Escape Motions' software is practically an art form unto itself: Flame Painter software generates fire so realistic you could stick it in your fireplace on a crisp winter's day, and feel the benefit.
Meanwhile Amberlight, an extension of Flame Painter, creates wonderful X-ray-esque sculptures of light and shadow. Rebelle (opens in new tab) marks a departure from these abstract painting tools and a maturation for Escape Motions.
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Rebelle retails at £39 and is the company's first attempt to emulate real-life materials and mediums rather than creating mind-blowing patterns of fire and light.
As such, it encroaches on a similar territory to Corel's Painter in its digital simulation of sloppy watercolours and acrylics. Painting with its tools feels natural and organic, and you can unleash your creativity with a selection of customisable brushes and colours.
So far, so Painter – albeit without the hefty £315 price tag. But where Rebelle really gets interesting is in its hyper-real features to alter your painted artwork. The Blow tool simulates your breath on the canvas, so the medium expands and clumps together.
Meanwhile, the Tilt control moves surplus paint in the direction you specify; when used wisely this can add a touch of dynamic speed or plummeting gravity to your images.
And then there are tools for drying or wetting the canvas, smudging and blending paint, and of course an eraser to undo your mistakes.
Some may think these features are a little gimicky; however, we feel that they help to give the program a unique identity.
With Rebelle, Escape Motions has created a smart, competitively priced painting program that adds just enough to a well-worn formula to make it work.
More importantly, though, is the company's move away from its singular, abstract software and into the mainstream: the variety of brushes on offer suggests that this could become a frontal assault on Painter et al. Watch this (saturated) space.