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Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop

Will Fly 17 Aug 09 - 02:34 PM
JohnInKansas 17 Aug 09 - 03:55 PM
bobad 17 Aug 09 - 04:05 PM
Amos 17 Aug 09 - 04:16 PM
open mike 17 Aug 09 - 04:42 PM
Arkie 17 Aug 09 - 05:22 PM
Will Fly 17 Aug 09 - 05:38 PM
JohnInKansas 17 Aug 09 - 06:09 PM
Tangledwood 17 Aug 09 - 06:43 PM
Nick 17 Aug 09 - 06:57 PM
Penny S. 17 Aug 09 - 07:30 PM
Penny S. 17 Aug 09 - 07:31 PM
Sandra in Sydney 17 Aug 09 - 08:08 PM
GUEST,Bardford 17 Aug 09 - 09:12 PM
Gulliver 17 Aug 09 - 09:47 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 18 Aug 09 - 05:01 AM
treewind 18 Aug 09 - 05:35 AM
JemmaGurney 18 Aug 09 - 05:51 AM
Will Fly 18 Aug 09 - 09:34 AM
Tim Leaning 18 Aug 09 - 10:26 AM
GUEST,Retired Museum Photographer 18 Aug 09 - 10:31 AM
treewind 18 Aug 09 - 10:34 AM
Tootler 18 Aug 09 - 07:56 PM
Arkie 18 Aug 09 - 08:56 PM
Will Fly 19 Aug 09 - 04:06 AM
mattkeen 19 Aug 09 - 06:09 AM
GUEST,harold Alerton (Ex Morris Dancer) Lancashire 16 Feb 10 - 06:01 AM
JohnInKansas 16 Feb 10 - 11:04 AM
Bill D 16 Feb 10 - 11:33 AM
Mark Clark 16 Feb 10 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,Bruce Baillie 27 Aug 11 - 04:01 PM
Suegorgeous 27 Aug 11 - 05:25 PM
Genie 27 Aug 11 - 05:52 PM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 28 Aug 11 - 11:00 AM
MikeL2 28 Aug 11 - 03:02 PM
Andrez 29 Aug 11 - 04:40 AM
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Subject: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 02:34 PM

I'm in the process of buying a new Mac Book Pro laptop as I retire in a fortnight's time and have to relinquish work's technology. I need to stock the laptop with certain programs such as Filemaker Pro, MS Office, etc., so that my various interests and works in progress can continue without interruption.

I make a great deal of use of Adobe Photoshop - particularly the "layers" feature - for photographic work and for instructional video making. However, the cost of Photoshop (c. £600) is pretty steep. If I have to buy it, I have to but - just wondered if there were any good and cheaper alternatives.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 03:55 PM

If your work is mainly photos, you probably don't really need the "arty-creative" stuff in Photoshop, and can get by with Photoshop Elements. Elements has all the photo gimmicks, and lots of photogs who have both use it instead of the big Photoshop for their photo work.

I don't know what the conversions are currently, but Photoshop Elements should be less than about $90 or $100 US.

I personally prefer version two, since they've gone "microsofty" with making later versions look like glorified pinball/arcade games; but the tools are still the same - you just have to think like an idiot child to find them. And later versions have far too much "automatic" crap that you need to learn to bypass to get to what you really need. The later versions - the ones I've seen - do still work pretty much like the earlier ones once you figure out where stuff is.

There is a freeware program that claims to be "equal to Photoshop" but I found it a bit clumsy for the photo work I tried out on it; and I don't have it on this machine and have forgotten the name.

Maybe someone will come up with it shortly.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: bobad
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 04:05 PM

Top 10 Free Photo Editors for Windows


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: Amos
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 04:16 PM

For most purposes Graphic Convertor will serve just fine, but it doesn't handle layers and masks like Photoshop does. Depends more on what you need to do with it--canyou describe the scope of intended use somewhat?



