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A Free Graphic Design Program That Could Equal Photoshop?

36 replies to this topic

#1 techocian


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Posted 22 March 2006 - 03:23 AM

The past few years of my designing experience have been accomplished mainly by using a copy of my friend's father's Adobe Photoshop CS 8.0 CD. But my computer had been bugging me lately and i had no choice but to reformat it, at the same time wiping away any trace of the program. Unfortunately for me, i hadn't made a copy of the CD myself and i feel so much regret and remorse over that incident.

Still, i have to look towards the future. I've went to the Adobe website and in no way am i going to pay 600 bucks for one program that i use once every week. At the moment I'm using the trial version of the latest Adobe Photoshop but it's expiring in 22 days and i wouldn't want to wait till then to sulk and feel bad for myself again.
So I'm wondering if anyone has any recommentdations of another free or low-cost (up to $100) graphics program that could equal the Photoshop in features and having a similar layout because i find it hard to adjust to another totally different program from any one I'm used to.
At the moment, after searching around Astahost and Google, i'm looking at GIMP, Paintshop, and Macromedia Fireworks (though I've worked with this before and it really doesn't suit my expectations - will only use for a last resort).

I would appreciate any comments given that could help me out with this enigma i have right now.

#2 Hraefn


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Posted 22 March 2006 - 05:31 AM

PaintShop and Fireworks aren't free, so they don't really fit your requirements. In any case, PaintShop Pro falls very far below Photoshop in terms of quality and features, so I'd recommend that you don't waste your money on it. Fireworks, on the other hand is a fairly good program. Not up to Photoshop's standards when it comes to image editing features, but that's because it's an image editor such as Photoshop is. Fireworks is a vector graphics program, and a fairly good one at that. It's comparable in quality to its Adobe counterpart, Illustrator.

If what you really want is free I'd go with GIMP. It's a versatile little program that's really as good as Photoshop—sometimes it's even better! I use it myself, usually in tandem with another graphics software like Photoshop. Once you learn to use it, especially after browsing through the wide array of tutorials and guides on GIMPguru.org, you'll may find that it's perfect graphics software for you.

If in case you want more choices, then here's a list of some of the more popular graphics software available, both freeware and commercial. Take your pick. =^^=

Raster graphics softwareVector graphics softwareAnimation graphis software

#3 pyost


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Posted 22 March 2006 - 09:40 AM

When you talk about graphics programmes, the best of the best are Photoshop, PaintShop Pro and GIMP. Since GIMP is the only one free here, it is the best solution. I haven't tried it myself, but I can assure that it is good, since it is the only Photoshop equivalent in Linux. I believe that it will be good enough for you. Or at least I hope so :o

#4 Transcendum


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Posted 22 March 2006 - 02:00 PM

I believe I agree that GIMP as a perfect choice if you're looking for a freeware, non-commercial photo-editing program. It has a plethora of features, basically everything you might ever need. Its user-interface is very decent, I think. It's said to consume little system resources and to cause few, if any, system crashes.

I admit that, for some reason or another, I think its learning-slope is a tad steep, but not too much. You'll certainly know what each tool does, but it might take some time to get the hang ot where everything is... not too much time, though. Just give its Help section a once-over, and use it whenever you're stuck at something. It's not perfect, but it's accessible and understandable.

I hope that might help. Good luck! :o

#5 Jeigh


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Posted 22 March 2006 - 02:08 PM

I agree on the gimp. It really is an amazing piece of software seeing that it is open source. Free, as in beer, is always nice :o I've used the gimp a fair bit and like it, personally I prefer photoshop... but if you want to go the free route the gimp is the only real contender. I think you can eventually do almost everything in the gimp that you can in photoshop, it just seems that alot of things are more convoluted in the gimp then in photoshop.

Regardless it is free so give it a try! Hopefully you'll love it. I know I still use it whenever I'm in linux and it serves my purposes easily.

#6 finaldesign


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Posted 22 March 2006 - 02:38 PM

I would go with gimp. If you ask for specific functions, and good usability, and if you ask for freeware, GIMP is your final choice. And if you know photoshop, you will see right when you start gimp, how similar it is to photoshop... :o

#7 techocian


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Posted 22 March 2006 - 08:56 PM

Ahh...thanks for the recommendations guys but most of you probably haven't read the small print, or amybe not so small print. I would really love a FREE image editing software but I will also work with some image editing software that may cost below $100 not like Photoshop's 600 bucks.

So far well, i can tell that GIMP beats all? :o I guess well, I'll try out GIMP and see if it works out. It seems that no one has mentioned another program besides what I've listed so I'm keeping in mind the fact that the best are only these few.

Thanks again for all your help. I'll start working with GIMP from now on and if i run into any problems or some missing features that GIMP doesn't have compared to Photoshop, I'll ask you guys how to bypass that and still get the same result as Photoshop's "shortcut" filters :P .

#8 abhiram


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Posted 23 March 2006 - 06:33 AM

Well, GIMP is good, as in it's free and has a decent set of features, but it definitely can't beat Photoshop. I've used both, and there are some features in Photoshop that we don't even give a second thought to while using them and are just mind-numbingly difficult to achieve in GIMP.

For real professional graphics, I would suggest you put in the effort to try to get hold of a copy of Photoshop from a friend or someone who has purchased it rather than try to learn to use the GIMP.

Dont' get me wrong. I've used GIMP quite a bit and GIMP is really cool, but it just isn't photoshop.

