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VonBon
07-29-2016, 10:41 AM
Just wanted to know what other imaging
software people were using.

Kryslin
07-29-2016, 11:29 AM
GIMP. If you don't need to edit HDRI, GIMP handles most jobs just fine. However, there is a little bit of work involved in getting some functionality to work, like EPS import, and normal map rendering. If they ever get to the 3.0 release, then GIMP should be able to handle HDRI and other floating point image formats just fine.

VonBon
07-29-2016, 12:56 PM
Thats what I've been using at home but it registers as a virus
so I uninstalled it from my computer at work, or am I being a
bit paranoid?

prometheus
07-29-2016, 01:12 PM
krita perhaps?

https://krita.org/en/

or check with Our fellow lw user Dan Ritchie about particle 9, He is currently alive in the lw community with some later posts..not sure if particle 9 is free anymore, he used to provide it free now and then though, has some nice brushes and effects and symmetry painting.

kanep
07-29-2016, 01:51 PM
I like Paint.NET. Maybe not as powerful as GIMP, but very easy to use, handles my needs and is free.

http://getpaint.net

Shawn Farrell
07-29-2016, 11:02 PM
I use fireworks from Adobe...boots faster smaller ram and processor footprint has everything I need.

erikals
07-30-2016, 02:22 AM
worthy mentions >

PhotoLine - $80 (win / mac)
PaintShop Pro - $70 (win)
Serif PhotoPlus - $90 (win)
Pixelmantor - $30 (mac)

------------

Affinity looks pretty cool, must say >

Affinity Photo - $40 (mac)
https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/photo
(mac only, but soon coming to windows)
https://affinity.serif.com/blog/affinity-is-coming-to-windows

------------

i do pixel userinterface mockups at times though, and it's hard to beat PhotoShop at that,
however, an old PhotoShop version works just fine (ebay)

OFF
07-30-2016, 03:51 AM
krita perhaps?

https://krita.org/en/

or check with Our fellow lw user Dan Ritchie about particle 9, He is currently alive in the lw community with some later posts..not sure if particle 9 is free anymore, he used to provide it free now and then though, has some nice brushes and effects and symmetry painting.

+1!

Tobian
07-30-2016, 03:54 AM
Affinity beta is out now, which reminds me I need to rest it some more :)

bobakabob
07-30-2016, 04:00 AM
Affinity beta is out now, which reminds me I need to rest it some more :)

Would love to try this but appears to be Mac only...

Otherwise the Corel suites are good, though not quite up there with PS...

Tobian
07-30-2016, 04:33 AM
I will clarify, beta for the PC... I do not own a Mac, I own a pc, I have the pc beta version, it runs and exists right now... On my PC...

erikals
07-30-2016, 04:39 AM
 
yes, soon coming to windows  http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif
you can try the Windows Affinity Beta now >
https://affinity.serif.com/blog/affinity-is-coming-to-windows

Dodgy
07-30-2016, 05:56 AM
Krita is free, and very good so far. Clip Studio Paint is awesome, with both vector and paint layers, and built in 3d figures/objects for posing and drawing over. A bit more pricey, but they have sales all the time so you can pick it up a lot cheaper if you keep your eye out.

Photoline is the best I've seen for PSD import/export, it keeps even Text layers as editable.

Spinland
07-30-2016, 06:06 AM
I know the main thrust of this thread is about raster editing software, but I'd still like to toss out another alternative, this one for vector graphics.

I own Illustrator but far prefer the much cheaper (and IMNSDHO vastly superior) Xara Designer Pro. It was created by a team of former Corellians who decided they could do better (sound familiar?) and is one of the few reasons I can see for having a Windows based computer in the Studio. All I use Illy for is to open up my Xara-created work and re-save the .ai file if I need to be 100% certain it's compatible for a client or team member.

Since a lot of my work revolves around making 3D versions of path-based imagery, vector graphics are often on my radar.

erikals
07-30-2016, 07:06 AM
Clip Studio Paint is awesome, with both vector and paint layers, and built in 3d figures/objects for posing and drawing over.
A bit more pricey, but they have sales all the time so you can pick it up a lot cheaper if you keep your eye out.

that's quite cool...! http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEXCJR2lhSk

Kryslin
07-30-2016, 03:44 PM
Thats what I've been using at home but it registers as a virus
so I uninstalled it from my computer at work, or am I being a
bit paranoid?