A


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: open mike
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 04:42 PM

i have used this one http://www.arcsoft.com/public/

it has a greeting card maker, photo editing plus effects,

and for video--www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/finalcutpro
and   http://www.pinnaclesys.com/PublicSite/us/Home/


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: Arkie
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 05:22 PM

Gimp, a free program, and one of those in bobad's list has been recommended often as a alternative to Adobe Photoshop. It is supposed to be comparable in the layering aspect. I have the program but have not used it very much but have been collecting some tutoring sites in anticipation. I have a Roxio program that was not all that expensive and is doing what I need so far. Since it is free, it does not cost much to try and should not have much learning curve for folks who are savvy about Photoshop.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 05:38 PM

For most purposes Graphic Convertor will serve just fine, but it doesn't handle layers and masks like Photoshop does. Depends more on what you need to do with it--can you describe the scope of intended use somewhat?

I use Photoshop layers to create fretboard chord and fingering positions for my videos. So, for example, the Background layer might be a simple guitar fretboard. Succeeding layers will contain individual circles which can be moved around individually to form chords, and these layer can be turned on and off. The master file is a .psd (Photoshop) file and the completed "snaphot" is saved as a .jpg file and imported into iMovie. The series of .jpg files in iMovie forms the animation.

And I also use it for editing photos!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 06:09 PM

The freeware program mentioned here some time back may have been called "IrfanView" or something similar. My tryout found it quite similar to older versions of Photoshop. I tried the Windows version, but I think(?) there was a Mac version.

PSE (Photoshop Elements) - allows you to layer .gif files and save them as animations direct from the program. It won't unfortunately, allow the same for .jpg files since you can't save layers in .jpg in that program; but for fretboards .gif should be more compact and just as clear. The animations, though, autorun at a preset speed that you select when you save - which might not be compatible with your iMovie(?) but might be an alternative methodology you could use.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: Tangledwood
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 06:43 PM

In a previous hobby we used painting tools with layer ability a lot. Two usually recommended were Gimp and Paint.net, both in bobad's list. There's a comparison here gimp vs paint

Paint Shop Pro is a cheaper option to Photoshop and is what I use. Old versions often pop up on magazine CDs.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: Nick
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 06:57 PM

You're not at Whitby by chance Will? How up to date a copy of Photoshop do you need?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: Penny S.
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 07:30 PM

I use Serif PhotoPlus (old versions sometimes on mags, free old version from Serif site, I think) It's cheaper than Adobe, does layes and other stuff I haven't got round to using yet. Don't know if there's a Mac version, though.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: Penny S.
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 07:31 PM

Notices a link to a free Photoplus download popped up below the reply box last time -not this time, thoough.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 08:08 PM

I have Gimp, tho I don't use it (too complicated for this Bear-of-Small-Brain!) It's apparently comparable with Photoshop, & is freeware.

I use XNView for everything - tho all I do is crop & reduce size of pics. So far.

One day I intend to do complicated stuff with Gimp as I've been inspired by some fantastic pics a friend has created. His partner is an artist & I thought the pic on the wall was one of her paintings, so he showed me other stuff he did & wow! I wanna do that.

sandra (Bear-of-Small-Brain)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: GUEST,Bardford
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 09:12 PM

I recently purchased a Wacom Bamboo Fun Tablet at the Apple Store for around $140 Canadian. It came with Photoshop Elements 6.0, full version, and Corel Painter Essentials. I think they wanted around $100 just for Elements alone.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: Gulliver
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 09:47 PM

I have the same requirement (in fact was just about to start a thread). I decided on Photoshop Elements Version 7 and was quoted 70 Euros here in Ireland. Don


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 05:01 AM

I've been using Paint Shop Pro Version 9 for some years now and find it does everything that I want it to do - although there is some graphics stuff in there which I find hard to access and which, I suspect, is unecessarily complex.

All editions of PSP up to Version 9 were from JASC but after that Corel got their hands on it. They succeeded in over-complicating the easy bits and made the complicated bits COMPLETELY inaccessible - congratulations Corel! I have a very low opinion of Corel, generally, and the way that they f***ed up PSP confirmed all my worst fears about them.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: treewind
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 05:35 AM

I use GIMP. An advantage for me (as with a lot of free software) is it's multi platform so I can use it at work (Windows) and home (Linux)

I like it, but it took me a long time to really get into it and I still don't know about all its capabilities.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: JemmaGurney
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 05:51 AM

I use lightroom (and I have a mac) for photo editing- after a recommendation on a SLR course. I think it's great, very user friendly, combines a library tagging entity with the developing mode of use too. currently selling on amazon for £200 - still a load, but less than £600.

