Painter's History
A Few Comments and Links to Articles, Interviews, and Other Information about
Fractal Design Painter, Metacreations Painter, and Now Corel Painter.

text on this page, written by Jinny Brown, is  © 1994 - 2005
All other linked pages are copyrighted by their authors and contributors to whom we own thanks for
sharing such interesting articles, interviews, and other Painter information.

Dear Painter Lovers,

Below is a small collection of information about what has been since early 2000 Corel Painter that
I hope you'll enjoy. Though it's surely not the whole story, either from Painter's past or what will develop in the future for our beloved Natural Media ® program, it's at least a beginning. Others who've been involved with Painter far longer than I have will be able to tell you more fascinating stories from Painter's past.
If you're lucky, you'll be around when those stories are shared somewhere in the Painter community.

Here's one of my own stories:

A few years ago, I was privileged to be present when Painter's inventor, Mark Zimmer, gave a talk on Painter at Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center in Palo Alto, California). The audience was made up of some very heady Xerox and Stanford University people, engineers and scientists. It was wonderful to hear them ooohing and aaahing as Mark demonstrated Painter's brushes and told the history of their development from the beginning.

It was all I could do to keep myself from raising my hand and calling out to Mark to "Tell them about.....!" (fill in any number of things!) as Painter has fascinated me since the first night Painter 4 was installed on my computer and there's so much to tell. Hardly enough time in an hour or two, to do Painter justice. Still it was a great experience and I did not resist the temptation to introduce myself to Mark after the talk was over. He was relaxed and friendly, and a pleasure to talk with, even for just a few minutes.

Below are some links you might enjoy as they tell us some of Painter's history from the early days.

John Derry is one of the original Painter developers. John, Mark Zimmer, and Tom Hedges formed a company named fractal.com after Metacreations sold Painter to Corel, and contracted to work with Corel to complete development of Painter 7. John Derry also worked with Corel during development of Painter 8. This first link is an article by John. Though I don't see a date, it's interesting and worth reading in any case.

An Article Published in 1996 in the Seybold Report on Desktop Publishing Vol 8, No 6, mainly focuses on Fractal Design's Dabbler, a simplified version of Painter designed for the home consumer market. It also talks about Fractal Design's Painter 2, Sketcher, and ColorStudio. It's an interesting read that gives us a peek into how all this natural media software began, and how the developers worked to simulate traditional drawing and painting tools that we now know, use, and love.... Painter's brushes!

The interview linked below is available in both English and German. The audio content is in Real Audio format, so you'll need RealPlayer to hear it. There's a link at the bottom of the page to download RealPlayer if you don't have it.

Found in a Google search back in September, 2003, an article...

... on Metacreations' puzzling decision to divest itself of all graphics software and go in the Metastream direction.

In the second half of the article is a chronological listing from 1987 through 1999 of what various companies and individuals, directly or indirectly connected with Painter's owners, created in the way of software, how they changed, added and subtracted software, CEO's stepped up, or down, companies merged, and concluded with the then current state of affairs for our dear and beloved Painter and it's siblings, Bryce, KPT, Poser, and others.

It's great reading if you enjoy learning who's been connected with whom (companies and big software individual's names), and surprising to see so many companies interacting in one way or another to get us where we are today. A lot more has happened since that article was written and a lot more will no doubt be happening in the future.

If you haven't followed the other Painter history links in the messages above, do take a few minutes to do that. It makes this software even more interesting to know its background.

What next? 

And my own web page published about the same time, when we were all worried about Painter's future:

Splash Screens and Interface Screen Shots:

You might enjoy looking at splash screens and interface screen shots  from Painter 1 through Painter 8. The site linked below is a Japanese site, but at least the site owner was kind enough to name the versions in English. (Thank you site owner, whoever you are!) 

Painter's Brushes from the Beginning:

Following up on the Painter splash screens and interface screen prints, thanks to David (sandpiper) for reminding me of this link to a complete set of lists including all of Painter's brushes from Painter 1.2 through Painter 8.

Anyone want to argue that Painter's not about brushes? (Doubtful.) 

Jinny Brown, July 16, 2004
last modified September 27, 2005



©1994 - 2005, Jinny Brown

All Corel Painter screen prints on these pages are used with permission from Corel Corporation.