2023 Author: Gordon Kinson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 08:36
Apple computers are deservedly positioned as the optimal platform for creative work, a universal tool for the artist of the digital age. In this collection you will find the most interesting free and paid applications for working with raster graphics on Mac.
Photo - standard editor for Mac OS X
Apple's new native graphics editor was not intended to compete directly with Photoshop or similar heavyweight applications. It is difficult to create complex paintings from scratch, but it is easy to satisfy the creative itch by editing ready-made photos. Or use it as the only budgetary tool for a full-time specialist in the design of graphic materials for sites and printed publications.
On the subject: How to edit images in the Photos app for Mac OS X.
The functionality of the Photo application is based on the use of many filters and masks, the assortment of which can be freely replenished as needed. As additional processing - vignetting, working with histograms, white balance correction, a well-thought-out revision history system. There is no such depth of manipulation with each separate layer to which you could get used to, the work is carried out rather in quick strokes, practically on the run. Remove red-eye, adjust contrast, crop edges for insertion into an article, etc. - best when used in conjunction with iCloud Music Library.
Full-featured graphic editor with open source, for which we are loved by an army of fans. Others may grumble - the application requires a certain study, practice of new skills. But stubborn professionals, enthusiasts of their business, this is not a hindrance, fortunately, Gimp now works without complications in all versions of OS X.
Like its main competitor in the face of Photoshop, this application has a fully customizable multifunctional interface, support for the concept of layer-by-layer image editing and a rich set of highly specialized tools. To paint a nondescript picture with a riot of color or create a monochrome masterpiece, make spot or large-scale edits, remove defects, or maybe add them - Gimp is perfect for both complex work and for hone new professional techniques.
One of the main limitations is the specific support for working with RAW files, which are recognized by the application, but cannot be edited directly. You will need to take a few lessons and tinker with plugins, which can scare off a hot-tempered neophyte. But for those who plunge headlong into the project, additional resources open up, such as GIMPology tutorials, custom filters, various utilities and updates for different occasions. This is a real alternative to Adobe software, which will come in handy if you have decided to migrate from one environment to another or simply want to save a penny of labor for purchasing serious software. Gimp is free.
On the subject: What is the difference between JPEG, GIF, PNG, RAW, BMP, TIFF and other graphic formats?
The project is constantly updated and modernized - the application is fully adapted for OS X El Capitan. But its interface, not to mention the functionality, remained forever in the 80s. of the last century, when users more than had the capabilities of the simplest graphical editor included in the default kit for every computer sold. Neither Microsoft with its Paint nor Apple considered it appropriate to change something - the authors of Paintbrush completely agree with them. There will always be a lot of simple tasks, for the solution of which there is a sufficient set of virtual crayons, an eraser and a fill function. The application supports only the most popular formats: BMP, TIFF, JPEG, PNG, GIF.
Fotor for Mac
Free, simple, not a bit like bulky editors, and intuitive. Fotor in the version for desktop apple computers is able to:
- Adjust contrast, brightness and other picture parameters
- Crop image
- Equip it with filters or "scene" templates
- Apply "shift effect"
- Make a photo collage
Do not try to open RAW files in Fotor - there is a great risk of image fragments being dropped during processing. There is no work with layers, complex tools, authoring interface settings, and most of the manipulations are limited to the use of ready-made, template correction algorithms. On the other hand, it is quick and easy, optimal for in-line work.
Autodesk is known for creating sophisticated and highly demanded products like Maya and Sketchbook. The Pixlr family is from the same category, and its offspring Desktop is a simplified version of a large graphics editor, a native application for OS X and Windows environments. Convenience of work with the program is at the forefront, which also applies to its accessibility. Users can choose between a free version, a $ 1.99 monthly subscription, or a $ 14.99 annual account.
Quickly combine two pictures, overlay text or a visual effect, adjust the size, smooth out sharpness, use a modest set of retouching tools, and more. This functionality is always at the disposal of the artist, but it is offered to pay, for example, for unlocking individual masks and filters for individual objects. Or for getting an update - better algorithms for implementing traditional options. The system is flexible, the user is free to freeze payments if he thinks that in the next quarter he will be able to get by with what he has.
