By AN Jay on February 18, 2009

11 Free And Useful Open-Source Alternatives For Designers

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We have lots of commercial software available to use on different platform to complete our different work, but they are not free and sometime we do not able to purchase. Don’t worry about it, today we are listing here 11 Free And Useful Open-Source Alternatives For Designers in which most of them are cross-platform. There are many alternative available for single software, but I just tried to list down some very similar and useful alternative. You might not be able to enjoy all the features as original software but it will really help you to perform your task in a better way when your pocket does not allow you to purchase commercial software.

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Jahshaka

jahshaka.jpg

Alternative: Adobe After Effects

Jahshaka give you the power of movie editing and effects in open source environment. You can edit with flexibility and speed and can create Effects in real time. With this software animate with unlimited features and Paint/design on moving video. It will let you work in any format at any resolution as well.

CinePaint

CinePaint

Alternative: Adobe Photoshop

CinePaint is used to retouch feature films and in pro photography. CinePaint opens high fidelity image file formats such as DPX, 16-bit TIFF, and OpenEXR, and conventional formats like JPEG and PNG. It has a flipbook for movie playback of image sequences in RAM. It supports 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit color channels, HDR and CMS.

Amaya

Amaya

Alternative: Adobe Dreamweaver

Amaya is a Web editor, i.e. a tool used to create and update documents directly on the Web. Browsing features are seamlessly integrated with the editing and remote access features in a uniform environment. This follows the original vision of the Web as a space for collaboration and not just a one-way publishing medium.

Open Office Draw

Open Office Draw

Alternative: Microsoft Visio

DRAW – from a quick sketch to a complex plan, DRAW gives you the tools to communicate with graphics and diagrams. With a maximum page size of 300cm by 300cm, DRAW is powerful tool for technical or general posters, etc.

Blender

Blender

Alternative: Autodesk 3ds Max

Blender is the free open source 3D content creation suite, available for all major operating systems. It includes tools for modeling – fast subdivision surface and polygon tools, multi-resolution mesh sculpting, metaballs, NURBS, vector fonts, and curves; uv mapping; shaders and texturing – both paint based and node based; ik and fk animation tools with rigging, constraints, skinning, morph targets, drivers, deformers, and modifiers; simulation tools including hard bodies, soft body, cloth, and fluids; and particle systems including hair. Blender has integrated rendering with both its native renderer and the raytracer Yafray as well supporting many external renderers; and python based scripting.

Imgv

Imgv

Alternative: ACDSee

Imgv is a unique and feature rich Image Viewer. It is released as free software with full source code. Imgv is portable and can run on Windows, Linux, BSD, OSX, and other operating systems. Features include a GUI that doesn’t get in the way of viewing your images, a file browser, slideshows, zooming, rotating, on-the-fly Exif viewing, histograms, fullscreen support, wallpaper settin and much more…

Inkscape

Inkscape

Alternative: Adobe Illustrator

An Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format.  Inkscape supports many advanced SVG features (markers, clones, alpha blending, etc.) and great care is taken in designing a streamlined interface. It is very easy to edit nodes, perform complex path operations, trace bitmaps and much more.

Gimpshop

Gimpshop

Alternative: Adobe Photoshop

Gimpshop is a hack made on top of the original Gimp project which changes all menues, dialogs, etc., in order to make them look as much as their counterparts in Photoshop. This makes users who are already familiar with the layout of Photoshop feel right at home in this open source application. Please note that all features in Photoshop in not available in Gimpshop, since it is based on the Gimp project and it’s feature set.

Xara LX

Xara LX

Alternative: CoralDRAW

Xara Xtreme for Linux is a powerful, general purpose graphics program for Unix platforms including Linux, FreeBSD and (in development) OS-X. It offers some of the most powerful graphics tools available. Xara Xtreme has a clean, un-cluttered user interface. Few floating dialogs, palettes, menus etc.

Avidemux

Avidemux

Alternative: Final Cut Pro

Avidemux is a free video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks. It supports many file types, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF, using a variety of codecs. Tasks can be automated using projects, job queue and powerful scripting capabilities.

Pencil

Pencil

Alternative: Toon Boom Studio

Pencil is an animation/drawing software for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. It lets you create traditional hand-drawn animation (cartoon) using both bitmap and vector graphics. Pencil is free and open source.





