Adobe acquires Allegorithmic

As long as the core Allegorithmic team continue to work on their products I’ll be happy. I have no issues with Adobe’s products. I’ve used Photoshop for about 25 years. There’s a reason why most professionals continue to use Photoshop when there are seemingly alternatives. I preferred Corel’s Painter to Photoshop for 2D art and illustration but I’m in a minority there as the vast majority of 2D artists seem to love Photoshop for that too. Same with Indesign. I worked in a newspaper production department for 21 years and when we switched over from a doomed proprietary DTP platform to Indesign it was a gamechanger.

My only gripe with Adobe is with their licencing arrangements and the whole Cloud thing. I miss the days when you could just simply buy a piece of software and pop the box on your bookshelf. Realistically I need: Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator, Acrobat and at a push Lightroom. Additionally now I need Substance 3D Painter (Designer and Sampler not so much).

I have absolutely no need for: Premiere Pro, After Effects, Media Encoder, XD, Premiere Rush, Fresco, Dreamweaver, Animate, Character Animator, Audition, InCopy, Prelude and whatever else lurks in the Creative Cloud. Yet I’m paying a lot of money for all of that.

I just wish that Adobe would break down all the Creative Cloud applications into bundles and offer us what we need for a lesser price. A good starting point would be the classification categories they already use in the CC app: Photo (Lightroom, Lightroom Classic and Photoshop), Graphic Design (Illustrator, Photoshop, Indesign), Video (Premiere Pro and Premiere Rush), etc., etc. Or just offer customers more customisation than asking them to pay the full amount for a whole bunch of stuff they’ll likely never install or use. I must be honest… I’d actually have been happier (and better off) if the Substance stuff had just been lumped into the main CC package.

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I think some of that criticism is fair, but seeing things from the inside now and interacting with many other teams at Adobe, I know everyone is working their ass off to deliver great updates. It’s definitely harder for flagship apps like Photoshop to make everybody happy when you have a user base of millions, spread across an infinity of industries and use cases and with a 30+ year legacy.


I get what you’re saying and I hope I am wrong about the future of Allegorithmic team.

There is no doubt the development team is talented and passionate about the product. It’s the execs who worries me and I have no trust in Adobe execs. There are countless examples in game dev and software development when bad executive decisions tanked great products.

I wish you my honest best though.


I agree that this has happened. I don’t see this as happening to Adobe nor Substance at all. I could unpack that statement a lot more. But I am going to try to keep it concise.

It is not always the case that what is good for a corporation is bad for individuals.

And bad horrible decisions can be made by small independent teams. Just look what happened to Messiah Studio Pro and LightWave.


I still find the notion that NewTek was touting. “We will never offer or go subscription”… because we know our user base…etc etc etc. to be particularly foretelling.

All the wile the debates had raged on about how Autodesk and Adobe are going to go down in flames because they did not listen to their customers.

However in how many years now this has never happened? Meanwhile LightWave is nowhere to be found.

The two facts may not even be connected. But then that is pretty much the point I am making.

I recall Luxology (Modo) saying the same things when they merged with the Foundry, er now rebranded as just Foundry. Luxology’s CEO and other higher ups merged into Foundry with high positions covering Foundry as a whole. There was at first a lot of positive momentum, claims of saying they were still the same people and were changing Foundry for the better. Then after enough years have passed, their software took a different direction, aiming for a different target audience.

The culture around the software changed, no one interacts much with them on the forums anymore. The CEO who ended with a high position Foundry left, others left. You had to log in to use the software due to a new, anti-consumer licensing model and the software as a service approach, which Adobe normalized, made it even worse.

Development is all but stagnated.

Now a ton of former Luxology customers are here using Blender after being burned by the same predictable pattern. The “corporate” culture and hierarchy win out in the end, every single time and what was there before is completely taken over by the larger entity.

I highly doubt the Substance team is going to be one of the first to break that pattern. The odds are just not in their favor.

There are always going to be reasons, but they may not be based on logic or due to something being inherently better. I met one artist from Blizzard to told me honestly that he was just too lazy to use anything other than photoshop. That its the first thing he was taught in art school, what the tutorials he watched were using, and thus never bothered to explore outside of that. This is a common trend with a lot of users, as well as studios (especially if they already developed a pipeline around it). They can even admit that the software they use as being annoying or full of issues, but ultimately they just don’t have the time, will power or interest to switch.

