Photo Software Finally Upgraded

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As I have said many times before, most of my artwork is done in Poser.  In fact it is the very latest version: Poser Pro 2012.  Now as anyone who does 3D rendering knows, the renders rarely come out perfect.  In order to make them look better, you have to use a photo processing program, most famously being Adobe Photoshop.

Here’s a little secret I hate to admit: for the last 15 years, all of my post render photo processing has been done in Corel Photo-Paint 7 copyright 1996!  That’s right, while every other 3D artist out there is using the very latest high end very expensive software, I’m using a program written for windows 95 that was slapped together as a tool for Corel Draw users to convert their vector art to pixel formats.

Why would I use a 15 year old program when much more advanced software exists?  Mostly because it worked, and I knew how to use it. Photo-Paint has some really good color correcting tools that are especially helpful when the lighting used in the Poser render turns out badly (too light, too dark, too red, etc.) and I would rather not re-render.  The Masks and Objects model in Photo-Paint is much more intuitive to me than Photoshop layers model. Over the years I tried to upgrade to Photoshop Essentials, Paint Shop Pro, and Gimp, but kept on returning to good old reliable and easy (for me) to use Photo-Paint 7.

Another advantage is that because it was such an old program, designed for old computers, it loaded amazingly fast. Back on the Windows 98 days, I often had to wait 20-30 seconds for it to load.  Today it loads in 2 seconds flat, and takes up very little memory.  But it did have its odd quirks, like it insisted that all file names be capitalized.  This was cool back in the pre-internet days, but the internet insists on all lower case, which meant having to manually change the first letter of the saved file to lower case.

Finding other programs learning curve to be too daunting, I decided it was time to upgrade to Corel Photo-Paint X6 (copyright 2012).  Since there have been 10 upgrade releases since the version I was used to, I was expecting to have some trouble converting to X6, but with only a couple of annoying exceptions, it has worked out OK.

Annoyances aside, I have figured out how to do everything I used to do in the old program using the new program, so no going back.

Anyone else out there using really old software on a regular basis because it is familiar to you?