Photoshop alternative

Community Forums/Developer Stations/Photoshop alternative

QuickSilva(Posted 2007) [#1]
From experience can anyone recommend a true alternative to Photoshop? I don`t really care much for the filters etc... that it has but I have never managed to find a program that feels as smooth to draw with as Photoshop.

I am a big fan of PSP but it doesn`t quite respond to my drawing tablet as well as PS does sadly which is a real pain as it`s a great program in every other way.

Are there any cheap\free programs that work as well as PS for freestyle drawing\painting or am I just going to have to put up with second best as PS is just to damn expensive.

Lastly, how does PS elelments shape up to its bigger brother? Is it worth buying? Last time I tried it seemed a little clunky.


Dustin(Posted 2007) [#2]

QuickSilva(Posted 2007) [#3]
Does The Gimp really compare to PS? I`ll have to check it out but I have my doubts. Still I may be pleasantly surprised.


deps(Posted 2007) [#4]
Been a while since I used PS, but my girlfriend have a copy of Photoshop Elements and it is awful, imo. It's much slower, not as stable, and they have move every single command, as far as I can tell, to somewhere else so it takes me forever to do anything in it. :P

But that's just me.

Reactor(Posted 2007) [#5]
The gimp really doesn't come close to matching Photoshop. My recommendation to everyone I meet is to go with PhotoImpact, by Ulead. It's designed for non-professionals, but there are only a couple of things Photoshop can do that it can't, and those are mainly filters.

That said, it's drawing tools aren't that crash-hot. If you really want the best out of freehand drawing (depending on what you're doing) I'd go with Project Dogwaffle (now called PD Pro Digital Painter), or Artrage if you want the painted look.

If you have the cash, go with Painter X, which I hear is much faster than the previous versions. There's also Alias Sketchbook, but that's not for everyone.

Summing up: Dogwaffle is your best bet for painting, and couple that with PhotoImpact (which is cheap if you have an earlier version and can upgrade from it- see a magazine coverdisk) If you like Paintshop Pro, couple that with Dogwaffle.

QuickSilva(Posted 2007) [#6]
Dogwaffle looks pretty good from the gallery screenshots. I`m going to give that a try next. Strange name though.


D4NM4N(Posted 2007) [#7]
Gimp 2.1 is as good as early versions of photoshop and definately as powerful (more powerful in some ways) than paintshop pro 5 and possibly 6. It also has tablet sensitive brushes (on linux anyway dunno about windows)

ragtag(Posted 2007) [#8]
I know where you're coming from QuickSilva. I was looking for a program that was actually good for drawing with a Wacom in. PSP, while it had lots of features, felt very unresponsive when painting. GIMP on Linux (not Windows) was better, but still not perfect. Neither of these has spline interpolation when drawing the strokes (I think they call it smoothing in Photoshop). I found openCanvas to be quite nice. It doesn't have a lot of features, but is simple to use and you can rotate the work surface. It's not free though, but costs lots less than Photoshop. A combination of openCanvas and GIMP might get the job done. ArtRage is nice if you want natural media. You need the pay version if you want to get alpha channels though, and it's really only usefull for natural media look. It's been a while since I've tried Dogwaffe, but I remember it feeling just weird...but maybe it's gotten better.

TV Paint would be an excellent choice, but it's unfortunately quite expensive. Would be nice to have for doing sprite animation.

A couple of other's you might want to check out are Seashore for OS X (GIMP port with native interface...not many features yet), CinePaint, Krita (Linux only...but kind of nice) and Inkscape (vector).

That said, the package I've found the nicest to draw in is Comic Works, it has rotating work surface, spline interpolation of the strokes (no polygonal lines, no matter how fast you draw) and is very fast. Unfortunately it's designed for doing black and white comics art, so lacks many of the features you would need for color work.



xlsior(Posted 2007) [#9]
If you're already familiar with Photoshop and want to give the Gimp a try, you may want to check out GimpShop. It's a freeware re-skin of Gimp to give it more of the look & feel of photoshop.

big10p(Posted 2007) [#10]
If you're already familiar with Photoshop and want to give the Gimp a try, you may want to check out GimpShop. It's a freeware re-skin of Gimp to give it more of the look & feel of photoshop.
And, is about as stable as a psycho on crack, by all accounts. :/

JoshK(Posted 2007) [#11]
I like Paint Shop Pro, it's faster and has an easier interface than PS.

*(Posted 2007) [#12]
I agree Paint Shop Pro is a good all round app :)

QuickSilva(Posted 2007) [#13]
I really like PSP too and if it could do my tablet strokes justice then it would be perfect. Sadly it can`t in my experience. It`s great for everything else though.


Reactor(Posted 2007) [#14]
I completely forgot to mention- the free Painter ripoff Artweaver might be what you're after.

D4NM4N(Posted 2007) [#15]
And, is about as stable as a psycho on crack, by all accounts. :/
Yep! Gimp good :), gimpshop bad :(

Yeah psp is a very useable alternative.

I use psp and gimp for different things. The thing i REALLY miss in both gimp and phptoshop is the ability to paint with 2 colors/styles on each mousebutton.

Reactor(Posted 2007) [#16]
PhotoImpact > PSP ;)

ShadowTurtle(Posted 2007) [#17]
"CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 11" -> "Corel PHOTO-PAINT 11" => PhotoImpact ;)

TheSin(Posted 2007) [#18]
For 2D stuff (not photo editing) I use Inkscape. Vector based 2D simply rocks because you can resize your graphics anytime without losing quality. For photo editing I use iPhoto.


ShadowTurtle(Posted 2007) [#19]
"CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 11" -> "CorelDRAW 11" = Vector based 2D Editor like Flash (without Flash Export, but you can get this feature as Plugin) ;)

Reactor(Posted 2007) [#20]
For the money, PhotoImpact is teh win :)

ShadowTurtle(Posted 2007) [#21]
I got "CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 11" as additional Software from one Book. The Book haved cost 9 euro ( ~$12 ). At moment the Book is sold off.

This are insider tips!