Rebelle 2 Review: Digital Acrylics and Watercolors Like You’ve Never Seen

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If you've heard of Rebelle, you're probably excited that a new version has recently come out. The original Rebelle (by Escape Motions) has won awards over the years for its incredible ability to make paintings look like they're from the real world. Blending, diffusion and color mixing all played roles in the watercoloring simulation, and users are encouraged to get as creative as possible with things like paint, blowable wet washes and more.

The Rebelle 2 software takes it to a new level, and it comes in both Windows and Mac versions. The whole point of the update is to give the watercolors and acrylics a more realistic feel, and it delivers on every level. You can find some interesting new stencil tools, amazing custom brushes for a little creativity and support for layered PSDs.

We've included some examples of what Rebelle 2 can generate, so feel free to scroll through for a little taste of these wonderful watercolorings and acrylics. As you explore the paintings we'll uncover some of the brand new features that come along with Rebelle 2, distinguishing between what was already there in the previous version.

collage by Martin Hanschild

New Features in Rebelle 2

Colorful by Peter Blaskovic

A User Interface for All Skill Levels

The majority of these paintings look rather complicated, but beginners don't need to worry about being left out. The whole point of the new user interface is to make it less intimidating for learners, while also packing in all of the powerful features you can expect as a professional. It's similar to that of Photoshop, where the average person can learn quickly, but the pros can still take designs to new levels.

Beautiful Redhead Acrylic by Jay Hardy

Better Performance and Multi-Touch

The multi-touch functionality means that the designer can utilize a trackpad or tablet device for more natural drawing and painting. Some of the supported devices come from Apple, Microsoft and Wacom. Basically, you don't have to worry about being stuck with a trackpad or tablet that's not compatible, because the best ones on the market all seem to fit nicely in with the Rebelle 2 interface.

On the performance side of things, Rebelle 2 has added more fluid undo and redo buttons, making the process much faster. Not only that, but you can expect to open, save and modify large files without as many problems as you might have had before.

Baron Vladimir Harkonnen by Mato Hanschild

Art by Vasylissa_Deviantart

Solid Stencils

The new Rebelle 2 stencils come in handy for the beginners who would like to cover up parts of the painting. They also have tools for wetting the paper like you would in real life, along with a beautiful watercolor simulation that automates parts of your design process.

You can use stencils for masking purposes – just grab ink, pencil or any other tool, paint a mask on the canvas and create stencil from it. You can create the stencil either from the current layer or from selected area. Manipulation with stencils is very easy – you can resize, rotate and move them and if you have tablet with multi-touch features, simply use your fingers for manipulation. Rebelle 2 comes with default stencils but you can import any image file or paint your own very quickly.

Art by Kamila Stankiewicz

More Advanced Brush Tools

A completely new brush engine comes with Rebelle 2. This means you can make all of the brush combinations you want. There's no limit at all. Default shapes for the brushes are included, so that's good news for the beginners and people who have become accustomed to using certain brushes.

Customization is a big part of the new Rebelle 2 update. Expanding upon your brush size makes it all the more advanced, and you won't have any problems with speed when changing brushes. This is because of the experimental GPU acceleration.

Finally, it's worth mentioning some of the default brushes you can still rely on. These include options like sponges and round and flat brushes. You could go with bamboo or consider the wide range of splatters available in Rebelle 2.

Finding Love On Sunshine Street by Junkyard Sam

What Else Can You Expect?

  • Full support for layered PSD files
  • Selection options for generating masks when you don't want to change a certain area of the painting
  • Integrations with many other graphic applications

Rebelle 2 Pricing

Cat by Will Von Dehl

The Rebelle 2 software is priced at $89.99, which is a steal considering you get a powerful design system with watercoloring and acrylic tools that make your work look like the real thing.

The pricing is the same for both Mac and Windows versions, so you can go to the website and download either one. They have a few versions for download, so choose the one that's most recent.

The Escape Motions company also sells a few other design products on its website. For example, you can find the following tools if you'd like to complement the Rebelle 2 software:

  • Flame Painter 3 Pro – $89.99
  • Flame Painter 3 – $29.99
  • Amberlight 2 – $89.99
  • Creative Package – $229.97 for Rebelle 2, Flame Painter 3 Pro and Amberlight 2.

As you can see the Creative Package is worth looking into because of the big savings. If you're thinking about making light effects, computer generated images or animations along with the acrylics and watercolors, keep the Creative Package in mind.

Rebelle 2 Support

Alien by Martin Hanschild

When you download Rebelle 2 they don't leave you without support. In fact, the support team is as good as they come for design software. Escape Motions has a full blog for seeing when new updates come out and for understanding how the software works.

They also provide access to a support email for when you might have any questions along the way. The primary support page comes in the form of an FAQ. It seems like the majority of problems can be resolved with these questions, but it's always nice to have the email address just in case you absolutely can't figure something out. I don't see anything in terms of live chat or phone support, but that wasn't expected for a product like this.

Who Should Consider Rebelle 2?

The answer to this is pretty simple: Those who would like to design insanely beautiful acrylics and watercolors without any super complicated tools. Yes, Rebelle 2 is powerful and advanced enough for the most experienced designer, but the learning curve isn't that out of reach so that beginners feel intimidated.

I like Rebelle 2 most for designers who have taken advantage of other Escape Motions products like Amberlight 2 and Flame Painter 3 Pro. You can't go wrong with the Creative Package, or you can simply combine your previously owned software with this new offering from Escape Motions.

If you have any questions about this Rebelle 2 review, let us know in the comments below. Also, share your thoughts if you've had a chance to try it out!

Bogdan Rancea

Bogdan is a founding member of Inspired Mag, having accumulated almost 6 years of experience over this period. In his spare time he likes to study classical music and explore visual arts. He’s quite obsessed with fixies as well. He owns 5 already.

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