That all depends on where you downloaded it from; There have been some shenanigns played with the GIMP installers, so download direct from gimp.org, or from the torrent link on gimp.org. If yours is from another site, it could have some malware/virii attached to it...

cagey5
07-30-2016, 05:05 PM
Gimp tends to be my tool of choice so another vote for that. quite like krita too on the rare occasion I use it

bobakabob
07-30-2016, 06:00 PM
I will clarify, beta for the PC... I do not own a Mac, I own a pc, I have the pc beta version, it runs and exists right now... On my PC...

Is that Affinity Designer you have on your PC?... It's more of a vector graphics program.
Affinity Photo for PC, the Photoshop alternative is apparently still in development... At least according to the links I followed.
https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/windows/

Rayek
07-30-2016, 06:05 PM
For 2d digital painting I would suggest both Clipstudio and Krita. The drawing feel of Clipstudio is unparalleled, and its vector inking is far ahead of other vector software.

For image editing the choice is quite simple for me: Photoline. Affinity Photo can't keep up with Photoline.

One of the major advantages of Photoline is that it is possible to connect to other applications for a round-trip editing workflow. For example, I can send a layer to Krita, work in Krita on that layer, and then send it back to Photoline, and the layer is automatically updated. Or I can send a layer, group of layers, or a flattened document directly to any other image applications for further editing or final output processing.

In short, many image editing applications can be turned into a "plugin" this way. I use the app connection to send layers to Krta for certain G'mic specific plugin effects.


And the latest beta has just introduced the first version of "Photoshop smart objects with smart filters" placeholder type layers. This means I can now apply many standard Photoshop plugins as a LIVE EFFECT straight in Photoline!!!

This is ground-breaking work: ONLY Photoshop offered live smart filters, and now Photoline is the first non-Adobe application to join the ranks in this regard (aside from node-based VFX editors)! Plus this means that the remaining non-live effects/filters in Photoline have now become completely non-destructive as well.

The implementation is actually superior to Photoshop's smart filters: in Photoline it is possible to add as many filters/effects in the same and/or in multiple placeholer live effect layers. So far I have tested the Google NIK plugins, Topaz, ArionFX Tonemapping, XIMagic, PTLens, AbstractCurves, Firschluft Lenscare, and some others - these all function as live external effects!

Also, the latest betas introduce full vector patterns, as well as a very user-friendly on-screen widget to control patterns and procedural pattern fills for both stroke and fill properties. (yes: Photoline supports procedural patterns!)

And Photoline's PSD import is being improved even more now with the addition of exposure and colour lookup adjustment layers.

erikals
07-30-2016, 06:21 PM
yes, for Matte Painting for example PhotoLine is quite strong.

if you are into photo manipulation i wouldn't blink getting my hands on PhotoLine  ($80)

http://www.pl32.com

Rayek
07-30-2016, 06:36 PM
Erikals: direct pixel manipulation with selections is still not possible, btw. Then again, I noticed Affinity Photo uses the same workflow. I assume the reason is that both Affinity Photo and Photoline treat layers as content containers, whereas Photoshop treats layers as bitmaps.

The difference in workflow is clear: in both Photoline and Affinity Photo layer transformations are by default non-destructive, while in Photoshop a content container must be specifically created first (smart object).

I still miss this direct manipulation, but thanks to the app connection I no longer mind: I send a layer to Krita, and Krita behaves just like Photoshop in this regard. When done, I send the result back to Photoline. Easy solution, and it works quickly and efficient.

Spinland
07-30-2016, 06:42 PM
I'm not prepared to speak to 100% of this domain, but Xara Designer Pro not only also offers a robust photo editing suite with live effects, it also has long been able to use most all Photoshop plugins. I started using my Alien Skin Eye Candy plugins with Xara many years ago.

erikals
07-30-2016, 06:54 PM
@ Rayek
thank you for info http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif

yes, could be, but i think it should be doable as it is possible doing it creating an AHK script.
problem is that AHK is too slow, putting the code in PhotoLine should solve it. i'm no programmer though, could be wrong.


it's not impossible that i'll jump to PhotoLine to do Matte in the near future. it's looking quite good.

