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kdd
11-24-2014, 04:45 PM
Open source programs for digital artists are beginning to compete with Adobe and Corel and Quark. I've been perusing the boards and find that there are some who recommend open source programs. As you know, Adobe has Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign for basic print and some web design. Corel has Graphic Suite which doubles as a page design program which is hundreds of dollars less than the Adobe basic design suite. Quark has, or had, QuarkXpress, another page design program.

By now, everyone has heard of GIMP ( http://www.gimp.org ). Have you heard of Inkscape ( http://www.inkscape.org/ )? It's an alternative vector program comparable to Illustrator and CorelDraw. It's native format is SVG (Scalable Vector Graphic). Gimp and Inkscape are, I'm going to say, primarily web design tools because they are sRGB based programs and have yet to add the ability to convert from RGB to CMYK. That's not a true negative in my book though. The SVG format is a replacement for the GIF format. For two reasons, the GIF is a copyrighted format and the SVG, being used in web design, can be manipulated with code to size the image on a web page rather than having a static sized image.

The top open source page design tool is Scribus (http://wiki.scribus.net/ ). Unless you already have CorelDraw or InDesign or QuarkXpress or PageMaker or even MS Publisher and are happy with them, this one is still for you. Scribus functions like the above page design tools. You create a text box for text and an image box for an image. You can import text from a TXT or RTF file, but you can also import text from the Open Document format (i.e. OpenOffice and LibreOffice). Why would an artist need a page design program when you have MS Word? C-O-N-T-R-O-L of design. Been there, done that, got the, no, several t-shirts. With a page design program you can prepare your business cards for the print shop. You can create your next show poster. You can create a catalogue of your work, publish it to a PDF file and put it on your web site. And it all looks quite professional.

So what about support? The open source community is always there for you. There are forums, mailing lists and some programs even offer paid support if you want that. Like on Wet Canvas, if you ask for help in an "intelligent" way, someone usually answers quickly. Same goes for any other forum or mailing list you subscribe to. What I have also found is that the developers, especially on the Scribus mailing list, are usually watching, reading and responding to questions. Can't get that from Adobe, Corel or any other proprietary software manufacturer.

Not long ago I read a reply on WC regarding Painter. I've used Painter since version 6. I have found a couple of Painter-like programs in the wild. One I found in a Linux distribution, the other is Krita ( https://krita.org/ ). I downloaded a copy for Windows, and must say I was impressed. The current version is 2.8.3.0 for Windows x64 and x86 and 2.8.1.1 for Win XP. Just another open source program to rival the proprietary software market with free software, upgrades and free (life time) support.

I've been an open source proponent for a long time. Hope you all don't mind this interjection.

Cheers,
Dwain

Art_Rabbit
11-25-2014, 08:21 PM
:thumbsup: Thanks Dwain! I'm becoming more of an open source fan by the day myself. It started with GIMP. And I also have Inkscape, MyPaint, MakeHuman, Blender (3D animation - steep learning curve ahead there :wink2: ) - and a few others including some fractal creating ones. I've been downloading faster than I can actually keep up with. :lol: What's more, I am pretty sure that when Microsoft completely quits supporting Windows 7, I'm going to jump ship and go Linux.

Right now I'm distracted from PC software because I just acquired a Samsung Galaxy tablet for on the go. I hope I can find a good Android art app. Before I bought the tablet I did see online that some people are writing open source Android apps, though I didn't have time then to check to see if anyone has made one for drawing/painting. Now I will. ;)

opainter
11-25-2014, 08:57 PM
Krita has an interesting feature that I'm not sure is available in most other graphic editors: the ability to rotate your canvas. GIMP, Krita, and other open-source editors are great to use either as your mainstay graphics program or to supplement commercial software. But free graphics programs often suffer from stability issues on Windows, which may be at least partly due to the fact that some of them were originally developed on Linux computers and then "ported" over to Windows. Both GIMP and Krita were, in fact, originally developed on Linux computers, and I have experienced stability issues with both. I am not currently using Krita, so it is possible that the Krita developers (or should I say, "porters") have ironed out the problems. I continue to have stability issues with GIMP, and so I use PhotoShop Elements (the commercial alternative) instead. When I say "stability problems," I mean that the program will suddenly shut down and disappear, along with the art that I am making with it, or that the program will suddenly stop responding, again making it impossible for me to recover my art.

