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paulk
08-13-2013, 11:18 AM
At the risk of starting another b*tchfest, please satisfy my curiosity.

Discussions of alternatives to Photoshop usually include something like "X has 80 or 90 percent of the functionality of Photoshop at a tenth the price". This implies there are some things that ONLY Photoshop does.

So what are these magic somethings and how do they work for you?

geo_n
08-13-2013, 11:22 AM
What do you got for comparison? :D

Photoshop is standard image editor. Besides that many appz do what it can do except they're not standard. Not being standard sucks because companies that pay will pay for whats standard software for future proofing, security and peace of mind when doing projects.

JohnMarchant
08-13-2013, 11:23 AM
At the risk of starting another b*tchfest, please satisfy my curiosity.

Discussions of alternatives to Photoshop usually include something like "X has 80 or 90 percent of the functionality of Photoshop at a tenth the price". This implies there are some things that ONLY Photoshop does.

So what are these magic somethings and how do they work for you?

Cant speak for everyone else but a combination of Gimp (Free) and Shadermap (Commercial but cheap), suit just about all my needs.

Ryan Roye
08-13-2013, 08:28 PM
JASC Paint Shop Pro 6.0. Made in 1999 and still use it today.

There isn't much that has changed between paint programs on a fundamental level having used Gimp, Photoshop, and Corel's later versions of paint shop (I prefer 6.0 over the stuff Corel put out after buying JASC software). Newer apps will obviously have some time saving tools here and there, better batch processing, or situation-specific workflows, but at its core they all do the same things and usually in very similar ways.

For independent work, any app is fine since no one cares what a person uses to get results. For employers as said above you'll usually be funneled into using mainstream apps (usually the most expensive ones).

PixelDust
08-13-2013, 09:18 PM
Two advantages Photoshop has are familiarity and plug-in compatibility. I'm learning Photoline, and I've found that it does have everything Photoshop has, and more. But there aren't many tutorials available for Photoline, and its programmers use different terminology for some of the features, so it's hard to translate Photoshop tuts to Photoline. For example, Photoline has both "masks" and "lassos". Masks are equivalent to Quick Mask in PS, and lassos are similar to selections, from what I can tell.

Also, I was following a Photoshop tutorial, and it called for using a plug-in that smooths out a black-and-white selection (OLM Smoother). However, the plug-in doesn't work in Photoline, even though it's an .8bf filter. There was a workaround, though, but using the plug-in would have been easier.

sukardi
08-13-2013, 09:40 PM
I have heard good things about Photoline but I am still using Photoshop V7...

Rayek
08-14-2013, 12:58 AM
JASC Paint Shop Pro 6.0. Made in 1999 and still use it today.

There isn't much that has changed between paint programs on a fundamental level having used Gimp, Photoshop, and Corel's later versions of paint shop (I prefer 6.0 over the stuff Corel put out after buying JASC software). Newer apps will obviously have some time saving tools here and there, better batch processing, or situation-specific workflows, but at its core they all do the same things and usually in very similar ways.

Photoline's core masking and layer system is a huge improvement over what I have used before (aside from node based compositors). It is fundamentally different (in the best way), and has been a workflow changer for me.



For independent work, any app is fine since no one cares what a person uses to get results. For employers as said above you'll usually be funneled into using mainstream apps (usually the most expensive ones).

True, true - as an independent freelancer no client cares about what software you used to get the job done. If they ask about whether I use Adobe, I just nod in a re-assuring way. ;-)


Two advantages Photoshop has are familiarity and plug-in compatibility. I'm learning Photoline, and I've found that it does have everything Photoshop has, and more. But there aren't many tutorials available for Photoline, and its programmers use different terminology for some of the features, so it's hard to translate Photoshop tuts to Photoline. For example, Photoline has both "masks" and "lassos". Masks are equivalent to Quick Mask in PS, and lassos are similar to selections, from what I can tell.

Also, I was following a Photoshop tutorial, and it called for using a plug-in that smooths out a black-and-white selection (OLM Smoother). However, the plug-in doesn't work in Photoline, even though it's an .8bf filter. There was a workaround, though, but using the plug-in would have been easier.

