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Review: Deep Paint Version 1.1b

Author: Roberta Mikkelsen
Manufacturer: Right Hemisphere; Bellingdham, Wa.; 877-309-3204;
Price: $249.00
Requirements: PC MMX 166 MHZ processor or better; Windows 95,98 or NT; Minimum 64 MB RAM; 40 MB hard disk space

Deep Paint is the challenger to Corel's Painter. I have used Painter for a few years and, when I read about Deep Paint, I was curious. Deep Paint is a paint application that creates a 3-D look to 2-D images. It does this by adding a bump or texture and shine or luminance to every stroke. This creates depth within each stroke and the finished image does have 3-D quality.

Deep Paint works as a stand alone program or as a plug-in to Photoshop. I had no problems with either application. It's a pleasure to use an application that works as a plug-in filter in Photoshop for it cuts time wasted going back and forth between the two applications.

Even though Deep Paint features aren't as numerous as Painter, everything you need is there. It has a wide range of brushes that are highly customizable with a wonderful variety of media including paint, air brush, chalk, felt pens, pencil, crayons and charcoal to name a few. Less is more and to that Deep Paint knows what is important to an artist. I don't need more crayons. I just need to know where they are and how to use them. I had no trouble finding the canvas selection for it is right there on the tool palette not hidden four clicks away.

The artistic photo cloning is a quick way to transform a photograph into many options such as a colored pencil sketch or a painterly image. The images can be very tight or loose due to the control you have over every stroke.

When using paints the effects are incredible for you are able to control the bump or shine on each stroke therefore creating depth within each stroke. A fellow student in Art School painted a copy of a Van Gogh painting. He painted each paint stroke with a shadow and a highlight. This gave the illusion of a 3-D painting. It had taken him months to create this. Years later, I see this exact feature in Deep Paint only it does not take months but moments to produce.

Within the standard tools category, there are many presets that are in sub-categories all of their own. There is a sub-category called Fun Stuff. In there you'll find things like alien wire, jungle bridge, blobs and microbe to name a few. Another subcategory is Skins Fur and Hair. There you'll find bear fur, frog skin, elephant hide and crocodile skin. With names like these it sounds like you could design a jungle scene all within the comfort of your living room.

A unique feature of Deep Paint that I really appreciate is a reminder to save your work. I find that when I begin to paint it seems like I just started and before I realize it hours have gone by. This reminder that pops up every fifteen minutes or so is a much needed reminder that we are working in an electronic medium and all could be lost within seconds.

The people at Right Hemisphere have certainly worked hard at designing an intuitive and fun program to use. This is only version 1.1b and I think the future looks good for them. The only thing I don't understand is that a high percentage of artists use Mac's. Deep Paint is only a Windows product. If they want to appeal to artists, they had better come out with a Mac version. This is a big concern of mine for I have really become fond of Deep Paint and as I write this I plan to switch from PC to Mac. Does that mean I have to go back to Painter?

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