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What Program Do You Use

Ever

i hope you're okay
Pronoun
they/them
I'm getting kind of frustrated with my MS Paint. I was wondering if there were any FREE programs of a similar nature that I could try out.
 

Kratos Aurion

beep beep coming through
Age
31
Website
alteredorigin.net
What program do we use for what? Most good art programs are general-purpose anyway, but it's still a little hard to know what you're looking for based on that alone.

The best recommendations I can give without more information are to try the GIMP and Paint.NET. If you're looking to do a specific sort of art or something, though, then give a little more detail and people might be able to give you more appropriate suggestions. (GIMP and Paint.NET are good for pretty much everything anyway, as I said, but I dunno, maybe you want something specifically for getting a painterly look with a tablet, something geared more toward pixel art, etc..)
 

bulbasaur

Not quite e^(-(x-μ)²/(2σ²)) / (σ√(2π))
Age
23
"Of a similar nature"

I don't know why you'd want one similar to MS paint, but if you're willing to drop your "similar nature" parameter altogether, GIMP is definitely the best. It's just that the startup is a bit slow. If you feel that it miust be "of a similar nature", then paint.net is good. OpenCanvas, a program mainly used for painting/colouring, is free, but only for older versions.
 

Furiianda

DELICIOUS!
Age
27
Yeah, for bitmap editing, you should probably go ahead and use the GIMP. I guess it's kind of similar... easy enough to get used to (it just looks a little bit intimidating compared to MSpaint, but most programs do). It's fine if you want to create pixel art/sprites as well as general image editing (photos, painting, whatever).

Some people like paint.net but it seems to offer nothing over GIMP whilst lagging with tablet input. So I wouldn't recommend it personally! (I haven't used it extensively and that may not be an issue for you either, so hey still an option for you I guess) GIMP has tonnes of "painting" options anyway, and works pretty darn well with a tablet, so if paint.net is geared towards that...

There's also "Paint Tool SAI", again I haven't used it extensively but I have seen a lot of artists who have. Uh, and it appears to be free. Yup.

I'm tempted to start going over the top (vector art programs? how about concept art specialising, oh oh and there are a few nifty animation programs too ha) but I'll just leave you with those bitmap editors for now and you should be fine. [:
 

Vladimir Putin's LJ

your blood flows through my veins
There's also "Paint Tool SAI", again I haven't used it extensively but I have seen a lot of artists who have. Uh, and it appears to be free. Yup.
Just popping in to say that Paint Tool SAI is an awesome program but it's not at all suitable for pixel art and it is also not free, it's just that everyone pirates it because we're cheap and we can't figure out the Japanese site.
Honest to god, I tried to legit buy it once and their website took me on a loop and I never managed to. Maybe they've fixed it in the meantime though, this was like two years ago!
 

Hiikaru

Run.
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Ikimaru
My Paint is also a free thing! I don't think it's very good for editing sprites if that's what you're hoping to do (I suppose you could, but I'd think it would be more frustrating than MS Paint), but it's definitely good enough for just drawing or painting in. It has multiple floating parts of it kind of like GIMP does, only smaller and optional and way less annoying in general and also not in different windows. Also it's cross-platform! So you won't lose it and have to get used to a new program if you ever can't or don't want to use Windows.

It also has a bunch of weird extra tools if you're into that (I only use one ever), but it still keeps the interface simplistic and it's pretty intuitive.

I'm not fond of GIMP at all and Paint.NET isn't really *good*, just usable - I had a lot of trouble figuring out how to do what I wanted and as far as I can tell it doesn't really have anything over any other art programs (unless you count "being less annoying than GIMP"). Although, it's possibly better for editing existing images if you want to do that instead of drawing.

Paint Tool SAI is also really good and I miss it, but like others said, not free!

Also iScribble.net is a thing. It doesn't have a lot of the complicated tools you'll find in standard art programs, but on the flipside, it's multi-user, so you can invite your friends or strangers to boards and draw with them! Also despite the lack of tools people still use it to draw hyper-realism, so it just depends on whether you're happy without them or not. Also there's limited space on each board, so it's kind of a problem if you're inclined to draw huge things.

You could also try signing up for an Oekaki somewhere if you'd like something like that, and DeviantArt sort of recently released an online drawing thing called Muro!

