But I'm also a little amazed that there still isn't a good Photoshop replacement.
I think that's because a lot of developers think Photoshop is layers and blend modes. But imho the real strength of Photoshop is the interface. Not only the GUI but also the interaction design.
I can do with Gimp what I can do with Photoshop but it will take a lot more time. In-place text editing, attaching effects to layers (drop shadows), non destructive editing, it's all missing from most Photoshop alternatives.
Also check out Natron (mentioned in the article): https://natron.inria.fr/ I never heard of it but it's looking great!
As others have noted, Photoshop is vast. It represents a large investment of domain knowledge that's quite hard to replicate. It has a lot of UI features that allow for powerful, efficient workflows (actions, heavily customizable GUI and shortcuts, even scripting, etc.) beyond its core image creation and manipulation functions. And that's not to mention the entire ecosystem of Photoshop plugins.
That said, the best competing apps I've seen out there are really domain specialist apps. They don't try to be better than Photoshop at everything, just better at one niche. Depending on the tool, they often don't even try to displace Photoshop from the workflow, just add on to it. Mischief is a good example of this category of Photoshop competitor.
If there's to be a significant competitor to traditional Photoshop, my bet would be on one of these "worse than Photoshop, but better at one thing" apps that met with initial success and eventually grew to displace Photoshop from a larger arena. I still doubt that we'd get a total Photoshop "replacement", per se. (Note, that "one thing" might well be "runs on mobile" versus any task-centric domain.)
An addendum to my prior post, I suspect a lot of folks here won't be aware of something: in various professional positions heavily dependent on Photoshop use (e.g. pro photo editing / retouching), it's common practice to have speed tests in the interview process. This part of the interview shows that 1) you know the available tools and know how to use them well for job-typical tasks and 2) you are utterly fluent in the UI, keyboard shortcuts, etc. for the task. Not all pros need this kind of workflow efficiency, but those who do are scary fast at what they do.
A fair bit of Photoshop's design over the years has been influenced by the needs of these kinds of high-skill, high-efficiency workflows.
I hate looking for a command in the menus or remember a shortcut, I would prefer to remember an alias derived from the name (like Autocad). This (and probably a huge reduction in price) is the only way to make me change to something else.
The graphic display was a side-effect. Events on the graphic display were mapped back to the API, i.e. mapped back to commands. The reason, most likely, is that in the days of MSDOS AutoDesk had to write hardware drivers themselves or convince third party hardware vendors write them. Having a developer friendly architecture helped in both cases.
Post-Macintosh programs such as PhotoShop went down a different architectural path. There was a pre-existing graphics subsystem and no obvious interest in developing up from the terminal. So these applications were developed down from the GUI. In the days of 256k RAM and 10meg disks, there was a lot of need for expediency and GUI code and application code often mixed. The result was a lack of an AutoCad style API.
If a procedure looks at screen layout directly, how do you turn it into a command from the keyboard with sensible parameters? Such a refactoring is hard, messy, and not at on the feature list marketing has developed. Lets face it, the PhotoShop user community would not just reject a command based interface, it might express outrage.
Going one step further, in the early 1990's AutoDesk massively refactored AutoCad's code. They took the hit in the form of R13. Then they started adding incredible features with each version again for the next twenty years.
The developer of a $50,000,000 project is going to pay several million dollars in design fees. There's a lot of value proposition in an easy button. However a lot of domain knowledge is necessary to produce something reliable.
Either way - developing a product to compete with PhotoShop or AutoCad - is a big dollar proposition. There's more capital investment that winds up requiring AutoCad than PhotoShop. A lot of what PhotoShop does is a nice-to-have. Building departments require building plans. Paving contractors require road plans. A billion dollars in those industries isn't even news.
I'm not sure if there will be an android port of Antigen. The mobile gaming scene is not very conducive to indie devs at the moment:) I also didn't write it in a very cross-platform manner. I won't make that mistake again.
In another field, Blender will make you go insane if you try to do any engineering work with it.
On the other hand doing art with OpenSCAD (you type code with primitives) would probably also suck, though it's good for engineering simple objects precisely.