I have no idea, however, how easy it would be to get it to do the fretboard positioning's on your videos.

Jems


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 09:34 AM

You're not at Whitby by chance Will? How up to date a copy of Photoshop do you need?

No, can't make it there, unfortunately - gigs to do and people to see. If I get stuck - and Gimp sounds pretty good at the moment - I'll get back to you. Just ordered the Mac Book Pro in time to get the educational discount before I leave at the end of next week.

No educational discount on Photoshop, though - £600 minimum!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 10:26 AM

Hmmmm mac bit may be a prob.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: GUEST,Retired Museum Photographer
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 10:31 AM

Even though I could have had easy access to a pirate copy of photoshop,
Paint shop pro v.7
was a minor expense for our project budget,
and proved to be entirely adequate for all work involved in transferring and retouching many hundreds of antique photos & negs
for mounting an exhibition and providing images for a book.
I think version 8 and possibly 9 were considered improvements
at the time.
These days I'd bet sealed retail boxes can be found for only a few quid
somewhere on the internet.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: treewind
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 10:34 AM

Mac no problem:
GIMP for OSX


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: Tootler
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 07:56 PM

Somewhat OT, but I was looking at your original post and you wrote

"I need to stock the laptop with certain programs such as Filemaker Pro, MS Office..."

I particularly noticed your reference to MSOffice. I was in a similar position when I retired of no longer having access to upgrades from work so a little while before I retired I downloaded and installed Open Office and have found it every bit as good as MSOffice. It will save and open MSOffice files up to Office 2003. Open Office 3 also opens but does not save MSOffice 2007 files. I can recommend Open Office and I have checked, it is available for the Mac.

Open Office is free, btw.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: Arkie
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 08:56 PM

IrfanView is the handiest phototool on my computer. I use it in some capacity almost every day to view an image, change image formats, crop images and it usually opens images that other programs will not. I also use it to open, crop, and save print screen shots. I do not use it for anything fancy but I would not have a computer without IrfanView. It is also freeware.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 04:06 AM

Just a note to say "thanks" for all the excellent advice from 'Catters on this thread. It's greatly appreciated and given me lots to think about and act on.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: mattkeen
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 06:09 AM

Open Office version for Mac is NeoOffice and is excellent.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: GUEST,harold Alerton (Ex Morris Dancer) Lancashire
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 06:01 AM

Help needed here by a seventy two year old who is no computer genius. I just swiped my computer as it was running really slow. I added all my programmes again. Including my Photoshop 7 from CD. It is now different to what it was for some unknown reason. The box down the left hand side which I used to control the tools is no longer as it was. Now it's a smaller black and white box with tools that I don't recognise.It used to be colour and easy to use. Even the "Image" box across the top has altered, I can no longer change the size of the picture as I once did here. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Please, hi tech terms !!!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 11:04 AM

GUEST,hA -

The last Photoshop I had refused to run when I switched to WinXP, and I haven't upgraded; but in the Photoshop Elements ver 2 that I use you can select what toolbars you want at a "Windows" selection on the top toolbar. Your Photoshop 7 might be similar, and it's possible you just haven't selected the same tools you had up in your previous installation.

I note that in my PSE2 you have to have an image open to have all the choices available on the main toolbar. With no image up, lots of "choices" will be grayed out and not selectable.

Everybody -

A summary review of free alternates to Photoshop was linked up above (bobab 17 Aug 09 04:05 pm). A more recent review, from PCWorld linked at MSNBC offers 10 Digital Photography Downloads, and has links to download each of the programs that are included.

Note that in this review, only some of the programs are image editing programs. "Image Organizing" programs are also included. GIMP is given a high rating, but with a note that it may have a fairly steep learning curve. IrfanView isn't mentioned (?).

For an editorial comment on competing programs (from a Photoshoppers' site) MS Paint

(An entry to the source site for the last link is at Scary Signs, just in case someone has lots of time to twiddly away.)

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 11:33 AM

Since this thread has been refreshed and I missed it the 1st time....and since the original title was about alternatives to Photoshop, I will put in my usual 2¢ worth about freeware alternatives for Windows PCs.

