Corel has released, the newest version of the venerable graphics application that switches up the app’s numbering convention again. (Painter had been using the standard numeric release convention up to version 12 before changing to the Painter X3 moniker in 2013; Corel says that the new numbering system reflects its plan for a yearly update cycle.) Painter 2015 introduces “physics-inspired” Particle Brushes, which provide a quick way to create unique effects. Strokes from the three types of Particle Brushes (Gravity, Flow, and Spring) emit particles from a central point that then create patterns and lines as you move across your canvas. Particle Brushes can be controlled by a variety of input options such as pressure, bearing, tilt, or velocity, and you can randomize the effect by selecting a Local Chaos setting.
Now a native 64-bit application, Painter 2015 promises speedier performance while consuming only half the power of previous versions to help you conserve battery life on your laptop. Other changes include the new Jitter Smoothing feature that gives brushstrokes a more organic look, enhanced real-time preview of effects, and new smart photo-painting tools. A free 30-day trial version is available. ($429 new, $229 upgrade from version 7 or later, 194 MB, 10.7+)