If you could get the best of both worlds, then yes, but I think you run into limits with scripting in Photoshop alternatives quite quickly.
To most artists of that type I know, the idea of just recording a Photoshop macro to automate a repetitive task is getting into the dark arts. Command lines are scary places to them.
And that's discounting the 2D artists who work in physical media because "computer art has no soul".
There are exceptions - I mean, I used to futz around with assembly programming on my c64 and Amiga, there are people whose visual medium is Processing, there are people making games who are comfortable with one foot in the imagery and one foot in the code - but I am pretty sure that "emacs meet pixels" would not find much traction with the people who use Photoshop as a canvas.
I mean, if "Photoshop" to you is "a bunch of image filters", then sure, we already have "emacs meets pixels" in the person of ImageMagic. But to a 2D artist, Photoshop is not "a bunch of image filters"; it's "paintbrush and canvas".
To put it another way, a piece of software can be the important artefact. The design for a building is rarely the important artefact. By "making the design his own" an architect produces something for himself, but this is not the important [public] artefact. Moreover, making the design an expression of the architect is often in conflict with the objectives of the client. Guild like structures allow architects to express themselves in ways contrary to the interests of their clients.
Yes, there are projects where developers want architects. Much of the construction industry, however, sees architects as a necessary (or unnecessary) drag upon the project's objectives. Regulatory requirements for an architects involvement are the basis of many an architect's business.
Frank Gehrey is the outlier. AutoCAD LT is very common.
The command line in Photoshop would be a way of improving productivity. As an example, I don't know any power-user/really productive Autocad user that works with the GUI. It's a waste of time.
You may be right that this is how it happened, but there's not really any reason for it to have happened that way.
E.g. on the Amiga, which had similar hardware constraints to that, a lot of apps did work similarly to the way you describe AutoCad: everything internally mapped to commands, and the commands operated on the data model and updated the view, and while they were not designed to run headless, they were often designed from the beginning for everything to be scriptable.
This was done because everyone expected the API - from about AmigaOS 2.0 onward, if you didn't have an AREXX API it'd be commented on negatively in reviews etc.
I think the difference is the lack of a culture for scripting. Even with AppleScript, there's not the same culture for scripting in the Mac world. Even less so in the Windows world (outside of developers). Unix users expect scripting and components designed for it. Amiga users expected scripting of gui apps too.
Amiga OS was strongly influenced by Unix. That's what allowed all those ports of Unix commands to fill the FredFish disks. In a sense the Amiga was what a company needed to do when buying a Super Bowl launch ad spot isn't on the table. The Amiga 1000 was beautifully engineered but aesthetics were low enough on the priority list that the sidecar made it to market.
One could make a case that all that Rexx integration was a waste of effort: The Amiga died for just about everyone but a few hardcores and software like Photoshop lives on. The ball of mud is the most successful software architecture by volume.
It doesn't seem like one would need to refactor to do something like:
$ filter layer1 blur
$ selection x1 y1 x2 y2
Though we can usually compress the representation of that state, what we don't have is a high level semantics for describing it. We don't have a language for chunking bitmaps that works independent of a specific context. We can make a DSL for describing GUI elements. It won't work for photographs. Outside of a few specific domains, we don't have a handle into content. We can't write programs for bitmaps that manipulate babies and cars and pop-up menus easily.
If we deal with the bitmap as a whole, then it's trivial to write a command that transforms the bitmap as a whole. But without facial recognition style recognition for everything we're stuck dealing with pixels a lot of the time.
Munging the application logic and the display does have some advantages, and there are some aspects of the work-flow provided by the not-Autocad software that are really useful for producing drawings...Solid filling rectangles is not a geometric idea but it allows for placing the rectangle in the foreground of an image.
But unlike AutoCad keyboard entry is always a second class citizen and there's no way not to use the mouse in the middle of trying to complete just about every interaction. Indeed one of my big rants was about some distinction between tools and commands where binding a command to an icon required an extra click in the drawing area in order to run.