#9 techocian


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Posted 23 March 2006 - 07:46 PM

Unfortunately Abhiram, the only other person i know who uses Photoshop readily is my cousin but he owns an Apple Powerbook and his Photoshop is set up only for the Mac system, or is it? I might have to ask my school teacher for a copy of the educational version of Adobe Photoshop or something...I've just tried GIMP and like you said, its nothing like Photoshop.

#10 Guest_Twiggy_*

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 06:16 AM

can't you just get a crack? :lol:
I have a licensed version of CS and my luck, it was a present. So, I guess it is a licensed version, but I don't know now. Cause the crack was included to the cd itself. And plus I've read in the instructions that i should use a crack to activate it, there's no activation code.
Though I don't know if it's right to recommend to use a crack... :lol:

#11 unimatrix


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Posted 24 March 2006 - 09:15 AM


Fireworks is now owned by Adobe and it will either be bundled as a lightwieght web graphics editor with Dreamweaver or just killed to stop a competing product with Photoshop.

That being said, Photoshop is gold to me, but I use it on an ongoing basis professionally, and I don't have to pay for it.

#12 Hraefn


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Posted 24 March 2006 - 09:40 AM

Twiggy, don't go recommending cracks. Not only are they illegal, they're also explicitly against Astahost rules. Besides, cracks are just an excuse for hackers to get their malware (virii, trojans, spyware, etc.) into our computers. Avoid at all cost. =^^=

It seems that no one has mentioned another program besides what I've listed so I'm keeping in mind the fact that the best are only these few.

What, you mean you just skipped over my list? =^^=

Of course, it's true that the three you've mentioned are the best of the lot. GIMP, as you've noted, isn't exactly like Photoshop. It has a steeper learning curve, for one thing, and fewer filters, but you can achieve practically the same results with GIMP that you could with Photoshop. All it takes is just a little more work.

I've always found it best to use several similar programs when it comes to developing something. My graphics, for instance, usually requires that I use 3 different programs: Photoshop, GIMP, and Illustrator. Each program has it's own feature that adds a little something to the project and makes for a great end result. If you want to go completely freeware, then there's no reason you couldn't have GIMP, PhotoPlus, and Paint.Net (the top 3 freeware image editors) installed on the same machine.

If you want to mix in some cheap but good quality commercial image editors, then there's no reason not to go with Corel Paint Shop Pro. I know, I know, I'm contradicting my first post. I admit I'm rather biased against the program, but I've heard some very reputable reviews that Paint Shop Pro X has come a long way from its predecessors. According to the reviews, it's now much closer to Photoshop (the industry standard) in terms of quality, but is much, much cheaper. Get that and GIMP, and it'll almost be as if you have Photoshop. Well, almost. =^^=

#13 lonebyrd


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Posted 24 March 2006 - 05:09 PM

I got a Photoshop 7 from my sister and I love it. Never used GIMP though I've thought about it when I couldn't find my copy of photoshop. I can't compare the two, but have heard alot of good things about GIMP. But I don't think I would want to use anything other than Photoshop, I'm so used to it. Actually, I'm still getting used to all the features it has to offer. But I'm glad I didn't have to pay for it, I hear it's very expensive, just means I cant register it.

#14 kns_87


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Posted 13 May 2006 - 09:19 PM

there's no program out that will match photoshop for free... however there are plenty out that may accomplish what you want to do for free... or at least for a trial period... which kinda sucks since you'll need it sooner or later again right? Time to dish out the cash I guess, depends on you

#15 Celt


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Posted 14 May 2006 - 04:48 AM

Sorry to hear about that, something similar happened to me a while ago.

To my knowledge theres no free program that can really be comparable to Photoshop. What I would recommend you do is have a look at Photoshop Elements ( < $100 on Amazon.com.) Its like a lite version of Photoshop more or less. Anyway read up about it since I dont really know the full details. Other than that I would have a look at Macromedia Fireworks and Paintshop Pro. Hope this helped

Edited by Celt, 14 May 2006 - 04:49 AM.

#16 randomdood


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Posted 21 May 2006 - 06:52 AM

The Gimp is comparable to photoshop ^^
it just lacks one or two things but for a free program it's worth it. When you think about photoshop being like a thousand bucks it's a rip off!! i have it but using gimp for alot of things.

#17 krassyo


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Posted 24 May 2006 - 06:46 AM

I personaly like Gimp. I use it on Linux.

#18 Grafitti


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Posted 24 May 2006 - 05:22 PM

I don't think GIMP quite compares to photoshop. Photoshop is simply an incredibly complex and powerful program, and you notice it when you have to pay for it. i think it's overpriced, at least for home use they should knock a good 400 or 500 off the price, that would make it a more viable option, and if they want to go on charging companies and design studios 800 or 1000 or more, well then that would be reasonable.
though if you CAN afford it, i would recommend it. Here's another idea: keep using the trial version, and just go through the registry every month and change the date so that it thinks you're only on the first day of your trial. I don't think THAT is illegal, is it? Maybe a gray area, but not banned. :D

#19 Fonz


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Posted 25 May 2006 - 02:16 AM

Photoshop is a very powerful tool. The only problem i have with it, is how it renders text. The AA imlpements they added helps a bit, but Illustrator has great rendering due to its vector base. I also use Fireworks MX, hit has the ability to work with animated Gifs and visually help you compress images. I mainly use it to compress my images i need for web use. Lots of option to lower file size and visually give you an idea on when it will look like before exporting it.

#20 Guest_Aisha_*

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 06:48 PM

GIMP is the only free graphics design sofware that I know of,which will compare to Adobe Photoshop.GIMP can't beat Adobe Photoshop but is well worth getting,though it does clutter your desktop alot...

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