Photofiltre is an excellent free item. Not up to Photoshop, but will do most of what the average person ever needs.

read review here


Another interesting one is PaintStar, which will do unusual tricks like making curved text, besides being a full-featured editor.

There are some others, but these are current and maintained.....and free.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: Mark Clark
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 11:35 AM

I've used the GIMP for many years, both on Windows and on my new MacBook Pro. It runs great on OS X and has all the capabilities and plugins one could want. There is even a plugin for HDR images now. There is a great book available to show you how to make the best use of GIMP. There is also a free downloadable book called Grokking the GIMP.

Make no mistake. The GIMP is a very sophisticated program with support for the best features of the high-end programs. I think if you hunt around a little, you'll find there is a GIMP version, or variant, or add-on that makes it work a lot like the Adobe product too.

The GIMP even supports a type of CMYK color separation for commercial printing. I used this capability for the Castle Ridge CD artwork.

Another great program in this category is Scribus, a complete high-end desktop publishing solution. With the GIMP, Scribus and Inkscape---for scaleable vector graphics---you have a publishing facility that will handle the most challenging commercial tasks.

Give these a try. They're free. You can always spend money later on if you'd like.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: GUEST,Bruce Baillie
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 04:01 PM

As a professional graphic designer please, THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE TO PHOTOSHOP!!!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 05:25 PM

Recent Which? reports rate free programmes Pixlr and Picnik more highly than Photoshop Elements.

Also, we're not all professional designers.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: Genie
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 05:52 PM

DK about the layering function (never tried to do it) but in Mac OSX you can do a lot with photos using just iPhoto, Preview, and PhotoBooth, which I think are usually included with OSX.   
My sister uses a program called Picasso with Windows to tweak various aspects of photos too. DK if it can do layering, or, for that matter, whether it's available for Mac.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 28 Aug 11 - 11:00 AM

Once you get your Mac, go into app store and the download version of Aperture is less than half the DVD box price.

I never looked back. Once you get used to it, it is just about perfect unless you are a professional designer in which case I am sure there are features in Photoshop I never used but would have done professionally?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: MikeL2
Date: 28 Aug 11 - 03:02 PM

Hi Will

I have used many photo and movie processing programs over the years.

Some time ago I was using Photoshop CS2 to 5 but I realised how expensive they were when I had no money coming in from using them these days.

So I invested in Photoshop Elements 7 but have upgraded to 9. I find for what I want this is very good indeed. I use layers and masks and though they are not as extensive as in CS5 they are fairly easy to use and do the job.

I also have Paintshop Pro Photo X3. I don't use it very much but there are one or two things that I find that it does better( easier) than Photoshop. But they are very similar in results but different to use.

On the movie side it is a similar story. I can't justify the cost of "big" Premiere so I have opted for Priemiere Elements 9.

This is not so good good and very slow even though I have a very powerful machine.

Much better I find is Sony Vegas Movie Studio 10 Platinum. It is a longer learning curve after having used Photoshop for years but once you get the hang of it you can get some good results. Like Premiere you can use multi tracks as layers and they both allow up to at least 10 tracks !!!

I also have Corel (paintshop pro) Video Studio X3Pro but I have hardly used it - but it looks as if the results are similar to the other two.

They all allow a fairly extensive audio management too which I find very useful.

I am sure with your expertise and experience you would find them very easy to use - I think that you might find that after a while you would be able to get around most of the things you did with "big" Photoshop.

Best of luck.

Cheers

Mike


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
From: Andrez
Date: 29 Aug 11 - 04:40 AM

Its two years since you posted Will. I'm guessing you've already found a solution to your Photoshop query. I'm in the camp that says stick with Adobe although I'm quite happy to sit on CS4 and see no real need to upgrade.

I did want to comment on the issue of no educational discount from Adobe. They do offer discuounts in Australia and if they do here then you should be able to access similar discounts wherever you are. I was actually able to by the entire CS3 Adobe Master Collection in 2007 i.e. all of the Audio, graphic design and video packages, everything! A value of over $3000.00 for under $500.00 AUD.

All that aside, it would be intereting to know how you eventually solved your dilemma.

Cheers,

Andrez


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