There's no reason that a circular selection box couldn't be moved with "$> move 129 -204". Indeed if you're working pixel by pixel, that's exactly the way to get exactly what you mean. Exacting layouts are exacting because we hold that level of detail in our heads.
at this point its not like Adobe would have to re-architect the system cuz im sure when you click & use a tool it is not going "uhhh photoshop system, man, could you like look into this screen & blur stuff" it is calling a well-defined method with an x/y param. They just need to alias those methods from a simple command shell
Unfortunately its pretty slow and clunky, and it doesn't let you draw programmatically or anything like that.
I used it to create a texture/sprite atlas maker for game development, and to do batch image composition for animation frames in my last game project.
I tried to use it to create animated image processing effects, but I ended up having to use Processing, after reimplementing a bunch of Photoshop features in Java.
In contrast, an AutoCad drawing is serializable to a text file of AutoCad commands.
At the core of the software architecture, it's analogous to REST versus SOAP soaked in kerosene with three decades of software evolution piled on top. Nobody loves AutoCad's DXF with deep abiding passion, but nobody would take "DXF is not my favorite file format"  rants in the source code seriously.
The point from AutoCad's <Point:> command is the same point that everything else is built on. It's bottom up. So in the end, a full blown command language for Photoshop would need a <Pixel:> command. And everything else, all the way up, would need to rely on calls to <:Pixel>. That's the level of granularity required to implement a command API like AutoCad's.
That's the joy of AutoCad's command line. It's programming with a REPL. Photoshop doesn't have one at its core.
The drawbacks are:
1. Not all features have nice interfaces. For some things you need to go through this ancient, hairy API based on tons of (sparsely documented) magic strings.
2. Most of the APIs are made to support the UI, so it can be hard or easy to do things depending on how the UI works. For things involving settings dialogs, or anything that's a multistep process in the UI, it can be pretty nontrivial.
I've touched it a few times but never spent enough time getting comfortable so to me it's all still very unintuitive.
For instance I've learned to appreciate and love Vim even though I've learned Emacs first (and is my daily editor). I won't dismiss it because it's superficially different (names, layout, bindings) or because it breaks my habits.
I have some kind UX abstract grid in mind where things could make better sense without being the Emacs/my-preferred way. GIMP had too many wtf in a row for me to keep trying, and ends up making me want to write imagemagick scripts in Emacs instead.
The funny thing is, engineers actually understand this perfectly when talking about text processors, but for some reason they (we) often fail to generalise it to other fields.
It's a sad state of affairs, but it is pretty common for the designer to just "push pixels" on engineer command - the engineer conceives (horribly) the UI in his head, sketches, and then tells the designer to make it pretty. The designer is merely a decorator. I saw it happen a lot in a telco, but it happens almost anywhere where the engineering skills are considered the core.
Feels to me that no designer worked on Gimp UX.
But good UX is about objectivity and about efficiency. Its also a process.
Another thing is that there is no tradition in that for designers. Opensource programming free time fun project for programmer is equivalent maybe something like making print posters for designers.
And interaction design schools are hardly helping that, they should make students to help out on opensource projects maybe as part of their assignments/diplomas.
How would i join opensource projects that need designers? I dont know.
I think it's because as a programmer my mental model more closely matches that of another programmer.
Which is terrifying when I do UX stuff myself because then I worry I'm building stuff for other programmers when I'm aiming at general users.
For example average user has mostly no understanding of things like reading data into memory and that it must be saved aferwards. For him the edit is already on the screen, like when you write on paper.
Also ux quality is imposible to measure. Lot of times its desicions between Ok bot not great vs Ok but not great.
The biggest problem on opensource projects is no consistent unifying philosophy, no aim. Users can learn anything, it just has to be consistent. Lot of times there is one developer wanting to see every posible function on the sceen, second one is making contextualy avare menus and thir one believes in text input search. Three of those together are just a mess.
Apparently from INRIA, the french national digital research institute. They actually have quite a lot of really good projects that fly a bit under the radar in the US. They're also behind things like Scikit-learn machine learning tools...
