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Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by angrygolfer, Sep 19, 2007.
Is there a cost effective alternative to Photoshop CS3, preferably that is a Universal Binary app?
You could maybe take a look at GIMP open source and free.
Yes - try an open source option such as GIMP for example. That'll be absolutely free. If your a student you can get photoshop for around £140 ($280)
you could get pixelmator when it comes out. It's really good (i got the beta) and cheap ($50US or something).
What exactly are your needs?
If you need to get anywhere close to the power of CS3, then GIMP is far more powerful than any other free or cheap solution. It's not the prettiest thing, and it runs in X instead of in Aqua, but it is fairly powerful, and free.
If your needs are mid-range, I don't think there are any new great free solutions beyond GIMP, but Photoshop Elements has become moderately powerful over time and is not at all expensive, and of course Pixelmator looks like it'll be pretty good when it comes out (although, again, I don't think the power is anywhere near CS3).
If your needs are extremely low end, you do have options like Seashore or Acorn, but they're extremely limited.
Also forum search, as this has been discussed ad nauseum, including at least two threads I remember in the last couple of weeks or so....
And in that price range Acorn has already been released... edit: as mentioned by mkrishnan.
I tried that a bit, and for the odd editing I prefer it over GIMP, but I'm not sure it can compete with Pixlemator whenever that is released.
I hope Photoshop Elements will go UB soon... but unfortunately you never know with Adobe...
I'm not a student. I'm basically just looking to mess around a bit. With the holidays around the corner I wanted to take some pictures of my kids while they're in their beds sleeping. Then I wanted to "photoshop" santa sitting on their beds then print out the pictures and leave them on their bed along with their stockings. they'll freak out if they see a pic like that.
LOL that would be cute. GIMP would be fine for that. A free Aqua GIMP seems unfortunately forever away (there are three things, for whatever reason, that have eluded the OSS Mac community ... a good Aqua Office suite, which finally appears to be around the corner, an Aqua version of GIMP, which God knows if it'll ever come out, and AV conferencing in GAIM/Pidgin toolkit.)
Pardon my ignorance but what do you mean by Aqua?
I think he means the interface and look of OSX but don't hold me to that
This gets a little detailed if you're not too familiar with computers... but basically, yes, the windowing environment you normally get on your Mac is called Aqua.
However, you can install another environment, variants of which are standard in Unix, called XWindows, or X11. You have to install X from the system install / restore or operating system install disc you have for your computer (there's an optional installs package on the disc that will let you install an "X11.app", which, when you launch it from Aqua, starts X).
When you download GIMP, you run it in X. You have limited copy and paste compatibility with regular OS X programs, and some keyboard shortcuts and things will work differently. Also the look and feel will be quite different.
I am extremely familiar with computers, just a bit new to mac. I have worked in the IT industry with PC's, windows, and networking gear (mostly cisco) for over15 years.
Just never heard of anyone refering to the mac interface as Aqua.
Thanks for all your info. I'm going to give GIMP a shot. If it doesn't work out, I'll just buy CS3. I'll probably end up buying it anyway just to say I have it
Hehe, I think there're a lot of people who buy waste their money on CS. Good luck with GIMP. The X11 install is slightly confusing -- you'll figure it out, I'm sure, but there are several different installer packages on the disc and people end up installing the wrong one occasionally. There's a guide if you need it:
And then after you do that, this is probably the most straightforward way to install GIMP:
Particularly, if you don't really plan on using a lot of other X11 apps, this is much easier than messing with Fink or something like that (Fink is an installation manager, basically, for X11 OSS).
I gave Gimp a go on the Mac and uninstalled it ten minutes later. It has a user-hostile interface. The main menu is the X11 menu; the actual menu is on some palette. It's wildly divergent from any OS X app and I wouldn't wish it on any friend. Unless there's a different version with a more Mac-like GUI, I can't figure why anyone would recommend Gimp.
For modest uses, Seashore is a suitable freebie.
Early comments are Acorn is decent, but I've not tried it. Graphic Converter seems to have some basic editing tools.
Yeah, I know... that's the standard disclaimer. I personally (before the Intel switch made this problematic) found GIMP to be enough encouragement to spend $50-70 on Photoshop Elements. Once it goes universal again, unless Pixelmator really lives up to the hype, it will return to being my defacto recommendation.
I used to like PSE-1 on my Windows laptop quite a bit. Then I stopped messing with my pictures when I started working full-time. This summer I tried to do a few little things with PSE-2. OK, that version is a bit old, but came free with my scanner and it is more recent than the one I used to play with. It felt as clunky as GIMP. Granted no X11 to worry about, but in the end, I did not find it more user friendly. Either my standards of user friendliness has changed over the years or running it in Rosetta makes it feel much worse.
I can't comment on the Rosetta issue, but there's a big difference between PSE versions before 3 and starting with 3. I think the general consensus was that PSE2 was a piece of junk. 3 is considered fairly powerful, with some minor to moderate improvements in 4 (mac/win) and 5 (win only). I haven't really used 2 (although I have a free copy lying around), but my understanding is that you can't really judge the series off it.
PSE3 has the U-shaped interface that was in CS1, I think. It has reasonable RAW support, and most other features. The two biggest things that routinely come up with it are that it does not have a channel mixer (it has something that can mostly get you there, practically) and it does not support actions. But otherwise, it was an outstanding value for its time.
When PSE6 finally comes out, it's expected to be based on the universal binary CS3 codebase. It should be quite nice.
I do have a copy of PSE 4 for Mac. will that do what I am looking to do?
Yes -- it's not a universal binary, but if you're not using it that often, it is probably just fine for you. Just try not to use other intensive apps when you use it, and you should be fine.