Adobe Production Apps Alternatives

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  05 May 2013
I actually think that's a repackaged article. I recall seeing it months ago. Regardless, I find it funny that an article which discusses alternatives to Photoshop then proceeds to include not one, but two apps with Photoshop in their name.

Regardless, I'd be very wary when it came to picking Photoshop Elements at the moment. Not because it's a bad app, but because we just don't know if it even has a future. PSE11 manages to retain enough of CS6's core functionality to be a legitimate substitute to Photoshop proper. Adobe could well see a spike in PSE sales and then decide to axe it to push those same customers toward CC, or some budget friendly version thereof. I can see it happening.

As alike as Photoshop Elements is to its big brother, I really think that people should take a wait & see approach. They have a habit of releasing PSE in the fall; PSE11 came out in September. If v12 doesn't materialize by then... Just don't get your hopes up for PSE being an alternative to this CC fiasco. At least that's my $0.02.
DISCLAIMER: The views presented herein do not necessarily represent those of my brain.
  05 May 2013
I cannot take a list of Photoshop alternatives that omits Photoline seriously.
  05 May 2013
@cookepuss, I have heard good things about the FOSS app Aptana for building websites:

Would likely be a better bet than Kompozer, but I haven't tried it yet.
  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by cookepuss: Some caveats here....
It's probably important to keep in mind that apps like Painter, ArtRage, SketchBook, & Dogwaffle aren't designed to replace Photoshop. They're designed to supplement it. As flexible as Photoshop's brush system is, there are certain things that it can't do. The app is still built on a solid, but hardcore photo editing/retouching system.

Natural media apps are designed to fill that gap, allowing you to create more traditional content on a digital canvas. So, while you might be able to partially mimic that stuff in Photoshop, these apps are specifically designed to do it and do it better. (Not saying that PS is a lousy concepting tool. It's awesome. It's just that other apps are built to spec for the task.)

The downside to having this laser-like focus is that they miss the more broad topics. Photoshop is VERY good at covering a wide variety of bases. I simply would not presume to edit a 60 year old photo in any of those natural media apps. They just aren't up to snuff for that task.

IMO, if you're going to get an app like ArtRage or Painter, you still need to pair it up with one dedicated to editing & retouching. Natural media apps are only one side of the coin.

Well the list I posted wasn't meant to replace the image editing aspects of Photoshop but rather the drawing/painting aspect. Many artists use Photoshop as their primary painting software, including me. Some rely heavily on the editing aspects of it as well to enhance their artworks and stuff..but many don't. And Painter is actually pretty powerful in terms of editing artworks as well, even though that aspect of it isn't marketed as much. Then softwares like Illustudio and the full version of Open canvas too have certain image editing capabilities, that are suitable for enhancing paintings. And they also come along with filters and stuff. And besides, one can always paint in one of the drawing applications mentioned in my post, and do the editing in some other application. Just my two cents..

  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by cookepuss:
  1. Blender v2.67

    PRO: It's Blender, the Swiss Army Knife of 3D tools. Logical node-based compositing approach. Solid performance. Constantly evolving. Free.

    CON: It's Blender and it's constantly evolving. You either "get" Blender or you don't. There's not much in-between. Personally, I found learning Maya to be easier, but that's just me. Blender CAN be rough around the edges here & there.

    BOTTOM LINE: It's Blender. That's really all I can say. It's proven its worth time and again. There's no question about that. However, Blender's not an app for the casual user. Like any other suite app, you really have to take the time and make the effort.

The amazing thing about Blender is that it has become "crazy good" as of late. This is not an understatement. We used to not be able to take it seriously back when it didnt even have ngon support and a funky UI... but now its almost like its a completely different application.

I also found Maya easier to learn, but then Blender added a Maya keyset, as well as an easy way to change hotkeys. Now that you can "normalize" the control scheme, it is perhaps one of the better 3d modeling applications out there, it has a great node based rendering engine (2 in fact), retopology tools, digital sculpting thats somewhere between mudbox and zbrush (its actually quite good), highly customizable interface, 100's of addons/plug ins, and even some powerful though tough to get used to UV tools. The built in compositor makes it easy to render out different maps and blend them together and its particle system, while simple, pumps out some pretty darn good results....and despite all this, every single day something new is either added or put on the development list.

Its only a couple of months between releases as well, and at the rate they are going...its putting a lot of other applications to shame. Over all it could easily be considered commercial quality at this point, and with those maya/3dsmax keymaps (presented on splash screen) the user wont have to fight too hard with the controls. This means its pretty easy to learn now.

As for a photoshop replacement, depending on what you are doing...I couldnt recommend Krita more. The developers have been getting feedback from digital fx studios in the UK (Double Negative and some former Digital Domain peeps), and the guy behind Krita (or one of them) has been seen around professional occupied forums gathering feedback. I believe Krita was used for some GI-Joe 2 post work as well. For a free photoshop like application with an amazing brush system, its worth using and supporting.