It’s also a trap, since other people tend to first learn whatever the most common software is at the time, and in photoshop’s case the name itself also became a verb, just like google is used to refer to any search engine entry, or band-aid for any stick on bandage. The software itself does not need to be good, its just managed to keep above the others through various means.


I’ve used Photoshop in a work environment for around 25 years. In those years, at home, I’ve also tried Corel Painter, Inkscape, Krita, Affinity Photo, GIMP, ArtRage, Corel PhotoPaint and some stuff I can’t even remember.

Photoshop is just better and faster to use for production. Sadly I was made redundant from my job in the newspaper industry after 21 years (someone in India is doing my job now), but currently I’m working for a small local photography company that specialises in school and nursey photography. I have to process, clean up and print hundreds of images a day. I can do that in Photoshop very fast. Do I use all the added tools and bloat that have been added to PS over the years? Not really. Levels and curves adjustments, dodge tool, crop tool, sometimes a bit of clone stamping or maybe the Patch tool to get rid of stuff that hangs around kid’s nostrils.

Most recently I purchased a few of the Affinity applications with a view to weaning myself off Adobe eventually… but they are just not there yet. Their alternative to Indesign is lacking a great deal at the moment and Affinity Photo has some way to go too.


This is a really good example of the recent. I stopped rooting for Modo about two years ago. They’re in downwards spiral as I see it.

Again, I don’t wish an ill will neither for Adobe nor for Allegorithmic team but I’ve been around for sometime to learn to see patterns.

Adobe won’t go down anytime soon because of their strategy to diversify risks by increasing their software portfolio. It’s exactly what they did with Allegorithmic to corner a certain niche of the market. The issue though once they do that they are not very motivated to improve software in captured niches.

Photoshop development moved at a glacier speed for years where they catered for amateur audience and ignored bugs and feature requests. Only in the last 5 years things changed for the better. Personally, for me it’s still not enough.

You can do all the work you need in Photoshop for post-production but there are so many improvements that could and should have been done to make it better but there is no incentive. For real high end work there are still no competition. I know about Affinity but it’s not there yet. Although, it surpass Photoshop in some areas.

Adobe’s both strength and weakness is that they take hostage their customers. This action takes many forms. I believe Adobe has very little brand loyalty. Something Allegorithmic initially had for sure. It’s critical for products to thrive and grow. Unless you’re mega corporation who rides a success wave on early wins. Then your strategy to survive is to successfully identify growing products and aquire them and burden your customers with subscription where there are no alternatives to move to. Otherwise as soon as there are decent alternatives with fair license model users will switch.

I’ve seen it happen before and I’m sure I’ll see it again unless Adobe change or improve their ways. It can take many years for such huge corporation like Adobe as well as change in market and leadership.

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Isn’t that the main reason - familiarity? I’m always glad when I can check off a function or an entire software as ‘does the job’ or ‘a problem solved’. You’d have to show me a significantly better alternative to get me to learn a new tool to essentially perform the same work.

That being said …I switched to Affinity. :innocent:

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That is pretty much spot on. Main sins are subscription business model, mandatory internet connection, cloud everything, and most importantly taking away the ability to open or edit your files after the end of the subscription althou you paid a lot of money for the software to make the project.
That’s just like big f… no from me.

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Which I don’t see happening any time soon at all, if ever. Not within this decade likely for Photoshop or Substance.

based on what you need but i had no issue leaving adobe years ago

only thing i miss from AI is the ability top import dwg files

for me affinity gave me the package and workflow i was looking for

adobe to me became obese and outdated in their toolset and inter app interaction

others cannot switch for various reason but affinity is already the alternative

and saved so much money

how typo tools are only in inesign and not illustrator shows you already how shitty adobe is
and the patho tools in photoshop same as in the 90s when i started

then you look at how affinity works with path and vector tools in all their apps and you realize that besides some amazing ML and AI adobe did nothing to AI or PSD besides forcing childish UI changes onto you

back in 2000 i worked with photoshop quark and freehand - adobe offering all three app needs after buying indesign was a great help for color management tho


I don’t know. I wouldn’t be so sure about it.

