Looking for a Photoshop replacement?

Oct 30, 2017
980
I’ve had a Creative Cloud subscription for the past two years, and as my subscription is about to run out, I’m finding it hard to swallow paying so much for yet another year of it, even with the student discount.

I also use Illustrator and After Effects on occasion, but not frequently enough for them to be much more than a curiosity. I could live without them. I use Photoshop on a constant basis though (as a hobbyist who does digital art and some graphic design). I can just switch to the $120/yr PS+ Lightroom plan, but I’m wondering if there’s even better things out there. I’ve researched a bit about the topic, but there’s so many options, its hard to decide!

Hopefully someone can offer a solid alternative that fits at least most of what I’m looking for:

  • Full drawing tablet support - Pressure-sensitive brushes are essential for me
  • Importable Brushes - I’m guessing that’s a standard thing for most programs like this, but I definitely want to make sure I can do this.
  • Layer styles - I really like how PS’s layer style system works, and having something similar would be a major plus
  • Reasonable price - I’m fine with paying for it (I mean I’ve already spent like $500 on Creative Cloud), but if I can get it for less than the $120 Adobe wants for Photoshop alone each year, that’d be great
  • Similar-ish Layout - I’m not picky about this one, but if its easy to transition to it from Photoshop, all the better
 

Scudo

Member
Nov 15, 2017
30
I’ll second Affinity. For video editing, I’ve been impressed with Davinci as a Premiere replacement, and I think they have an After Effects equivalent too.
 

Stinkles

343 Industries
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
17,592
+ 1 Affinity. But I'm a light user.

Don't let anyone with a Linux t-shirt talk you into Gimp. It's very powerful and clever and admirable but it is extremely difficult to use, run and maintain. Effectively each tool works as if it's a separate app and I feel ungrateful for complaining about the amazing work put into it, but you REALLY have to commit to its quirks.
 

Zexion

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
1,260
Affinity Photo should fit the bill on most, if not all, points: https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/photo/
Yeah, Affinity sounds like what you're looking for, OP!
I’ll second Affinity. For video editing, I’ve been impressed with Davinci as a Premiere replacement, and I think they have an After Effects equivalent too.
+ 1 Affinity. But I'm a light user.

Don't let anyone with a Linux t-shirt talk you into Gimp. It's very powerful and clever and admirable but it is extremely difficult to use, run and maintain. Effectively each tool works as if it's a separate app and I feel ungrateful for complaining about the amazing work put into it, but you REALLY have to commit to its quirks.
Eh I used Affinity around a year or 2 ago and I remember getting frustrated over how difficult it was for me to properly see Transparent images. Did they finally make it so you can change the colour on the checkerboard pattern for transparency?
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,899
RIP, I deal with a lot of Light Transparent Images so it's impossible to work with that. I really did want to move to affinity after the CC Nonsense Adobe Pushed.
When I work with transparent light images, I push a green or red block underneath to properly manage edges. You can have the macro dropping a red layer in the bottom, or just spend 5 seconds dropping one yourself. Plus when you are adjusting mask, you get the dialog for black/white/transparent mattes.
 

Stinkles

343 Industries
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
17,592
Adobe Creative Cloud:

Click here to give Adobe access to your Photos, your teenage diary, your underwear drawer and your enemies cellphone numbers.

To opt out of this sharing, please understand that you cannot and we are already rifling through your knickers.
 

Popstar

Member
Oct 25, 2017
466
For illustration work you should also look into Clip Studio Paint. It used to go on sale for cheap fairly often but I'm not sure if it still does.

EDIT: a quick search shows me it being 50% off ($25US) last September.
 

sirap

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,201
South East Asia
I've replaced Photoshop and Illustrator with Affinity Photo, Affinity Design and Clip Studio Paint. All work with tablet pressure, are decently priced and function very similarly to Adobe's products.
 