Yes, some of the terminology used in Photoline can be confusing at first. Levels-->Histogram Correction. Blend If-->Color Filter. Selection-->Lasso. The documentation is okay, and no books and hardly any tutorials online may drive people away. Undeservedly so, because its workflow is, in some respects, years ahead of Photoshop. But that does mean Photoshop's methodology may work against Photoline's methodology in cases.

Most of the generic photoshop plugins work fine for me.

BTW, OLM Smoother works fine in Photoline, as long as the layer with line art has a transparent background. I use the CS4 64bit version. OLM Smoother just requires a checkmark in the layer properties set for transparency to make it do its job - it does not matter whether you have an actual transparent area in the layer. Like so:
116355

Amurrell
08-14-2013, 01:12 AM
Been using Corel's PaintShop Pro series off and on between PhotoShop and the only thing I can see better in PhotoShop is 64bit compatibility and better performance. My wife and I do professional shoots, and I could really use either one and be satisfied with the results. Some of the editing and masking in PaintShop Pro seems a little backwards at times, but does a very good job once you use it often and get used to the workflow. On the plus side it seems to be a bit more user friendly for the uninitiated photo manipulation user, unlike PhotoShop.

IdotT
08-14-2013, 03:59 AM
For painting Corel Painter has much more to offer than Photoshop, a wide range of media, textures and colour mixing options. Manga Studio is great for line work, import and pose obj files, its also very fast to use. For photo retouching I would stick with Photoshop.It's a shame that these programs are compared to photoshop as they have so much to offer in themselves, I know that Manga Studio has been listing reasons why it's better than Photoshop when in fact it's nothing like Photoshop.
I would also choose Xara designer instead of Illustrator, I just find it much faster.

PixelDust
08-14-2013, 07:20 AM
Most of the generic photoshop plugins work fine for me.

BTW, OLM Smoother works fine in Photoline, as long as the layer with line art has a transparent background. I use the CS4 64bit version. OLM Smoother just requires a checkmark in the layer properties set for transparency to make it do its job - it does not matter whether you have an actual transparent area in the layer. Like so:
116355

Good to know - I'll have to try that. I don't think my layer had transparency - it was a black and white image. The plug-in was in my menu, but it didn't seem to do anything when I tried to use it. I bet it was because of the transparency.

And I'd like to know more about how Photoline's layer masks work and how they are different than Photoshop's. I can't find any tutorials about them. I do like the fact that all the adjustment layers and effects work with 16-bit and 32-bit images.

erikals
08-14-2013, 08:43 AM
OLM smoother works?...! Yyeayyy!! http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/boogiedown.gif

a bit older video preview of PhotoLine >


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BfuwYmBfbU


i'm still a newbie, so still gotta learn a few things to speed up the workflow a bit.

Spinland
08-14-2013, 08:52 AM
A couple of Photoshop things that I use a lot (and I happily used Paint Shop Pro for many years) are content-aware fill (it's like freaking magic) and the 3D painting features of the Extended version. I also use PS Extended for quick and dirty rendering of animation frames into video clips.

erikals
08-14-2013, 09:21 AM
(PhotoLine) ...Most of the generic photoshop plugins work fine for me.

could you mention 1 or 2...? curious... http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif

jasonwestmas
08-14-2013, 09:29 AM
I like photoline so far. Been using it for a few weeks now. Brushes are kinda crap imo but everything else has been pretty darn nice. So chalk 1 up for photoshop brushes.

There are a lot of nice little things in PL that I wish were in PS.

PL opens 16 and 32 bit float exr but not .hdr. But you can download something called Picturenaut and convert it to exr.

I have to touch up 16 bit tiffs some times so 16bpc editing is necessary.

dsol
08-14-2013, 09:34 AM
I edit 90% of my images in After Effects. I can't stand Photoshop's dated destructive workflow and it's minimal levels of support for HDR/Float. For certain types of jobs, it does have its place (content aware fill is a real timesaver as Spinland points out).

I just wish Adobe (or someone else) would bring out a vector-based, non-destructive still image editing tool for editing photos. Photoshop is - ironically - a terrible tool for compositing these days. But that's no surprise - it's been mismanaged since version 5 (the last decent upgrade).

Spinland
08-14-2013, 09:41 AM
I just wish Adobe (or someone else) would bring out a vector-based, non-destructive still image editing tool for editing photos. Photoshop is - ironically - a terrible tool for compositing these days. But that's no surprise - it's been mismanaged since version 5 (the last decent upgrade).