For example, I work almost exclusively on web UI stuff, and I love Sketch. The UI just makes so much more sense to me.
I don't think it does. It offers a massive feature set that is useful to different people in different ways, but there is still a lot of crossover.
Maybe you're pigeon-holing users based on their 'roles'. Web designers/photo editors, when working in Photoshop are both working with layered images at the end of the day. Plus people have different ways of working. You may do web UI stuff, but you may have a completely different workflow to another web UI designer.
The fact that Photoshop can do so many things is a huge appeal to users, because if they need to do some workflow item that maybe isn't part of their normal job, they can still do it within a familiar tool. This is handy and saves learning time.
Compare this to "unix people" who are likely to regard a tool with a lot of functionality they use rarely as bloated.
Changing would be expensive and risky, and would only be worthwhile if lots of their colleagues and clients were also moving.
So Adobe has intentionally created a lot of barriers to exit, and even if an amazing good open-source package came out today, it would struggle to gain traction.
It's nowhere near an entire replacement but it has a very different take on the UI which arguably makes it better suited for app UI design and it appeals to the "cool kids" ... those starting out their design careers with app related projects as best demonstrated by this book / tutorial - https://designcode.io/
And that's probably the only way to unseat Photoshop - with a generational change.
Sketch provides a clean, focused UI that makes it easy to get many tasks done simply/quickly. Specifically, icon design in Sketch is excellent.
Plus, Sketch is a vector based application which is excellent for creating multiple icons / images of different sizes.
This is a huge point. Adobe is so entrenched in so many corporations, it's almost like MS Office to a degree. Even in most startups, if you want to hire someone, you're going to go with Adobe products instead of having a training/learning curve to worry about.
>> So Adobe has intentionally created a lot of barriers to exit.
Of course they did. Once you have an entrenched software platform, you want people to continue using your product, regardless of whether they like it or not. It's just smart business. Not really good business, but smart nonetheless.
Versioning for image editing; I don't know how it would be done but by Jove it would be a time-saver.
Leonardo is currently in early beta.
Since I'm an programmer who's an aspiring artist, I have a few questions:
1. Is there a way to turn off additive brush-layering (ie the opacity does not change when you stroke over the same place)? I am used to Krita and Photoshop having an option to toggle this. The only way when the opacity increases is when the pressure increases.
2. Is there a way to create custom brushes? I'd love to be able to create my own. Also, Krita has some nice ways of "scripting" brushes which was nifty. The current ones are more than fine, but I usually make certain "helper" brushes to speed things up a little.
3. Do you plan to open-source certain parts of Leonardo? It'd be great if you open-sourced the specification for .leo and, the brush format, so it's easier to create conversion tools. I'm not a marketing expert, but I imagine having the ability to import brushes from Photoshop would be a huge benefit.
4. Do you intend to support plugins?
P.S: Sorry for dumping ideas like this.
(we need to improve the brush settings)
2. Yes, use the same brush settings as described above. You can click on "tip" (round circle for standard brush) to change brush tip.
3. We might open source the brush format in the future.
4. Maybe in a distant future. The problem with plugins is that you have one more API to keep backward compatible.
Thanks for testing Leonardo! Please feel free to email me if you have any more questions or feedback: henning.tegen 'at' getleonardo.com
Or does it mean something else?
So, yeah, non-destructive editing is not optional. It's been around for about ten years, in Krita.
Since then I have tried Pinta Image Editor - the toolset is far simpler than PS/Gimp, but it is 100x more intuitive. It reminds me of Paint.NET
Nevertheless, single-window mode has been around for years (I think): Select 'Windows'->'Single-Window Mode'.
The distinction between Save and Export is one of those measures to gently remove the user's feet from below the barrel, I imagine (only the native xcf-format stores certain information, like layers).
But more importantly, the worst thing I have to face in GIMP is layer/selection management. I understand how it works, I worked with it for years, but it's annoying as fu... very annoying.
So does Gnome desktop have a flagship GTK paint application in the vein of paint.net?
