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Sinewav

Photoshop Alternatives

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For a while now, I've really been wanting to do some geeky Photoshop stuff like make forum sigs and add Lightsabers to pictures... problem is that Photoshop is hella expensive, I'm dead broke, and I have too much of a conscience to pirate it.

I googled "Photoshop Alternative", and came up with approximately 14 bajillion different freeware programs. Suggestions?

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I use Photoshop at work, but I've always used Paint Shop Pro at home over the years. The newest version usually retails for $100, but you can get older versions for a lot less. I bought PSP7 a while back for about $30 (I think PSP 9 had just come out at the time). They're up to PSP11 now I think, but the newer versions are by Corel rather than JASC, so I don't know what changes there have been for better or for worse.

But PSP probably does about 90% of what Photoshop does. That extra 10% is some pretty cool stuff, but you can still get great results for the sort of things you're wanting to do. In fact, I'd actually say it's superior to Photoshop for "low intensity" stuff like pixel art.

And just to end my excessively long recommendation with a story:

I took a "Intro to Computer Graphics" class in my last semester of college since I've always done this stuff on a self-trained basis and wanted to feel semi-legitimate. The semester prior, I visited the professor to get an idea of the content of the class and to see if I needed to take it at all. I mentioned that I used PSP a lot and how it was a nice cheaper alternative to PSP. If Photoshop has the power, I'd say PSP has the more friendly interface.

Out of nowhere she switched to this smarmy uppity tone: "Well, you get what you pay for." I didn't say anything at the time, but later on in the class (which I have ultimately decided was a waste of time), I covertly did a couple of the assignments at home on PSP rather than in class on Photoshop, just to see if she could tell the difference. She didn't notice a damned thing.

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I use gimpshop(gimp made to look like photoshop) but for some reason it crashes on me when I use some of the tools...so I'm also looking for a photoshop alternative.

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I support both the Gimp and PSP. I've used both in my time (before finally getting a copy of photoshop), and they work fine. Especially if you're just starting out with this stuff, they have all the features that you'll need. GIMP is a little bit more complicated for newbies, but overcoming the learning curve for graphics programs in general makes up a lot of it, so you should be fine.

Of course, at this point I've used Photoshop for enough years that going back to the other programs is hard, though I do keep PSP7 on my computer for doing quick things that don't merit photoshop's start-up time.

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I've been on PSP for quite a long time, for all the images I've created up to now (including the sig below). I expect the full Photoshop would have all the tools one might need to work as quickly and efficiently as possible, but so far I've been managing wonderfully without it.

However, what about Photoshop Elements? If you're gonna spend $100 anyway, the official cut-down version of Photoshop is at the same price and oughta be worth looking into. I've heard nothing but good things about it.

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For a while now, I've really been wanting to do some geeky Photoshop stuff like make forum sigs and add Lightsabers to pictures... problem is that Photoshop is hella expensive, I'm dead broke, and I have too much of a conscience to pirate it.

I googled "Photoshop Alternative", and came up with approximately 14 bajillion different freeware programs. Suggestions?

Wait, you just want to make some banners and stuff? and for that you think you have to buy PS?

Dude, go find a torrent of PS and install it. Do you think they make photoshop expensive for casual users? It's expensive because it is aimed at companies/schools/freelance business. Adobe doesn't give a rats ass about you. They just want their share the moment you start to make money with their tools.

For gawd´s sake, thinking of buying photoshop to shop lightsabers into pictures...

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I use the excellent, free, and always-being-updated Paint.Net (www.getpaint.net). It's extremely n00b-friendly (otherwise I wouldn't be able to use it, heh) and it comes out with a new version number with an extra feature and a bugfix or two about once every two weeks. Plus, if you've already got the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 installed, the download is less than two megabytes! It takes less time to download than a Photoshop torrent. Plus it's LEGAL!

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Wait, you just want to make some banners and stuff? and for that you think you have to buy PS?