Art_Rabbit
11-26-2014, 02:55 PM
Which version of Windows did you run GIMP on? I have Windows 7 and haven't had any real issues. Of course, I'm a relatively new user, at the beginner to intermediate level. I haven't got round to all the features and things, so maybe my experience isn't representative of the majority.

opainter
11-26-2014, 11:43 PM
I'm using Windows 7. GIMP 2.8.10. The program seems to hang every time it starts to load . . . it doesn't finish loading but blinks and then tells me that it's "not responding." Well, duh! I can tell it's not responding! There might be a corrupted file in one of the directories from which it loads plugins, fonts, etc. I'm not concerned about it since I use other graphic editing applications. Problem would probably resolve itself if I do an uninstall followed by a reinstall.

Art_Rabbit
11-27-2014, 03:05 AM
I'm using Windows 7. GIMP 2.8.10. The program seems to hang every time it starts to load . . . it doesn't finish loading but blinks and then tells me that it's "not responding." Well, duh! I can tell it's not responding! There might be a corrupted file in one of the directories from which it loads plugins, fonts, etc. I'm not concerned about it since I use other graphic editing applications. Problem would probably resolve itself if I do an uninstall followed by a reinstall.

I was going to suggest that - if you do decide you want to give GIMP another try. I was looking to see if there were newer releases, and it looks like there's a 2.8.12 and a 2.8.14 but I couldn't tell for sure if they were betas or had bugs so I'll wait awhile.

JayD
01-22-2015, 03:55 PM
If you want a really cool open source program try Alchemy. You won't be disappointed.


http://al.chemy.org/

This one is fairly new--I'm having a blast with it.

Daulat
01-26-2015, 03:20 AM
Hey, try mypaint. There are some awesome features in it like unlimited canvass, Color gamut masking ( thats true..!), symmetry, etc and a simple and non-obtrusive interface. A great sketchbook and brainstorming software. I use alongside Krita for maximum flexibility and versatility.

JayD
01-29-2015, 05:26 PM
I'm running Yosemite on my Mac currently and trying MyPaint and it loads Python to run the program so while they are saying it runs natively on a Mac it actually doesn't --under OS 10.10 (Yosemite)-i liked the fluidity of the pens but it would freeze up when I would try to use the menu and I had to restart the computer.

Likewise on Krita--there are crash bugs there as well--looks mostly due to some kind of overload or conflict with the system library but not sure---it will run on a MAC but is very unstable---I have been running it and have been comparing it side by side with Mischief--I love sketching in Krita and I would love to see a stable mac version but honestly, don't look for it as there doesn't seem to be a huge love for the mac in that camp.

ALL THAT BEING SAID---MUAHAHAHAHAHA

I am running all of the above on my PC so i do get to enjoy the best of both worlds. So Daulat--I too like Mypaint on the PC and like Krita and Mischief I have come to find that I cannot do without the unlimited canvas features.

Good call!

zemjw
02-06-2015, 12:08 PM
For Inkscape users, a new version (0.91) has just been released. Details here (https://inkscape.org/en/news/2015/01/30/inkscape-version-091-is-released/)

JayD
02-12-2015, 05:32 PM
Thanks for the referral to the new Inkscape! Retracting my praise for the new Mischief--had a problem with the new version and ask for help from support--a new company bought them apparently and their response was--this was not a problem we were aware of --wait until the next update and perhaps we will address it and in the meantime use the old version---don't bother buying the reduced price version of this software--looks good support is doubtful.