If you are old enough, you have been disappointed before by great software that has been mismanaged and flung over the corporate abyss. As a user of Painter since Fractal Painter, the last 2 years of releases does not bode well for me remaining a part of the Painter customer base. I'm not a pro, but a hobbyist of photography, computers, and the modern means towards achieving my now retired bliss.
3 things: 1) last year's conundrum with the upgrade pricing. I did receive a refund from $229 to $99 then, but it sure made me think about the marketing by the product manager. 2) this year, 2016 upgrade pricing involves the identical consumer misrepresentation as last year. How can a company make the same mistake in such a short time? I made sure I paid $99 this time, but I see that many have paid more. A bad business move, for sure. 3) installed upgrade fine on laptop, but unable to install cleanly on desktop (after using tab-enter) and bugs galore. I haven't heard of something even close since the Netscape and Explorer wars of the 1990's. (Bet you that R&D didn't use an AMD machine with Radeon graphics in testing). That is just plain silly and extraordinarily amateurish by a company like Corel whose main competition is Adobe.
I have received my customer support file number and was moderately chagrined that they were additionally trying to sell me faster support services. Like paying for support will solve a carte blanche install bug, though they could sure keep me busy trying to work around what I cannot fix.
Have read the community's forums as to Painter 2016, additional bugs present and past. Bugs are inherent in software to the extent that the product developers are given the ability and resources to care and nurture their product and their customer base. Which should maybe match up with corporate goals and operations management guidelines. Which made me look up current Corel financials and their public company health.
Anyone can look this up, but it appears as if part of the product management disarray resembles recent corporate decision-making.
(from Wikipedia): Having suffered layoffs in 2003, 2008 and 2012, Corel went through another re-structuring in December 2013 by letting go the entire engineering and quality assurance team in its Taipei office. The Taipei office had been the core development centre of PaintShop Pro and VideoStudio, one of Corel's most well-known photo- and video-editing bundles. The 2013 re-structuring led to a complete handover of the product development to outsourced companies, and cut off support of pre- and post-purchase customer service.
I have never been patient with "things" that don't work. But experience has codified my once ongoing quest for personal embarrassment; I have met my limitations, and agree that I am not necessarily bug-free, either.
But for something that I care about, like Painter, I am compelled to understand the "why". Obviously the business plan is not what we think it is, because it is not normal and rational. I can only tell Corel what I think and express my concerns for our future together. And I don't plan on getting much closer to the abyss.
Yes, the double pricing is just silly, be honest with your consumers, people complained about it on the last version, and yet they just do it again. Why? What benefit do you get out of this as a company? What possible benefit do you think you get out of annoying your consumers? I couldn't use 2016, it's too bugged. And it is entirely a self-perpetuating problem. Each time they add complexity to Painter, they add new brushes, new windows, new code, and they don't fix or improve on the core program enough. The scale of this program is so large, the functionality all over the place, and no consumer base large enough to properly finance decent upgrades that actually fix things. The reason I was so annoyed they add things like audio brushes, is because that is exactly what they shouldn't do, add useless stuff, increasing the chance for bugs, making the program even more complex, more bloated, and more scary for newcomers. Just remove it from the program, stop making it bloated.
It's pretty simply what I want from Painter to justify using it.
-a robust program that doesn't crash that I can depend on
-a program that is relatively bug free, with patches that fix things
-someone who listens to the suggestions and talks to the user base, because whoever you're listening to now, is clueless, people make good suggestions here, and you just ignore them and add pointless stuff instead. Before you add things (like pointless audio brushes), ask the community what they think, so you get feedback from a large enough group of people so we don't end up with a bloated and bugged program full of useless functionality.
-a program that has a UI that is friendly and easy to use (the current UI with windows all over the place, is a complete mess),. A UI newbees understand, a UI that leans close enough to Photoshop so those users have an easy time picking it up. A nice, usable UI that is not messy but intuitive. Something closer to Photoshop Elements than the UI of a Boeing 747. You can have a powerful program and still have an easy to use UI, they're not mutually exclusive things.
-a program that isn't bloated with useless features
-tools that work and are intuitive (proper gradients, vectors, curves, text tool), make the core tools we have actually work and make them work well, tons of threads in the suggestion forum about it
-people who are happy using it and don't feel like they are being ripped off
Just to add, it's not like Corel can't do it. Look at Corel Draw. Corel Draw is streamlined, it has a good UI with intuitive tools, it has powerful functionality, it is relatively bug free, it is relatively crash free, it does not use shady pricing, it gets useful updates, I can depend on this program being stable enough and consistent enough. Why can't Painter be like that.
And we're not a demanding bunch, simply fixing some stuff and improving the core of the program would have been enough to make me happy. But instead 2016 is more bugged and has an even more cluttered UI.
you wrote the following post at Sun, Sep 13 2015 2:10 AM:
"-a program that has a UI that is friendly and easy to use (the current UI with windows all over the place, is a complete mess),. A UI newbees understand, a UI that leans close enough to Photoshop so those users have an easy time picking it up. A nice, usable UI that is not messy but intuitive. Something closer to Photoshop Elements than the UI of a Boeing 747. You can have a powerful program and still have an easy to use UI, they're not mutually exclusive things."
I got a little interested in this UI question and examined all my different painting software. The two that I use most are Photoshop and Painter, both the latest versions. I have nearly identical setups of the workspace. Of course there are some more things around, when I need to adjust some setting and such. I also always have soem custom palettes floating around... but in the basic setup the two programs looks like this. That is the way I always have it, because I like the clean look.
I have two nice clean UI looks of two other painting software that I use now and then: ArtRage and SketchBook They are easy to work with and got some innovative functions that Painter really could implement. ArtRage got the "dissapearing palette when you move the cursor on it" and SketchBook Pro got the nice little "Pods" for Colour, Opacity and Brush... and they got some more.
Still I like Painters interface and the functionality. Of course if, like I have seen in some instructional videos about Painter, you can clutter up the whole workspace with all palettes there are. But why do that? Just keep it clean like my workspace and there is a lot of room for every move you want to make. I often use "Tab" and "Shift+Tab"... that makes the workspace ulitmate clean... And by learning all keyboard shortcuts it is easy to call up the functions you need.
I like both Photoshop and Painter. They look the same. :)