Developer: Escape Motions
Download from developer’s site: $59.99
Rebelle is a painting/drawing application for the Mac and Windows. Its interface will be familiar to many users as there are repositionable, rectangular palettes for Tools, Color, and Layers. The app includes impressive media possibilities: Watercolor, Acrylic, Pastels, Pens, and Pencils.
Its greatest strength, in my opinion, is the uncanny way it replicates watercolor. Colors soak into the paper and blend for wet diffusion effects. You can even virtually tilt the paper so that wet paint runs and spreads. You can choose from several textures of watercolor paper. Other controls include: Wet Canvas, Dry Canvas, Fast Dry, and a visual Show Wet feature that lets you see which elements in the painting are wet. The first minute of this short trailer demonstrates some of these effects.
Rebelle is not a graphics application; there are no typographic tools, guides, or rulers. But if you draw, paint, or have aspirations, it’s great fun. There are eight tools: Watercolor, Acrylics, Pastels, Pencil, Marker, Spray, and Eraser. Each has its own set of controls for adjusting size and pressure when the tool is selected. When wet tools are selected, you can control how much pigment and water is loaded.
For the watercolorist, there are wet and dry controls. You can paint on a wet or dry surface making it respond the way real watercolor paper does. You can press buttons to instantly dry or wet the strokes you paint. You can even blow to spread wet colors in the direction you choose. With a good graphics tablet, which is essential here, you will almost forget you are drawing on a screen instead of using traditional materials.
There is a tracing option that lets you place an image layer under your painting layer and work on that until you have established the basic structure of your drawing. At that point, you can turn off the image and work on the drawing until you are satisfied.
The way the tracing option interface works is not immediately apparent, but the folks at Escape Motions are very prompt with help. It’s good to see a developer that is open to fixing bugs and adding features. Version 1.1 was just released even though Rebelle is only a month old. One of the features I miss is masking but I’m told that it is in the works and will be released soon. Other planned features include Open/Save .psd files, additional brush shapes, and wet masks. Rebelle is off to a great start.
MyMac Review rating is 9 out of 10.