Dude, go find a torrent of PS and install it. Do you think they make photoshop expensive for casual users? It's expensive because it is aimed at companies/schools/freelance business. Adobe doesn't give a rats ass about you. They just want their share the moment you start to make money with their tools.

For gawd´s sake, thinking of buying photoshop to shop lightsabers into pictures...

Advocating piracy is not allowed here.

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Honestly, it depends on what you're going to be using each program for.

If you're making signatures, banners, and want to learn the ropes of digital photo touch ups and digital imagery then use the GIMP, or any other alternative listed in this thread. I've used the GIMP, and while its interface is a little heavy, it's not impossible and it's free. Also, looking at the screenshots of that Paint.net program above, I like the look of the interface, you might find it pretty comfy.

While Photoshop is the main reason I keep Windows on my PC anymore, it's technically for the type of person that has dual 21" displays, a Wacom tablet, and a desk at his front and right side with a plethora of artistic drawing tools and paper, along with access to a scanner. If this applies to you, I recommend Photoshop. If you're still doing professional or artistic stuff and have a budget get Paint Shop Pro or Corel Painter. Hell, I'm going to go ahead and recommend Paint Shop Pro anyways because I liked it back in the day and it's still pretty powerful and affordable.

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Fair enough, my apologies for the pro piracy stand. It's wrong. Just saying that using freeware will probably lose Adobe a future customer than lose them money.

He's looking to make signatures, not start a business. I don't think he'd be a potential customer unless his needs changed.

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He's looking to make signatures, not start a business. I don't think he'd be a potential customer unless his needs changed.

Thus, Adobe wouldn't miss out on any money he would make using their software. Which is my point. Rules are rules and piracy is bad, but I'm willing to bet that most adobe employees would laugh and shrug at this situation. The program is not aimed at the casual market. I've done creative educations for 8 years now. Do you think the school purchases a PS for every student? They buy one, so the rights are covered, and let 200 students and their dog use the copies. That's why it's so expensive, it's their business model to sell it as a package that companies can purchase and let their employees/students/freelance partners use.

Not so much advocating piracy, as being surprised at the strange places a moral standpoint can pop up. But yeah, from a pure legal standpoint, it's wrong. But that has nothing to do with conscience.

Sorry for the rant, I'll lurk more. Thanks for everyone's patience.

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I use the excellent, free, and always-being-updated Paint.Net (www.getpaint.net). It's extremely n00b-friendly (otherwise I wouldn't be able to use it, heh) and it comes out with a new version number with an extra feature and a bugfix or two about once every two weeks. Plus, if you've already got the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 installed, the download is less than two megabytes! It takes less time to download than a Photoshop torrent. Plus it's LEGAL!

Agreed. I found out about Paint.net and many other freeware alternatives from Nedwolf (and to a lesser extent analogx), which used to be updated fairly frequently when I first discovered it. Even though the site appears to basically be dead, the programs it references are still going strong and his different evaluations are worth checking out.

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Although I use Adobe Photoshop I also recommend trying Paint.NET at http://www.getpaint.net/ It has a very nice user interface and it's very easy to use in my opinion. You can get nice sigs just using this program. I highly recommend it.

Also GIMPshop is very cool though it has a bit of a learning curve compared to Paint.NET You can find GIMPshop here: http://www.gimpshop.com/download.shtml

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OK, I gave GIMP a shot, and I've found that just about everything said so far is true. Annoying interface, but it seems very powerful. Seems to serve my purposes pretty well, but it's already crashed three times... eh. I'm still going to give Paint.NET and Paint Shop Pro a try, though I think I'm going to stick with something freeware because of the money issue.

Anyhoo. Hows abouts my new sig?

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Looked around for it, but I think the video's been taken down across the board. If someone else can find it, post it.

The basic idea was that Wii TV ran a segment which said that the newest Zelda game was going to take place in a post-apocalyptic FF7 like world. Link would ride on a motorcycle and everything. It was a pretty well-done hoax and actually showed up a couple of days before April 1st to throw everyone off.

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