Author Topic: Free Art Software (and some at reasonable prices!)  (Read 5304 times)

caleb

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Free Art Software (and some at reasonable prices!)
« on: February 26, 2015, 10:21:40 AM »
On the old forum we had a list of free software for painting and generally creating art, so I'm going to post up a few links people might find useful.

MyPaint: http://mypaint.intilinux.com/ (Windows, Linux)- A great painting tool with good blending functions, layers, pressure sensitivity. One nice feature is that it auto-crops your image when you save, so you don't have canvas edges in the program. That means you can keep on painting as big as you like. A drawback is if you want to save in a standard image size- in that case you'll probably have to bring it into another program to crop it.

GIMP: http://www.gimp.org/ (Windows, Linux, MacOS)- Basically free Photoshop, I guess? Now has an option to have everything in one window for those who tried it before and hated the multi-window interface. Has layers, pressure sensitivity, filters, all the tools you'll probably need.

Alchemy: http://al.chemy.org/ (Windows, Linux, MacOS)- A simple program that forces you to make mistakes... it's sort of hard to explain.

Inkscape: https://inkscape.org/en/ (Windows, Linux, MacOS)- A vector drawing program. Has 'Live Trace' function, so you can turn raster images into vectors. Pretty comprehensive feature list.

Blender: http://www.blender.org/ (Windows, Linux, MacOS)- A 3D modelling program. Takes a little getting used to, but it's not just for 3D modellers/animators! The latest update allows 2D drawn animation, which can be drawn in 3D space to get all kinds of cool effects. Plenty of tutorials available.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 10:30:03 AM by caleb »

Mother Roshiya

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Re: Free Art Software
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2015, 02:02:37 AM »
I was going to mention Paint Tool SAI for Windows (http://www.systemax.jp/en/sai/), but apparently I either got it from an illegitimate website, or they weren't charging for a license fee yet at the time I downloaded it (I honestly couldn't tell you anymore, it's been that long). You can still technically download the program for free and play with it in a restricted view, but without buying the License to use it, you can't save any of your work.

That all being said, if you do want to buy a program but can't afford to sell your soul to Adobe yet, I highly recommend Paint Tool Sai for raster art. The license is only ¥5400, which currently equates to about $45.26 USD. There's a large variety of tools, layers, pressure sensitivity, can save and read Photoshop files and in the new beta of Version 2 that I~just~played with, they've added perspective rulers and a couple other neat things. Most importantly, you can completely customize your keyboard shortcuts for EVERYTHING they offer. Want your Ink Pen to be set to 'n'? Done. Do you want your canvas to flip horizontally when you push 'h' so you can easily check your work as you go? Done. Do you want to add a layer group with Shift + Ctrl + L? Done. Do you feel more comfortable using Ctrl + Shift + Z for undo instead of Ctrl + Y? Done. It makes your work space so nice to use and creates a good flow.

It's not free though, so if you need free, go with one of what caleb suggested.

rum

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Re: Free Art Software
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2015, 02:34:58 AM »
Clip Studio Paint (aka Manga Studio 5) is also amazing – and I think it's pretty much based off Paint Tool Sai. The bonus to Clip Studio/Manga Studio 5 is the amount of quality video content available on YouTube.

http://www.clipstudio.net/en

The base model runs at $49.99 USD and lacks multi-page layout (but c'mon, you can do that manually later!) The advantage to Clip Studio over Manga Studio is the digital download. However, if you're like me and prefer to have a disc, you can go to amazon.com and pick up Manga Studio 5 (identical program) for $30 - 45 dollars. I use Manga Studio 5 almost every day for my job and I can tell you, it's worth it.

Pa Kalsha

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Re: Free Art Software
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2015, 10:15:32 AM »
I've switched almost my entire workflow to ArtRage, relegating Photoshop to the odd colour balancing job and 'save for web'.

http://www.artrage.com/

Like Manga Studio and SAI, it's not free but it is ridiculously cheap ($49.90 at the time of writing) and it's available through Steam as well, with all the benefits therein (auto updates, Family Sharing, available on multiple workstations). It's incredibly easy to create and share brushes, colour swatches, stencils and the like, and the ArtRage forums are full of useful information and user-created content.

caleb

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Re: Free Art Software (and some at reasonable prices!)
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2015, 10:34:41 AM »
Okay changed the title now  ;D

Another one that's cheap, but not free is OpenCanvas 6. I bought this via Steam, and it's currently £29.99 (about $46.16, according to Google). It has a number of nice features, including perspective guides and colour mixing.

caleb

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Re: Free Art Software (and some at reasonable prices!)
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2015, 09:54:32 PM »
Not software, but a good free resource: https://unsplash.com
Free images under Creative Commons Zero. Basically do what you like with them. Pretty decent photos, too.

Pa Kalsha

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Re: Free Art Software (and some at reasonable prices!)
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2015, 05:38:04 PM »
More cheap and free software:
Colors! by Collecting Smiles is a no-frills painting pogram for iOS, Android, Nintendo 3DS and PS Vita. It costs around £6 and you can export a large version of your image and/or video of your painting process.

Sumo paint is a free web-based painting tool. I've not used it myself, but the gallery suggests that it's capable of creating some really impressive images.

I'm suprised this hasn't come up yet, but deviantArt Muro is another free, web-based drawing app. It's based on HTML5, so it should be supported by all the latest browsers and you can upload directly to your dA account.

All three are pretty bare-bones, but they're perfectly capable of producing quality work if you put the time into mastering them. Sumo Paint and Muro have Chrome plugins available; I'm not sure what they do, but they're there if you want them.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2018, 08:03:27 AM by Pa Kalsha »

CrimsonSunrise

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Re: Free Art Software (and some at reasonable prices!)
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2015, 03:27:22 PM »
One of the 'biggest contenders' in my opinion at the moment, and what I currently use, is Krita https://krita.org/

Think of it as a mix between MyPaint and GIMP. Even thought it tends to shine more on Linux, it doesn't perform bad on Windows. All the features you'd expect of a good drawing program are there, including the G'MIC plugin sets which contain, among other things, a smart tool that allows you to quickly flat color lineart. One of the, I think, biggest proponents of it atm is French artist David Revoy http://www.davidrevoy.com/

But of course, the best part of it is that Krita is free software.
Crimson Sunrise

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Re: Free Art Software
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2018, 05:20:20 PM »
I've recently been using MediBang Paint, which is a free software developed by the Studio Manga people that you can download for Windows, Mac, iPad, iPod and Android. I'm still playing around and getting familiar with it, but the start you can choose to do either an illustration or a Manga project, and the manga project has a selection of standard sizes in color and grayscale, and choose to do a cover and a number of pages. It includes a good selection of tones to make manga with, as well as a fair amount of brushes and tools to draw with :) You can also load/save your projects to a cloud and access it on another device with the app on it and share it with other people, but I haven't played with that function much yet.