So really there are a lot of options, just try out a few of them and see what works out for you!
 
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Ever

i hope you're okay
Pronoun
they/them
Thanks for the advice guys! One of the main things I'm looking for is that I want to be able to put in layers. Also, I dislike how in adding text in MS Paint blanks out the background in that one area. Again, thank you all for the suggestions!
 

bulbasaur

Not quite e^(-(x-μ)²/(2σ²)) / (σ√(2π))
Age
23
If you don't want it to blank out text, choose the text tool, then select the option with the transparent dashed rectangle enclosing the square, ie the bottom option.
 

surskitty

「にがいのは いやだ」って…
Age
27
Pronoun
they/them
Just use GIMP. And remember if you're scaling things up or down: Unsharp Mask is your friend.
 

ultraviolet

yeehaw
Age
27
Website
twitter.com
Pronoun
she/her
Hiikaru ♥;524618 said:
My Paint is also a free thing! I don't think it's very good for editing sprites if that's what you're hoping to do (I suppose you could, but I'd think it would be more frustrating than MS Paint), but it's definitely good enough for just drawing or painting in. It has multiple floating parts of it kind of like GIMP does, only smaller and optional and way less annoying in general and also not in different windows. Also it's cross-platform! So you won't lose it and have to get used to a new program if you ever can't or don't want to use Windows.
popping into say that MyPaint is like, the best thing I've ever come across, but I imagine it's not quite as good without a tablet (but I dunno, I always use a tablet); half of the brushes are much more fantastic with pressure-senstivity. also, unlimited canvas oh god

I'm not fond of GIMP at all and Paint.NET isn't really *good*, just usable - I had a lot of trouble figuring out how to do what I wanted and as far as I can tell it doesn't really have anything over any other art programs (unless you count "being less annoying than GIMP"). Although, it's possibly better for editing existing images if you want to do that instead of drawing.
I can't stand GIMP, I really can't, but Paint.NET is pretty okay for spriting. I don't sprite a lot but when I do, I usually use Paint.NET simply because of layers and transperency and it doesn't irritate the crap out of me like GIMP does.
 

Hiikaru

Run.
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Ikimaru
Thanks for the advice guys! One of the main things I'm looking for is that I want to be able to put in layers. Also, I dislike how in adding text in MS Paint blanks out the background in that one area. Again, thank you all for the suggestions!
MyPaint and Paint.NET both have layers! iScribble also has three layers, but if you're adding text to things, that's probably not what you're looking for right now! Also I'm not sure text in MyPaint is a thing because it's a painting tool, not an editing tool. If you wanted to draw and also do editing things, though, you could switch between the two!

popping into say that MyPaint is like, the best thing I've ever come across, but I imagine it's not quite as good without a tablet (but I dunno, I always use a tablet); half of the brushes are much more fantastic with pressure-senstivity. also, unlimited canvas oh god
I still prefer SAI to MyPaint. :( But I think MyPaint is the best free art program and also the best one that runs on Linux (SAI's *supposed* to run through Wine, apparently, but it wouldn't).

I've always used a mouse to draw and I'm perfectly fine with how that works out in MyPaint! I only use the one brush (it's possibly called mop? the one that acts decently like a paint brush) because using more than one kind of brush for painting kind of bothers me (also some of them are spidery-creepy), but I've tested out the others and not having the pressure-sensitivity of a tablet isn't an issue!

Also unlimited canvas is pretty neat, yes! And you don't even need to extend it or anything, you can just keep drawing. It is annoying when I want to crop something or have the drawing *stay* at a specific size, though! Like if I'm painting something and I want it to be perfectly square, then that's kind of impossible because the brush keeps going out of the imaginary square and then no more square oops. There might be a way to deal with that, but if there is I haven't figured it out yet.
 

Crazy Linoone

broke ASB
For a program with "similar nature", I would suggest Paint.NET. It functions like an upgraded MS Paint, and it's really easy to learn (better than GIMP anyway. I never got GIMP...). Paint.NET is great for pixel art, and it's... tolerable for painting. Barely tolerable. Less than tolerable, even. As long as you don't need to blend anything in your art, Paint.NET is the way to go.

