Ambient Design History & Awards

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Press: Ambient Design History & Awards

About Ambient Design and ArtRage

About ArtRage

ArtRage began as a very small program, when it won the 2004 Microsoft Can You Think In Ink? tablet based competition. It was a free program for a few years as the Ambient Design developed it into something worth selling, finally launching ArtRage 2 in 2006. It is now a full featured and realistic painting program capable of handling professional level projects, but still affordable and user friendly enough to be used by children and beginners.

If you are interested in the evolution of ArtRage over time, check out the version histories.

About Ambient Design

Ambient Design is a small New Zealand based company of about nine people. It was first established in 2000 by Andy Bearsley and Matt Fox-Wilson, moving on from the closure of Metacreations in 1999. While they originally took on graphic software related work from other companies, such as Corel, Adobe, Digital Anarchy and Jasc Software, the ArtRage program grew until it became the primary software product of Ambient Design.

Also see: About Us

ArtRage Userbase
ArtRage ambientdesign

ArtRage is designed to be intuitive, stable, customisable, affordable, easy to learn and as close to real life media as possible. While it was originally conceived of as a fun experiment, it found enormous popularity amongst serious artists, and Ambient Design took their feedback onboard to continue refining and improving the program. ArtRage owes a great deal to its community of users, whose feedback and support helped shape the software.

We have observed that ArtRage is used by following major usergroups:

  • Kids, due to its fun features and child friendly interface
  • Used as educational software at all levels
  • People with physical disabilities
  • Traditional artists making a shift to digital media
  • As affordable entry software by a wide range of digital artists
  • By professional illustrators and power users
  • As a complement to other digital art programs to add realistic textures
Major Dates
  • 2000: Ambient Design founded.
  • 2004: ArtRage 1 released (free)
  • 2004 (December): Winner of Microsoft® Tablet PC Does Your Application Think in Ink? contest
  • 2006: ArtRage 2 released (first version for sale)
  • 2009: ArtRage 3 (Studio & Studio Pro) released as two separate editions
  • 2010: ArtRage for iPad released
  • 2012: ArtRage for iPhone released
  • 2012 (October): ArtRage Studio Pro Steam launch (first non-gaming software on Steam)
  • 2013 (January): ArtRage 4 released
  • 2013 (November): Mavericks patch released for ArtRage Studio and Studio Pro
  • 2014 (August): ArtRage 4.5 free update including 64-bit support
  • 2014 (October): ArtRage for Android launched
  • 2015 (September): ArtRage Lite launched
  • 2015 (October): ArtRage for iPad 2.0 released
  • 2016 (December): ArtRage 5 announced for January 2017
  • December 2004 Microsoft® Tablet PC Does Your Application Think in Ink? grand prize winner for ArtRage 1
  • March 2012 “Hot One” Award for Best New Gear from Professional Photographer for ArtRage Studio Pro (edition 3.5)
  • March 2014 Parents’ Choice Gold Award for ArtRage for iPad

In September 2014, an ArtRage for iPad plein air painting was presented to world leaders at the NATO Summit. It is believed to be the first mobile digital work gifted in this way.


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