Last edited by DataDay : 05 May 2013 at 12:52 AM.
  05 May 2013
Thumbs up Adobe Software Alternatives List


Awesome special deal for Adobe users to get Xara Designer Pro X at a special discount!

Awesome special deal for Adobe users to get Corel software at a special discount!


For photo editing, manipulation, and composition (instead of Photoshop):
Corel PaintShop Pro X5
Corel Painter
Xara Designer Pro X (awesome! & brilliant!)
Xara Photo & Graphic Designer
Topaz standalone plug-ins
OnOne standalone plug-ins
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite
PhotoPlus X6
Artweaver Plus 3
InstantMask Pro
Oloneo PhotoEngine
Portrait Professional (by Anthropics Technology Ltd)
Graphics Converter Pro 2013 by
GraphicConverter 8 by lemkesoft

For illustration (instead of Photoshop):
Manga Studio 5 ( Faster & better than Photoshop for illustration and coloring! )
Corel Painter
Sketchbook Pro
Xara Designer Pro X
Corel PaintShop Pro X5
TwistedBrush Pro Studio
Artweaver Plus 3
Open Canvas (free)
Photo & Graphic Designer 9

Instead of Lightroom:
Corel AfterShot Pro
Capture One Pro
DarkTable (free)

Xara Designer Pro X (awesome! & brilliant!)
Xara Xtreme
Serif DrawPlus X6
Vector Magic
SketchUp Pro
Pixelmater (has vector tools as Vectormater)

For video & motion graphics:
FinalCut Pro
DaVinci Resolve
Avid Motion Graphics
Lightworks Pro
MAGIX Video Pro X5
Avid Media Composer
VideoStudio Pro X6
Wondershare Video Editor
Silhouette FX
VideoStudio Ultimate
VideoPad Video Editor (ideoLAN Movie Creator and Avidemux for basic work)

After Effects Alternatives:
Motion 5
Avid Motion Graphics

For Audio:
Pro Tools
Sound Forge Pro
MAGIX Audio Cleaning Lab 2013

For print work ( instead of Adobe InDesign ):
Xara Designer Pro X (awesome! & brilliant!)
Swift Publisher
PagePlus X6
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite
iStudio Publisher
MultiAd Creator Pro (Convert InDesign files to QuarkXpress)

For Web:
Aptana Studio
Xara Web Designer 9
Xara Designer Pro X
WebPlus X6
Freeway Pro
Freeway Express
NetObjects Fusion
Expression Web (by Microsoft) FREE
NetBeans IDE
Stylizer (CSS style maker)
Tumult Hype ( instead of Adobe Edge Animate )
MotionArtist ( instead of Adobe Edge Animate )
Notepad plus

For accessing and converting files:
XnView. (free) will read and write Photoshop .PSD files, also opens Adobe Illustrator .AI files.
ADOView. ($10) will read and display any InDesign or InCopy file, also reads Illustrator files.

For PDF:
PDF Studio Pro
Corel PDF Fusion
PDFsam Enhanced

Instead of Flash:
ToonBoom Studio
Tumult Hype
Xara Designer Pro X (awesome! & brilliant!)

Nice article:

Last edited by cgntoonartist : 08 August 2013 at 02:11 PM. Reason: update list
  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by cgntoonartist: Here is a cool list!



That list is missing some of the best free and commercial alternatives. For example Krita keeps getting overlooked, even though its pretty much one the best, if not best, free photoshop alternative.

Then there's Sony Vegas, which is a great video editing program. Doesnt cost much. For PDFs, Foxit Reader is the best free alternative. Just to name a few. I really want to make sure Krita isnt getting overlooked though, its a great application that needs more donations and those who know it exists.
  05 May 2013
Here is the list I have been compilingfrom the adobe Master thread in the News section:

Keep listing apps and I will add them.

Here is an update for the list:

Motion Graphics:

• Touch Designer

After Effects:
•Silhouette FX
(Windows, Mac,Linux)
• Hitfilm
(Windows, Mac version on the way)
• Fusion
• Nuke
• Blender
• Apple Motion


• QuarkXPress

• Scribus
(Linux/UNIX, Mac OS X, OS/2 Warp 4, eComStation, Haiku and Windows)
Open Source

Serif PagePlus Starter Edition

Swiftpublisher (Mac)


• DaVinci Resolve

• MAGIX Video Pro X

• Grass Valley EDIUS Pro 6.5
(Windows 7-8,)
USD $699.00
• Sony Vegas
• Final Cut
• Avid
• Lightworks
• Smoke
Movie Plus


•Corel Painter 12


(Windows and GNU/Linux)
•Open Canvas

• TVPaint
(Windows, Linux and Mac)
495€ - 1180€

• ArtRage
(Windows and Mac)
$50.00 DEMO

• ArtWeaver
29 €

• Autodesk SketchBook Pro 6
(Windows, Mac)
USD $59
• Gimp photoPlus
• Paintshop Pro (I still use PSP 7...Great little program)

