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10 Best Gimp Alternatives – 2021

Gimp is one of the most popular and longest-surviving image editing apps around. It’s open-source, free, compatible with all desktop devices, and brimming with comprehensive editing tools and features.

Despite the many amazing qualities that the software has to offer, there are many reasons why you want to look for Gimp alternatives.

It could be that you simply don’t like the tool or you’re looking for an image editing software that’s easier to learn or work with and provides customization options. Or maybe you just want a tool with more abundant features.

Whatever your motivation may be, I’ve handpicked 10 of the best and most powerful alternatives to Gimp that will help you bring your creativity to life.

Best Gimp Alternatives

1. Luminar

If you want to transform your images without wasting hours adjusting controls, Luminar is the perfect photo editing app for you.

Luminar works on both Macs and PCs. It comes with its own special artificial intelligence assistant that helps you create more realistic-looking pictures and adjust any detail in your image from tone to color. You can even use the Accent AI to take amazing photos with a single click.

The library function allows you to manage and organize all your photos. Luminar provides three options for manually improving your images.

The Adjust option is full of all the necessary tools you need to change color and tone; the Transform tab lets you work on perspective issues, and the Lens is equipped with tools to help you fix lens imperfections.

Luminar offers plenty of unique filters and effects to help you transform the look of your images. Compared to Gimp’s editing process which is a bit complex, manipulating your images with Luminar is extremely simple and only takes a few clicks to accomplish.

Thanks to Luminar’s human-aware tool, it can recognize and differentiate people from other objects. You can then erase unwanted objects easily to ensure the view is perfect.

It also houses more than 300 other features and tools such as brushes and support for RAW photos, masks, and layers.

It has a highly friendly user interface that’s easy to navigate even if you don’t have any previous photo editing tool experience. To top it off, you can customize the interface according to your skill level and project needs.

Luminar offers a one-time, one-computer license purchase for $67, $166, and $235 for its master, expert, and guru plans respectively.

This license gives you unlimited access to the tool forever without a need for monthly subscriptions. You can always find current pricing information on the LuminarX membership page or Luminar4 checkout page.

2. Krita

This Gimp alternative is a free, open-source program that lets you draw and create images. It features basic vector tools and functions for making animations and over 100 advanced, customizable brush and color engines to ensure you get the exact result you want from your projects.

This program combines Gimp’s beloved creative features with its distinctive features. Krita supports adding masks to layers and provides a variety of ways for you to stabilize and smooth your brush strokes.

You can use the tool to add filters, effects, blue, or change the colors of an image or painting.

Krita allows you to connect your drawing tablets like Huion and Wacom to it. It has a simple and sleek interface that you can easily master after a few uses. Another fantastic feature that Krita provides is its default two-layer setting.

One layer contains a white background and the other is a layer you can use to draw beneath the lines of a drawing.

With Krita’s powerful keyframes and onion skinning, you can create cell animation and easily view the previous or next frame of your creation.

However, the app is not without some downsides. Unlike its counterpart, it lacks a camera RAW option and history tool. Krita is also primarily focused on painting and digital art creation, whereas Gimp functions as both a painting and photo editing software.

Although Krita’s free version gives you access to all the app’s features, you can support the developers by making a one-time donation to the platform or cop one of Krita’s monthly subscription plans.

3. Affinity Photo

Whether you want to retouch a photo, make corrections, or create complex artistic pieces with dozens of layers, Affinity Photo is the right tool for the job.

The cross-platform application is one of the best alternatives to Gimp out there. It’s beloved by creative professionals from all over because of its precision, speed, and power.

Affinity Photo has a large toolset that lets you edit your images in real-time, open and edit both PSB and PSD files. You can also make use of its presets to save time on your designs instead of working from scratch.

It offers both common and rare editing features like the liquify tool which allows you to sculpt, shrink, grow, and move pixels around and is more effective than Gimp’s warp transform feature.

You can also apply its range of perspective corrections, blurs, distortions, lighting, and other effects to your images in a non-destructive way. This means that you can go back and remove or adjust your edits at any time.

With Affinity Photo’s RAW development feature, you can tweak exposure, correct lens, reduce camera noise, edit metadata, and more.

Thanks to the tool’s extensive library of layer effects, vector tools, blend modes, mask, and text tools, you can create beautiful and sophisticated image compositions.

Affinity’s refined selection algorithms allow you to make accurate cuts and selections to any section of your image.

In addition, Affinity Photo offers a vast brush library to help you create the perfect strokes and make your painting experience as natural and smooth as possible. It even allows you to build your own custom brushes.

The software can also be used to merge two or more images that were taken from different perspectives to create a detailed macro photograph. Affinity Photo will help you properly align the photo and select the best angles to use from each image.

One downside of Affinity Photo is that it takes a long time to import and process lots of images. Unlike Gimp, Affinity Photo isn’t free to use.

You can head over to its pricing page to cop a subscription for your Windows, Mac, or iPad device at $24.99/month or check for up-to-date pricing information. In the meantime, you can take advantage of the app’s 90-day free trial.

