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Kabaal
03-08-2009, 01:06 PM
As the title reads is there an alternative to using Photoshop for texturing and compositing with Lightwave? Or is it really the best bet.
I have been looking at programs like 3D Coat and Corel Draw suite which includes Photo Paint but I am still left wondering are these viable alternatives to photoshop?
I have had a look through the forums but there doesn't seem to be any recent post re this. If I have missed them my apologies.

My main uses would be for painting UV maps and compositing Lightwave renders in with Vue skys/landscapes.

Any advice greatly appreciated.

Paul24
03-08-2009, 01:35 PM
I use The Gimp and very pleased :thumbsup:

flakester
03-08-2009, 01:37 PM
Howdy Kabaal.

GIMP (open source image editor) is a free alternative, but for functionality and integration; Photoshop is most likely the best bet for my money. I may say this just because I use it in line with my work almost every day and have not had the need to look elsewhere though.

I don't see any of the other big players being a bad choice. As long as you can do the same things for the same outcome.

For painting straight onto a mesh, 3d Coat and z-brush are up there as keen choices from what other prople are saying, but I have limited knowledge of mesh painting in z-brush and no experience with 3d Coat to date.
Bodypaint from Maxon is apparently a decent enough app (demo'd it some time ago but get along without it just fine).

I'd say it comes down to what you're after:
For 2D image creation and editing; there are many, just take your pick.
For painting directly onto geometry, I'd be pushed to go outside of 3D Coat or z-brush, though this is taking other peoples comments into consideration more than my own slim knowledge on these apps.

I'd be pleased for other people to post their own experiences and knowledge here, so we can all get a more rounded view.

--
flakester.

accom
03-08-2009, 01:39 PM
Gimp. It's a very decent application. Plus - it's free.

http://www.gimp.org/

--- ah, Flakster was faster. :)

Dexter2999
03-08-2009, 02:09 PM
Paint Shop Pro as well.

HarverdGrad
03-08-2009, 02:12 PM
I like Paint .NET, very photoshop like & easy to use & Free
http://www.getpaint.net/

-EsHrA-
03-08-2009, 02:28 PM
www.kanzelsberger.com dev is slow but v1.0 should be out in a few months.

mlon

OnlineRender
03-08-2009, 02:39 PM
has to be gimp for free application or zbrush for model painting , although zbrush can act funny when texturing or so i have found ................. most people use photoshop though .

Hopper
03-08-2009, 02:44 PM
I used to be a hard-core Corel Draw/Paint user myself. I've since joined the bandwagon and gone to CS3, but if I were to do it again, I would have stuck with Corel.

It's true PS has more features and capabilities, but holy crap batman ... it's about as intuitive as brain surgery if you want to just do a few simple graphics (i.e. labels, minor texturing, etc..). It's truly a time vampire as far as the learning curve goes.

I'd say on any given day I get about $10 out of my CS3's capabilites. I should have just used GIMP.

IMI
03-08-2009, 02:46 PM
For 2D image creation and editing; there are many, just take your pick.
For painting directly onto geometry, I'd be pushed to go outside of 3D Coat or z-brush, though this is taking other peoples comments into consideration more than my own slim knowledge on these apps.

I'd be pleased for other people to post their own experiences and knowledge here, so we can all get a more rounded view.

--
flakester.

My wife uses Photoshop at work and bought her own copy of CS3 last year for home use, so I've been kinda learning that here and there, but I really can't comment much on it except to say it's a pretty damn competent program with more uses than I think most people even know about.
But as far as painting textures goes, I just can't get into it in photoshop. It just seems like painting is a secondary concern to editing existing images. I've been using Painter since 1999 though, so I guess it stands to reason I would find Photoshop's painting problematic.

Painter X is *amazing* for painting though. Works great with my Wacom Intuos 3 and just has so many tools for so many types of paint, it's just ridiculous. Painter is, IMO, by far the best thing to use for painting on a 2D UV map or adding detail quickly to a 2D image map. Again though, I probably see it that way because I know the program far better than photoshop.

As for 3D painting directly on a model, I still think Deep Paint 3D is way up there. LWO models with multiple UV's or OBJ files with overlapping UV's aren't a problem, such as in ZBrush, because DP 3D sees it in terms of material and texture assignments and groups, not as objects. Unfortunately, Right Hemisphere doesn't sell it any more by itself - you have to buy it as a bundle with several other programs, presumably so they can maximize their profit. They seem to have pretty much abandoned developing it anyway. A real shame - I wish they'd just sell it to some other company.

I like Modo 302 for painting too, although there's a lag when crossing materials. Meaning, if you have a head material and the neck is a separate material for whatever reason (or something similar like that), you'll get a lag when crossing that border as modo switches to a different material internally. Possibly there's a way around that but I haven't looked into it since I really only paint in Modo for very specific things, or on models better suited for modo's way.