Not sure about how it stacks up in the nondestructive realm, but a very good vector-based tool that is also good for photo editing is Xara Designer Pro. It's one of the reasons I have a Windows virtual machine running in the background even though I'm a Mac user. I'm good friends with the author of the definitive how-to book for using it and he does amazing photo editing jobs with the tool.

jasonwestmas
08-14-2013, 09:51 AM
I just have throw in substance designer into the mix especially for real time texturing viewing while constructing your textures using procedurals and nodes. It has a lot of the power of an image editor but in a non destructive kind of way. It's very amazing how big your textures and node graphs can be too and how many can be previewed at once in hardware without much video ram.

erikals
08-14-2013, 11:06 AM
Brushes are kinda crap imo but everything else has been pretty darn nice. So chalk 1 up for photoshop brushes...

are you thinking of the brush itself (the greyscale image) or the brush settings.
as for the brush greyscale, it's not a big problem for me, as i can make those myself.

the brush settings however is another story, it could use more features, opacity falloff being one...

made a video >


http://youtu.be/f0fyUhII9IA

PixelDust
08-14-2013, 11:25 AM
A couple of Photoshop things that I use a lot (and I happily used Paint Shop Pro for many years) are content-aware fill (it's like freaking magic) and the 3D painting features of the Extended version. I also use PS Extended for quick and dirty rendering of animation frames into video clips.

FYI, Photoline has content-aware fill too - There is a "Remove Brush", and the lasso tools and Automask and Autotransparency tools have "remove object" options. Xara also has content-aware fill tools. They all work pretty well, IMO.

I like Substance Designer, too - Haven't used it very much yet, but I like the non-destructive nature and the ability to tweak Substances in supported 3D apps.

jasonwestmas
08-14-2013, 12:03 PM
are you thinking of the brush itself (the greyscale image) or the brush settings.
as for the brush greyscale, it's not a big problem for me, as i can make those myself.

the brush settings however is another story, it could use more features, opacity falloff being one...

made a video >




http://youtu.be/f0fyUhII9IA

Thanks for all your videos, pretty cool of you.

Just the blending of darker colors. I sometimes have to make pretty dark reflection and illumination maps and the results don't look that great (grainy, splotchy, not very smooth) when using the airbrush and paint brush color tools.

Nevertheless I bought a copy in support of the nice software.

Rayek
08-14-2013, 12:53 PM
could you mention 1 or 2...? curious... http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif

All FilterMeister based plugins, NoiseNinja, FilterForge, Nvidia tools, Ximagic, Luxology ImageSynth 2 (still one of the best), Topaz Labs, ALien SKin Bokeh 2, Nik Sharpener 3 Pro / Viveza 2 / Dfine 2, MV's Plugins, OLM SMoother.

I was disappointed to discover that the Unmultiply plugin ceased to work, but elated to see the developer had decided to create a FilterForge version, which I now use: http://www.ayatoweb.com/download/down04.html

The beta version also introduced an excellent "External Programs" "filter" option, which allows you to hook up pretty much any other app that works with images. So now I am using Gimp as a "filter" :-P Gimp does have a huge array of free filters and effects, which now become instantly available. All the original adjustment layers and layer effects in Photoline remain unaffected when you send it as a transparent layer to the external app.

Files can be sent as a transparent layer, a merged file and as the original format you saved in. Which is pretty cool, because I can save as a psd file, open it up in Krita (which is quickly becoming an awesome painting app, and now works very well on Windows), paint the heck out of it, add layers, etc, and save, switch to Photoline and the changes are automatically applied.

Best of both worlds and very cool! Like having a superb painting plugin, which solves the painting limitations of Photoline for me.

Btw, Krita's layer masking approach is almost identical to Photoline. Almost as if they are sibling applications, so they combine well together.
ps Krita Windows download: http://www.kogmbh.com/download.html

erikals
08-14-2013, 03:59 PM
All FilterMeister based plugins, NoiseNinja, FilterForge, Nvidia tools, Ximagic, Luxology ImageSynth 2 (still one of the best), Topaz Labs, ALien SKin Bokeh 2, Nik Sharpener 3 Pro / Viveza 2 / Dfine 2, MV's Plugins, OLM Smoother.
thank you! http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/king.gif i'll surely be looking into these. http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif


Un-Multiply
looks great http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif


The beta version also introduced an excellent "External Programs" "filter" option, which allows you to hook up pretty much any other app that works with images.
sounds good, not sure if i will be using it, but it does sound quite interesting. i seem to recall another app having a similar function, hmm, or was it indeed PhotoLine i read about... not sure..

