Free Image and Photo Editing Software

Free drawing and painting programs, photo manipulation tools, image and animation creation software

Free Drawing and Painting Programs, Image/Photo Manipulation, Photo Editing, Animation Creation Software

This page lists free programs or tools which you can use to create graphic images, edit pictures, manipulate or modify digital photographs (photos), create animations (animated graphics), create logos for your website, and otherwise draw or paint an image. The tools often handle a variety of formats, such as GIF, JPEG (JPG), PNG, TIF, BMP, and others.

If you need something to stitch photographs together to create a particularly wide-angled panoramic photograph (or even tall photographs or 360 degree shots), you might find one of the programs on the Free Photo / Image Stitching Software: Make a Panorama from Separate Pictures easier to use than manually piecing the photos together.

NOTE: If you are here looking for the 3D graphics software that was previously listed on this page, please note that they have been moved to their own page, the Free 3D Graphics Software: Create 3D Content for Games, Videos, Film and Animation page.

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Free Drawing and Painting Programs, Photo Editing Software and Animation Creation Software

PhotoDemon (Windows) New

PhotoDemon is an open source photo editor for Windows. It features layers, selection tools, paintbrushes, content-aware fill and resize, shadow/highlight recovery, perspective and lens correction, a macro recorder, batch processor, etc. It doesn't need to be installed, and can indeed even be run from a USB stick.

Synfig Studio (Windows, macOS, Linux)

Synfig is an open source software that lets you create artwork and 2D animation. You can operate on bitmap images as well as vector shapes. It features a variety of layer types (geometric, gradients, filters, distortions, transformations, fractals, etc), a bone system to facilitate making cutout animations, easy manipulation of any vector shape, the ability to link parameters of various layers (directly or via mathematical expressions), etc.

Krita (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux)

Krita is a digital sketching and painting software for a number of systems. It has a wide variety of brushes including pixel, smudge, duplicate, filter, hairy, hatching, texture, chalk, colour ("color" in US English) smudge, curve, deform, dyna, experiment (Alchemy), grid, particle, sketch and spray. Other features include the ability to rotate or mirror your canvas; vector tools like normal text, artistic text, calligraphy, selection, path, fill and gradient; raster tools like a number of shapes and lines (eg, ellipse, polygon, rectangle, star, etc), crop, move, perspective grid, the ability to select in different ways (eg, freehand, polygon, outline, etc) and act on that selection (eg to fill it), zoom, pan, etc; layer management; filters (eg, colour adjustment, brightness, contrast, desaturate, raindrops, oil paint, pixelize, motion blur, sharpen, gaussian noise removel, etc — there are far too many to list here); support for different colour models (RGBA, Gray, CMYKA, Law, YCbCr, XYZ) and colour management; etc. It supports numerous file formats for import and export, such as PSD (ie Photoshop images), PNG, JPEG, JPEG-2000, Windows BMP, TIFF, PDF, PPM, PGM, PBM, EXR, OpenRaster document, etc. Supported platforms include Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. This is an open source program.

mtPaint (Windows, Linux)

This program, mtPaint, lets you create "pixel art" and manipulate digital photographs. It presents you with a pixel grid of your picture, at varying zoom levels, so that you can accurately paint or edit it. It works with pressure sensitive graphics tablets, supports multiple layers (up to 100, at the time this was written), has numerous brush patterns, user-defined gradients, undo, multiple image clipboards, gamma correction, a variety of effects (eg, invert, greyscale, isometric transformations, edge detect, sharpen, "unsharp" mask, soften, Gaussian blur, emboss, etc), crop, rescaling, screen capture, etc. The program works in Windows and Linux, and is open source, under the GNU General Public License.

