Review of Right Hemisphere's Deep Paint

I had read enough material about Deep Paint created by Right Hemisphere Limited that I decided that I wanted to experience it for myself. Deep Paint is a painting program that can be used in a free standing mode or as an Adobe Photoshop plug-in. Some writers have compared it to MetaCreations' Painter. However, while it has many features that are similar to those found in Painter, it is a unique program unto itself.

Right Hemisphere is known for its 3 dimensional painting programs. This is its first program geared toward 2 dimensional graphic art. In reality, according to Right Hemisphere, "Deep Paint is a true real-time material based 3D paint rendering system." This means that the paint it lays down has three dimensions - length, width, and depth. To accomplish this, it requires one's system to have a lot of memory.

The requirements are: Microsoft Windows 95, 98 or NT 4 or later; a minimum resolution of 800 x 600 pixels; a graphic card capable of displaying 16-bit color; a minimum of 64 MB of Ram; at least a Pentium 200 MMX, and a CD Rom drive.

The system recommendations as proposed by Right Hemisphere are: A Wacom Intuos or similar pressure sensitive digitizing tablet; a graphic card capable of displaying 24-bit color; a Pentium II 266 processor or better; 128 MB of Ram; and Windows 98 or NT with at least service pack 3.

This program is very memory intensive due to its structure. If used as a plug-in, one needs to realize that since Photoshop requires a lot of memory itself, one should not multitask while using this plug-in for it requires that memory be allocated to it beyond that utilized by Photoshop.

In the getting started guide that comes with the software is a table that shows how much ram is needed by Deep Paint. 

Image Size in Pixels

Recommended Ram

1500 x 1500


2000 x 2000


3000 x 3000


4200 x 4200


6000 x 6000



While one has usually been told that quality is lost when resamping an object to increase its size, a file created by using Deep Paint can be resampled up to 2-3 times its size. Thus one can create a 10" by 10" file at 150 dpi and then increase it to a resolution of 300 dpi. In this example, one would go from a file whose pixel dimensions are 1500 x 1500 to one whose pixel dimensions are 3000 x 3000.

Deep Paint is a unique and great program. It has numerous brushes whose characteristics can be easily changed. I created my own set of brushes by using some of the standard defaults and then modifying the brushes. I, then, created a new brush category. This was easily accomplished.

The following illustration shows the default categories. Within these categories are the individual preset brushes such as oils, acrylics, etc. Once a brush is selected it can then be modified by making it larger, softer, lighter, darker, opaque, transparent, partially transparent, etc. This is just the beginning because there are even more menus available for creating one's own brushes. There are also extra presets that can be downloaded from the web once one has registered the program.

If all the above seems complicated, the beauty of Deep Paint is that creating or modifying a brush is simple to do, simple to save, and simple to access once saved.

Deep Paint is a layer based program. One can create multiple layers and save them in the Deep Paint native dp2 format which retains its layers; or one can save the dp2 file as a jpg, tif, png, bmp. One can also, as stated earlier, use Deep Paint as a Photoshop 4 or later plug-in. It will also work with other programs that are compatible with the Photoshop plug-in architecture. For a list of these and answers to other questions, see the Deep Paint FAQ on the Right Hemisphere web site at

A tremendous number of effects can be acquired using various Deep Paint brushes as well as varying the lighting of the particular dp2 file. For example, the thickness of a brush stroke (its depth) is determined by three controls, CBS, color, bump, and shine. If one chooses only to use color, the stroke will be flat.

One advantage of using Deep Paint as a Photoshop plug-in is that the work flow is not interrupted by the need to go outside the program. It also uses a similar layering system and similar key strokes and retains some, but not all, of Photoshop's tools. However, one drawback when using Deep Paint as a plug-in is that the memory allocated to Photoshop cannot be used for Deep Paint. Thus one needs even more memory to run both Photoshop and Deep Paint easily and efficiently.

While I could use the program both as a Photoshop plug-in and as a stand-alone program, I found that it was easier and more time efficient for me to use Deep Paint as a separate program. Since I was using Photoshop psd files, I just brought them into Deep Paint and then saved them in the tif format. One cannot save them in psd format at this time. Since I could work with larger files, I found that I saved time using this method.

One of my favorite tools is the Cloning Tool. Not only are there specific cloning tools, but many of the other brushes can be used as cloners by choosing the cloner tool from the toolbar instead of the cloner from the Preset Brushes. I chose some of my photographs that I believed would work especially well and created my own brushes and saved them in a new category.

Even though I have a lot of memory on my computer, I created small files that were not more than about 4 MB in size. With my setup, I found that these were easy to work with. When I finished with them, I found I could easily resample them even as much as was needed to double the dpi. For example, I took a file that was 4.5MB with linear dimensions of approximately 10 x 7 and with pixel dimensions of about 1500 x 1000 (all of these figures are rounded off) and a dpi of 150. When I finished cloning this file, I changed the dpi to 300 which increased the size to 18 MB. I could not detect any data loss using my Epson EX printer. Everyone will need to experiment to determine what size file works best for them.

Deep Paint sells for about $250.00 although Right Hemisphere has been offering special discounts . A full working demo version can be downloaded from their web site:

To see examples of work created with Deep Paint and Photoshop, follow the link, to Impressions