Photoshop has loads of features, really, most users use like 1% of these,but professionals are required to know Photoshop. Because professionals will share photoshop files.
I mean, you wouldn't use Sublime Text 2 to code in C# right? sure you can do that, but a .net shop requires you to know Visual Studio Pro.
> I can do with Gimp
Gimp is a sad story imho,it feels too much like developpers doing UX-UI and failing at doing it properly. It has great features but feels way to clunky and un-inspiring for artists.Gimp needs to be heavily redesigned.
Yeah, same feeling initially ... but now that I'm used to it, I actually prefer it.
On the same tangent, for a good example of a clean interface, check out Lightworks for Linux with a cheap Wacom tablet. You'll be blown away.
I tried Gimp once a few years ago and had a far worse experience, it slowed me down a lot compared to Photoshop. This may just be because I didn't devote enough time to get used to it.
It's hard. Inkscape is a good Corel Draw replacement, and the drawing functions in Open/Libre Office aren't bad. In 3D land, there's Blender, which is a good 3D animation program. (It still has the UI from hell, though. 3D UIs are really, really hard to do well.) GIMP started life as a command-line program and had a GUI tacked on later. That never works well.
Pinta Image Editor tries to be Microsoft Paint with some extra Photoshop LE features. It has roughly the right feature set, and a reasonable Photoshop-like UI, but it's so buggy it's useless. Components of the GUI randomly disappear. The drag markers from selection end up in the actual image. Resizing fails for moderately large images. The original developer abandoned it around 2012, and while it's getting some maintenance, it's still not very stable. Putting the current 2014 release into the Ubuntu repository might help.
Yes, it's better than most Photoshop alternatives, but it would never be a satisfactory replacement for, say, commercial photographers. I mean, I've only casually used Photoshop for random freelance work over the years (for clients who don't want to hire a real designer), and in my limited experience I've done things with Photoshop that Gimp literally doesn't have support for.
Inkscape has free-hand and raster tools, you can do masking and such. The GP mentions "in-place text editing" for which PS presumably uses vector methods. I use Inkscape pre- and/or post- GIMP for things like text layers.
I've long thought that a great graphics package could be achieved if Inkscape and The GIMP (or other primarily raster programmes) could draw to [different layers of] the same canvas. Inkscape lets you link in images which is a small step towards this.
I've been using it on and off since it was Sodiwopi or whatever it was called.
"Inkscape has free-hand and raster tools"
Yes, and Gimp has 'vector tools', so what? GP says "If you count inkscape as a 'photoshop replacement', it does many of the things photoshop/illustrator does" which makes no sense on all levels except the most abstract, like saying a pair of Nikes is like a Mercedes because you can use both to go from point A to point B.
Just consider it to have an implicit "for me" and I'll bet you'll find it hard to find a genuine objection that's worth making.
[PS: SodiPodi, me too]
By that I mean they handled both, reasonably well.
Jasc Animation Shop for AIM buddy icons!
You probably have to read "inadequate support by adobe" as " we didn't have the money for the licence anymore, and adobe didn't want to give the software for free".
The German said: "My studen room was so small, like 16sqm, you could just fit a desk, a bed, a shower and a sink."
I, French, said, believing I had a tougher experience: "I know what it looks like: We were 2 per room for the same size. In winter, heating was on and off, we had to pay attention not to touch the walls while sleeping, otherwise the dew would wet our blankets."
Then the Russian guy came... They were 3 people in the same surface. Heating was optional. At the coldest of the winter, the whole building's electricity would cut off for the night because it couldn't sustain the student's heating units. They didn't have showers at all. They had three common "bathrooms" for the building with sinks only. They could use them at will in the evening, but they had to take turns for the mornings. As in, Mondays and Thursdays. It was a reputated school in Russia.
Visiting a campus in Australia is surrealistic. I'm so speechless to describe the difference in living conditions that, when I want people to imagine the life in Sydney, I tell them to imagine banknotes falling from the sky. That's what the living conditions feel like compared to the old continent.
