Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Photoshop Alternative?

It's always bothered me just how expensive Photoshop is, especially when I was starting out. It costed thousands of dollars, and that just wasn't an option for a young professional. I'm sure that frustration is pretty universal, because since then, a LOT of cheaper alternatives have sprung up. Painter, Artrage, Manga Studio, etc.

Well, there is one more now, and it may actual give Photoshop a run for it's money. The Beta for Affinity, a Mac photo editing software, just released yesterday and it's pretty impressive.

The best part, you can currently try Affinity for FREE. Eventually, when the program finishes it's Beta testing, it will be payer only, but the price tag is a mere $50!

My initial impression is that the program seems more geared toward photo editing than digital "painting". But with robust vector capabilities, it seems very well suited for designers and more photo based illustrators.

The program supports RGB, LAB and CMYK files, has a 64-Bit plug-in, and best all, supports Photoshop PSD files. Add to that a very similar workspace to Photoshop, and I suspect artists will find it very easy to make the transition.

If you're on a Mac, you can download the program right now, and give it a shot for yourself. If you do, please let us know what you think of it in the comments section.

Check out the video below to see some of the program's capabilities:


  1. It looks really sharp, and that price tag is more than accommodating. I'll have to wait for a PC version to crop up (from what it sounds like they have it planned, but they're working on their version of InDesign as well right now, so PC versions are on the back burner,) but the main thing I'd love to know is what are their brushes like?

    I'd actually really love for someone to make one of these programs and just wholesale lift Adobe's brush engine, or just make it so I can import a fair amount of them. Or have something halfway between Photoshop and Painter/Manga Studio for how their brushes handle. I imagine though that starts to venture into infringement territory...but if anyone ever made a sharp program that let me use my little set of brushes I like, I'd jump ship immediately never look back.

  2. Don't forget about Krita (https://krita.org/)
    Its free, open source, great for painting, and actively developed.

    The Art and Technology of Image department at University Paris 8 is already making the switch from photoshop to krita....

    1. Also using Krita. It's more intuitive than photoshop.

    2. Does Krita support PSD files? I feel like client compatibility is a big issue for a lot of artists.

    3. ^ Although Some effects layers or photoshop specific bits will get dropped when importing. Also, the mac version is brand new and still not recommended for production work (That said, I have used the Mac version on a couple projects at work with no problems)

  3. Mischief is another that you can get free or opt for the pay version ($25). It is an infinite canvas, can export files in PSD and is available for Mac or PC. Personally, I think this is great for drawings but I haven't tried painting yet. Their site has a gallery if you wish to check this out. Krita is very nice indeed.

    Ubuntu recently released a creative bundle which may be of interest to some of you. It is linux based, open source and free. ubuntustudio.org Worth checking out!

    Just a thought. Very good post, Dan.

  4. I've played around a bit with it, and it looks interesting. As someone who goes for Illustrator over Photoshop, I'm excited about its vector capability.

  5. I missed the part about not really being for digital painting. bummer! should be fun to try out the vector side tho.

  6. Im new to the digital world, but in general, from what im seeing of these programs, are they any different or better in any way from Photoshop? I only ask because I would hate to acquaint myself with adobe only to learn the next best thing is here.

  7. Video Downloader for Mac - Total Video Downloader for Mac is a perfect Video Downloader Mac ,which can fastest download online videos from YouTube and tons of video sites for your Mac.

  8. Paint.Net for Mac-Paint.Net for Mac like MyBrushes, Pinta, and GIMP are some equivalents digital artists can choose to use Paint.Net Mac.


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