ZBrush's poly painting is amazing and if you have the model and the UV's set up right can be very cool. And you can get extreme detail and then export maps of course. Unfortunately that can be a problem at times because ZB can be rather finicky about your model and its UV's. I've had it cry and whine about how my model has overlapping UV's, even when it doesn't. It doesn't support multiple UV's on a single mesh either, which is a real showstopper, IMO.

Just my .02. :)

Kabaal
03-08-2009, 03:41 PM
Thank you all for the replies. :thumbsup: :bowdown:

Gimp: I have never heard of GIMP (nothing to do with masks I hope :D) but I will look into it. Especially as it is free so nothing to loose. Likewise for the other free programs mentioned here.

Paint shop Pro: I saw this today in PC World but wasn't sure as all it seemed to say on the box was to do with effects on photos. More food for thought though.

I have just downloaded the trial for 3D Coat so will give this a go. A few threads on here say its very Lightwave friendly. Again nothing to loose.

IMI: Your comments about painter have got me intrigued as I am moving into 3D from originally drawing on pen and paper. Plus quite a few of my ideas involved objects that have been painted. I.E a leather jacket that has had gang colours painted on or a room daubed with graffiti etc. Is painter able to import the UV maps from Lightwave directly?

Hopper: Your comments about moneys worth is one of the reasons I'm very hesitant to buy photoshop. Plus that and the fact that us Brits seem to get charge a lot more for it!!

Again my thanks to you all for all your advice, I now have a good list of alternatives to check out. :)

IMI
03-08-2009, 04:05 PM
Is painter able to import the UV maps from Lightwave directly?



Sadly, not that I know of. Screenshots of the UV view in LW work well enough though. You can export the UV view as an EPS file for Photoshop also, but Painter can't open them unless they're converted to .psd or something else.

Snosrap
03-08-2009, 04:12 PM
Corel Draw and Corel Photopaint used here:thumbsup: Best value for professional bitmap and vector graphics creation. For right around $400 you get 'em both. PS CS4 is $700 and Illustrator is CS4 is $600. The only thing I like better in PS over Photopaint is adjustment layers. Everything else is superior IMO, with the exception of stability. I will give props to PS for being rock solid in every area except pasting from the clipboard, what a pain the @ss. People please give Corel a look, we already have AutoDesk ruling the 3D segment, don't let Adobe have the 2D.

Cheers
Snosrap

probiner
03-08-2009, 04:19 PM
If you want to to 2D animation as well --> http://www.tvpaint.com/v2/content/article/home/

adamredwoods
03-08-2009, 04:47 PM
As the title reads is there an alternative to using Photoshop for texturing and compositing with Lightwave? Or is it really the best bet.


I use Photoshop as a professional, everyday, and I think the UI leaves a lot to be desired.

As for as painting UVMaps, I recommend 3DCoat as an alternative. It has made 3D painting much more enjoyable, without much technical overhead.

As for a replacement to Photoshop, I HIGHLY recommend Abobe Fireworks. It's a hidden gem. Fireworks does a lot of the *basic* image manipulation that Photoshop does, but gives better image layout tools and better vector creation tools.

Fireworks downside is that it is not as robust as a paint tool. Adobe totes it as a web layout, prototyping tool, which it excels at.

IMI
03-08-2009, 04:56 PM
Also, don't ignore LW's own built-in "painting" tools, the surface baking shader and the surface baking camera.

It's pretty easy to bake just about any kind of surfaces you can make in LW with procedurals, gradients, nodes and all that into a 2D image map that could take a long time to paint. Texture maps, ambient occlusion, lighting, reflection maps, global illumination/radiosity maps and probably lots of other things I'm overlooking can then be exported as a 2D map or maps and used on a model for the same effect, but without the additional calculation time. Or you can use them as a starting point for manually painting more detail into them in another program.

It's *loads* of fun, too, once you figure it out. The surface baking shader is probably a little easier to use, but is not multithreaded. The surface baking camera is and is faster, but a little trickier to set up.

Snosrap
03-08-2009, 04:57 PM
If you want to to 2D animation as well --> http://www.tvpaint.com/v2/content/article/home/

Yeah I use Mirage as well, it rocks. I'd love to upgrade to the latest, but since Bauhaus no longer holds the rights to it, upgrades to TVPaint are out of this world.

Cheers
Snosrap

Dodgy
03-08-2009, 04:57 PM
The closest I've found is Serif's Photoplus X2. It has almost the exact same interface as PS, and has a few neat features besides. For example, when you add a filter, you can stack up a few (to build up effects), and then choose to apply them or not, whereas PS you can only apply one filter at a time. It has a straighten tool, where you draw a line along a supposedly horizontal part of the picture, for example the horizon, and it'll rotate the image to match. Anyway, you can download the manual before buying, so you can see if it has what you need.
http://www.serif.com/photoplus/
Plus it's only 70 dollars. A bargain.
Gimp, although it's free, really doesn't compete with PS or PhotoPlus in terms of layers, and I waited and waited for it to integrate GEGL for like a year or so, so when I found photoplus, I switched to that. When Gimp does get fully gegl'd I might give it another go, but for now, I'd recommend PPlus for a PS clone.