All in all, 16 m^2 is definitely on the high end when I look at the private rooms my student friends live in. I probably know more people who live in 5-6 m^2 than live in > 16 m^2 rooms.
With regards to the state of university campuses, it's not even worthwhile to compare private American universities with massive endowments to European public universities (i.e. most European universities) that get all their money from the government, and not one cent more than they need. Why would the government spend millions on campus landscaping when they can move the money to more worthy budgetary posts like health or kindergartens? Private universities in the US and elsewhere simply do not have these restrictions.
I had the same reaction when visiting US campuses like Stanford and Duke, that looked like resorts compared to the universities I attended in Europe.
On the other hand, I was able to get a perfectly serviceable degree at about 1/10 of the cost...
In Germany and France, the college is paid for directly by the government. The most effort is made to reduce costs where possible, including delaying the purchase of new books, dorm room upgrades / accomodations, and infrastructure.
There needs to be a middle ground between these two methods, the college approach in Europe produces people who were developed from middle school for college, those who were not college material were moved into technical schools or apprenticeships; but it lacks ability to change course in later years easily. The American system of college takes everyone who can tie their shoes if they can afford it, some blossom within a college environment and prove their guidance counselors wrong.
And those pictures really don't show the worst things i've seen.
For a free application you have to give props to Krita, it looks fantastic and plenty of digital artists and illustrators have been raving on about how great it is since it came out. It definitely appeals to me more than Gimp, but I would still probably use Gimp over Krita for general photo touching and editing though. Even the about page on the Krita site itself speaks of illustrators and more drawing purposes. I mean if it works as a Photoshop replacement for some, then that's great. Undoubtedly a cool application.
You're wrong here. If you really mean digital painting, then Photoshop is the tool of the trade, mostly because of the brushes "engine".
(That said, I'll be spending the next few years doing a painterly comic book in Illustrator, but that is honestly more a function of me having used it as my main medium for fourteen years than it is of it being the best tool for the job.)
Oddly enough the one place where I switch to Gimp is drawing, as Gimp has slightly better graphics tablet support.
It's a Photoshop alternative in the same way Word is an alternative to vim. You can use them both to make a text file, but they have very different specialisms. Krita is a very capable drawing package while Photoshop is a print finishing app that got really bloated.
(Maybe it's because I'm English, but I really thought 'pressure' would be quite obvious in this context.)
Glad to see free/open source software getting some exposure. My College makes GIMP, Inkscape, Audacity and LibreOffice available on its Windows desktops alongside commercial alternatives. Students get used to both.
What I like about Krita is that it's very powerful, its interface has a lot of stuff going on (not a bad thing, it's very easy to understand and use) and it's definitely the better digital painting application out of the two.
What I think works better in MyPaint is sketching and quick notes/drawing. It has the concept of infinite canvas where you can keep drawing and drawing and drawing. I also prefer its preset brushes over Krita's, but that's just personal preference. My normal workflow is, if I want to draw some painting with definite proportions and size and everything, I use Krita. If I just want to sketch something or jot down some notes, I use MyPaint. My last infinite canvas with MyPaint ended up being over 200MB of png with a very ridiculous resolution because I kept writing and writing and zooming and zooming all my notes and I didn't notice how big it actually became (I use it as a big whiteboard for sketching my projects).
(NOTE: I'm mostly a pen-and-ink illustrator who's very much a novice in the digital realm)
MyPaint, though, makes it really easy to toy around with one hand on the keyboard with nice one-stroke shortcuts. I'm totally able to make a drawing with one hand on the keyboard and one hand on the tablet.
The minimalist interface for MyPaint is really terrific. I can't recommend it enough...
More, I suspect there's a delayed effect where people are still holding on to their non-subscription copies of CS. I'm a heavy Illustrator user; I'm still on CS 5.5, but when the time comes to upgrade it won't be to Illustrator CC.
So you can see the logic behind Creative Cloud: Adobe have both prevented this behaviour, and struck against piracy. They're clearly betting that this will outweigh the reduced sales, and that Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign are so essential that few people will pass it up. I'm not convinced they're right.
A known torrent site begs to differ!
