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Painting

So-called digital darkrooms—image-correction and retouching tools—have come to be incredibly sophisticated, all-purpose painting and drawing art studios. Photoshop, which is undoubtedly the most prevalent and most popular of such tools among professional designers, has sold millions of copies, and users put it to work creating everything from Hollywood matte paintings to texture maps for 3-D graphics to photographic collages. MetaCreations' Painter, meanwhile, simulates traditional painting and drawing tools with such realism that it's almost impossible to distinguish oil-and-canvas art scanned into a computer from art created directly in Painter.

Virtually any digital painting tool can be used in animation, but certain features make some programs far more useful than others. Here are some of the most important capabilities to look for:


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