly convincing three-dimensional textures.
Sumo Paint is still a free online program, like Aviary, for editing images and digital painting. It still feels a bit wonky: sliders don’t slide, they jump around erratically, and menu items seem reluctant to cooperate. There is a Sumo Pro version, which runs on your computer, instead of in a browser, and makes use of Adobe Air. That may result in more of a solid app than the online Flash version. There’s a homework assignment for a reader who chooses to take it on. Personally, I don’t see the big advantage to having an app run in a browser. Sure, you can access it from any computer, but how many people need that ability, I wonder. One problem with Flash apps is that they won’t (currently, at least) run on the new iPad. Well, I’m rambling, so time to close for this week. Enjoy!