For example, it has a quick-selection wheel that pops up when you press right mouse button. It's a radial design with the outer layer being your favourite brushes, then your last used colours and in the middle it has a colour-selection triangle.
This means that if you're drawing in full-screen mode (hiding all the controls) you hardly ever have to switch back to the menus to tweak stuff (changing brush size is also done by holding shift and dragging), only to switch layers really. (that is my work-flow at least)
And, if anyone is looking for an OSS project to contribute too: Development is very active and open, it's written in C++ Qt/KDE. :)
I read that as "Adobe got greedy"
Well, good for Krita.
Part of PS/AI success is that students use it at Uni (and later on at work, and most of the workflow, even going to printing uses it)
The whole thing being a side project I really wanted to make it work with free (both meanings) software as much as possible, but some things are pretty damn hard that way. Of ourse, if all you do is web or other screen stuff then there are plenty of options beside Adobe, and lots of them free or free™.
TL;DR: In some lines of work there really is no way around PS/AI/ID because that's what the whole industry is working with and also because the alternatives are lacking in some crucial areas.
¹ By now I found out that SVG 2 supports device colours and Batik has an experimental branch where those are implemented, which means I may just switch from Inkscape to Batik for the next printing run and try that.
Using black point compensation? Is it that you don't want to use rich black but want pure black (100% key)?
A designer told me that RGB black is darker than CMYK pure black, thus the need for a mixed colour whenever you start with RGB instead of using CMYK from the very beginning.
LRZ - the central computing center for all universities in Munich - had actually spent months drafting an acceptable licensing contract together with Adobe Germany.
In November 2014, Adobe USA told LRZ that they would not agree to this contract, essentially giving them the finger .
LRZ now recommends all universities to switch away from Adobe software where possible.
Given that Krita is 'good enough' for most courses, it remains to be seen whether that was the right decision for Adobe.
Adobe really shot themselves in the foot there, even if they still haven't realized it.
For the "benefit" of getting SaaS we could either pay an extraordinary amount over our previous license in order to get the same number of licenses, or we could get a site license for only a fairly large amount more than our previous license. Mind you that we had little warning about this change, and academic budgets tend not to follow the typical business cycle.
Now the benefit of the site license is that all your users can become dependent upon Adobe, so when they raise the cost in the future you'll be more than obligated to agree.
Upon hearing about this changes, which brought _no real benefit to users_, one local school actually had Adobe's salesperson ejected from campus. :)
In terms of support, CC had a special enterprise edition with its own installer that generated CC packages for deployment. It was not the smoothest deployment for many institutions, it was difficult to maintain, and when I ran into a problem with licensing it took running into a higher level Adobe rep at a conference before I could make progress (our own rep eventually stopped helping). Also, there was some software included in Enterprise CC -- software that could actually benefit from "the cloud" in creating websites -- that would not work out in a mult-user environment unless you wanted your users to erase each other's Adobe cloud hosted websites. Yes, this behavior was documented, but being that it was one of the few useful "cloud" features CC offered, it was pretty disappointing for it to be unusable with our site license.
Entrepreneurs, listen. I know education is a tough nut to crack. But I'm sure it's not just education that is fed up with Adobe. Remember that Quark was once one of the big guys, but their licensing and support was so bad that InDesign took over. Yes, I had teachers complaining about Quark's licensing -- not the cost, but the horrible, broken license server. These kinds of things can destroy your business.
PS: You would not believe how many users ask for Adobe Acrobat just to save Word files as PDFs. Office has (or at least had) a built-in plugin to do this, and OS X supports exporting to PDFs natively via print.
If you like graphics and want to do something to save money on a lot of licenses - look at replacing illustrator with Xara on Windows or Affinity Designer on Mac. Or try to roll back to an earlier Photoshop like CS2. I really really want to love Krita and I'll give it a shot on Linux when I get the chance but sheesh, any classroom wanting to adopt it en masse is definitely trading one evil for another.
