As tablets gain ground on traditional desktops and laptops, computer software will inevitably evolve to work across devices—and likely become better in the process. That’s exactly what’s happening with ArtRage 4 ($50), the latest Mac-ready evolution of Ambient Design’s ArtRage Studio Pro. Now featuring advanced support for touch screens, multi-touch screens, graphics tablets and styluses, this powerful painting and drawing app also has a simplified user interface similar to the iPad version of ArtRage 3, plus a collection of new tools to make creating artwork even easier than before. Want to simultaneously see a zoomed-out view of what you’re drawing with precision? Now you can.
Some of the new features include symmetrical mirroring and cloning tools, the ability to paint on scraps of canvas that can be moved around like palettes or test sheets, and fills with gradients and patterns. A substantial collection of tools and features that were previously exclusive to the $80 ArtRage Studio Pro have been brought over to the less expensive ArtRage 4, and new oil paint controls have been added. Mac users will also appreciate the addition of advanced Wacom support for pressure, tilt, barrel rotation, and airbrush wheel controls—as well as Wacom Stylus Recognition to remember the specific tool selected for a specific stylus—and a new non-destructive automatic backup system that saves a painting’s previous steps if you need them. We’re looking forward to seeing some of these new features appear on the iPad, but others ably demonstrate the continued value of higher-end computers.