Mastering the new control possibilities in Painter 12.2

Recently we announced the launch of Painter 12.2 and introduced you to some exciting product updates: Vertical Docking, Flow Maps for watercolor brushes, multi-touch integration, and the ability to connect to our Cinco companion application for iPad. I wanted to take a moment to focus on the two latter features, multi-touch and Cinco, as they offer new ways to control the application that are both innovative and enabling. What follows intends to help you get the most out of the new technology so you’ll have a productive and enjoyable experience.

We often receive feedback that you want us to get the user-interface out of your way to improve your Painter experience. This allows artists like you to focus on the most important thing–the art! What’s so exciting about our new Cinco and multi-touch solutions is that it’s now easier than ever to get both hands operating the interface, and less of your screen’s precious pixels dedicated to showing user interface.


If you’re already using Painter, you are most likely using a range of shortcuts and custom palettes. In some cases, you may wish to keep using shortcuts because they feel natural. However, you may want to switch to a simple, single button, accessible by using only one fingertip, instead of a convoluted set of keystrokes that are difficult to remember. Are your custom palettes large or getting in the way of your artwork while you paint? Cinco can help you here as well.

Simply put, Cinco allows you to take all those commands and custom palettes and make them available in a simple, comfortable, and logical application on your iPad. Colorful icons show up directly underneath your fingertips, allowing you to leave your left or right hand on the iPad while your eyes can focus on the artwork in front of you.

Are you so accustomed to keyboard shortcuts that it would be hard to change? Don’t worry, you’re like many of us these days, with a left hand in a claw-like shape, ready to hit ctrl/cmd-z without even thinking about it. Here’s the important thing: Cinco may still be right for you, because even though you want to keep using your keyboard shortcuts, the media shortcuts will be invaluable. Imagine no longer having to hunt through papers and brushes. Imagine being able to see the brush icon in full color before you select it. This is the magic of controlling Painter with Cinco.


For more details about how to setup commands in Cinco, please see this excellent blog post made by our own developer, Caroline.


Painter and tablets go along together like bees and honey, and the exciting new Intuos 5 series and Cintiq 24HD are no exception. The addition of touch capability to Wacom devices is a leap forward that immediately makes Painter easier and more intuitive to control.

Again, we offer you a choice: use the default Wacom implementation or a special Painter Implementation. The purpose of this post is to help you choose the best option for you. Let’s start with the Painter implementation, which is enabled by default. We added a setting to control the implementation, which you can find under “Edit>Preferences>General> Enable Multi-Touch (Compatible Wacom Device required)” on Windows or “Corel Painter>Preferences>General> Enable Multi-Touch (Compatible Wacom Device required)” on a Mac.

When enabled, Painter offers a fluid, paper-like experience for controlling your canvas. Use two fingers to pan, zoom, and rotate the canvas all at the same time. For example, when you grab the top-right corner of the canvas and rotate it, the canvas rotates from the corner! If you grab the bottom-left corner while zooming, the painting expands from the bottom-left corner! Finally, after you’re done panning, zooming and rotating, you can quickly reset your canvas on the screen with a simple two-finger double-tap gesture.

What’s also great about this is it can save time–you’ll no longer need to click three separate toolbar buttons. In fact, if you so choose, you can hide the user-interface by pressing the “tab” key. If you need to change color, try bringing up the “temporal color wheel” by pressing “cmd/ctrl + shift +1” key or better yet, connect to Cinco and press the button under your fingertips!

Painter, Cinco, Wacom, No UI

This experience is also excellent for those who sketch because it lets you correct the paper orientation so that it adjusts with your arm’s movement across the tablet. It also offers different ways to view compositions. For example, if you want to view the image upside down vs. rightside up. Perhaps you will discover new ways of using it in your workflow. If you do, please let us know!

Now, this paper-like experience does come at some expense–the other gestures possible with 1, 3, 4 and 5 fingers will be disabled. Depending on the type of artwork you create, or how you interact with your operating system, you may want to use the default Wacom implementation. (Note: The shortcut keys on the side of the tablet are still customizable.)

Again, this is handled under “Edit>Preferences>General> Enable Multi-Touch (Compatible Wacom Device required)” on Windows or “Corel Painter>Preferences>General> Enable Multi-Touch (Compatible Wacom Device required)” on a Mac.

When unchecked, the tablet will no longer simultaneously pan, zoom or rotate–the actions must be done discreetly. However, there is a benefit–you can now either use or program shortcuts for 1, 3, 4 and 5-finger gestures, over and above the shortcut keys.

Wacom driver screen

As you can see, Painter 12.2 offers new and better ways to control the application. By combining both Cinco and support for Wacom Intuos 5 or Cintiq, it’s now much easier for you to focus on your art! And since every artist, every project, and every person is a little bit different, we’re offering the ability to customize your controls to optimize your workflow.

As always, we welcome examples of how you’re using Painter and feedback about how we can improve the product. Be sure to visit and our Painter Facebook page to catch all the latest and greatest. Until next time, have a wonderful time painting, sketching and illustrating!

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1 Response to Mastering the new control possibilities in Painter 12.2

  1. genstian says:

    Just got to wonder why 1 finger gesture can’t be used to interact clicks in the UI and to pan the view when used in the canvas (etc, it would be nice to have the layer widget on my left side and quickly just click on a different layer, same with the recent tool widget). And 3 finger gesture could be used for brush size (like in the mudbox technology preview). It would speed up the workflow even more.

    The 2 finger gesture is very cool. I love it when sketching as it allows for quick rotations etc (I tried to avoid rotating so much before).

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