Escape Motions has released Rebelle 5, a major update to the natural media painting software that it claims makes Rebelle the first application to accurately replicate the way that real-world pigments blend.
The pigment-based colour mixing system is available in Rebelle Pro, a new $150 edition of the software, along with AI-trained image upscaling system NanoPixel and a new Photoshop live link plugin.
Users of the standard $90 edition get improvements to the existing watercolour, oil and acrylic paints, a new timelapse recording system, and the option to load multiple reference images.
Control liquid paint in real time
First released in 2015, Rebelle mimics the behaviour of real-world paint, complete with fluid flow and blending. Users can control the flow of the paint in real time by tilting or blowing on the virtual page.
Recent updates have introduced a new impasto engine, recreating the behaviour of thick oils and acrylics.
The software can also mimic the behaviour of dry media, including pencil, pastel and marker, while commercial add-on packs replicate the textures of real-world papers, canvases and lithography stones.
Rebelle 5 Pro only: new pigment-based colour mixing system
The main feature in the new $150 Pro edition of the software is the new colour-mixing system, which mimics the way that real-world pigments blend more accurately than traditional RGB representations.
For example, using pigment-based mixing, blue and yellow actually blend to make green, rather than various tinted greys, as happens in conventional digital painting software.
The new system is based on Secret Weapons’ Mixbox technology, which implements the Kubelka-Munk mathematical model of pigment blending within a RGB workflow.
Escape Motions describes Rebelle as the “first software in the world with real physical color mixing based on traditional pigments in a full RGB color gamut”.
The update also introduces new preset colours mimicking real artists’ pigments like Cadmium Yellow and Alizarin Crimson; and Rebelle’s colour management has been updated to support pigment-based mixing.
Rebelle 5 Pro only: AI-trained NanoPixel system lets users export ’16x larger’ images
Other new features in the Pro edition include NanoPixel: a machine-learning-trained image upscaling system.
It automatically fills in missing detail as users zoom into images, making it possible to “export your paintings 16x times larger for print without losing details”.
You can gauge the quality of the results from the before-and-after examples in this blog post.
Pro users also get Escape Motions Connect, a new live link plugin that makes it possible to transfer image layers between Rebelle and Photoshop with a single click.
Rebelle 5 and Rebelle 5 Pro: improvements to digital watercolour, oil and acrylic painting
Users of both edition of the software get improvements to the existing watercolour, oil and acrylic paints.
The watercolours now support granulation, mimicking the way that granules of pigment settle out of real-world watercolour washes, creating additional texture within paint strokes.
The oils and acrylics have now been unified into a single paint tool, and get a new MultiColored brush option, which makes it possible to load a virtual brush with two or more colours.
The colours then blend together realistically over the length of a brush stroke, as shown in the image above.
A ‘dirty brush’ mode loads the colour from the end of the previous stroke onto the brush for the beginning of the next stroke, automatically generating multi-coloured strokes.
In addition, the update introduces a dedicated mixing palette panel in the interface, making it possible to blend colours together, then use the blended colours to paint on the software’s canvas.
Rebelle 5 and Rebelle 5 Pro: timelapse recording, multiple reference images, workflow improvements
Other changes include a new timelapse recording system, which makes it possible to record the process of painting an image and export the resulting video in .mp4 format for use on social media.
In addition, users can now load multiple images to Rebelle’s Reference image panel, then open them in separate floating windows; and can zoom, rotate, flip or desaturate images within the viewer.
The update also introduces separate preset UI layouts for use on desktop systems and tablets.
Other changes include built-in curve editors for brush settings like Opacity, Brush Size and Tip Tilt; and the option to save common settings as visual presets in a dedicated new Volume Presets panel.
Pricing and availability
Rebelle 5 is available for Windows 10+ and macOS 10.14+. A new licence of Rebelle 5 costs $89.99; a new licence of Rebelle Pro 5 costs $149.99. You can find a feature comparison table here.
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