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Review of ArtRage 2.5 Starter Edition

written by: LE•edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 12/9/2009

Has someone finally designed software that is better than Adobe Photoshop? What if you're looking for a graphics editing suite with more of a Fine Arts bent? ArtRage might be just the thing.

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    Better Than Photoshop?

    There are few programs where even the free demo version is impressive and useful, and this is one of those rare instances. This is amazing software from a company that may not be as well-known as Adobe—but could surely give Photoshop a run for its money. There are things you can do in Art Rage that you can’t do easily in Photoshop—much easier and simpler too—and the palette and canvas GUI is really something very nice to behold—The options and choices are just simply amazing, and the graphic user interface is intuitive and easy-to-understand. If you’re tired of that old toolbar look, and want something that looks more like a real canvas and paint palette then this is it. Plus with a hip name like “ArtRage,” how could you go wrong?

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    Oh The Things You Can Do

    You can make stencils, or you can trace from photographs. You can export to a variety of other editing suites and formats and still retain layers. You can export in .png for Fireworks and jpg for multiple graphics editing suites, also you can export as gif and also Photshops in .psd fomats while retaining layers. Smith Micro has really made a nice bit of software here, and I can’t wait to try it with a larger drawing tablet. If you’re looking for a cut and dry digital process then this is definitely the way to go. There is no mess, and no mixing paint—just pick the color, smear it, brush it on, and you can really get some digital fine art.

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    Full-Featured and Fine Artsy

    Combine this with a drawing tablet and you’ll really have fine drawing suites that is very much designed for getting realistic fine arts effects in highly-understandable digital format. If you are interested in the fine arts and you are looking for a graphics program that is made for Fine Artists, then look no further. It’s pretty fantastic what kinds of choices you have—you can pick different canvas opacities and textures. You can change the style and stroke of the brush from thin watercolor to heavy impasto paint. You can smear tubes of digital paint onto the canvas and get great effects that way. I’m sure this has already found it’s way into many art school programs—and being so affordable maybe it’ll find it’s way onto the desktop of many economical artists who have been looking for this type of advanced graphics program for the fine arts. The interface looks like a clean canvas and palette, and the tools do not crowd the workspace. This is one of its best features. This type of program must be a real joy with a large screen and a quality drawing light pen and tablet. I had always wondered when a company was going to come up with a program that is easier to use than Photoshop but also does so much more! Well now here it is—and it delivers more than one would expect for the price.

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    Cut and Dry

    This one takes the paint thinners and oily messes out of painting and delivers a digitally neat way of making art. I could definitely see this type of software used to make high-quality giclee fine art prints and go straight to print from digital. And the best thing about it is that the process is from digital to ink and not the other way around. I bet even the most hardcore of fine art purists would be impressed with its copious features. Well enough gushing from me. Try it out for yourself.

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