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Open Source alternatives to Adobe Creative Suite update

Oh yes, an update to an earlier post about getting hold of free or Open Source alternatives to Adobe Creative Suite.

I actually forgot to mention about Adobe ImageReady, which gets bundled with Photoshop. There are a number of basic animation tools, but none provide flexibility similar to ImageReady. Fortunately, Open Source lovers are in for a surprise in the form of GIMP Animation Package. This link will take you to the Windows download site as I cannot find any references to this for the Mac OS. Chances are that it could be part of the download, but I haven't had time to inspect this.

The Creative Suite package includes Adobe Bridge, which is a thumbnail viewer to convert images and open them up in any Adobe application for editing. No matter how they would try to trump up its name, it is still a thumbnail viewer. The best free application out there for this is IrfanView. Need I say more?

Are there any pixel pushers out there, who prefer to simply draw their own pics? Why not try Pixen for the Mac OS, or Pixia for Windows. These applications have such a huge fan base that they are getting a stronger presence.

Inkscribe is not the only open source vector package for the Mac OS, any more. A new project called Chlor has recently grabbed my attention and I can't wait to see what will come of it.

As for DTP, Scribus was the only mention for both operating systems. I didn't want to upset the Mac OS friends, but Serif is offering a free version of their PagePlus application.

But to turn that frown back into a smile, I would like to introduce CinePaint (formerly known as Film GIMP), for Windows and Mac OS users. It's in a slightly different camp from AfterEffects, known as video painting. It is exactly what it sounds like, where it is a collection of tools used for motion picture frame-by-frame retouching, dirt removal, wire rig removal, render repair, background plates, and 3d model textures. It is so good that it has been used in, the following motion pictures:
  • Scooby Doo
  • The Last Samurai
  • Spider Man
  • and more!

I forgot to mention Skim for the Mac OS. It is a PDF reader designed to let you take notes and make annotations on a PDF while you read it. While Preview gives you sticky notes, Skim let's you highlight and circle portions of each page. You can even save it back to the PDF. But don't worry, it will only be recognised by Skim and will not appear within Preview or Adobe Reader. What a way to save paper!

For web development, I thought that NVU + KompoZer was the only open source IDE. How wrong could I be!?! I would gladly recommend Aptana, for the Mac OS users. This is a brilliant IDE with support for HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, and XML. Windows users are not left out, though as it comes in the form of an Eclipse plugin.

Last but not least is the PortableApps website. This deserves a mention for Windows users as it has packaged a number of these applications (and alk lot more) into a portable nature, and you do not have to install any dependencies like GTK+ and all that other nonsense. Yes, portable. In it's truly portable nature, you can use The GIMP on any machine and take your work with you, where ever you go. I already use this to check my email, keep all my messenger (yahoo, msn & google) contacts and for The GIMP.

That's all for now. Have you found any freeware or open source software noteworthy of mention?


Lee G. said…
While I agree with part of your assessment about Adobe Bridge, it is still more than just a viewer, its much more powerful than just that.

If you have keyword metadata tagged to the 1000s of images in your library, you can easily search for particular images. This is especially useful for: people with large libraries, teams/agencies working for the same library, etc...

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