I have no desire to buy photoshop cc at this moment in time, I like to purchase licenses. I'll stick with CS6 as absolutely long as possible. But educational pricing on Adobe software has always been pretty good. Time spent in school is impermanent so it fits pretty well with the CC model.
Photoshop, like other well established tools, is nearly impossible to replace. There are whole industries born with it in their hands, and you'd have to pry it from their cold dead bodies.
I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with PS. It does so much more than I could ever imagine, with features I will never know about.
For web development it's a bit suboptimal, but it's still the standard. It's not streamlined - we have pages with standard headers etc, I know there's some support for embedding PS files in other PS files but it's not the promoted way of working. It allows people create graphics that are unsuitable for the web / hard to unpick into layers that you can use (better css support has made things better but I spent over a decade trying to get suitable flat images out of PS files).
These days, no longer working with designers in an agency, I just do everything straight to html/css so that it works without jumping through any hoops.
Gotta download and try it out!
Even GIMP is far behind what Photoshop can provide. Want a really good look at what the differences are between the two? Look at GIMP's development roadmap: http://wiki.gimp.org/index.php/Roadmap
It's usually a pretty quick view of the delta between the two programs. Krita is missing most if not all of these too. Some of the big features Krita and Gimp are missing:
1.) Non-destructive editing capabilities. Krita and GIMP have masks, which is a start, but neither support smart objects (dynamically sized/edited objects that don't destroy/replace pixel data on resize) or adjustment layers. This is huge. Unless you're a painter, no one in the industry uses destructive editing techniques.
2.) High bit depth. This is another big one. Since most of the crowd on HN are more familiar with code than design, I'll put it in code terms: pretend that you had to do precision work, but a Math.floor() function was called every time you did any arithmetic. When you're doing light adjustments/corrections, blending, color correction, and such, the work can introduce heavy banding when you're working in 8bits per channel. By switching to 16bits per channel you provide way more fidelity on the individual pixel level, eliminating a lot of banding in your final product. Even if you have a monitor that can only display 8bit color, working in 16 can change your end result drastically.
There are some minor features too that bug me. The inability to add a mask to layer groups is a big one for me. Layer effects (while often overused and gaudy) can be really helpful for design work - need to change the color of an icon that's raster art? Just drop a color overlay on it. If you have style swatches, it can be really easy to do fast mockups using this. This in conjunction with Layer Comps (also something missing in Gimp right now) can really help in switching between two or more alts.
These programs are a long way off from being Photoshop. Whenever I see a story like this where Photoshop is replaced by GIMP/Krita, what I see isn't that these things have the capability to replace Photoshop, but rather that the people who replaced it were only using a tiny subset of Photoshop's capabilities, and found something more suited to their usecase.
16 bit integer, 16 bit float and 32 bit float followed in the same year. OpenEXR has been supported for about a decade. OpenColorIO was added two years ago, so there's the LUT functionality needed for movie and vfx people.
And have you actually tried Krita? I mean, group layers were a 2004 or 2005 addition as well, and you can add transparency masks, local selection masks, filter masks or transformation masks to groups just like you can add them to vector, pixel, clone, filter, fill (color, pattern, other generators) or file (external file added in your layer stack) layers.
Smart objects? There are vector layers, where you can add any svg image or editable vector object.
Layer effects? Well, that's something we're working on. It isn't too difficult, but a lot of work just typing in all that code. Previously, we assumed that people could make do with filter masks and layers, but well, this is one thing where we'll do a clone job, I guess.
Color overlays? Gosh, take a fill layer with a color and the right blending mode. Or do something else -- a HSV colorize filter mask, for instance.
Would be nice to see something like that cross platform with a decent UI. Gimp is cool and I've spent countless hours with it but the interface is simply clunky.
Will definitely check this out.
I know Adobe Illustrator can do this. But Inkscape can't. (Yes, it has a calligraphic pen, but it is too direct, i.e., it doesn't allow the paths to be changed using the anchorpoints; it also doesn't allow the calligraphic strokes to be converted to paths).
Looks like a very interesting tool for creating art/comics.
Krita doesn't even work on OS X for crying out loud. This is not good for the students. Not good at all.