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Comments

I posted a list of a ton of good free digital art software myself on my blog a few days ago. Seems I missed some though, because I’ve never heard of Pencil, but it seems really cool!

If these were actually serious alternatives, people would be using them. Nothing can replace the original photoshop and dreamweaver for a designer. Nothing…

Having tried both Jahshaka and Avidemux extensively, I can safely say neither comes anywhere close replacing After Effects or Final Cut Pro. Avidemux is essentially iMovie or a powerful Windows Movie Maker and Jahshaka is just filled with bugs and empty promises. Cinepaint, however, is a fantastic tool for a very specialized niche. I’d love to see an open source alternative to the big NLE’s but so far the closest is Cinelerra which is a LONG way to go.

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Pencil and imgv are new for me, thanks for the tip :]

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in a way I agree with this, in a way and for now:
“If these were actually serious alternatives, people would be using them. Nothing can replace the original photoshop and dreamweaver for a designer. Nothing…”
But the reason is laziness: The gimp is same as photo shop, when you know how to use it, Inkscape is just like illustrator, but again it’s have a bit of a different way of handling.
The software is just a tool, and the quality achieved is in the hand of the artist…
I use Blender for some 3D graphic needs, and this software is amazing, I was lazy to learn in depth the other Commercial 3D out there, from the same reason I mention above.
there is a lot of advantages for open software, the most important that need to take in mind is: this software Is free, therefore they used more and more by people who don’t want / can’t buy /Steal commercial software.
Some prove for quality can be found in the Galleries of the Apps

Amaya looks good to me. I will try it. Do you have suggestion for alternative of Fireworks?

Pencil and imgv are new for me, thanks for the tip :))

@neysan: If you’re using Dreamweaver, you’re not a designer.

Christ, you might as well make web pages in MSWord.

Another alternative to Dreamweaver is http://iStylr.com It is especially useful for WordPress Themes

Nice list. I love that GimpShop mod.

I can’t believe w3′s Amaya was the alternative to DW though? Aptana is soo much nicer. :P

Wow, good stuff dude. Well done!

RT
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Jahshaka doesn’t work. Plain and simple.
There is no good video editing option that’s free, I’ve looked.

wow… thanks for the list

Gimpshop is a dead project. It’s not been updated for almost three years so it lacks lots of features compared to the newest Gimp.

I’d add Scribus as a very good/ professional alternative to Quark Xpress or Indesign.
Check it out, boys ! (and girls ;)
http://www.scribus.net/

Also look at inkscape. I use Gimp and Inkscape for a lot of design work.

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I hope one day to see Lumiera http://lumiera.org on such a list. ;-)

Jahshaka and GimpShop is nothing to try out. Gimp is much better.

Inkscape is already mentioned in the list J S.

You also forgot Synfig for animation studio. Or KToon, but never tried that.

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awesome free source… thxs for compiling :)

great collection. GIMP and Krita are also worth mentioning. Krita has been gaining popularity now a days

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Not the biggest fan of free alternatives most don’t really compete. Blender is fantastic though.

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Nice list. I love that GimpShop mod.

I can’t believe w3’s Amaya was the alternative to DW though? Aptana is soo much nicer.

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Thanks for this useful list ;)

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hmm… I like the fact that there are some tools on the list I haven’t heard of before. I tried Amaya particularly, but calling it an alternative to eclipse is pushing it. I would claim eclipse is a better alternative them Amaya.

Blender is awesome.. you just need to figure out all the half ass backwards shortcuts they have, which are quiet different from the 3dfx / maya equivalent. But each tool has its learning curve.

Thanks for the post.. I have a few new programs to play with now.

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Avidemux vs. Final Cut Pro? have you seen final cut pro? have you seen avidemux? The latter can’t even stand near the term “professional”. This is why people think open-source is crap. Because everyone tries to compare it to something, when it doesn’t even come close to it (as in user experience, performance, design).

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BLENDER FTW!!!!!!

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right, like I’m ever going to use anything else but Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver. Maybe Notepad++ as a free alternative for DW, but nothing beats the other two…

Thanks for sharing buddy :)

SCRIBBUS Open Source Desktop Publishing.

Alternatives are Quark Express, Microsoft Publisher and the Adobe one. Integrates with Gimp.

http://www.scribus.net/

There are plenty of open source applications that can help you tremendously as a web designer. Open source projects are great not only because of their price tag (free), but also because of the passionate community that typically forms around them. In these economic times, it’s often a worthwhile endeavor to see places where you can conserve, and open source alternatives are a good place to start looking.