Krita, looks cool.., really like that mirror function! ...and free... :o


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3W6c_awc7M

mirror > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7u_rIn5ihLU
more > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIQqSlXq5Z4

BambooPutty
08-14-2013, 04:21 PM
I edit 90% of my images in After Effects. I can't stand Photoshop's dated destructive workflow and it's minimal levels of support for HDR/Float. For certain types of jobs, it does have its place (content aware fill is a real timesaver as Spinland points out).

I just wish Adobe (or someone else) would bring out a vector-based, non-destructive still image editing tool for editing photos. Photoshop is - ironically - a terrible tool for compositing these days. But that's no surprise - it's been mismanaged since version 5 (the last decent upgrade).

Adobe Illustrator and Flash both have vector drawing ability. Not really for editing photos but good for animation or comic book art.

erikals
08-14-2013, 05:09 PM
Illustrator is alright imo, but i wouldn't recommend Flash for vector drawing...
also, they seem to be discontinuing Flash...

personally i thought Flash was ok... :/
guess HTML5 is taking over...

Rayek
08-14-2013, 06:52 PM
Krita, looks cool.., really like that mirror function! ...and free... :o



Photoline also offers a very advanced mirror function. You can set up any number of axes, as well as do completely random ones and scaled ones..
http://www.pl32.com/forum3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3554&p=24206&hilit=+symmetry#p24206

And the newer versions now update in realtime, making a mirror painting setup very simple and comfortable.

PS: you might want to turn off anti-aliasing while drawing in more complex symmetry setups. Speeds up things by a factor of 5.

I made a ridiculous example:
116389

The pld file is only 267kb!
116390

Rayek
08-14-2013, 09:28 PM
Btw, Photoline does not have a built-in lens correction option. I purchased a $25 license of PTLens, which actually does a better job than Photoshop's built-in function: http://epaperpress.com/ptlens/index.html

For that low price you get a lifetime license and free updates for the latest cameras. Pretty good deal, and the results speak for themselves.

It installs itself as a 32bit or 64bit plugin in Photoline.

erikals
08-15-2013, 03:25 AM
Ridicules looks Great! http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif
thanks for posting this.

btw, made a video preview, just testing those files really... >


http://youtu.be/us0N29T4Odw

erikals
08-15-2013, 04:09 AM
Thanks for all your videos, pretty cool of you.

Just the blending of darker colors. I sometimes have to make pretty dark reflection and illumination maps and the results don't look that great (grainy, splotchy, not very smooth) when using the airbrush and paint brush color tools.

Nevertheless I bought a copy in support of the nice software.

Glad to help out...! http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/wink.gif

hm, could it be that your using 8bit instead of 16bit colors...?
i noticed some problems with that when using the fingerpaint brush...

pretty much use only 16bit color mode now.
to change to 16bit go to Layer / Change Layer Type, then choose 16bit

jasonwestmas
08-15-2013, 07:51 AM
Glad to help out...! http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/wink.gif

hm, could it be that your using 8bit instead of 16bit colors...?
i noticed some problems with that when using the fingerpaint brush...

pretty much use only 16bit color mode now.
to change to 16bit go to Layer / Change Layer Type, then choose 16bit

Ok I'll try that out. . . interesting.

erikals
08-15-2013, 10:23 AM
also, could be this, make sure the setting is set to 0%

116419

if you ask at the PhotoLine forums i'll sure you'll have some to solve it... http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif
http://www.pl32.com/forum3/viewforum.php?f=3

Rayek
08-15-2013, 12:01 PM
Ridicules looks Great! http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif
thanks for posting this.

btw, made a video preview, just testing those files really... >


Thanks! Btw, when working with the other two files: works best if you start painting in the top right corner. That's the spot that is mirrored to all the other axes.

Virtual layers in Photoline are a great feature.