- filed in design on 9. January 2010
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A long time has passed since I wrote my first post on OSS alternatives to Macromedia and Adobe and a lot has changed in the field of open source graphic design software. Software has matured and most notably for me, the GUIs have become pleasant enough to be usable for everyday work.
Illustrator vs. Inkscape
The best (and only REAL) open source alternative to Adobe Illustrator is in my opinion Inkscape now out in version 0.47. The software has matured a lot. I have used it in a few real world projects and it never crashed or behaved in unexpected ways.
Below is a video tutorial showing off the new Spiro curve feature in Inkscape, something I have not seen in Illustrator yet…
Another feature not found in Illustrator is the ability to have two different views of the illustration to get two different zooms at one time.
Photoshop vs. The Gimp 2.7
Nobody ever really bother using The GIMP for real-world work (myself inclusive) but not because it lacks the features of Photoshop, but because it WAS a pain to use. The UI(User Interface) was terrible with its many sub windows flying all over your screen real-estate, but with version 2.7 you have the the option to choose “single-window mode”
and all of a sudden it’s a completely different experience. The Gimp still lacks a lot of the bells and whistles Photoshop has, but I reckon I could now use it for work without being annoyed by the UI. You can download the latest beta from here
InDesign vs. Scribus
Scribus v1.3.5 seems to be the only real alternative out there for layouting your multi page documents.
It has recently been used to layout a book that won an award for its layout. Even though they havent quite nailed the GUI experience yet, they seem to be coming along nicely. Below is a tutorial video using a slightly older version of Scribus.
Premiere vs. OpenShot and Blender
The most advanced stand-alone video editor for linux still seems to be Cinellera and the GUI still seems to be horrible. But as i wrote in a recent post other alternatives are showing up. Not only from Videolan, but also projects like Openshot albeit more along the lines of Windows Moviemaker or iMovie, still shows a lot of potential (and a better UI).
Another piece of software that not many think of in regards to video editing is Blender, normally used for 3D creation it also has a good sequence editor. Here is a video tutorial on using Blender as an editor.
Flash vs. OpenLaszlo and Processing.js
There is no direct alternative for the Flash package from Adobe. But if you are looking to build a RIA, a very good alternative that produces both DHTML and Flash versions is OpenLaszlo.
OpenLaszlo is a mature markup language and has been used on sites like Walmart and hosts a lot of other examples and tutorials on their site.
A great traditional 2D animation package is Synfig it has SVG import so its a nice fit with Inkscape.
Lightroom vs. Rawtherapee
Lightroom is used to process RAW images shot with a digital camera. A good alternative is Rawtherapee with version 3.0 it has been open sourced and the UI has gotten an overhaul.
Soundbooth vs. Audacity
Sound editing has a old trusty friend in Audacity it has now reached version 1.3. It is a fully featured piece of software that can record up to 16 tracks at once, use VST plugins etc.
nobody vs. Blender
Adobe don’t make a 3D product yet, but if they did, they would have to play catch-up with the fantastic open source project Blender. With the release of version 2.5 ALPHA the GUI has been redone and it looks great! Its object tree reminds me of Cinema 4D.
I can hardly wait till it gets released and the tutorials start showing up with all the goodness of the new UI.
If there are any packages I have overlooked here, please post a comment.