This is the first release of the Artist edition to support the GPU, when available. The 3D Designer, Mandelbrot fractal and Bokeh blur use the GPU if the grahics chip is adequate, DirectX11 supported and running on Windows 7 or Windows 8. With earlier versions of Windows (XP SP3 and Vista), GPU is disabled. Multithreading is however enabled too, so you can potentially reach very high performance levels there too.
PD Artist (also known as PD Pro (or Project Dogwaffle Professional) Artist edition, is the lighter counterpart to PD Howler. PD Artist does not allow creating animations or working with video, except that you can still load AVI files or image sequences into animated brushes, and paint with them on a single still image. With PD Howler, you can also work with animations, including the image stabilizer and motion prediction module.
PD Artist is made for painting. You can use it for image editing too. It does support layers (but not opaque layers except when dedicating a color such pink and enabling the layer blending mode such as Magic Pink. There are dozens of other layer blending modes, and a ton of tools and brushes.
PD Artist includes several types of brushes, such as small algorithmically generated antialiased brushes, fine liners, oils, airbrushes, translucent watercolors with pigment lifting, particle brushes for grass and shrubbery, fireworks and lots more, rules based particle brushes for entire trees in a single brushe stroke, complete with 3D depth.
The 3D Designer is great for creating landscapes based on colored elevation maps. You can also add lens flares and other visual effects. This is great for post work, such as if you forgot to enable lens flares and reflections during your 3D rendering which took hours to complete, and you just don't have the time to re-render it all. SImply use Dogwaffle to add the special effects you desire.
PD Artist also includes numerous filters for many traditional image transmations, plus a great number of not-so-traditional effects.
If you purchase this product, it will take you years to discover and learn to use all its features, but don't be discouraged - it's a good thing: PD Artist is that loaded with so many features. There is even another "Paint program within the Paint program" - we call it Penny paint. If you draw Manga and Anime, or other types of line art - this is a great companion.
PD Artist does of course support the tablet pressure, and with some brushes (such as Bristle brushes) also the angle when using a Wacom Intuos with angle detection pen.
A feature list can be found here for the Howler edition (simply ignore the animation portions for the Artist edition): http://www.thebest3d.com/howler/the-dogwaffle-main-feature-list.html