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January 6, 2013
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Need a Photoshop alternative for Mac

:iconiceflame1019:
IceFlame1019 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I unearthed my old copy of Photoshop CS4, but unfortunately, it's student-only and my student ID is no longer valid.

I can't afford anything so I need freeware...which, I know, is a long shot with Macs.

I ALREADY HAVE GIMP.
I took a look through this forum and have seen people suggesting GIMP left and right. I already use GIMP on my PC, but for Mac they still haven't incorporated pressure sensitivity (so far as I know) and it's a pain in the butt having to click on a window to select it, clicking the tool, clicking the image window and then drawing. Really kills the workflow.

Does anyone here know of a good Mac program for drawing that reads tablet pressure input?
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:iconiceflame1019:
IceFlame1019 Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Okay, well, the issue is somewhat solved.

The new GIMP for Mac reads pressure sensitivity, I just need to mess around with brush settings.
For others who search the forums for a problem like this:
GIMP for Mac is free and as I've used GIMP extensively in the past I recommend it for your drawing needs.
When using it for Mac though you may need to go into your Input Device settings under GIMP's Preferences and set the Pressure curves to Screen or Window, and then adjust the curve on the graph that pops up in the window.

Fire Alpaca is a nifty, simple little freeware, I just got done fiddling with it. Compared to GIMP, it lacks about 80% of the tools and has no filters, but its pressure and pen motion reading is very smooth. It also has a set of Snaps, from Grid-based snapping to Vanish Point. Fast and smooth, good for sketching and doodling pre-op pages and pieces.

I also just tried out photoshoponlinefree.com, which is a slimmed-down browser-based Photoshop alternative. Obviously not nearly as powerful as Shop itself, but a nice alternative if you can't get programs to work on your computer.

Also of course there is dA's own Muro appliction, which I had tried using before posting this thread. It's alright, but I found the free online Photoshop to be better. Muro is prone to lag, as it records every motion you make.

I was gifted ArtRage (thankyouthankyou ;w; ); it's taking me a bit to get used to a more "realistic" approach, as ArtRage mimics actual paints, pens, crayons and airbrushes and has drying times and such. A fun program to mess around with, I'll probably be getting more seriously into it later. The free version is limited of course but has more options than most trialwares, another recommended art program.

--PaintTool SAI is not made for Mac. There is a Wine-skinned version for Mac, but apparently it's not very reliable and cannot read tablet input.




Adobe got me my serial number, thankfully, but I can't reinstall Photoshoop because my CD drive is totally gone now. It hung on just long enough for the reinstall of my OS, but now it won't read anything :'c
On the subject of Adobe though, there's a lot of buzz about them offering CS2 for free.
Technically it's free.
However, it's only meant as an archival for users who had already purchased a CS2 license. Even though it's publicly offered, it's not meant for free download.
While I would take this chance, I dare not, as my dealings with Adobe in the past have shown colors I'd rather not get involved with. Seeing how money-hungry they are, they could easily file lawsuits against those who "illegally" downloaded and registered these CS2 programs. While I doubt they will since they were stupid enough to leave it in public access, it's a chance I'd rather not take.


Thanks for the help everyone who posted!
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:iconalensmith100:
alensmith100 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
The most commeon software i use is www.photoshoponlinefree.com which is browser based Online photoshop , it do not require any download hence can be use any where
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:iconhowlingwolf13:
howlingwolf13 Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Student Filmographer
what about sai thats a free program
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:iconiceflame1019:
IceFlame1019 Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
SAI is windows-only and can only run on Mac through Wine, which can't read tablet pressure input.
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:iconmunuci:
Munuci Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Student General Artist
Sai isn't for Mac.
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:iconcherrylin94:
Cherrylin94 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Fire Alpaca supposedly works on a Mac.

[link]

Free software. I haven't used it but I heard it works really well and is similar to Painttool SAI/Photoshop mix.
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:icongwenio1:
Gwenio1 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
Pinta or Paint.NET might be some good things to look at.
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:iconiceflame1019:
IceFlame1019 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Paint.NET is Windows-only and Pinta doesn't offer the power I need for my graphic work, I need a program I can use to draw comics and make textures for 3D models ^^;
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:icongeekysideburns:
geekysideburns Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013   Digital Artist
Manga Studio 5 is good and pretty cheap!

Just make sure you get 5 and not 4/ 4ex. They're also great but are more focus on b/w illustration and comics. MS5 Is geared towards colored illustration and comics.
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:iconiceflame1019:
IceFlame1019 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
...$79 is cheap?
I wish I could operate in that mindset ;-;
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:icongeekysideburns:
geekysideburns Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013   Digital Artist
Um, it is when you compare it to other software like photoshop and Painter. I'd much rather pay $79 than $300 to $600. Even photoshop Elements cost more than $100, and Sai cost around $65-70. So yeah, it's on the cheaper tier software wise.


I mean don't get me wrong, you can find plenty of free software too like Gimp, inkscape, Firealpaca, Sketchbook Express and artrage.

I like paying for my software, especially if I use it for commercial work and commissions, which I do.
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:iconegypturnash:
egypturnash Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Can you scrounge up fifteen bucks on a credit card? Because Pixelmator is currently $14.95. It's normally $50, which also may be a lot more affordable than Photoshop.

Also, Artrage is currently on sale: $30 for the "pro studio" version, $20 for the "studio" version - normally $60/$30.