4. Pixelmator Pro

Bring your designs to life and create stunning images with the iOS and Mac-Powered image editing application, Pixelmator Pro.

This tool is easy to use even for video editing newbies. You can customize the Pixelmator workspace and tools to suit your experience level or particular needs.

You can even use its pre-built templates and presets to easily create illustrations, designs, photographs, and paintings.

By leveraging Pixelmator’s advanced typography features, you can layer and customize text in your images. Its broad range of over 100 dual texture brushes can be used to create beautiful designs.

You can accurately select and edit precise portions of your photos, remove unwanted objects, increase image resolution, and enhance images, all with Pixelmator’s machine-powered editing tools.

Also, you can layer text, images, and shapes to produce unique compositions. RAW photos from different kinds of cameras can be edited with this software without needing to be reprocessed or converted first.

Pixelmator boasts of a lightning-fast performance speed that Gimp just cannot compete with.

This tool gives you over 60 effects to choose from, including distortion, stylize, fill, sharpen, blur, tile, color adjustments, and more—which is more than what Gimo offers.

Every effect you make on Pixelmator is non-destructive, which means you can rearrange, edit, or remove the effect after applying it.

In addition, Pixelmator supports graphics tablets, allowing you to sketch, draw, and paint on a screen like you would on actual canvas or paper.

You can download and try Pixelmator Pro for free for 15 days without restrictions. However, you’ll have to pay $39.99 if you want to continue using it after the trial period ends.

5. Adobe Photoshop

No discussion about Gimp alternatives—or any photo editing software for that matter—would be complete without mentioning Adobe Photoshop.

It offers a wide range of features that can help you edit all kinds of images, add realistic effects to photos, create graphics, and transform objects into sophisticated 3D artworks.

Adobe Photoshop has an object selection tool that enables you to create selections automatically and pinpoint objects in images, even those with busy environments that have several intersecting objects like architectural structures or leaves.

Its layers feature allows it to track compositions, adjust the opacity of a layer, add text, or merge multiple images. These toilets make Photoshop a superior choice to Gimp.

Although Adobe Photoshop is a raster graphics editor, the software also has tools that let you work with vector images. Like Gimp, Adobe Photoshop is compatible with Windows, Linux, and MacOS systems.

However, it only allows you to export edited images in JPG format alone, whereas Gimp provides support for over 40 export formats.

Also, Photoshop offers free plugins similar to the ones available on Gimp. The only difference is that Adobe’s plugins are more professional and built by well-established brands like Kodak and Phase One.

Unlike most other alternatives, Photoshop offers amazing features that include synced libraries, color correction, cloud storage, deep image retouching, camera shake reduction, music channel options, paint & draw, content-aware fill, and improved lens blur quality.

While Gimp is a free tool, Adobe Photoshop requires a monthly subscription to access it. The standalone version of the tool will set you back $20.99/month although you can try it out for free for 7 days. Feel free to consult Photoshop’s pricing page for up-to-date pricing information.

6. Pixlr

Pixlr is a free online photo editor for transforming images and creating gorgeous designs from right within your browser.

Unlike Gimp and most other similar tools, Pixlr doesn’t require you to download and install any software package to use it. It’s a trusty tool to have on hand when you need to edit a photo but you don’t want to spend a lot of time on the task.

Pixlr provides loads of great tools like customizable filters, effects, healing, and history features. It supports a variety of file formats including PSD, SVG, PXD, WebP, and PDF.

It can also be used to carry out all the basic editing functions you’ll expect from a photo editor such as resizing, whitening teeth, cropping, removing red-eye, assembling photo collages, and more.

Although Pixlr doesn’t offer a pen tool, it provides a variety of other tools that you can use to give your pictures a makeover. It has hundreds of effects, while Gimp only offers a few dozen effects.

When creating designs or editing photos with Pixlr, you can start from scratch or use the platform’s well-designed templates that are tailored to suit a variety of social media channels.

Furthermore, you can use Pixlr to remove backgrounds from any image in one click. Or add overlays, textures, light streaks, accents, glitter, and dust flecks to your photos to create stunning composites.

Pixlr doesn’t boast as many features as Gimp, but what it lacks in functionality, it makes up for by being extremely easy to use. Keep in mind that Pixlr’s free plan comes with restrictions.

If you want unlimited access to the tool, you can opt for the premium plan at $4.99/month or the creative pack at $14.99/month, billed annually with a 30-day trial period. Always consult Pixlr’s pricing page for current information.

7. Aurora HDR

This advanced photo editor is a crowd favorite of millions of photographers. It has loads of useful features that can effectively replace many of Gimp’s best tools.

You can get Aurora HDR as a standalone application for Windows and Mac, or as a plug-in for Apple Photos, Adobe Lightroom, and Photoshop.

Aurora HDR uses artificial intelligence to enhance your photos, reduce noise, fix chromatic errors, color correct, boost clarity, and deliver control over your editing experience.

The smart structure feature helps add more details and vibrance to your images. It also supports masks and layers, allowing you to process multiple pictures at once.

