Product Review: Corel Paint it!

by Stephanie Suesan Smith on June 30, 2010

This post is going to be a bit longer than most because I am reviewing Corel Paint it!, and am including pictures to illustrate how it works.

The blurb:

Corel Paint it! takes your favorite photo memories and magically transforms them into unique paintings, right before your eyes.  Simply choose a painting style and press start.  Then add fun effects to make it truly yours.  Save, print, frame or share your art creations.

The random brushstrokes of Corel Paint it! let you produce distinct artwork every time.  No two pieces will be exactly alike!  The result is always a unique, hand-painted portrait that’s sure to wow your friends and family.

In addition to eleven preset styles, there are a variety of brushes you can use to create special effects.  The software is compatible with Corel Paintshop Photo, iPhoto, and other photo editing software.

the test:

I tested this software on two photographs I had taken of a Purple Bearded Iris.  One photograph was simple — just one flower.  One was complex — a field of Iris interspersed with trees.

Purple Bearded Iris
Field of Purple Bearded Iris

Original photograph

These were the original photographs I used for each test.

Oil –– this is supposed to mimic an oil painting by using short dabs and longer brushstrokes.

Purple Bearded Iris in oil


Field of Iris Oil

The single iris looks beautiful.  In fact, it looks a lot like the photo and I wondered if it didn’t keep a lot of that.  The field of iris look very “Starry, starry night” instead of like a field of iris.

Then we have the impressionist.    This is supposed to create the illusion of movement and light.

Iris impressionistfield of iris impressionist This actually did pretty well on both the single iris and the field of iris.

The modern did nicely for the single iris.  The field of iris is definately abstract, which is what the modern version is supposed to be.

Iris Modernfield of iris modern

The illustration is supposed to be an illustration type painting.  This is more my style of painting.

iris illustrationfield of iris illustration

The detailed watercolor is also nice looking.

iris detailed watercolorfield of iris watercolor

Watercolor sketch is less detailed, more of a note to the artist to create a more detailed painting from later.

iris watercolor sketchfield of iris watercolor sketch

The colored pencil is not my favorite.

iris colored pencilfield of pencil

Pencil didn’t work so well

Iris pencilfield of iris pencil

pen and ink was worse

iris pen and inkiris field pen and ink

The last option is pastel — as if drawn with colored pastels

iris pastelfield of iris pastel

So, the verdict is that most of it looks an awful lot like a photograph anyway and the pencil and pen and ink don’t work well.  Some of it is pretty however.  I had hoped to use it to turn my photographs into paintings to sell, but it is not doing a good enough job for me to do that.

You will have to judge for yourself whether it is worth your time and money.  The time per photo was about five minutes.  The product is between $25 and $40, depending on where you buy it.    What do you think?

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