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he Parrots top all for me. Very nice

Can’t find Gimp the right alternative to Photoshop and also Blender to 3DsMax. They take you more time and effort to finish the projects. Anyway, the rest are cool :) Love Inkscape. You can also use XNview instead of ACDsee.

As alternatives to ACD See check these 2:
FastStone (http://www.faststone.org/index.htm) and Blue Marine (http://bluemarine.tidalwave.it/home.html). I use FastStone and is lighter and more useful for me than ACD See.

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I use CoralDraw every now and then.

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Can’t find Gimp the right alternative to Photoshop and also Blender to 3DsMax. They take you more time and effort to finish the projects. Anyway, the rest are cool :) Love Inkscape. You can also use XNview instead of ACDsee.

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I can’t believe w3’s Amaya was the alternative to DW though?

Avidemux vs. Final Cut Pro? have you seen final cut pro? have you seen avidemux? The latter can’t even stand near the term “professional”. This is why people think open-source is crap. Because everyone tries to compare it to something, when it doesn’t even come close to it (as in user experience, performance, design).

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i was using fireworks on windows. but i hate windows anymore. i like that topic. thats great. thank you.

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may i point out that because of the very fast pace of development, many of the screenshots provided here are ALREADY outdated … especially the blender one, we have a completely new major release coming up in not too long and about half of us are using the alpha of it. i suggest updating to a screenshot of blender 2.52.

Great collection. Will try them out soon. I think something is better than nothing especially when its coming for free.

Thanks

Avidemux vs. Final Cut Pro? have you seen final cut pro? have you seen avidemux? The latter can’t even stand near the term “professional”. This is why people think open-source is crap. Because everyone tries to compare it to something, when it doesn’t even come close to it (as in user experience, performance, design).

This is why people think open-source is crap. Because everyone tries to compare it to something

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Amaya looks good to me. I will try it. Do you have suggestion for alternative of Fireworks?

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I have to agree with some of these. I’ve gotten tired of Adobe’s invasive behavior, so I’ve decided to go open source. Gimp and Blender are gimmies. Gimp is a great, if not perfect, replacement for Photoshop. And who needs another 3D program besides Blender? I just got Inkscape and I must say it’s working out as a replacement for Illustrator. I must say, though, that there is no replacement for After Effects. I’ve used Jahshaka in the past and is in no way similar to AE. It’s not even Jahshaka anymore; it’s CineFX. I’m off to try Amaya and Pencil now…

[...] trial for about 30 days, after that ~$500) or the open source Amaya (free & recommended by these guys, though liable to be clunky). Try searching “tutorial Dreamweaver” or “tutorial [...]

very a.qabout 30 days, after that ~$500) or the open source Amaya (free & recommended by these guys, though liable to be clunky). Try searching “tutorial Dreamweaver” or

tahnkss source. Gimp and Blender are gimmies. Gimp is a great, if not perfect, replacement for Photoshop. And who needs another 3D program besides Blender? I just got Inkscape and I must say it’s working out as a replacement for Illustrator. I must say, though, that there is no replacement for After Effects. I’ve used Jahshaka in the past and is in no way similar to AE. It’s not even Jahshaka

tahnkss source. Gimp and Blender by these guys, though liable to be clunky

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[...] trial for about 30 days, after that ~$500) or the open source Amaya (free & recommended by these guys, though liable to be clunky). Try searching “tutorial Dreamweaver” or “tutorial [...]

Cinepaint, however, is a fantastic tool for a very specialized niche

http://www.smashingapps.com/2009/02/18/11-free-and-useful-open-source-altesome of these. I’ve gotten tired of Adobe’s invasive behavior, so I’ve decided to go open source. Gimp and Blender are gimmies. Gimp is a great, if not perfect, replacement for Photoshop. And who needs another 3D program besides Blender? I just got Inkscape and I must say it’s working out as a replacement for Illustrator. I must say, though, that there is no replacement

Great collection. Will try them out soon. I think something is better than nothing especially when its coming for free.

Read more: http://www.smashingapps.com/2009/02/18/11-free-and-useful-open-source-alternatives-for-designers.html#ixzz1J1NLh46Q

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