Mark The Great
03-08-2009, 05:56 PM
Actually, CS4 allows you to non-destructively stack up filters and toggle them on and off as well.

Although, for $70, Photoplus looks like it packs quite a punch.

Surrealist.
03-09-2009, 12:03 AM
I use Gimpshop (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=gimpshop&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&oq=) because it is laid out more like Photoshop. It does the things I need.

Open Canvas looks promising. But it is only a 30 day trial correct? Thanks for the link. :)

cresshead
03-09-2009, 03:11 AM
options


photoshop alternatives
paintshop pro
corel photopaint
gimp
cinepaint [linux]
photoshop elements [much cheaper than photoshop cs4]


natural media paint apps>
corel painerX and also now corel painter 11
corel painter essentials

artrage 2.5

autodesk sketchbook pro

tv paint 9 www.tvpaint.com
tvpaint 9 pro

3d apps that can paint>
zbrush
cinema4d core
3d coat
modo
mudbox 2009

IMI
03-09-2009, 03:22 AM
3d apps that can paint>
zbrush
cinema4d core
3d coat
modo

You left out Autocash Mudbox 2009, which also has an incredible OpenGL implementation.

geothefaust
03-09-2009, 04:38 AM
I'd like to also point out that Andrew Shpagin is almost done with his low poly painting tools. Download will be available this week to test. ;)

Dodgy
03-09-2009, 05:25 AM
options


photoshop alternatives
paintshop pro
corel photopaint
gimp
cinepaint [linux]
photoshop elements [much cheaper than photoshop cs4]


PhotoPlus :)

cresshead
03-09-2009, 05:30 AM
You left out Autocash Mudbox 2009, which also has an incredible OpenGL implementation.
:agree:

edited it..was just off out shopping so brain was in shopping mode!


i can see a price chart appearing soon on this!

adamredwoods
03-09-2009, 12:09 PM
PhotoPlus :)

Fireworks is only US$300. It too has layerable, non-destructive adjustment layers.

Nice find on PhotoPlus, haven't heard of that one. I'll take a look at it.

hydroclops
03-09-2009, 12:16 PM
Almost all these suggested options offer free trials.

Kabaal
03-09-2009, 12:23 PM
Hey thanks everyone. I really appreciate the input. :thumbsup:
I will have a go with the free trials and see which one(s) I get to grips with.

Jaffro
03-09-2009, 03:19 PM
wow, what an amazing thread! Thanks everybody. :thumbsup:
I'd always assumed that photoshop was basically top draw and that was that. Its great to see real alternatives that people are actually using. Now i just need to find that spare time to have a mess around... hmm.

Dodgy
03-09-2009, 05:11 PM
Nice find on PhotoPlus, haven't heard of that one. I'll take a look at it.

Yeah, I had been searching for a viable PS alternative myself for a couple of years, and I kept looking at PS Elements, to see how it was progressing. A few weeks ago I was reading a review of it, and they mentioned Paint Shop Pro, and Photoplus as being the only contenders in the price range. I haven't used PSP since about 4 or so, and I hadn't heard of PPlus, so I checked it out. It's good because Serif allow you to download the manual, so I did to see if it had all the features I needed, which it did. The only downside to it is there aren't hotkeys for the tools or brush settings. The tools I rarely used the hotkeys anyway, so that was no biggy, and you can set up your own brush tip presets, so I use those instead. I'm still badgering them on more hotkeys though ;)

ingo
03-10-2009, 03:28 AM
Don't forget Pixelmator http://www.pixelmator.com/ and Naked Light (still in development) http://www.naked.la/light/

And how about the Raw editors Aperture and Lightroom, and not to forget Shake.

howardt
03-10-2009, 04:07 AM
Seen this? Online picture editor: http://pixlr.com/editor/

caccipergolo
03-10-2009, 07:51 AM
this is a MIRAGE/TVPaint like program: http://www.thebest3d.com/pdpro/index.html
some really cool particle effects on the site too.

Edit: this one http://aviary.com/tools/phoenix is another online image manipulator.
Look at their site too, some coll stuff in there.

