low-budget photoshop alike WITH pen tool

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Kristalghost, Jan 30, 2010.

  1. Kristalghost macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2009
    Hi I'm a student and I'm looking for a affordable/free drawing/photo-editing tool for mac.
    I tried photoshop and it worked whell after a couple of tutorials but I can't afford to buy it for the little I use it for.
    Now I'm looking for a replacement in sorts of pixelmator (with the basic photoshop filters, etc...) but I also need a pen tool (also know as bezier tool or consorts) for drawing basic shapes to fill.
    In my spare time I also like to redraw manga and use the pen tool for this.

    Of what i found so far the programs have either the photoshop filters etc or the pen/bezier tool and basic coloring.
    I haven't found any apps that have both except photoshop.
    Price may run up to 60-70$ as I've noticed that the payed graphics apps are allot beter than the free ones (pixelmator is perfect except it doesn't have the pen tool).

    And yes I've already looked at the mroogle for other posts of photoshop alternatives but as of yet I haven't found any apps that have both.
  2. kasakka macrumors 68020

    Oct 25, 2008
    You'll have a hard time finding one. Most programs are either raster or vector, Photoshop is one of the few that incorporates vector tools (though they function much worse than Illustrator's..yet another example of Adobe's incompetence).

    I suggest you instead look into going totally vector. You can usually import bitmap graphics (like a scanned drawing) into them. I have no idea what to recommend though. Lineform should be avoided because the developers seem to have no intention of supporting or improving it. Vector Designer might be worth a try, but the last time I tried it, it totally failed when working with complex images (performance became abysmal). Inscape is free and has lots of features, but its user interface is pretty "engineerish" aka not good at all.
  3. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    Have you looked at Gimp? I use my Wacom graphic tablet with it. It doesn't work as well as with Photoshop, but is still very nice.
  4. springerj macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2004
    Portland, OR
    You're not alone

    There used to be a great application that did that. It did both bit-mapped and vector graphics. Great tools. Fair price. It was/is called "Canvas". Unfortunately it got sold a few times and is now a PC-only program. I think they still sell an old mac version, but they don't support it and I doubt it would run on 10.6. (Did work on 10.5 though). ACDSee Software

    It's really a shame. Photoshop costs too much and underperforms for what most folks need. There ought to be a program you can use to layout a page, create vector objects, do high quality typography, and manipulate bit-map graphics. Canvas did all that.

    It let you draw architectural plans, set scales, draw bezier curves, draw stars and polygons, use objects as masks. You could set type kerning, leading, hyphenation, and even wrap to a curve. You could search and replace colors, change pallets, apply photo effects, use PMS color libraries. Boy I sure miss that program.
  5. Kristalghost thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2009
    canvas is like 350$ now :s

    Ill have a go at gimp and see if it works oké.
    Might end up using 2 programs so if there are any idea's for a combination of programs they are welcome to.

    thx for the help so far

    Oké tried Gimp and its a totally crap app :s
    tried some drawing and inserting a pic and it wouldn't cooperate :s
    If I'd have to work with that I think I'll go crazy :s
  6. Kristalghost thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2009
    I think I might go for the pixelmator but I would like a vector drawing program and if possible a decent free one. any suggestions?
  7. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    pixelmator as photoshop alternative
    intaglio as vector drawing progam maybe?
  8. Kristalghost thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2009
    looks really nice but its a 89$ app and that would make a total of 148$ and thats way to expensive for me (I'm a student and this is not for daily use)
  9. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    Give Inkscape a look. It's an X11 app, like Gimp, so it's not the prettiest to work with, but does OK for small jobs. Wasn't overly intuitive to start on either, but there's some decent tutorials out on the web to get you going.

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