This post was originally written by Stefan Lindblad and published in the official Corel Blog. It is cross-posted here with the authorization of Corel Corporation and Stefan Lindblad. Find out more posts from Corel Corporation on the Corel Blog. Artist, Illustrator and CorelDRAW Master Stefan Lindblad recently shared his thoughts on Corel PHOTO-PAINT as an alternative to Photoshop. Find out what he had to say in this blog post, originally shared on his blog: 

With Adobe moving 100% to cloud based software, more and more users are looking for Adobe Photoshop alternatives. The alternative I already use and have used since 1997 is Corel PHOTO-PAINT (also spelled Photopaint by some, and in the CorelDRAW and PHOTO-PAINT community, many times simply called PP) from leading software maker Corel, which also develops Corel PAINTER and PaintShop Pro.

PHOTO-PAINT used to be a standalone program for photographers and illustrators, just like Photoshop is. But nowadays, it's an integrated part of the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite.

Some tools, features and naming differ from Adobe Photoshop. And this of course is expected. Considering PHOTO-PAINT has been around for quite some time, and was once considered the leading photo-editing software, it has some words and phrases of its own. For example, Layers is called Objects. And Levels is called Contrast Enhancement. But Tone Curve of course is called Tone Curve.

CorelDRAW and PHOTO-PAINT have always offered way more file format extensions than Photoshop. So you can still save as PSD file format if you prefer, and open and edit your Adobe Photoshop files in PHOTO-PAINT. Feature specific tools in Photoshop, such as Layer styles, is not available in PHOTO-PAINT. Personally when I have worked with Photoshop, I haven't ever used Layer Styles. It simply isn't my style of work so I have personally never had any interest in that. Therefore I cannot tell you if it works to edit layer Styles from Adobe Photoshop in Corel PHOTO-PAINT. But generally there is no problem to open PSD files in PHOTO-PAINT. The file format extension PHOTO-PAINT is called CPT.

With PHOTO-PAINT, you can easily open older CPT files, no problem. There is no particular problem with backward compatibility. In newer versions of PHOTO-PAINT, there is Grouped Objects (Grouped Layers) in the Objects Docker (Layer Palette). This means if you open an older PHOTO-PAINT version where Grouped Object wasn't available as a feature, the grouped objects simply become objects outside a group. In other words, no biggie!

Corel PHOTO-PAINT has Rotating Guidelines (angled guidelines). I'm not sure if that has been added to new versions of Photoshop, but regardless, rotating/angled guidelines is great when you need to have guidelines you can angle/rotate 360 degrees.

Alignment Guides Docker (Palette) and Guidelines Docker (palette) is something to look closer at if you use guides in your workflow, like me.

Guidelines are also very easily placed in an image file in PP without using the respective Dockers (palettes). You simply activate the RULERS via the menu bar. Menu>View>Ruler or shortcut Ctrl+Shift+R.

Non-destructable editing?

LENS Objects in the Objects Docker is where you find many of the non-destructable image editing features. Together with Merge Mode (Blending Modes), also in the Objects Docker. (Layer Palette).

You can of course work with Channels as non-destructable image editing in PHOTO-PAINT, the alternative to Photoshop. Simply open the Channels Docker and work with it, similar to how you work in Photoshop. Often these editing tools and features are demonstrated in magazines and blogs on the net, using Photoshop by adding Levels to Channels and objects, and of course you can do this in Corel PHOTO-PAINT as well. Just remember that Levels is called CONTRAST ENHANCEMENTS in PHOTO-PAINT. If you use Blending modes + Screen on adding fire effects to photos, and using Clipping mask - go ahead, use Merge Modes (blending modes) + Screen. And clipping mask is simply called Clip Mask in Corel PHOTO-PAINT.

PHOTO-PAINT has a RAW Lab dialog of course. Personally though, I usually use Corel AfterShot Pro to make my first RAW image editing. Save and open the RAW images afterwards in Corel PHOTO-PAINT for further image work. In other words, the RAW combo workflow of Corel Aftershot PRO + Corel PHOTO-PAINT would be the equivalent workflow combination of Adobe Photoshop + Lightroom.

Both CorelDRAW and Corel PHOTO-PAINT (CorelDRAW Graphics Suite) have the most professional and 100% ICC compliance color management. If color management is something highly important for you, you have come to the right place.

Download a FREE 30-day trial, form Corel here.

Corel also earlier announced a great deal for Adobe CS users with special offers pricewise for those who want to switch or buy software from Corel. Read the official press release.

Sometimes people around the web on various forums misunderstand and believe Corel PaintShop Pro (PSP) to be the same as Corel PHOTO-PAINT. Which of course is not the same. Just the very fact that PaintShop Pro doesn't handle CMYK color, which of course Corel PHOTO-PAINT does.

Allow me to add a Tutorial I made using Corel PHOTO-PAINT. Showing something both Adobe Photoshop and Corel PHOTO-PAINT illustrators do many times - scanning and coloring techniques. This one shows how you do it using Corel PHOTO-PAINT. Enjoy!

Check out Stefan's work at www.canvas.nu and follow his blog at www.canvas.nu/stefanlindblad-blog. 

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