Affinity also looks cool, must say, though with limitations here and there...

madno
07-31-2016, 01:22 AM
Another vote for PhotoLine ;-)
(sorry, huge screenshots)

it loads a 308 MB 32 bit HDR in 2.5 seconds on my machine (SSD involved):

133878

The build in features work with HDRs
But it also supports effect plugins. In my case Magic Bullet PhotoLooks did the job:

133882

As a result I got nice test renders:

133880 133881

EDIT:
Noticed right now:
It even has a barcode tool. I just made a vCard QR-Code -> saved it as SVG -> imported it into Illustrator (CS 6) -> it worked :-)

cove
07-31-2016, 12:44 PM
I use Zoner Photo Studio Pro [version 18] Cost $99
30-day free trial available.

https://www.zoner.com/spectacular-free-photo-editor


Here is there System requirements page well worth checking out.

https://www.zoner.com/en/system-requirements

Love the way i can navigate around my images/folders.
I especially like the image editing tools.
Some of the none standared editing tools are just brillient.
Any asperations i had to buy Photoshop died soon after i bought into
this software. Would not use anything else.

jeric_synergy
07-31-2016, 04:17 PM
??? Are you guys using "direct pixel manipulation" in some particular way? Because I thought that's pretty much Job #1 for a bitmap editor.

Rayek
08-01-2016, 12:12 AM
??? Are you guys using "direct pixel manipulation" in some particular way? Because I thought that's pretty much Job #1 for a bitmap editor.

The matter pertains to how selections work in Photoline and Affinity Photo compared to Photoshop, Krita, and other bitmap editors: in Photoshop a selection of pixels can be moved and transformed directly by switching to the move tool and transform tool.

In Photoline this is not the case: a selection ("lasso") must be converted to a layer first, either by cutting or duplicating the pixel content. After performing this extra step the pixels can be moved and transformed, and merged back with the original layer, which is a second extra step.

In practice it does not matter in most cases, since in Photoshop users tend to create/duplicate layers and parts of layers to manipulate content, but in a number of particular instances, such as editing pixel art or GUI elements on a pixel level, it may result in a bit of a cumbersome workflow.

In is then that I decide to switch to Krita or Pro Motion 6.5.

Danner
08-01-2016, 08:14 AM
http://www.getpaint.net/index.html check this one out too. it's simpler than GIMP but seems faster and more polished.

Shawn Farrell
08-02-2016, 02:08 AM
I use fireworks from Adobe...boots faster smaller ram and processor footprint has everything I need.

Rayek
08-02-2016, 11:22 AM
I use fireworks from Adobe...boots faster smaller ram and processor footprint has everything I need.

Fireworks - such a shame that Adobe stopped development and support in May 2013. If Fireworks had been allowed to continue to be developed, I think it would have been a corker.

The one thing I miss from Fireworks in Photoline is the scripting support. Both have around the same ram footprint ~200mb, btw.

erikals
08-02-2016, 12:58 PM
Adobe actually had a pretty similar app to PhotoLine ---way--- back

they dropped it of course. i was also told by an Adobe insider that they could easily have merged many of the app functions,
but decided not to. why? because it would decrease their income. merging PhotoShop / Illustrator / Indesign wasn't beneficial... $

thank Goodness that we are finally getting alternatives and competition.

samurai_x
10-30-2016, 10:14 PM
The matter pertains to how selections work in Photoline and Affinity Photo compared to Photoshop, Krita, and other bitmap editors: in Photoshop a selection of pixels can be moved and transformed directly by switching to the move tool and transform tool.

In Photoline this is not the case: a selection ("lasso") must be converted to a layer first, either by cutting or duplicating the pixel content. After performing this extra step the pixels can be moved and transformed, and merged back with the original layer, which is a second extra step.

In practice it does not matter in most cases, since in Photoshop users tend to create/duplicate layers and parts of layers to manipulate content, but in a number of particular instances, such as editing pixel art or GUI elements on a pixel level, it may result in a bit of a cumbersome workflow.

In is then that I decide to switch to Krita or Pro Motion 6.5.


That's a huge limitation. Is it still the case?
I use the transform tools like warp, distort all the time. Is there a liquify tool in photoline? Does it need to go through that horrible two step process?



Some more alternatives.
https://www.systemax.jp/en/sai/
https://medibangpaint.com/en/pc/
http://www.paintstormstudio.com/

Rayek
10-31-2016, 02:01 AM
That's a huge limitation. Is it still the case?
I use the transform tools like warp, distort all the time. Is there a liquify tool in photoline? Does it need to go through that horrible two step process?