Pencil — 2D Animation Software (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux)

Pencil is an open source (free) animation drawing software that runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. You can use it to draw pictures that you can string together to form an animation or cartoon. This cartoon can be exported as a series of PNG images, in a Flash file format (which you can exhibit on your own website) or as a QuickTime movie (the QuickTime movie export only works in the Mac OS X version at the moment). Sound can also be added to cartoon. The program supports both bitmap and vector graphics.

Helios Paint (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux)

This freeware paint program may be used to create and edit images on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Unix. It requires you to have the Java Runtime Environment installed. Features include a pencil for editing pixels, a variety of lines (curved, straight, freehand), a paint brush with resizable heads, a spray can with resizable nozzle and a global spray facility, shape tools (star, moon, heart, regular polygon, freehand), paint can with colour bleed sensitivity, text entry, HSB/RGB/contrast/gamma adjustment, image filters (invert, grey, black and white, colour, sharpen, blur, edge feathering, edge detection, oil painting effect, emboss), image colour and transparency adjustment, zoom in and out, selection and moving tools (scissors, lasso, wand), undo and redo, printing with page auto-fit, etc.

RealWorld Paint (Windows)

This image editor lets you create and modify JPG, PNG, BMP and other types of raster images. It supports layers with effects, has many drawing tools that can do gamma-blending and color gradient interpolation, has sub-pixel accuracy, the usual assortment of tools (magic wand, transformation, brushes, rectangles, ellipses, polygons, etc) and filters (drop shadow, blur, bevel, colour corrections, etc), supports PhotoShop plugins as well as customizations using JavaScript, etc.

Dia (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux)

Dia is a diagram creation program inspired by the commercial "Visio". A drawing program rather than a painting one, it has many facilities to help you draw diagrams, including special objects for drawing entity relationship diagrams, UML diagrams, flowcharts, network diagrams, etc. It saves files to a custom XML format, but can also export to other formats like EPS, SVG, XFIG, WMF and PNG. Other features include the ability to print multi-page diagrams. Dia works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Source code is also available.

IrfanView (Windows)

IrfanView is primarily an image viewer that can double as a simple image editor that can perform tasks like resizing of images, converting images between formats, renaming of files, etc. It is able to perform batch conversion of images and pictures as well as batch renaming of files, which is a handy feature when you have many files you need to process.

GIMP - GNU Image Manipulation Program (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, FreeBSD)

GIMP allows you to create and edit images and photos. It has the usual facilities found in many commercial paint programs such as a variety of paint tools (Brush, Airbrush, Pencil, Clone, custom brushes and patterns, etc), full alpha channel support, layers and channels, transformation tools (rotate, scale, sheer, flip), multiple undo and redo, selection tools (rectangle, ellipse, free, fuzzy, intelligent, bezier, polygonal), animation support (including MNG), numerous file formats (BMP, GIF, JPEG, MNG, PCX, PDF, PS, PSD, PNG, SVG, TIF, TGA, XPM, etc) including conversion between different file formats, and so on. Supported systems include Windows, macOS, and Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD and Solaris. This is an open source program.

Tux Paint (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, iOS, Android, Blackberry, etc)

Tux Paint is a drawing software designed for young children. It has cute looking buttons, sound effects and a mascot that encourages children as they use the program. Supported systems include Windows, Linux, macOS, FreeBSD, iOS, Android and Haiku. This is an open source program.

Paint.NET (Windows)

Paint.NET is an image and photo manipulation program that supports layers, unlimited undo and redo, special effects, drawing tools (tools for drawing shapes, splines, Bezier curves, etc), etc. It requires the Microsoft .NET Framework (hence its name).

Inkscape - open source scalable vector graphics editor (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux)

Inkscape is a scalable vector graphics (SVG) editor. It is open source, and versions are available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

AvancePaint (Windows)

This paint program lets you draw, paint, apply photographic effects, sharpen, soften, blur, brighten, darken, etc (too many to list). It handles JPG, BMP, GIF, WMF, ICO, DIB and PNG file formats. There are also additional plugins and textures that you can download to add to the program's existing features.

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