Freeware or Paid

I’m curious to know if there are any Pro’s using this site who use freeware rather than, or in addition to, commercial software. Including such programs as GIMP, Krita, or Blender.

Not only would it be interesting to see how much of a shift there is (or isn’t yet) towards freeware, but it would be encouraging for those of us starting out (young or not so young :older_adult:) who can’t afford expensive licenses or monthly contracts.

I have used blender for one project like a year ago, I found the Ui messy, but that should have been cleared up by now.

I do use resolve for editing, and Nuke personal learning editon, for personal project, i fooled around with Kritia or what it is called, i just lacked some stuff that PS has.

here is a list of free software (Adobe alternatives), would be nice if you tired some and gave some info for the rest of us.


This list is by far the best I’ve seen… really useful reference sheet.

@Michael_Mannall - I don’t think there’s generally a shift away from paid software unfortunately, especially because as artists get better they want more features and tools, which can typically only come with paid/expensive software.

That said, you should REALLY consider Affinity Photo as a replacement for Photoshop. It’s not free, but it’s relateively cheap and has been making leaps and bounds. It’s also seriously enjoyable to use. :slight_smile:

Due to a total lack of money at this point I am heavily dependant on freeware.

Krita is a lovely piece of software but feels more suited to digital art and light animation rather than dmp but that’s based on a rather time limited experience.

Just to clarify, I almost exclusively use a Raspberry Pi 3B at the moment, including for the recent competition that MP held last month. Because of the limitations (mainly the fixed limit of 1GB RAM and the range of available software for the newest version of the Raspbian OS) I can’t run Krita or Blender (yet!).

I’m using GIMP for all my work and find it copes with everything that I need to do at the moment but again I need to spend a LOT more time on it to fully utilise the full abilities of it. It does crash and lockup frequently as the latest version if unavailable on the RPi and the gross shortage of RAM I currently have available. I hope to get the 4GB version of RPi4 in the near future so that will help.

GIMP can be a little awkward to use, especially if you are used to Windows and/or Photoshop, but by the time GIMP 3.0 comes out (don’t hold your breath on that as I don’t imagine that it will be for a least a year or two), Glimpse will be released. This is an offshoot of GIMP to get around the issue linked to the name and will also include a much more user friendly UI.

I may come back to this topic at a later date when I’ve had more experience with some of the programs.

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That definitely sounds like a challenge! I think you’ll find the RPi4 will be a big upgrade. If you can, I would suggest trying to find a friend who has an old PC you could buy for the same price. It will be far more powerful again!

Pi4 w/ 4GB Ram would be a game changer! It also supports dual monitors and has dedicated USB3 and Gigabit Ethernet!

I’d love to get a ‘decent’ PC but I had two fail within a three month period, the upside of Pi4 is that rather than have 2nd hand machine I would have a reliable new one. In the event that it failed I would only need £55 to replace the entire SBC.

One more potential benefit is that if GIMP is, or could be programmed to be, scalable I could eventually build a Pi cluster for it to run on. Each machine adding 1-4GB of RAM and a further 4 cores! Even if GIMP (or Glimpse) wouldn’t benefit, Blender almost certainly would.

Also has the GPIO pins which for me is a major advantage as I am a STE(A)M Ambassador at a local Young Maker’s Tech Club. Getting the Pi4 would make life easier for both the tech side at the Club, and for me in my studies in Matte Painting, Concept Art/Design, and Animation.

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please let me know, if you get the pi cluster to work with gimp.
That could be really cool!

Hi Stefan,
It will take a while before I can build a cluster but if successful I will waste no time before letting you and the whole forum now.

It’s wishful thinking (I don’t know if it has been programmed with parallel execution in mind) but if it does work Imagine an octopi cluster (32 cores with 32GB). Ok, maybe a bit OTT, but fun to think of. :grinning:

i know people have made renderfarms on pies.
so it would be interestering

Things should hopefully have changed within the next 24hrs as I expect to have AP. My wife’s present for me.

January I should also have 3GHz dual core Pentium-based DT (2nd hand). Given that AP runs (albeit slowly) on my single core 1.2GHz Celeron D laptop (Window Experience Index 1.0 - the lowest it goes), it should be a noticeable step up :relieved: