Ditch Adobe CSx for Windows Desktop

Many of you out there in the world would like the power and use of Adobe Creative Suite or Creative Cloud Software without having to pay the price. Well, it can be done, either less expensively and even for free. And I’m going to tell you how you can do that.

I want to start off with DaVinci Resolve. I’ve tried a lot of the free video editors out there. I found nothing to compare to Premiere Pro. I used VSDC Free for a bit. Thought I had the answer with the Update of Hitfilm Express. You might enjoy these great and useful programs. And I would use them, that is, if DaVinci Resolve didn’t exist. It is a free “Hollywood Quality” solution. I thought I was going to have a problem using Focusrite ASIO drivers, but that’s not the case.

I cannot stress enough just how robust Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve is. Adobe users all over the world are switching. It’s truly an amazing gift. Really, check it out.

Davinci Resolve will replace

Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe Speedgrade
Adobe After Effects

I’m choosing to replace Dreamweaver with Notepad++.

Notepad++ has been around for a long while (2003). I was a big fan of HTML kit but it’s been abandoned. I recently tried it out but it just wasn’t responsive enough. I gave up. I tried a bunch of others but nothing stuck. I’m surprised I didn’t try Notepad++ sooner. I like editing directly from my site. It was a prerequisite. This does the trick, plus it’s still actively supported and it is Free. There are community created addons. It’s a great program.

Notepad++ will replace Adobe Dreamweaver

Now, about replacing Photoshop

I chose to replace Photoshop with GIMP. I’ve used GIMP before and I have to admit I never liked it. In the early days I used Paint Shop Pro. Back then GIMP didn’t compare. I shoot with a Nikon D5100 in RAW format so I need a photo editor that handles NEF files (Nikon’s version of RAW). Gimp does not do this, but Darktable does and it’s available as a free addon to GIMP. You can simply drag a RAW or NEF file into GIMP and it will open in Darktable. When you close the image in Darktable it opens in GIMP and from there you can do whatever you want. One thing I don’t like about GIMP is that exporting to JPG isn’t very automatic. You actually have to name the file *.jpg instead of selecting the extension type from a dropdown menu. It’s easy to forget this step having used dropdown menus for this in every other program for 20 years. There is a workaround for this but it requires editing the program itself.

Other than this, and some occasional instability issues, I like it. It works and works well. It’s maintained by an active community. It’s come a long way and does much, but not all, of what Photoshop is capable of.

GIMP is not really good for Animating.

But there are other programs out there that are fine for animating such as Krita and OpenToonz.

Gimp plus addons will replace

Adobe Photoshop

But What about Sound?

You would be amazed at what DaVinci Resolve can handle with the included Fairlight Engine. It can handle VSTs. If you need it for film/video it’s right there. If you are composing music you have a lot of other choices other than Adobe Audition. I actually purchased Reaper for this. Reaper is a very nice choice for a DAW (digital audio workstation). I recommend it.

So if you are Stuck in the Adobe Cloud.

Remember, you don’t have to be. And you just might try some of the alternatives out there. You might find better programs. I cannot say that GIMP is better than Photoshop, but I do believe DaVinci Resolve beats Premiere Pro and related Adobe video editing titles combined. And Notepad++ is just as good, if not better, than Dreamweaver.

There are alternatives.

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