Download Pixlr Desktop
Even last year, this application did not have a chance to get on this list due to its reasonable, but excessively high cost. Ordinary users cannot afford to spend several hundred dollars for a single editor, and their more advanced colleagues are already well aware of the merits of Photoshop for Mac. Everything changed with the advent of Adobe Creative Cloud - a monthly subscription costs $ 19.99, but if you choose the option for a year, the application will cost you half the price. It comes with Lightroom, and if your payment becomes onerous, you can cancel it.
One of the reasons for the enormous cost of Photoshop is the ridiculous desire of developers to saturate their creation with the maximum number of the most complex tools. For example, Adobe Camera RAW, the world's most powerful suite for working with RAW files. And then there is the processing of 3D models, batch editing, a universal mechanism for working with layers, the ability to edit video and combined media materials. From professional retouching to web design - perhaps there is no such task for which this editor would not have a separate button. Or a whole scattering.
An important advantage of all versions of Photoshop is that they are easy to master, without even looking at the pages of the training course prescribed for such a software product. The methodology is built on an expansive principle, from the simplest lessons to individual guides for solving specific, complex problems. At the same time, the interface and algorithms for interacting with the user have practically not changed, despite the introduction of cloud technologies. Photoshop has been and remains one of the most amazing editors for any platform, including the Mac.
Download Photoshop CC
The editor is recommended for two categories of users - those who do not need to process RAW files, as well as everyone who wants to get rid of the burden of a paid subscription and the need to purchase updates. You pay the equivalent of $ 30 and get "budget Photoshop," with the difference that Pixelmator was originally built for Mac OS X (Apple often advertises Pixelmator). Therefore, it demonstrates excellent performance on computers aged several years or more.
Comparison with Adobe products is not accidental, this editor supports proprietary PSD format. Yes, what you create in Photoshop can be edited in Pixelmator, and with almost the same functionality. This is thoughtful work with layers, and megatons of filters, and the "Healing Brush" tool and much more. But there is no such flexibility in data export, there is no functionality for processing digital photos, there is no support for 3D structures. It is quite a normal payment for the desire to save money on a graphics editor without losing the main thing.
Download Pixelmator for Mac
Another argument that bulky solutions are not the best. The Acorn 5's list of key options is broadly identical to Pixelmator, with a selection of tools made with a focus on thoughtful image processing. That is, flexible adjustment of brush parameters, a variety of pre-made effects, manipulations with projection, vector graphics elements, etc. Among the unique solutions, it is worth noting the function of a multi-layered screenshot made up of all windows open on the desktop. Plus, at the very least, the implemented RAW support, the ability to import images with a bit depth from 8 to 128 bits, but no more.
Acorn 5 can handle PSD files, but in general the range of supported formats is scarce. There is also no "friendliness" to the web environment inherent in Adobe software products. All the shortcomings are compensated by a simple financial policy - you have 14 days to get to know the editor. The Mac user will then be asked to pay $ 30 and nothing else. Considering the price and size of the functionality, Acorn 5 can be safely written in direct competitors of Pixelmator.
Download Acorn 5
We were asked, in fact, to save a little by abandoning the less important part of the Photoshop functionality, such as the one contained in the Lightroom package. The user gets the main thing:
- full-fledged RAW file editor
- correction of the entire spectrum of image parameters
- using lenses, masks, gradient tools and histograms
- lightening, darkening, veil effects, etc.
- instant filters
- customizable effects
- working with layers and assembling several photos into one
- many plugins for Apple Photo
- user-friendly interface, native to the Mac platform
- a complete set of tools typical for Adobe products
The $ 50 price tag for a copy of a graphics editor will definitely make you think before buying. However, this is exactly the case when we pay a rational premium for a solid expansion of functionality - a solution more likely for specialists, not ordinary users.
Download Affinity Photo
An editor with a self-explanatory name - it is designed for use in a narrow niche, for creativity in the field of pixel art. Who in the era of Retina displays may need a 2.4 MB application that draws 8-bit icons and sprites is a separate question. This does not prevent the Pixen authors from claiming that the editor is designed specifically for the Mac and functions perfectly in the latest versions of OS X.
Interesting features of the application include a unique color palette, a mechanism for creating mini-films from.gif"
Also take a look at Polarr Photo Editor.
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