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  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict mari's Avatar
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    alternative to photoshop

    Hello, does anyone know if there is a free software that is close to photoshop with tools like the pen tool and paths, ive tried artweaver but it doesnt allow me to manipulate the paths like in photoshop

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    SitePoint Zealot zealus's Avatar
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    Ever looked at GIMP? Paint.NET? Personally, I don't see these as a Photoshop replacement, but many people push them as such, so you just might like them.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Addict mari's Avatar
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    i shouldnt have said alternative lol, im just looking for something that has the pentool and allows me to manipulate paths, im gonna try out gimp, but if anyone else knows of any others let me know please

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    photoshop elements

  5. #5
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    1. GIMP
    2. Krita
    3. Paint.NET
    4. ChocoFlop
    5. Cinepaint
    6. Pixia
    7. Pixen
    8. Picnik
    9. Splashup
    10. Adobe Photoshop Express

    That list is all free or open source software. Do search on Google. Hope that helps.

  6. #6
    I hate Spammers mobyme's Avatar
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    Inkscape http://www.inkscape.org/download/ absolutely free. Incredible bit of kit. Our head designer swears by it and still uses it a lot even though he has his pick of the latest and most expensive drawing packages there are.
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  7. #7
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    @ryanglobal. thanks for the list, this is cool.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by janyoung101 View Post
    photoshop elements
    Photoshop Elements is a great program but it does not have the pen tool. You can get an add-on onOneEssentials to give you the pen tool but I don't know if it has all the features of the full photoshop pen tool.

  9. #9
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanglobal View Post
    10. Adobe Photoshop Express

    That list is all free or open source software. Do search on Google. Hope that helps.
    FYI this is wrong unless you think free is under $100

  10. #10
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    I use Paint Shop Pro 7.01

  11. #11
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Another vote for Inkscape from me, it is the best bar none (well, better than Illustrator at least, can't compare) though of course it's vector so it doesn't do what I want in terms of photos.

    As for raster image editing, I can't go past Photoshop, as much as I've tried to like cheaper solutions. GIMP is just not as great as people are claiming. I can't do any macros/actions (I know it has a scripting language, but like that's friendly) and I can't do 16 bit images, which I would kind of like to get into.

    Krita looks pretty neat, but they don't really have a usable Windows version of it yet and I don't have Linux on any computer I use regularly, so I haven't had a chance to try it. It does, however, do some things that GIMP doesn't like high bit depth, and looks like it has a better interface.

    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia View Post
    FYI this is wrong unless you think free is under $100
    Is Photoshop Express not free? Or did I misunderstand.

    I guess it's the only flavour of Photoshop I haven't tried, but it seems kinda gimmicky, and with the amount they charge for Photoshop, or even Elements, Express has got to be pretty crippled.
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  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard drhowarddrfine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmj View Post
    GIMP is just not as great as people are claiming.
    Have you tried the latest?
    I can't do 16 bit images, which I would kind of like to get into.
    I guess not.

  13. #13
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drhowarddrfine View Post
    Have you tried the latest?I guess not.
    If by latest you mean 2.6, then yes I have. The interface in Windows is better, but GIMP is still just not great. Are you saying it can do 16 bits per channel and macros/actions now? I'm fairly sure it can't.

    What about adjustment layers? They allow non-destructive adjustments. Another thing I use sometimes is batch processing, which I don't think GIMP has. Also, when saving an image for web (GIF or PNG), Photoshop lets me choose the number of colours from 2 to 256, see the result in real time, and it uses a much more intelligent method of choosing a colour palette (choice of 4, actually). I don't understand why GIMP's palette chooser can be so bad. In GIMP I need to save images using a number of steps (why is the save process so unfriendly?), and if I want to save a paletted image I have to change to palette mode separately, then undo that change after the save.

    I have tried to like GIMP as you can see, but I stand by my comment that it is not nearly as good as some people claim. Even its stubborn refusal to change its name to something more 'office friendly' shows that it is not taking itself seriously as a Photoshop replacement. Some GIMP fans would respond to this by saying it doesn't want to be like Photoshop. Well, that's fine, if you want it to remain as obscure as it is. Just stumbled upon a definition of gimp: one who is crippled. Has other unwanted meanings too.

