When it comes to creative software, Adobe is the brand name that often comes to mind. Or more specifically, Adobe Creative Cloud (CC), which consists of popular software like Illustrator and Photoshop. They do not come cheap, though.
For example, if you want to use the full suite, be prepared to pay RM250.16 per month. Even if you settle for a single software, say Photoshop, it still costs you RM98.91 a month. Definitely not for everybody and especially those on a tight budget might want to consider other alternatives. That being said, here are the 8 Great Alternatives To Adobe Creative Cloud.
Suitable for non-professionals, Pixlr has two versions available including the beginner-friendly Pixlr X and the more advanced Pixlr E. Both layouts are easy to use and best of all, no download is necessary. In other words, you can run these photo editing tools directly on your browser itself. Use them to crop or resize your image or even remove unwanted background, thanks to its instant AI-powered background removal. For the latter, you can simply erase the background with just a single click. Other highlights include customising design & collage templates and add different filters like drop shadow, vignette or outer glow.
Looking for an alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here’s one for you called Inkscape, which is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. And yes, it’s free to download too. If you can tolerate its somewhat dated UI, it has several features that allow you to draw and edit in 2D or convert bitmap images into vectors. Some of the other features you can expect from Inkscape include path markers, gradient editor and cloning objects.
Although lacking the bells and whistles found in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, Affinity remains a decent alternative. Use Affinity Photo to edit your images and make use of several photo-editing features such as mask & clipping layers, retouching tools and add filters. Affinity Designer, in the meantime, is an alternative to Illustrator. Features include the likes of pen-and-shape tools, gradient editor, contour tool and advanced grids & guides. You can even zoom your artwork up to 1,0000,000%. And that is not all, as Affinity Designer offers the utmost flexibility to let you undo your design up to 8,000 times. Available for Windows, Mac and iPad, where the former two allows you to start free for the first 90-day trial.
Available free to download, GIMP a.k.a. GNU Image Manipulation Program allows you to edit images like Photoshop. Of course, since it’s free, don’t expect the software as feature-packed as the latter. Still, GIMP does cover a few essential tools here. This includes everything from selections tools (e.g. lasso, scissors) to colour tools (e.g. colour balance, brightness & contrast) and transform tools (e.g. align, crop and rotate). You can also use GIMP to enhance or retouching your images while it supports popular file formats like JPEG and GIF.
For those who are looking for an alternative to Adobe Lightroom, you might want to give RawTherapee a chance. The free-to-download software is primarily designed for editing raw photo files with various tools available. It has several features like dark frame subtraction, flat field correction and processing profiles. For the latter, you have the flexibility to adjust different settings ranging from exposure compensation to lightness, contrast as well as shadows and highlights.
Simplicity is where Canva truly excels, making it suitable even for those who have little-to-no knowledge of graphic design. It’s easy to use with plenty of built-in templates (e.g. posters, infographics and presentations) from the Canva library. You can also upload and customise your images such as adding filters, adjusting the brightness or contrast or crop them. There’s an Effects tool available as well, where you can add effects like Duotone, Glitch, Liquify or Pixelate. Finally, working with your design or image with Canva is even easier with its drag-and-drop editor.
While it’s free to use, Canva also includes paid plans for Pro (RM49.90/month or RM449.90/year) and Enterprise (RM125.00/month per person). For example, if you choose Pro, you get to enjoy extra features like unlimited use of Background Remover as well as over 420,000 free templates with new designs daily and 100GB of cloud storage.
Here’s a 2-in-1 tool that let you edit photos (Photo Editor) and create artwork using the Graphic Design Tools. You can crop, resize or perform other tasks like customising your image with various photo filters or use the easy-to-slide Color Changer to adjust the hue, saturation, luminance and/or fade. Make use of PickMonkey’s 1,000+ design templates no matter it’s for personal or business.
Start free using the 7-day trial and if you are comfortable with it, you can move on with one of their three flexible (read: you can cancel anytime) plans: Basic, Pro or Business. Depending on the plan, you get to enjoy extra features like the instant Smart Resize tool and one-click Background Remover.
Can’t afford to invest in Adobe After Effects? Why not try the free-to-download Blender? Available for Windows, Mac and Linux, Blender may lack the same advanced features as After Effects. But it still does its job when comes to 3D designing and animation. It supports features like ultra-realistic rendering, UV unwrapping, sculpting, compositing and motion tracking. You can also use Grease Pencil to draw and create traditional 2D animation or combine them to make it 3D.