You misunderstand: for normal day-to-day compositing work Photoline's workflow is actually a benefit! Let's compare with Photoshop.

(warning - long text ahead - sorry)

In both Photoshop and Photoline we would have multiple layers that are rendered out, as well as layers with other bitmaps. Suppose we want to distort and transform a layer: in Photoshop this is a destructive process. To prevent this behaviour, we must first convert the layer(s) to a smart object, and then transform them. If we need to edit (paint, etc.) that transformed layer, we must first open the smart object. And that smart object cannot be edited in-place: meaning, it is opened in a new window, and we must then edit the contents. Then save to see the changes in our main comp.

This is time-consuming and inefficient. "Horrible" as you state, because whenever we require non-destructive distortions, warping, or transformations, we need to perform these steps:
1) convert the layer(s) to a smart object.
2) transform/distort/warp.
3) hit [enter] to confirm (or deal with that terrible confirmation dialog).

For editing that contents it is far worse:
1) open the smart object in a new window.
2) edit contents
3) save smart object
4) switch to main comp to see what it looks like (not a real-time process!!!), or place windows side by side).
5) when happy, close the smart object window.

Compare this to Photoline. When we want to transform, distort, or warp a layer/layer group non-destructively, we:
1) transform, distort, warp.

That's it! FAR MORE efficient than Photoshop!

To edit the contents of a transformed layer(group), we:
1) edit the contents

This is ridiculously more efficient than Photoshop!!! Can you imagine how much time is wasted in Photoshop due to the ridiculous requirement that, in order to be able to scale non-destructively, we must convert EACH layer to a smart object! Silly! Affinity also adheres to Photoline's approach, btw, and in that app transformations are non-destructive by default as well.

And you must also realize that each layer in Photoline can have its own custom resolution, bit-depth, and colour mode. Changing the image intent is done via the background layer - even when you convert the image to a grayscale 8bit image, all the layers retain their original information!!! Which means that converting back to 16bpc or 32bpc gets you a full colour comp again. Each layer can also be individually colour managed - making it possible to work in linear mode for 32bpc layers, but in non-linear with RGB layers, for example.

So, I hear you ask: "what about that horrid two-step process?". Well, because all transformations, distortions, and warps are by default non-destructive in Photoline, the drawback is that when the user needs direct destructive pixel transformations (essential for a smooth pixel art workflow) it becomes more convoluted:
1) select pixels
2) copy selection
3) paste selection
4) transform
5) merge back in original layer.

In Photoshop it would be:
1) select pixels
2) transform pixels
3) deselect pixels

Which means in Photoline it requires an extra three shortcut keys: [ctrl c] and [ctrl v] and a shortcut key for merging down.

For regular compositing work this is hardly an issue, if at all. Generally we want non-destructive transforms. We hardly work with small groups of selected pixels. But for specific instances, like pixel art operations and elongating a bitmap button, it can become a chore if this must be done a lot.

But I almost never have to perform this type of direct pixel manipulation when doing regular comp work - quite the opposite. And when, the more efficient overall non-destructive workflow of Photoline more than balances out, and it proves to be much more efficient than, for example, Photoshop.

Except when I do pixel art. In that case I will switch to a different application.


As for your question regarding liquify: in Photoline the Liquify tool is part of the regular tool set. Click the tool, and start work on your image. Photoline will automatically add a Liquify non-destructive layer in the layer stack. As opposed to Photoshop, which will open the liquify function in a new separate window, Liquify in Photoline is completely and seamlessly integrated in the main workflow. No need for that extra window with different controls: in Photoline the regular mask tools, layer masks, and so on, all work as intended.

The beautiful thing in Photoline is again that only one click with the Liquify tool is required to start the process. And it is non-destructive by default. In Photoshop you will first have to create a smart object, and then apply the Liquify effect. And that also means you CANNOT change and edit the contents of a liquified smart object WHILE the effect is active. This is potentially a huge drawback: in Photoline I can draw in the content, and while I am drawing the liquify effect affects my drawing. This is just not possible in Photoshop, since the content of a smart object cannot be a) edited in place, nor b) affect the main comp in real-time.

As a consequence of the Liquify function in Photoline being an "effect" layer in the layer stack, it is also possible to control the strength of the deformation mesh with the opacity setting! And it is possible to use a NEGATIVE opacity in Photoline, thereby inverting the liquify effect!

