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The idea behind GMX-PhotoPainter is to transform your digital photos into vivid, artistic paintings. The app provides an array of fine-art-inspired brushes, mimicking the effects of oils, pastels, crayons, and pen and ink, and you can layer these brushes over a photo to create a unique work of art. Brushes work in a variety of modes, from automatic to user controlled, and they pick up color from the underlying photo, while you control how much of the original photo you want to see through the paint.
GMX-PhotoPainter allows you to paint over your photos with a variety of tools.
Sounds great, if it wasn’t so hard to use--even after spending lots of time with the app, we still weren’t able to really master the toolset. Brush styles all work a bit differently, and it’s hard to draw simple brush strokes, even in freehand mode. Better documentation or a startup guide would help, but GMX-PhotoPainter doesn’t come with any in the app--there’s no way to tell what each painting mode does, except lots of fiddling. (The website does have some getting-started instructions, however.)
Despite having quite a few brushes, GMX-PhotoPainter is a little too simple an app for $59 (on sale for $49.95 at press time)--it only paints. We were also disappointed in how slowly GMX-PhotoPainter loaded and worked with high-resolution images. We had to downsize any high-res image we chose before we could really even use the app. And, though the GUI is fairly straightforward, we wish the app looked a little better.
The bottom line. It’s admirable that GMX-PhotoPainter turns what in most applications would be a filter into an art form. But, we’re still not sold on the usefulness or usability of this app.
Mac OS X 10.5 or later
Unique results without the mess of traditional painting tools.
Poorly designed. Long learning curve. Expensive.