Re: Another David… : Adobe Creative Cloud: The Debate

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‘New’ David, my work involves some video, but mostly web development, graphics design, multi-platform publishing and some 3d work. About two years ago I switched from Adobe software to alternatives. In search of a viable Photoshop alternative, I tested pretty much all of the alternatives: Corel, Xara, Acorn, Pixelmator, and many more. I settled on Photoline for all my (professional) image editing needs, and Krita for digital painting. Photoline is rather extraordinary. It is available for both Mac and Windows, the net download is a paltry 20mb~30mb(!), yet it somehow offers most of Photoshop’s functionality. The main omissions are the 3d and video functionality, and the lack of a comparably powerful refine edge function. That last one I replaced with Topaz Remask (Photoline is compatible with classic Photoshop plugins). Unfortunately, Photoline also lacks a scripting API at the moment. I found Photoline surprisingly powerful as an general purpose image editor. As a matter of fact, the layer system surpasses Photoshop’s layers in several key areas: an unlimited number of layers, unlimited dimensions (limited by memory only), an unlimited number of bitmap and vector based layer masks per layer(!), virtual clones of layers (that unlike smart objects update in realtime when the source layer is edited), external file layers, layer opacity that can be set from -200(!) up to +200(!), non-destructive layer transformation by default (no silly smart objects are required), adjustment layers that can be grouped in a kind of super adjustment layer (cleaning up the layer stack considerably)… Gradients can be adjusted in the view in realtime, and are non-destructive for both bitmap and vector layers! This also includes layer masks! And every layer can be set to its own custom image mode (RGB, CMYK, Lab, Greyscale, monochrome) without the need to change file image mode!!! And full 8/16/32 bit per channel support. Each layer can also be set to its own resolution. What I also love is the option to adjust curves in RGB, Lav, HIS, and HSV colour modes WITHOUT the need to convert to a different image mode. Just apply the curve adjustment layer, and change the colour mode in the curve dialog!!! – full non-destructive RAW editing (although you may want to also run the open source RAWTherapee as a Lightroom alternative on the side. – full REAL vector support. Vector layers ARE truly vector, and will export like vector in a pdf, for example. All adjustment layers and effects can be applied to vector layers as well. There is also a pixel mode for vectors, and pixel snapping. Anti-aliasing can be controlled on a per layer basis. Pixel snapping is available as a document setting or again per layer. Another great feature is the app link: with this you can send layers or files to third-party applications for round-trip editing. It is somewhat comparable to, for example, Illustrator smart objects in Photoshop. For example, I can send a vector layer to InkScape for more refined editing through SVG as an intermediate format, and then the file gets updated in realtime in Photoshop after I save the changes. Or I can send a bitmap layer to GIMP or another bitmap effect generator, apply, save, and again it is updated automatically in Photoline. You can even load up the 32bit version of Photoline to apply (older) 32bit photoshop plugin effects, and return the result to the 64bit version! There are some things not as elegantly implemented compared to Photoshop. Other things are an improvement over Photoshop, while some things are more awkward. I am hoping for better guides control. But all in all: I have been extremely happy with Photoline. I have not had to fire up Photoshop for my image editing needs in the last year, except for the odd PSD conversion. Which is a testament to Photoline’s image editing capabilities. And the devs are very open to suggestions. The GUI can be set to a dark interface with greyscale icons at three sizes, btw. The default GUI setting looks a bit campy, I have to admit. System: Win7 64bit – i7 920@3.6Ghz, p6t Deluxe v1, 48gb (6x8gb RipjawsX), ATI 7970 3gb, EVGA 590 3GB, Revodrive X2 240gb, e-mu 1820. Screens: 2 x Samsung s27a850ds 2560×1440, HP 1920×1200 in portrait mode Source.

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