Photoshop Free Alternatives
Most of the Photoshop features used by 90% of people can be found in free Photoshop alternatives. Believe me or not most users do not need to pay the huge price of Photoshop for basic editing needs like editing web images to be posted on Facebook or Flickr. Photoshop as a product is intended to use by professionals who make living out of creating and editing images in graphic/web design as well as photography. That’s why it costs so much. Some of free Photoshop alternatives even have unique features which Photoshop doesn’t have. Besides software this review also include online tools which are getting more and more powerful these days and gives you unlimited mobility.
Sumo Paint is a powerful web-based graphics editor with a variety of different editing tools. Sumo Paint can be used as a paint program and photo editing program. Sumo supports advanced layers, brushes and quite impressive own effects. PSD file format is not supported.
Aviary Phoenix is free online graphic editor with an advanced interface and plenty of options like layers, blending, and magic wand selection. The Aviary Phoenix Firefox extension Talon adds in functionality of screen capture, quick editing of online images and support for pressure sensitive input devices. PSD files are supported as well as opening of Aviary Raven vector layers.
Pixlr Editor looks like a traditional photo-editing application, complete with a toolbar, menu bar, and even navigator, layers, and history panels. It also has presets for Curves and Levels. Pixlr features tools like the clone stamp, selection wand, and gradient map. The Pixlr Firefox extension allows you to grab images and screenshots from your browser and send them to Pixlr.
Artweaver lets you paint creatively with the help of a huge range of painting tools. You can create sketches from photos or just experiment with colors. Artweaver offers layers, group layers and support for the PSD file format. You can record the whole painting process, save it and replay it later with Artweaver.
Paint.NET is the fastest (works smoothly on netbooks) free image and photo editing software for Windows computers. It features an intuitive tabbed interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools. PSD files are supported by plugin.
Gimp is the most powerful Photoshop alternative in this review (despite worst interface). Gimp includes all needed tools and features for professional image editing such as layers, filters, color correction, artistic effects. It also has a huge supportive community and numerous plugins for extended functionality.
PhotoFiltre is a complete image retouching program with tools for advanced image adjustments and a vast range of filters. It features vector selections, masking, blending, automatization and plugins.
Pixia is a Japanese Windows image editing software (available in English). It was originally designed for the anime/manga community but has also been used in other branches of art. Pixia supports multiple layers, transparency effects, file formats including .PSD. It also has a native support for Wacom tablets.
ChocoFlop is an application designed exclusively for Mac, the power of graphics card is used to edit pictures in a snap. It can show real-time previews of filters and keep modifications live. It also features optimization of images for Web, HDR support, layers, masks, filters chains, rich text layers, import of AI files.
Pixen is an innovative graphics editor for the Mac designed from top to bottom for pixel artists. Pixen also uses a unique left/right tool system. This system enables the user to assign a different tool to the left and right mouse buttons. This can be used effectively when drawing and erasing. Pixen focuses on indexed colors and palette use. This makes it ideal for editing indexed formats, like .gif or png8.
CinePaint is an open source computer program available for Linux, Mac and BSD for painting and retouching bitmap frames of films. CinePaint was used for films such as Scooby-Doo, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, The Last Samurai and Stuart Little. CinePaint unique features include the frame manager, onion skinning, and the ability to work with 16-bit and floating point pixels for high dynamic range imaging (HDR).
PhotoScape is an all-in-one style photo editor featuring viewer, editor, batch editor, animated GIF, screen capture, color picker, RAW converter, resizing, brightness/color/white-balance adjustment, backlight correction. It comes with prebuilt templates for users to create photo collages and Web comics.
Photo Pos Pro
Photo Pos Pro (commercial app in the past, now free) features multiple-image printing; tabbed workspace; special effects; layers, vectorial objects, masks, script and batch tools. Photo Pos Pro contains step-by-step tutorials and Hundreds of pre-made templates, vectorial objects, photo frames, patterns, textures, styles and shapes.
Photobie is a free advanced image editing software that support layers and masks. Photobie includes many embedded filters and supports most Photoshop filter (.8bf) plug-ins. Photobie is featured with advanced screen capture tools; It can create/edit high quality gif animation.
Krita (Swedish for crayon) is the bitmap graphics editor software modeled on existing real-world painting materials and workflows. It’s included with the KDE based KOffice suite. Krita’s design emphasizes creating new digital paintings from scratch as opposed to manipulating existing photographs. It has been influenced to an extent by Corel Painter. It also supposed to be used for concept art, creation of comics and textures for rendering.