    As far as open source raster imaging goes, Cinepaint has enjoyed a lot more success than GIMP. It's a fork from an earlier version of GIMP, so it is not smashing, but it has a couple of much wanted features like the ability to do 16 bits, 32 bits or floating point per channel, all color-managed, not to mention a more office-friendly name. It also added some features, like onion-skinning, that film people like.

    Krita looks like it has a lot of potential, but of course potential has to be realised some day. It does, however, have a lot of the features that GIMP doesn't have, and ambitiously states that its aim is to some day replace both Photoshop and GIMP.
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  14. #14
    SitePoint Guru hgilbert's Avatar
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    There is Xara Xtreme which is free on Linux. But it is aging fast, they abandoned development a while back. Shame as it offered a lot of promised in the beginning.

    Also there is ImageMagick for batch raster jobs.


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    SitePoint Wizard drhowarddrfine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmj View Post
    If by latest you mean 2.6, then yes I have. The interface in Windows is better, but GIMP is still just not great. Are you saying it can do 16 bits per channel and macros/actions now? I'm fairly sure it can't.
    Yep. You're right. My artist told me that it did but apparently I misunderstood. The "hooks" are now there for 16-bit but the ability is not.
    Another thing I use sometimes is batch processing, which I don't think GIMP has.
    It does. While you eschew scripting, some of the things you want to do can be accomplished with that effort. Photoshop may have some of those tools built in, but Gimp can perform things with scripting that Photoshop may not, or ever will. But that's the Unix philosophy of things and Gimp is a Unix tool, not a point/clicky thing.

    Several years ago, I started using Gimp, and now the three artists I use all use it, too. Now I only do simpler things when necessary so whatever you have problems with, I might not be aware of but everything we do is done with Gimp.

    Just stumbled upon a definition of gimp: one who is crippled. Has other unwanted meanings too.
    Come on. You know that's not how it got its name. GNU Image Manipulation Project.

    Gimp is a Unix tool that follows the Unix philosophy of software. It is not a commercial product. So the interface is added on but its inputs and outputs are perfect as a Unix software component and can be run from the command line and scripting.

    Yes, CinePaint is great, or at least was when I was in the film industry.

  16. #16
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drhowarddrfine View Post
    Come on. You know that's not how it got its name. GNU Image Manipulation Project.
    My point about the name was that they continue to use it despite all of its obvious negative and non-office-friendly meanings. I think that shows a lack of ambition, as if they don't want it to ever be popular.

    I think the comment about GIMP being meant as a Unix tool, not a "pointy-clicky-thing" is similar. It shows that it GIMP doesn't really want to be a Photoshop alternative. That's fine, I guess, if that's what it wants, but inevitably people will compare it to Photoshop everywhere it goes, including this thread - if an argument for not implementing a feature in GIMP is that "GIMP doesn't want to be like Photoshop" or that GIMP is about its scripting rather than a graphical user interface then it shouldn't be popping up in a list of Photoshop alternatives.

    The scripting language is great, and would be a compelling feature if it were in addition to a point and click macro tool, rather than instead of. As it is, it's great, but does not make up for the lack of a point and click macro tool.
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  17. #17
    SitePoint Enthusiast .Andy's Avatar
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    Gimp
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  18. #18
    SitePoint Wizard drhowarddrfine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmj View Post
    My point about the name was that they continue to use it despite all of its obvious negative and non-office-friendly meanings. I think that shows a lack of ambition, as if they don't want it to ever be popular.
    I think there would be more a commotion if it were ever changed. The Gimp has nothing to sell so it's not trying to market itself.

    if an argument for not implementing a feature in GIMP is that "GIMP doesn't want to be like Photoshop"
    It doesn't. It wants to be a good tool, not an imitator of some commercial product. It's not a competition as far as Gimp is concerned. Or any foss tool for that matter, though pride may be involved.
    or that GIMP is about its scripting rather than a graphical user interface then it shouldn't be popping up in a list of Photoshop alternatives.
    On Unix, the GUI is secondary to the command line; at least in a true Unix environment. Config files are preferred over check boxes. So are scripts. Both are far more flexible.