• Corel Draw
• Krita

• DogWaffle
• Acorn 4 -
• Pixelmator 2.1-
•Manga Studio 5

• Autodesk Sketchbook Designer


• CorelDRAWฎ X6

• Inkscape
• Xara

• Apache OpenOffice Draw
(Windows, Mac, and Linux)



(Mac, $24.99)

(Mac, $49.99)

• ToonBoom (fantastic program)
• Unity
• AnimeStudio
• Crazy Talk Animator

• Darktable
• Corel AfterShoot Pro:

• DXO:

• Capture One Pro 7:

ACDSee Pro
(Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8)

PDF Studio Pro
(Windows, Mac, Linux)

Corel PDF Fusion


PDFsam Enhanced

For Audio:
Pro Tools
Sound Forge Pro
MAGIX Audio Cleaning Lab 2013

For accessing and converting files:
XnView. * * (free) will read and write Photoshop .PSD files, also opens Adobe Illustrator .AI files.
(Windows )

ADOView. * * ($10) will read and display any InDesign or InCopy file, also reads Illustrator files.
(Windows )
:Daily Sketch Forum:HCR Modeling
This message does not reflect the opinions of the US Government

Last edited by RobertoOrtiz : 05 May 2013 at 02:22 AM.
  05 May 2013
under your indesign alternatives defo put CorelDraw (windows) i 've used it for years and it's quite capable for document layouts, packaging design etc, so is Xara pro
youtube channel:-

"zero stones - zero crates"
  05 May 2013
Wow you guys are really on the ball with this thread. This reminds me of the time I tried to complete a small project using only free software available on Linux. lol That was some hell rolled up in a big ole ball of fun.

Some of these programs really do get the job done just as well as their adobe counterparts. It's so weird right now that I find myself using blender more often than after effects for creating motion graphics at work. Obviously it doesn't compare on on all fronts since Blender is not primarily a motion graphics design package but it has gotten me out of a lot of jams that AE couldn't.
It's funny cause once upon a time I hated Blender as sore I'd never use it lol
HitFil, 2 looks pretty badass. I definitely to check it out.
  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by RobertoOrtiz: Well for projects at the office we will continue to uspport Adobe apps, but at home I plan to go cold turkey off adobe products.
I am working on an FX project at home that I needed AE, but I am going to try HitFilm instead.

More soon on my progress.


OMG dude HitFilm works like a dream! I just took it for a test run and it has already exceeded my expectations. All my knowledge of AE, Premiere and 3D instantly translates to it. Oh the performance is amazing! Why have I not heard of this thing before?
  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by XeroWolf: Some of these programs really do get the job done just as well as their adobe counterparts. It's so weird right now that I find myself using blender more often than after effects for creating motion graphics at work. Obviously it doesn't compare on on all fronts since Blender is not primarily a motion graphics design package but it has gotten me out of a lot of jams that AE couldn't.

Yeah I am sure that its just what you are used to. I switched to Sony Vegas and never looked back for most of the bulk vid edit work.

Great thread!
Thanks for all the links.

The terminal velocity of individual particles is directly related to pink rabbits on a bank holiday.
Characters, Games, Toys
  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by Kanga: ... I switched to Sony Vegas and never looked back for most of the bulk vid edit work.

Great thread!
Thanks for all the links.


Also thx from my side.

6-7 years ago, i switched from Vegas to Premiere and since then i was looking back all the time for most of the bulk vid edit work! :ดD

For standard (and even higher class) video editing, Vegas seems to be still underrated like it was 6-7 years ago, when i was using it for cutting/editing documentarys about 2 german regional/national known soccer/sports photographers.
Vegas was good back then (also because it was beginner friendly). I think it was the Vegas Pro v.5!? i was using..

Later i just switched to Adobe's Premiere, because i changed my study core point from photography to multimedia as a student of communication design. The mainly used software of my new core point were and still are the suites and softwares of Adobe, Autodesk and (later) The Foundry.

The current Vegas seems to have all the shiny things which Premiere haves like multicam, GPU support, 3D, 4K, interchange possibilities, formats, effects, transitions etc..
Just seems a matter of time for possibilities of using ARRI and RED raw formats natively with Vegas.

At least Vegas can handle (i guess simple) EXRs natively according to their datasheets which Premiere CS 5.5/6 still can't and "Hitman" seems to cooperate with Vegas like Premiere with AFX.

I would like to hear details about the current state of Vegas Pro from experienced/pro ppls out there which may using Vegas generally or as alternative for their work right now.
  05 May 2013

IFX Piranha as an alternative to AFX and Premiere.
  05 May 2013
Does anyone know good alternatives for motion graphics?
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