I can't speak to how good either of these are, as I'm an Illustrator junkie. I have a friend who's been using Artrage for several years and loves it.
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:iconiceflame1019:
IceFlame1019 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
unfortunately I don't have a credit card, I don't even have a bank account because I don't have enough money to cover the "minimum amount" most banks require before they start charging for insufficient funds :c Been looking for a stable job for almost 3 years now.
I've been trying to get commissions so I have a Paypal balance at least, but no one will buy x-x
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:iconegypturnash:
egypturnash Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
…you know what? Check your notes.
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:iconvineris:
Vineris Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Did you register your old copy of Photoshop before? If you've installed it before you should be able to install it again, because the student license doesn't stop being valid when you stop being a student. You just can't upgrade or transfer your license to anyone. The Adobe site says right out that the educational license is perpetual.

If you've sat on an unopened box all this time, though, you're kinda screwed.
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:iconiceflame1019:
IceFlame1019 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
huh.
Yeah it was registered on my Mac for a while until my sister knocked it off my desk and damaged the hard drive, which led to it crashing. I finally found the install disk again (yay for moving and things getting lost >< )

The serial code I was given by the studentlicensing site "is invalid", though. I sent them an email to ask about it.
I've been screwed by Adobe at least three times before though so...my hopes aren't very high.
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:iconvineris:
Vineris Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeah, my experiences with Adobe haven't been sunshine and rainbows either. But it's worth a try, if you can get them to honour the agreement then you can save yourself finding another program and still use the software you paid for. Good luck!
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:iconvictordragon747:
victordragon747 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013
What about paintool SAI?
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:iconiceflame1019:
IceFlame1019 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Someone else suggested that too over Skype, but the only SAI versions for Mac that I can find can only be run through Wine and X11, which cannot read pressure sensitivity from the tablet.
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:iconheavenhairsixes:
HeavenhairSixes Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
GIMP pressure sensitivity has always worked just fine on my Mac. If that is your only issue you might want to have a poke about in your settings and see if you can get it going.
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:iconiceflame1019:
IceFlame1019 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Last time I inquired about pressure sensitivity on the GIMP forums they told me it was not implemented in the Mac port o.O
I'm still having issues with it. x-x
I've looked all over both the computer, tablet and GIMP settings trying to get it to work but idk what's going on. I may be overlooking some stupidly simple thing though, will continue poking around.
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:iconheavenhairsixes:
HeavenhairSixes Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I know have done a load of pictures using pressure sensitivity on a 2010 Macbook Pro with Snow Leopard, GIMP 2.6 and two different Wacom tablets. I can only assume whoever told you that was wrong. As far as I know nobody has got Sai working on a Mac with pressure sensitivity yet - maybe they were thinking of that?

Edit/Preferences/Input Devices/Cofigure Extended Input Devices is the place to muck about in GIMP settings - make sure the tablet is showing up there and is selected as an input device first. If you can't see your tablet there then it might be a case of downloading the latest drivers/software for your tablet. It it is there then it should just be a matter of getting your settings right in GIMP.

I have heard you might need to update X11 or other components if you have an older version OS X - but apparently 10.5 and up should be fine without any updates.

The only other decent free art software I know of for Mac is Inkscape - but that is for vector graphics rather than a Photoshop alternative.

Best of luck in any event!
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:iconiceflame1019:
IceFlame1019 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Huh.
That's strange, I was told X11 couldn't support the pressure.
I just took a look through the settings of my 2.6, it sees the tablet but there's still no pressure reading. It only registers the tablet as a mouse I guess. I have the latest drivers. And I'm running on an up-to-date Snow Leopard, made sure of that for another program

I just found, however, that my memory is crappier than I thought. I thought I remembered checking the GIMP site only a week or so ago but it's been way longer, there's apparently a new version that is built natively for Mac rather than running X11, so I'm gonna give the new 2.8 a spin and see if it works
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:iconheavenhairsixes:
HeavenhairSixes Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I have heard X11 prior to Leopard won't support pressure sensitivity - so it might just be out of date information that you have rather than incorrect information. A fully updated Snow Leopard should be fine because that is what I have.

As far as memory goes I have 4 GB of RAM on my Mac and GIMP really does struggle with that compared to my Ubuntu desktop. I don't think GIMP 2.6 on Mac can be very memory efficient.

But like you say - there is a fancy new version of GIMP, so probably better to try that than muck about!
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:iconiceflame1019:
IceFlame1019 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
lol it works, surprisingly
the tablet showed up as "Quartz Pen/Quartz Eraser" and was "Disabled", had to enable both of them and mess with the pressure curve.

drawing is a bit laggy compared to my PC but only by a few ms, it's workable
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:iconheavenhairsixes:
HeavenhairSixes Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
By the way, you can currently get Photoshop CS2 from Adobe for free for Mac or Windows. Adobe deactivated the activation servers (presumably because it wasn't worth their while to keep them running anymore) so now just have valid keys on the download page for legitimate users who want to reinstall.

I'm unsure about the legality of that for anyone who wasn't a legitimate user and there is some debate about the matter - but their currently isn't anything stopping anyone from getting Photoshop CS2 here - [link]
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:iconiceflame1019:
IceFlame1019 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
huh...interesting
I've been told CS2 is crap for tablet users, but that's a very handy find

I'm pretty sure, though, that since they provided serial numbers and shut down the servers, they kinda shoved legality out the window xD;
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