Oh, and did I mention in Photoline a layer's opacity can be set from -200 up to +200? Super handy. Photoshop eat your heart out!

It is even possible to duplicate a Liquify layer - even clone it! So you can build up your liquify effect in layers!!! What!

Sorry about all the exclamation marks. But Photoline's overall workflow is superior to Photoshop in many ways. I'll take that tiny negative (the lacking direct pixel transformations) when the rest of the workflow is so much more efficient than Photoshop for comping. If you are doing pixel art I wouldn't be doing it in Photoshop either - there are just better dedicated applications to create pixel art. Photoline does not offer an indexed colour mode to work in either, so for that type of work I rely on ProMotion.

The beautiful thing about Photoline's upcoming v20 version (I am a beta tester) that is coming out in November, is that the smart object workflow is fine-tuned, and we can now apply any filter non-destructively - just like Photoshop (excepting those external third-party ones that do not support this, such as FilterForge). As far as I am aware, outside of Photoshop and Photoline, no other image editor is capable of applying external filters non-destructively. Works like a charm with Google Nik, for example.

samurai_x
10-31-2016, 04:51 AM
direct destructive pixel transformations

I guess in most cases I draw the traditional artist way, coming from an art background, which is more direct, organic and fluid like painting in real life. Very similar to this guy, cubebrush.

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

or the way Taron's painting app is suited for organic painters.

Which also translates to 3d in zbrush, which I don't think I would need to keep transforms, distortion's history even if zbrush added that feature. I would collapse it right away and just keep on adding on top of it.

Rayek
10-31-2016, 01:54 PM
When drawing and digital painting, I generally do not use Photoline - I prefer Krita and ClipStudio myself for that work. Although I still do use layers quite a lot, and build up in layers. One of the nice things about Photoline is that is plays nice with other applications: I can send a layer (or the entire file) to Krita, work in Krita on that layer, and save the result, which is then automatically updated in Photoline.

Luckily, lots of options out there nowadays that fit various workflows. Never used Verve before - does it support 16bpc? I always paint in 16bpc.

erikals
10-31-2016, 04:48 PM
it's too bad PhotoLine don't have a faster "destructive" workflow as an alternative.

a nice app though, i might return to using it at a point. last install was version 17.

it definitely precedes PhotoShop regarding filters. (like liquify)

another favorite is the "minimize/maximize" brush.

finger smudge in PL works differently, using less smudge. i usually prefer more smudge.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gerC3aJNKvQ

Rayek
10-31-2016, 05:03 PM
Version 17 !

Lots of small and big workflow changes since then (for the better). Version 17 was still quite clunky in a number of places.

Still no quick destructive pixel transformations, though. Having said this, I have reduced this procedure by one step: after selecting, duplicate the selection to a new layer, transform, and merge down. shift-d, edit, shift-m. In most instances this is quick enough.

Btw, also nice in the newer versions is that the (down)sampling algorithm can now be set for a transformed layer. This can have a real positive impact on the quality of the transformations/distortions.

erikals
10-31-2016, 05:20 PM
i wish there were more Pro youtube PhotoLine tutorials, there are so few.
but even with PhotoShop it's few Pro ones, so i think it's unlikely to change.

another app i like is Affinity Photo, will likely buy it. (it's in paid beta now, $60)


https://vimeo.com/132757806


Still no quick destructive pixel transformations, though. Having said this, I have reduced this procedure by one step: after selecting, duplicate the selection to a new layer, transform, and merge down. shift-d, edit, shift-m. In most instances this is quick enough.
yes, if i get back to PhotoLine (not at all impossible) i'll probably make some scripts and AHK functions to speed things up.


but for Ui smackups, PhotoShop all the way.
the "irony" is that for that specific thing i'd be fine with using PhotoShop 4.5

Rayek
10-31-2016, 05:25 PM
As far as I am aware, Affinity Photo suffers from the same problem: no direct pixel transformations. Unless they changed that at some point.

Yes, Photoline tutorials are far and between. Professional ones are very rare beasts ;-P

erikals
10-31-2016, 05:27 PM
PhotoLine newbies might also wanna take a look at this small intro i made some time back >


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZafS4fWNKoY


As far as I am aware, Affinity Photo suffers from the same problem: no direct pixel transformations.
yes, most likely. AP would be more for photo manipulation and retouching. it's limited in some ways.
a wish would be a PhotoLine / Affinity Photo merge, but can't see that happening. :-)