Kabaal
03-13-2009, 02:06 PM
Just a quick update to say that I have been messing around with the free trial of Corel Draw X4 and I must say it seems to do everything I think I would need.
The Photopaint program is especially quick to pick up and I like the variety of pen types and brushes it offers. Seems like a good balence between creative drawing/painting tools and more standard photo editing/correcting etc. It will even import EPS files for painting UV maps :boogiedow

The DRAW program is all vector based and I haven't looked at it as much as Photo Paint but it seems a top piece of kit too. I can imagine it would be useful for tech drawing or logos etc but I'm no expert :D

The full package is 378.35/$429.00

I have looked at paintshop pro, painter, GIMP and a few others but so far Corel Draw is the one thats grabbed my attention. A bit like Lightwave really, I tried demos of various 3D apps but it was LW that seemed to make the most sense to me so here I am! :)

Again my thanks to all who replied with ideas & comments etc.

Andyjaggy
03-13-2009, 02:39 PM
Wow lots of different programs in here. I would just suggest sticking with photoshop, it's certainly the most powerful and "everyone uses" it so any new job you go to will most likely have it.

As far as it not being intuitive, or the interface sucking. Yeah I guess, I don't know it seems pretty straightforward to me but I have been using it for 10+ years so I can't say how a newbie would find it.

I guess I'm just too lazy to want to learn yet another application. But more power to ya!

IMI
03-13-2009, 02:47 PM
Wow lots of different programs in here. I would just suggest sticking with photoshop, it's certainly the most powerful and "everyone uses" it so any new job you go to will most likely have it.



Yeah, but if you read the first post, he said his primary interest was for "painting UV maps and compositing Lightwave renders in with Vue skies/landscapes".
That's why there are all these painting app suggestions in here. Photoshop can do it all as far as image editing, but it's not as versatile in painting as allot of these other suggestions.

Andyjaggy
03-13-2009, 03:26 PM
Guess I should have read the first post. :)

sbrandt
03-13-2009, 03:52 PM
My vote is for Corel.

But for something a little cheaper,
Serif has a paint program in their
collection of apps.

http://www.serif.com/drawplus/

Snosrap
03-13-2009, 05:11 PM
I would just suggest sticking with photoshop, it's certainly the most powerful and "everyone uses" it so any new job you go to will most likely have it.

The "most powerful", that's debatable. It's certainly powerful, as is Photopaint. Also feature for feature Photopaint is on par if not more so than PS. It's all there, they just don't support the Mac. I use PS CS3 at work everyday, but for my personal use I purchased CorelDraw 8 (now using X3) several years ago and much prefer it for creating original art and LW retouching. Like I said earlier in this thread, the only thing PS has on Photopaint is adjustment layers and stability. Among a host of other features, I like the "Object" metaphor that Photopaint uses over the "Layers" in PS. It's much more intuitive IMO. I suppose they need to charge $999.99 to convince some people, I for one am glad they don't. Remember people, you also get CorelDraw (vector) in the deal, and while I'm forced to use Illustrator at work (I do like it) Corel Draw can do everything and then some of what Illustrator can. While it's true that "everyone uses" PS, they aren't particularly using it on it's merits, they are using it because "everyone uses" it - which isn't necessarily a good reason to use it.

sbrandt
03-13-2009, 07:21 PM
"...while I'm forced to use Illustrator at work (I do like it) Corel Draw can do everything and then some of what Illustrator can..."

A big yes to that. I think the perfect combo for design and print work is, InDesign for layout Photoshop for raster and CorelDraw for vector.
I choose PS only because of the styles function and I've built a nice bunch of font effects I use all the time. Illustrator is sloooow dog meat compared to CorelDraw. I guess I actually view InDesign the same way. Unless it's a big account project where someone will actually look for rivers of white and go through the copy to to find kerning mistakes, I still use CorelDraw for most layout if the documents don't have too many pages. But InDesign can do some really elegent stuff.

IMI
03-13-2009, 11:54 PM
I wonder how many 3D CG texture artists actually use Photoshop for painting textures. I mean, really painting a texture on a UV map. I've seen several examples in video tutorials, and every one of those has been someone taking sections of actual photos of humans or animals or reptile scales and all kinds of things, and cropping them, layering them, and editing and distorting them in all manners.

Then they take their layers and apply filters to them for various effects, spec and bump, all the while twisting, dragging and manipulating these adjusted photo pieces to fit on a UV map. I can't think of too many cases where they grabbed a brush and a color and painted something in, and what I have seen of that has been very brief.

I imagine that's the way to do it to get photoreal results quickly though, but a whole lot of that sort of technique can just as easily be done in the better 3D painting programs using stamps.
Speaking of which, I'm genuinely surprised Adobe hasn't come out with their own full 3D painting app yet. I guess BodyPaint 3D would be the closest to that, but I'm surprised Adobe hasn't seen a need to seriously try to compete in that area.

fluver
03-14-2009, 12:32 AM
I was trying this and would like if there is a good answer

Lisa

www.fluver.com

IMI
03-14-2009, 12:46 AM
I was trying this and would like if there is a good answer

Lisa

www.fluver.com

The answer is "42".