  19. #19
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drhowarddrfine View Post
    The Gimp has nothing to sell so it's not trying to market itself.
    Do you not see that as a problem?

    Firefox heavily markets itself, and openly acknowledges that it wants to take market share from IE. Do you think that it shouldn't try to do so because it is FOSS?

    Same with MySQL. Same with most Linux distros. They strive to become popular and grab a larger slice of the market away from commercial offerings. It seems that GIMP's desire not to upset Adobe's bottom line is not typical.
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  20. #20
    SitePoint Guru hgilbert's Avatar
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    Call it arrogance or whatever. But GIMP is free and is the responsibility of it's creator and anyone that wants to contribute to the project. Again for free. They don't get paid.

    However, there are tools to make the PS-transition less painful.

    Gimp is a software many people love to hate. But when truly stuck without competent free alternatives - you curse at first ... and then feel grateful.

    I still prefer Photoshop over Gimp. But guess what? I don't have PS anymore. I lost my Windows machine. And so had to learn hard about things I could do in PS with ease. But eventually discovered I could do better under Gimp.

    Aggressive image optimization being one.

    To end - Gimp doesn't necessarily have to be your only alternative to PS.
    But IMHO you'd be pretty silly not having it as part of your arsenal of Graphic Tools.


  21. #21
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hgilbert View Post
    Call it arrogance or whatever. But GIMP is free and is the responsibility of it's creator and anyone that wants to contribute to the project. Again for free. They don't get paid.
    It doesn't have to be that way though. Lots of people, me included, get paid to develop open source software. The assumption that because it's open source, nobody would want to pay for it to be developed, is untrue. Why shouldn't GIMP go looking for clients who are willing to fund its development?
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  22. #22
    SitePoint Guru hgilbert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmj View Post
    Why shouldn't GIMP go looking for clients who are willing to fund its development?
    If the development of GIMP was so seriously flawed - it would have died a long way back.

    It's continuity says something about the project.

    A lot of people like it (even though a lot of people still hate it)

    Sometimes money is not the main driving force, specially for FOSS philosophy.

    You may not agree with the software and not like it.

    But I bet you millions and millions still do and feel grateful for the priviledge.

    And I bet a few show their appreciation through donations.


  23. #23
    SitePoint Wizard drhowarddrfine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmj View Post
    Do you not see that as a problem?
    No.
    Firefox heavily markets itself, and openly acknowledges that it wants to take market share from IE.
    Firefox is run by Mozilla, which is a corporation. That is where some of the marketing comes from. The rest is from supporters who believe in its product's goal. Making a great, modern browser because the dominant browser makes no attempt at that.

    The Gimp's goal is to be a great graphics tool, not take market share away from Photoshop. If it became number 1 in that area, there would be great pride, but there is no marketing department. There is no profit in doing that. There is no money behind it.

    Same with MySQL.
    mySQL has always been owned by a corporation and is now owned by Sun.
    Same with most Linux distros. They strive to become popular and grab a larger slice of the market away from commercial offerings.
    True of the commercial distros but not the others. The BSDs and non-commercial Linux offerings believe they have a great operating system (they do) but the goal is to make it better, not take market share away from anyone. Here, again, there is no profit to be made.

  24. #24
    SitePoint Wizard drhowarddrfine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmj View Post
    Why shouldn't GIMP go looking for clients who are willing to fund its development?
    One reason. It's GNU. Can you say Richard Stallman?

  25. #25
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drhowarddrfine View Post
    One reason. It's GNU. Can you say Richard Stallman?
    I guess that point of view just irks me because it seems so non-ambitious.

    I don't know much about Richard Stallman, but it seems you are right about him not valuing market share, nor publicity, so much. Kind of strange for someone who started something that has captured so much of both (GNU/Linux).

    Don't get me wrong, I respect the free software movement and understand its importance, but I think that some of the greatest things the free software movement has given us are the things like LAMP, Firefox, etc.

    Oh well, I will be trying out Krita in the future, and waiting for its cross-platform KDE4 builds.
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