For users with more professional needs, Aurora offers over 20 advanced editing tools such as creative LUT mapping, tone curves, dodge & burn, polarizing filters, color toning.

With more than 80 unique effects, you can use Aurora HDR to transform your images in a single click and showcase every detail in your photos.

Aurora HDR offers RAW support for the most popular cameras. This means that you can edit your RAW images and enhance pixels the smart way.

For $99.00, you can buy a license for Aurora HDR for up to five computers and start turning your HDR photos into masterpieces.

8. Sumopaint

Another powerful Gimp alternative that’s worth trying out is Sumopaint. This cross-platform tool works right from your browser and has all the standard editing tools that you can find on Gimp.

This includes brushes, gradients, shapes, cloning, pencils, text, and more—all of which can be easily accessed from Sumopaint’s modern toolbar.

With the platform’s blending mode, layer effect, and layer support, you can do a lot more than just resize or crop your photos, you’ll also be able to create gorgeous composites and refine the look of your images.

Sumopaint provides more than 300 brushes, including animated brushes to bring your creative visions to life. And if you can’t find a suitable brush, you can always customize one of your own in any shape and size.

Sumopaint has a free version that you can enjoy without paying a dime although you’ll have to sacrifice a few features and put up with advertisements and limited storage.

It also has a paid pro version that costs only $9 per month and comes with a 30-day free trial period.

You can use the shape tools on Sumopaint to quickly design innovative shapes. Also, you can use its symmetry feature to ensure you get the exact symmetrical results you want in your painting and images.

The gradients editor lets you edit the brightness, saturation, color, and tone of your photos. With the gravity feature, you can smoothen lines to curves to make beautiful abstract art.

Other amazing features that you can find on Sumopaint include perspective mapping, cube design, ink tool, color picker, gradient fill, auto smoothing, warp transform, line tool, liquid waves, and selection tools.

Although Sumopaint doesn’t have as many advanced features as Gimp, it’s much easier to use with a simple interface that anyone can quickly get a hang of. The software is constantly updated so you’ll always get the latest filters, brushes, and tools to work with.

9. PicMonkey

PicMonkey is another tool that’s similar to Gimp. It has more than 1,000 templates, 100s of beautiful fonts, 9,000+ textures, customizable graphics, and lots of stock videos and photos to choose from.

PicMonkey offers branding tools you can use to create logos, business cards, and fonts to boost your brand identity.

This program works online and doesn’t require you to download or configure any package to use it. It also has a mobile app so you can work on your creative projects at any time, on whatever device you have on you.

If you want to add a watermark to your images to ensure people know it’s your creation and reduce the chances of it being misappropriated by someone else, PicMonkey can help you with that.

It also provides a variety of filters, stickers, text, effects, and several other professional brand image editing to help you create awe-inspiring photos.

Use PicMonkey’s background remover tool to remove unwanted backgrounds or replace them with a different background image.

The blemish fix tool can be used to correct photo imperfections. For example, you can change the color of a person’s lips, get rid of wrinkles, make the model in the photo slimmer, or change any aspect of their appearance that you want.

Like Gimp, PicMonkey is free to use. However, you won’t be able to export images with the software unless you get a pro subscription.

You can visit PicMonkey’s pricing page to check for current price information and select from one of the available subscription tiers. The basic plan costs $7.99/month, the pro plan $12.99/month, while that business plan costs $23/per user/per month.

On the interface and user experience front, PicMonkey is fancier and easier to navigate than Gimp. It doesn’t have a steep learning curve so you can figure out how the tool works in just a few uses.

Check out how PicMonkey compares with Canva.

10. Seashore

If you use a Mac device and are looking for software to help you edit photos or create illustrations, this alternative to Gimp is a great place to start.

The app offers plenty of useful features like pressure sensitivity for digital painting and layers support.

Seashore supports a variety of file formats including TIFF, JPEG, PNG, and Gimp’s native file format, XCF. The application boasts many of the essential features you can find on Gimp.

It allows you to layer merge effects, add plug-in filters, transparency effects, multiple layers, gradients, and edit alpha channels.

In addition, Seashore provides support for population drawing tablets, as well as a great selection of tools for cropping, selecting, cloning, drawing, smudging, zooming, creating shapes, and applying visual effects.

The user-friendly nature of Seashore’s interface makes it easy for everyone to use even people with no previous editing experience. Seashore is also completely free to use.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many alternatives to give out there that can help you create scroll-stopping images, designs, and artwork for your personal and business needs.

Before you decide on which image editing tool to use, make sure you consider your experience level, present, and future project requirements, and available budget.

If you’re only going to be making basic edits, you might be better off with a simple online tool.

But if you’re looking to work on more professional projects, then you’ll want to invest in a tool with advanced editing functions. And if you still can’t decide which image editing software to adopt, you can never go wrong with Adobe Photoshop.

It’s the best of the best Gimp alternatives you can find and it provides everything from basic to professional editing tools and offers a vast range of excellent features to help you get the job done.