In Corel Painter, you work mainly with bitmaps, or raster images. Bitmaps are composed of tiny squares called pixels; each pixel is mapped to a location in an image and has a numerical color value. The location and color value data are stored as bits — hence, the name bitmaps.
Shapes are vector objects, and you can work with them in Corel Painter in much the same way you work with vector objects in drawing programs like CorelDRAW® and Adobe® Illustrator®. Vector graphics are made up of lines, curves, objects, and fills that are all calculated mathematically.
Corel Painter draws shapes in an anti-aliased fashion. This anti-aliasing gives objects a smooth edge, as opposed to the jagged edges apparent in some drawing programs. Some clipart objects actually look like photographic elements when they are imported into Corel Painter and displayed with anti-aliasing.
Anti-aliased shapes are typically slower to appear on the screen in Corel Painter than are aliased objects in drawing programs, so you may want to use your drawing program for most of your object creation. You can then import the vector artwork into Corel Painter, tweak it with the drawing tools, and add some Natural-Media effects.
Shapes in Corel Painter can be interleaved with pixel-based layers, so you can layer both styles of artwork in a single composition. You can convert vector objects and groups into pixel-based layers and use any of the effects or painting tools on these floating objects to create Natural-Media artwork.
You can also convert shapes to selections and vice versa. The tools for adjusting shapes allow precise control over the outline path, so you may want to use shapes to create some of your selection paths. For more information about selections, refer to "Selections" in the Help.
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