i played a bit with corel painter 2018, maybe for a hour and this is what i've found sofar:
pro:-didn't manage to crash the program to desktop by playing a minute with the selection lasso. painter 10 was very prone to that.-undo (control+z) finally seems to correctly update your image, in Painter 10 it occasionally undid your previous stroke but didn't update the canvas.con:-still unstable-color triangle lags behind cursor if a brush from the thick paint category is selected.-maximising painters window leaves a 1 pixel border on bottom and right side of the screen.-zooming sometimes leaves a horizontal line artifact behind when "area-averaging" is enabled. if you make a brush stroke thru the line it disappears in that location (similar asundone brush strokes would behave in painter 10 when the canvas didn't update). turning "area-averaging" off renders most zoom levels super jagged.-zoom tool doesn't update the current zoom % value until you reach 200% zoom. select zoom tool and enter a value, for example 25% and enter. next left click with the zoom tool on the canvasto zoom - notice you are zooming in but the value doesn't update until you zoomed 200% in, also if you type in a value then zoom in 1-2 times and retype the previous value it will not adjustthe zoom at all. can also occur while zooming out, only seems to update on 200 and 400 zoom.-the search feature doesn't find ANYTHING, not even if you type the exact name of your currently selected brush.-wet grainy brush starts lagging after a stroke is done. make a stroke and when you release left click or lift the tablet pen and move the cursor you can watch it lag and stutter quite drastically.the duration of the stutter seems dependent on the stroke length but even a short one will have 1-2 seconds of stutter.-experienced random twirls with a certain pallate knife if i change angle to rotation and use the wacom artpen.-advertisements for new overpriced brush packs tied into the program.
i didn't try hard to find bugs but they are very common in corel painter 2018 - or most likely any corel painter version.
- very inconsistent and cluttered User Interface (UI).
the "advanced bursh controls" icon highlights blue when activated the others stay black.
"blending panel" icon is colored, the others are black.
"dab profile" window has different background color then the rest and no header.
some windows like "general brush controls" gets header with title the rest just a black header without title.
"advanced brush controls" window gets a blue border while all the others get a black one.
multiple entries for the same control options in different control windows, for instance "size" window in both "advanced brush controls" and "general brush controls".
option windows extent far beyond the screen instead of implementing a scroll bar.
its like multiple people were working on the same UI while no one knew what the other was doing.
Maybe it's because I'm used to it after using it for so long, but I think this is actually an improvement over how it used to be a couple versions ago.Basically, you have a few hierarchies. You have those fly-out panels (the light gray), which are attached to the brush control bar at the top of the screen. They are the main settings you will commonly be adjusting for each brush, placed there to make them easy to access. They also give you shortcuts to the more in-depth brush control palettes.The darker gray panels are the various brush control palettes. These are *numerous* and except for people who are really knowledgeable of Painter's brush engines, I would recommend staying away from those for the most part (with the exception of accessing them through the Advanced Brush Controls option--I'll explain below).The 'header with title' is a grouping of palettes. These are actually a nice addition because you can take any brush control palettes you want and group them together that way. You can also collapse them by double clicking the heading bar, which was something Painter needed for a *long* time. That little gear icon at the top-right lets you 'dissolve' the grouping of palettes (they call it a Palette Drawer). The one thing REALLY lacking that has been requested numerous times though is the ability to lock the palette arrangements. I constantly accidentally move them around with my stylus and they are difficult to re-group even using a mouse.Lastly, the 'Advanced Brush Controls'. I think it was highlighted blue just to make it stand out when you opened it, and it's a bit of a special case because it dynamically updates. That grouping of palettes is your friend. The reason is, if you open it for a particular brush, all of the brush control palettes that have any control over your current brush are grouped together there. This prevents you from having to guess and open a zillion different palettes trying to find the functions that change your brush behavior. If it's a setting that works with your currently chosen brush, it'll appear in there. If it's one of the palettes that does nothing at all with your current brush, it won't show there. And, if you change your brush type entirely (e.g. from an Artist's Oils brush to a Real Watercolor brush), the Advanced Brush Controls auto-updates with again the relevant palettes for your chosen brush type. This is very helpful and was a great change they made to try to de-mystify the numerous brush types a bit.I'm with you on Painter having numerous bugs, but some of these things I think are actually improvements compared to previous versions.
having all the controls that effect a brush collected in one menue is great and explains why you'll find multiple instances of the same controls.
i still think its unintuitive if one icon turns blue when toggled on while the other doesn't, fly out menues not applying the selected background color or stacking a lot of option tabs in one window but not adding a scrollbar so i can access them all without needing to colapse a few to shrink the window.
for me personly the brush control menues completely interfere with my workflow. if i have to make bigger adjustments to a brush i 100% change my focus on the menues and dedicate time to that task and once i'm satisfied with the result i'll save the variant and close the controls completely to safe space.
for that reason i think it would be better if you could load a dedicated window that has all the options effecting a brush at quick access + a seperate canvas where you can test the brush. maybe with a test picture or a copy of your current image and a button to clear the canvas - a environment that focuses only on the options and tools you need to tweak your brush.
with such a environment you'd safe a lot of time rearranging/searching windows cause they are in the way/off screen, searching a clean spot on your canvas or mistakenly exceed the number of undos while testing your brush and potentialy ruining the image you currently working on.
what you can do actually is pin the most important UI elements (say a color wheel, layer palette, opacity settings, and bleed/resaturation settings) to the sides of the screen, and assign a custom shortcut to the "hide screen palettes" command (I haven't used painter in quite some time so don't remember the exact command name, but you should be able to locate it under "window" menu; my shortcut key for that used to be "\") and keep all the brush panels expanded on screen at all times, but by hiding them during painting they won't interfere with your workflow.
for the brush testing - in clip studio paint, I just keep a separate small document and switch between two with cmd+tab command, it's lighting fast (which might be... not so fast in painter. I don't know.)
I don't think corel are capable of bringing what you describe as a test canvas panel in a way that won't crash painter, considering their current UI framework is even more limiting than the one they phased out. you can't use mixer palette in the same way it used to behave in painter X anymore, for example, and I assume anything that behaves as a document on top of a document will also be broken and never fixed if corel re-introduce this feature.