OP
OP
The Poochy Kid
Oct 30, 2017
980
Hot damn, Affinity looks absolutely perfect! Ad only $50 too... Even has a free trial too... Its almost too good to be true.

Might just get Designer & Photo, to fulfill basically all my wants at once. Good riddance Adobe!
 

Lost Lemurian

Member
Nov 30, 2019
344
For illustration work you should also look into Clip Studio Paint. It used to go on sale for cheap fairly often but I'm not sure if it still does.

EDIT: a quick search shows me it being 50% off ($25US) last September.
I absolutely second this. I switched from Photoshop to Clip Studio a couple years ago, and I'll never go back.

Feature rich, easy to learn, and cheap.
 
OP
OP
The Poochy Kid
Oct 30, 2017
980
Clip Studio Paint looks pretty sweet too... And getting all 3 would cost just a bit over a single year of Photoshop, with more functionality.

Now I feel like a chump for getting Creative Cloud in the first place lol.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,899
Another good thing about Affinity is that it has no problem opening PSDs or AI files, only throwing away PS/AI specific effects. So whatever you painted, it should be perfectly open-able in Photo with all the layers and vector shapes intact.
 

Sera

Member
Oct 27, 2017
503
Melbourne

Jotakori

Member
Oct 25, 2017
689
CLIP is pretty solid for art! I'm personally married to SAI so I've actually not used it that much for painting/drawing, but I know there's tons of brushes and textures you can get and it has most of the color adjustment options Photoshop has. PS is smoother to work with on color editing but CLIP's done the job for me well enough in a pinch. They have extensive tutorial and tip pages/articles for it, too. Goes on sale for pretty cheap a couple times a year, I think.
 

BevelledEdge

Member
Dec 25, 2018
516
yep, when I last had an animate sub I wanted to cancel cuz I wasn't using it too much, it worked out cheaper waiting a month or two to pay less in the cancellation fee...
For just sketching, painting and drawing, ive been using Sketchbook Pro (but did have to make my own set of brushes to get a similar feel to what I used in PS) it has brushes and layers which is enough for me at the moment.
For Video editing, I recently found out Blender has tools for it, not sure how it compares to say Affinity or AE but its an upgrade to what I had previously used for years when I opted out of CC subs for video editing (Windows Movie Maker which I may have used more than once to edit Uni projects...).
 

molnizzle

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
10,278
+1 for Affinity Photo. Accept no substitutes.

Switched about a year ago and can't believe that I used to waste so much money on my Photoshop subscription. Some things are different so there's a slight learning curve, but if you knew how to do shit in Photoshop you're more than capable of learning how to do the same thing in Affinity.
 

FernandoRocker

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
4,859
México
If only Affinity developed a video editor... I would buy it day one, without waiting for reviews.

It doesn't even need to have all the features of Adobe Premiere. Just a solid basic video editor for small YouTube projects.
 
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FernandoRocker

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
4,859
México
inkscape is a good replacement for illustrator.
I'm sorry to say this, but both GIMP and Inkscape are horrible as Adobe replacements.

They are good (very good) for what they are (specially as free software), but in no way are comparable to the workflow that Adobe has and that everyone in the industry uses.

Affinity Designer and Photo are good direct replacements for Adobe.
 

access tv

Member
Oct 25, 2017
342
Ir only Affinity developed a video editor... I would buy it day one, without waiting for reviews.

It doesn't even need to have all the features of Adobe Premiere. Just a solid basic video editar for small YouTube projects.
I've had some luck with the free version of Davinci Resolve! And Shotcut, crazily enough.

Affinity Suite is an amazing find.
 

BAD

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,520
USA
Affinity is good. Adobe CC is the best if you use it consistently for work, and it’s so robust. But I feel like Affinity has such a more fair model now after the crap Adobe has pulled with subscription contracts. Also Affinity is improving really nicely and I feel that supporting them is making them a real threat to Adobe. The competition is good.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,899
If only Affinity developed a video editor... I would buy it day one, without waiting for reviews.