GIMP is a nice general-purpose program. I just can't figure out how to use it and I hate waiting for it to load at startup, so I can't say anything more about it, really.

On the other side of the spectrum, Paint Tool SAI (which is not free but can found free in the internet pretty easily) is great for painting. It has an airbrush and stuff. However, using it to draw pixel art would be suicide.

So yeah. I have both Paint.NET and Paint Tool SAI on my computer, and I swap between those two depending on what I feel like drawing (pixel or painting).
 

Aisling

Super Moderator
Spriting with not-MS Paint?

pfffffft
I haven't sprited in forever geez

Uh don't have much else to add, except my sort-of advocation for GIMP- the path tool is really hella cool and the program I usually use for stupid art stuff, Photoshop Elements 5.0 (yeah yeah I know, we just had a CD for it lying around the house so that's why) doesn't have it, so I have GIMP lying around just for that. But the path tool is just one thing-if you want to learn the UI it has a lot of neat stuff a lot of other free art programs don't... I'm just stubborn and so used to PSE5's UI that I prefer to use it until I feel like I've reached my artistic limit with it. Which will probably be never because I'm not extremely ambitious.

But anything more advanced than MS Paint just for spriting is kind of balls to me because I'd always forget to turn off anti-aliasing or something. :1 To each their own I guess
 
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surskitty

「にがいのは いやだ」って…
Age
27
Pronoun
they/them
Spriting with not-MS Paint?

pfffffft
I haven't sprited in forever geez

Uh don't have much else to add, except my sort-of advocation for GIMP- the path tool is really hella cool and the program I usually use for stupid art stuff, Photoshop Elements 5.0 (yeah yeah I know, we just had a CD for it lying around the house so that's why) doesn't have it, so I have GIMP lying around just for that. But the path tool is just one thing-if you want to learn the UI it has a lot of neat stuff a lot of other free art programs don't... I'm just stubborn and so used to PSE5's UI that I prefer to use it until I feel like I've reached my artistic limit with it. Which will probably be never because I'm not extremely ambitious.

But anything more advanced than MS Paint just for spriting is kind of balls to me because I'd always forget to turn off anti-aliasing or something. :1 To each their own I guess
Hahaha what? Layers and an actual way to adjust colours properly and screen/multiply/overlay layers are great. I haven't done that much spriting lately, but it's still really handy to be using an art program instead of whatever the hell mspaint is.

How do you manage to forget to turn off antialiasing? o.O I pretty much never find having the eraser antialiased useful -- if I want something erased cleanly, I'll use free select and then cut -- and anyway if you're using the default brushes they're all blurry enough that it's obvious if you have them antialiased when they shouldn't be. But really, pencil! More pencil! Layer mask that transfers layer's alpha channel! More pencil! And if you accidentally had the eraser tool antialiased, you can fix it later by thresholding the alpha channel. Tada!
 

Aisling

Super Moderator
Hahaha what? Layers and an actual way to adjust colours properly and screen/multiply/overlay layers are great. I haven't done that much spriting lately, but it's still really handy to be using an art program instead of whatever the hell mspaint is.

How do you manage to forget to turn off antialiasing? o.O I pretty much never find having the eraser antialiased useful -- if I want something erased cleanly, I'll use free select and then cut -- and anyway if you're using the default brushes they're all blurry enough that it's obvious if you have them antialiased when they shouldn't be. But really, pencil! More pencil! Layer mask that transfers layer's alpha channel! More pencil! And if you accidentally had the eraser tool antialiased, you can fix it later by thresholding the alpha channel. Tada!
Well sure, I'm not saying those things aren't useful, just that you can sprite perfectly well in Paint if you really can't find a program you like to use for that instead. Because I always have. I've found ways to work around needing layers, and if I need to shift something I'm usually working so small that I can just do it pixel-by-pixel in about the same amount of time anyway. and maybe fix some problems with the shape while I'm at it.

Of course I would notice if I forgot to turn anti-aliasing off, but it's just an extra step in working with a program not intended for relatively teensy pixel art.

I wasn't being 100% serious in suggesting one stick with paint, just that it's totally possible. I guess I haven't sprited in so long that nobody remembers I was that one pretty good person who always stuck with MS Paint or something and the sarcasm was lost. :[
 
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