Corel has detailed the upcoming release of its digital art and drawing tool, Painter. Version 8 will add the ability to create new brush types and fine-tune their behaviour, plus transform photos into sketches and offer more compatability to Adobe Photoshop, according to Corel. The Mac and Windows application will cost £259 plus VAT. Painter 8 is Corel’s natural-media art package, digitally representing real-world brushes and inks on virtual canvas. It lets artists draw and paint using realistic-looking oils, coloured pencils, airbrushes, watercolours, crayons, chalks, felt pens, and other brush-types. Corel says the new release will deliver a refined, streamlined interface, with quicker access to tools and palettes promised. Digit has seen a Final Candidate version, and the interface claims seem borne out. Headlining the release is the addition of a ‘Brush Creator’, which allows designers to create customized brushes. It includes tools such as a ‘transponder’ feature that can merge the attributes of two brushes, and a stroke designer that deploys advanced controls to tweak stokes made by the brushes. A randomize tool can generate random brush-types, and users can see a preview of the generated brushes before committing to them, Corel says. Painter 8 adds a mixer palette that operates in the same way as a traditional artist’s paint palette, with colours able to be mixed interactively. A sketch-effect feature will transform photos into realistic pencil sketches, according to the company. It offers controls over pencil weight, paper type and grain, and detail. A digital watercolour effect is also available. Other new features include a tracker palette that lists recently used brushes; the ability to make and deploy image masks; and a retooled information palette. It will ship with royalty-free images and 400 new brushes, the company says. Photoshop integration means that Painter 8 will be able to open and save Photoshop files, complete with additions such as layers and masks. A shipping date is not yet available.