It doesn't even need to have all the features of Adobe Premiere. Just a solid basic video editor for small YouTube projects.
Davince Resolve is your salvation. I think it has equal or better tools than Premiere, and the performance is above. Media management, cutting, layers, effects, keyframes, masking, tracking, grading, audio etc. Plus the video editing and effects/motion graphics aren't two separate packages like you get fucked with CC.

I am no professional video editor, so I cannot tell you all the things it does or doesn't do well, I make nice memes with it :)
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,983
NYC
I'm sorry to say this, but both GIMP and Inkscape are horrible as Adobe replacements.

They are good (very good) for what they are (specially as free software), but in no way are comparable to the workflow that Adobe has and that everyone in the industry uses.

Affinity Designer and Photo are good direct replacements for Adobe.

yeah that's true of GIMP but inkscape is good enough for us amateurs.
 

Freezasaurus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
27,748

Loxley

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,406
Any recommendations for vector work? All of my art is done in Adobe Illustrator, but I'd be open to trying an alternative.
 
OP
OP
The Poochy Kid
Oct 30, 2017
980
Its decided! I’m gonna try Affinity for the next week, and if its all good, I’ll get Affinity Photo on the 21st. I’ll probably also snag Clip Studio Paint next time it goes on sale. Affinity Designer I may also get later.

Thanks everyone!!!

Any recommendations for vector work? All of my art is done in Adobe Illustrator, but I'd be open to trying an alternative.
Check out Affinity Designer
 

luffie

Member
Dec 20, 2017
434
Indonesia
OP, if you are going to do professional work and focusing on illustration, some of the better alternatives is CLIP Studio Paint. It has the easiest transition and most robust features comparatively.

But if you are into image editing, you are out of luck. PS is the best image editing software currently.

I know 120/yr seems pricey, but i look at it this way. PS used to costs 600 as standalone, and people still use it anyway because it's the best. So at $10 per month, I just take it as if I'm using PS for 5 years before I buy a new version.

I know it's a lame analogy, but the reason others price their software so cheap because they know they can't compete on features. I'm all for a cheaper software, but until others can provide similar feature, PS gonna stay that way.

ps: I've used CSP, Painter, Photoshop.
 

molnizzle

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
10,278
OP, if you are going to do professional work and focusing on illustration, some of the better alternatives is CLIP Studio Paint. It has the easiest transition and most robust features comparatively.

But if you are into image editing, you are out of luck. PS is the best image editing software currently.

I know 120/yr seems pricey, but i look at it this way. PS used to costs 600 as standalone, and people still use it anyway because it's the best. So at $10 per month, I just take it as if I'm using PS for 5 years before I buy a new version.

I know it's a lame analogy, but the reason others price their software so cheap because they know they can't compete on features. I'm all for a cheaper software, but until others can provide similar feature, PS gonna stay that way.

ps: I've used CSP, Painter, Photoshop.
Affinity Photo provides everything the average Photoshop user needs. It’s an incredible value.

I think it's time I move to Affinity after seeing this thread lol
Shit rules.

Well worth the $50. Once or twice a year it’ll go on sale for $30 too.
 

Ryuelli

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,348
But if you are into image editing, you are out of luck. PS is the best image editing software currently.
I think that depends on what exactly you mean by image editing. If we're strictly talking RAW editing, I tried out DxO recently and honestly, I think whatever it's doing for sharpening, noise reduction, and dehazing feels leagues ahead of Lightroom.
 
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Freezasaurus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
27,748
I think that depends on what exactly you mean by image editing. If we're strictly talking RAW editing, I tried out DxO recently and honestly, I think whatever it's doing for sharpening, noise reduction, and dehazing feels leagues ahead of Lightroom.
Why does the link to the post you quoted go to the "alone on Valentine's day" thread?