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FireAlpaca by keb

I stumbled across a neat little program last week called FireAlpaca that's a nice, lightweight drawing tool. It's a hell of a lot faster than Photoshop is at drawing, and its save-files are roughly half the size of Photoshop's PSD. It offers the ability to save as various formats, including importing/exporting PSDs, which is pretty convenient.

It's by no means a photoshop alternative, and it doesn't appear to support CMYK yet, but it's a lightweight drawing tool that's small and fast. It doesn't have much in the way of preferences for the application or the tools (which is a refreshing difference from Photoshop with its nested preferences, modular dialogues, etc). All the tool preferences are in modal palettes, and they're attached to the expected Photoshop keybindings (b for brush, g for bucket, etc) and seems to work perfectly with a tablet as long as you have the drivers installed (I've got an Intuos).

FireAlpaca is built with QT, so there appear to be stand-alone binaries for both Windows and OSX (but oddly not for Linux). I know there are tools like Paint Tool Sai, but I've not used those since I don't use Windows, so I welcome an alternative to Photoshop (which is good for painting, but very heavy) and Manga Studio (which is good for comics but not painting).

Example of the interface:

While it doesn't strictly adhere to OSX interface convention being built with QT, it is clean, fast, and functional.

So yeah! Check it out. It doesn't appear to be FOSS/GPL software, but it is free and does use a few FOSS components.



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