ArtRage 2.5.9

ArtRage 2.5.9

Whether subtle or gaudy, ArtRage’s natural-media emulation gets it across.


While Scribbles and Rita resemble vector-based illustration apps such as Adobe Illustrator, ArtRage owes its inspiration to artistic bitmap programs such as Corel’s Painter X. Like Painter, ArtRage excels in its imitation of natural media—that is, real-world tools from bristly brushes to unctuous oils. The illusion is uncanny, especially in making the two-dimensional screen take on three-dimensional characteristics of a real canvas. Thick oil paint peaks have glint and shadow, while the whimsical Glitter Tool keeps piling on those shiny flakes as long as you hold down the mouse button. Paper texture, paint wetness, and brush dirtiness make you feel like you’re in a real studio. You can even change how quickly the airbrush runs out of air! You get a true sense of working with tangible art materials, minus the smells and high price.


While ArtRage excels in reproducing the world of paint and chalk dust, it comes up a bit short in its use of computer conventions we’ve all come to know and love. For example, the Edit menu lacks Copy, Cut, and Paste. In fact, there’s no marquee or other way to select an arbitrary portion of your artwork for duplication. (Such functions are possible through the well-planned use of layers, though.) The natural media, while good, isn’t perfect either: For example, you can “smear” glitter, ruining the illusion. Having said that, ArtRage is by far the most flexible and professionally put-together of the three applications.


The bottom line. The original Macintosh came bundled with MacDraw, MacWrite, and MacPaint. Current Macs still come with a capable text processor (TextEdit), but sadly you still have to look elsewhere for drawing and painting programs. The good news is that programs such as ArtRage make fulfillment of that search less expensive than a good meal.


COMPANY: Ambient Design


PRICE: $25 download, $39.95 CD

REQUIREMENTS: 1.6GHz PowerPC or Intel CPU or faster, Mac OS 10.4 or later, 512MB RAM (1GB recommended), video card with 64MB (128MB recommended) VRAM

Excellent tools that replicate natural media. Universal binary.

No way to select a portion of artwork. Lacks many conventional software features.





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