Akvis Software has released Akvis MultiBrush 4.0 (http://akvis.com/en/multibrush/index.php) for Mac and Windows systems. The app lets you retouch damaged photos and enhance portraits.

Version 5.0 includes a new Artistic Tools palette with tools such as Oil Brush, Roller, Felt-tip Marker, Chalk, Artistic Pencil, Artistic Spray, and Artistic Eraser for adding artistic effects to images. The Standard Tools palette has been expanded and improved. There’s a new Spray tool, and new parameters for selecting the color of pencils and brushes. You can change the shape of a pencil and the angle of brushes. Also the parameters of the Smudge tool have been changed.

MultiBrush now lets you edit an image in layers. In the Layers palette, layers can be added, reordered, their visibility can be switched on or off, and they can be arranged in groups. There are two kinds of layers, raster and artistic, which can be edited by the standard and artistic tools, respectively. The layer Blending Options dialog window provides a collection of parameters for controlling how layers blend together.

From that window one can select from 13 different Blend Modes which can be used to create a variety of effects. The opacity of a layer can be adjusted and individual color channels can be included in the blending process. This dialog also includes Blending by Brightness, which controls the visibility of layers based on the brightness of the active layer and the layers below it.

Customers who own a Home Deluxe or Business license can use the Channels palette, which enables an image to be edited in separate color channels (RGB, CMYK, Lab, Grayscale), along with raster layer transparency (the Alpha channel). A channel is a half tone image containing the brightness information of a component color.

The various tools and operations in MultiBrush can now be accessed via hotkeys. For example, to quickly switch between the Standard and Artistic tool palettes, press Q. Since there are more palettes, it is now possible to hide/show their Hints and Parameters in the Settings Panel via the Preferences dialog, to free-up the workspace.
It’s also now possible to create new images with a choice of default presets (postcards, posters, etc.) or from a user’s custom presets, in the standalone version of MultiBrush. The plug-in version supports 64 bit and is compatible with Photoshop CS4 64 bit.

Akvis MultiBrush is available as a standalone application. as well as a plug-in to popular photo editors. Featuring a collection of healing and enhancement brushes, cloning and stamping tools, the software is designed to help artists, photographers and home users to perform portrait enhancement, retouch image flows and remove unwanted objects from digital pictures. It removes wrinkles, scars, scratches, and enhances imperfect skin on portraits in the most natural way. Spots, stains, and dust are easy to mask and remove.

Akvis MultiBrush sells for US$49. It’s also available as part of the $325 Akvis Alchemy bundle, which also includes Sketch, Chameleon, MultiBrush, Retoucher, Coloriage, Noise Buster, Decorator, Enhancer, LightShop, SmartMask, ArtSuite, Magnifier and ArtWork. A 10-day demo is also available for download. Version 5 is a free upgrade for registered users.