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5 of the Best and Free Alternatives to Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop has always been the darling of most CGI professionals. Now that’s completely understandable especially when you consider the advanced features and possible future upgrades that come with this software. Things like that can easily make it the most popular work platforms among CGI artists and hence, there’s no doubt that such popularity is highly justified.

Regarding the use of Photoshop, I stand a bit different though especially when the CGI artist concerned is someone who‘s fairly new to the field of computer-generated imagery. There are several reasons behind that though ranging from complexity to pricings.

Keeping all these things in mind, it can be said for sure that Photoshop can definitely be an overkill for beginners. Hence, comes this list where I have highlighted a handful number of the best, simple and free alternatives to Photoshop that are actually tailor-made for the beginners. Take a peek.

1. PicMonkey  

PicMonkey’s a free tool that can be used directly on the web. It has a simple as well as an intuitive interface which makes it highly convenient for first-time users.

Just start off with a blank slate and design anything you want. Tons of tutorials are available on the internet. Put them to good use.

PicMonkey has a free and a paid version. I will advise beginners to get themselves accustomed with the version first. Go for the paid one only if you are comfortable enough with the free version.

2. Canva

Canva’s a new designing app that has taken the world by storm. Contrary to the others mentioned in this column, this application is quite capable to function in a professional environment, helping to churn out professional CGIs depending upon the requirement and the skills of the CGI artist.

The application is basically free. A simpler user registration is what’s required to start off with this free web tool. Tons of tutorials are available on the internet that you can put to good.

Canva, itself provides users with bunches of relevant templates, stickers, designs, elements; most of them come for free. The “premium” ones come at a nominal fee and are tailor-made for professional purposes.

Overall, the tool is a perfect alternative to Photoshop and can be sued by CGI artists to perfection if they learn to use it the right way.

3. Pixlr

Pixlr requires a bit of designing experience to get yourself involved with the same. If you are good in Photoshop, you will definitely be pretty comfortable with it.

Pixlr has a number of advanced tools and features (similar to that of Photoshop) that can come in handy for CGI artists even in their most complex projects. And the best thing about all that is that they all come for free.

Note: Pixlr isn’t really suitable for beginners. So if you are fairly new to the designing subject it’s advisable to skip this one for the time being.


GIMP is an open-source designing software that is more than capable of serving as an alternative tool to Photoshop. GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It’s available for Windows, Linux, and Mac.

A full set of tools are available on GIMP which includes the likes of painting tools, cloning tools, color correction tools, enhancement tools, selection tools and so on. GIMP is a free tool that serves as a great alternative tool to Photoshop; there’s simply no doubt about it.

5. Paint.NET

Most of us have already used the default Paint application that comes automatically with the Windows operating system. Paint.NET is just an advanced version of the same platform.

Paint.NET is much inferior in the level of complexities in comparison to GIMP but it’s effective nonetheless especially when basic features are concerned. The basic overview of the tool is provided below in a systematic order:

·         Supported platforms: Windows.

·         Important features: Layer editing, Selection editing, Histogram, Resizing, Retouching, Sharpening, Noise removal, Plugin support, Color correction.

·         Supported formats: BMP, JPEG, RAW files, GIF, PNG.

Price: Free.

Photoshop is a popular and useful designing tool; there’s simply no doubt about it. But that doesn’t mean the fact that it’s irreplaceable. The list of tools highlighted above is more than capable of doing the job on its behalf. With that, I’ll bring this article to an end. Hope you had a useful read.

Written By

Albert Smith is passionate about 3d Design service. He is a freelance architect and a property management consultant in West Palm Beach, Florida. You can find Albert’s articles on many property blogs and article directories. Currently he is writing on the progress of the technology developed by the touch screen company for property and architecture. Albert suggests his readers to follow icreate 3D for additional information on architectural animation.



  1. Rebecca Jacob

    September 18, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    I feel that most of the designs in canva are premium and doesn’t seem to help that much. But, I’ll definitely try the rest suggestions. Thanks for the list.

  2. Lisa Smith

    September 21, 2017 at 8:24 am

    Hi Albert,
    The Online tool Canva is really perfect alternative to Photoshop and can be sued by CGI artists to perfection if they learn to use it the right way. But i think maximum good templates are premium on Canva.
    Great thanks for this amazing list.
    __Lisa Smith

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