I own Affinity products. I’ve been trying to switch for about a year but it’s not there yet for some workflows. It’s core functionality is good though and better thought out in some areas than Photoshop. Serif company just needs to make a couple of good strategic decisions in the development of their app and it could be a viable alternative. It’s already is for most task. You can do a lot of work there with relative easy. Only some workflows aren’t as good as in Photoshop that I depend on.

And we all know about alternatives for substance line of products. There are Mixer, Armor Paint, Toolbag, Mari for Substance Painter. ArtRage and Material Maker for Substance Designer.

Sure, some of these apps are much weaker compared to Allegorithmic products but I wouldn’t think they’ll need decades to make strong competition especially for some less demanding workflows.

I didn’t say decades. I said not within this decade. That is 8.5 years now.

Second I don’t depend one way or another if my views are right or worng. These are my objective views based on just how I see things play out. I never count on anything.

In my opinion from what I have seen in the last 15 years, rarely does anything fold up unless it already is or can be made redundant. And there at at least a dozen factors that play into that other than price and features.

Regardless of how many people want to or can live with alternatives, there are always going to be the people who can’t.

Let’s be honest. A tipping point is what people want to see.

Example of a tipping point is when Adobe says, well here is an indie version of creative cloud. Or a free apprentice version and so on.

Or RenderMan offers non commercial because in rendering software there is definitely competition, real direct competition with Arnold mainly and the plethora of rendering options.

Pepole want to see this for Adobe. That is how I read the sentiment. Not that those people would start using Adobe. But because it would prove that finally real competition has arrived.

I would love it if this was the case.

There is just way too much of a top heavy market. In some industries government tries to move in and stop this from happening. Not saying I approve or disapprove. Just saying.

Now Blender is in the best position of any tool right now to tip the scale against the competition. I think we have already seen it do this with Maya LT and now Maya indie.

In my studio we consciously accept a few limitations of Blender because we can. We use Maya LT where we need to.

But the reason we can do this is because Blender development is raging right now. And frankly it is a good investment. But also because the tools improved just that much to finally tip the scale for me.

In our financial status we can not afford a studio-wide license of Maya and RenderMan which if I had the budget would be my first choice now. And then watch Blender grow. But I can’t so enter Blender. And it is not a bad tool at all. Real easy to use. I intuitive to me and my crew

But… The more this starts to materialize over time gradually we will see that scale tip again. If the developers can get thier head around the importance of handling data… Another story.

But what I am saying is I don’t see this level of threat coming to Adobe or Substance other than maybe Mixer.

But that is a huge wait and see… With hope.

It is much longer way off for the other Adobe products from what I can see.

It is not enough that Afinity is an alternative. It needs to be raging and kicking ass. Not just moving along at a normal pace.

I hear a lot of people say they are still waiting for stuff. That team pulling it together sounds more like hope than reality.

Mixer is in the best position to complete against Substance… And it will be free… And with Mega Scans , and Unreal 5 and…

That is the kind of thing you need to be looking for.

And so… Don’t expect anything like that before the end of this decade for Photoshop. If at all.

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If thats all you use photoshop for, then you should be able to do those tasks just as fast in many different alternative programs (both foss and paid).


That’s not all I use Photoshop for. It all I use Photoshop for in terms of the work I’m doing for an employer right now. I use Photoshop for a whole load of other things for personal use. I use it because I like it and prefer it to all the other software I’ve tried. I particularly like Blender’s support for the PSD format which allows me to bring in packaging and label type images without having to flatten them beforehand. Makes it a breeze to make edits too. Edit. Save. Refresh image in Blender. Done.

For an alternative to take hold it would have to emulate and mimic so many of Photoshop’s features and shortcuts and workflows. At that point you might as well be honest and just admit you want a cheap or free version of Photoshop.

To be fair, most of the alternatives also import/export PSD. Everything you continue to mention is present in the others as well, just as easily done imo.

I’d argue a good chunk of the preference comes down to familiarity, which in turn goes into intuitiveness. Intuitive software is intuitive precisely because it is familiar enough to pick up and use easily. Many 3D programs include “Maya” controls and expected behavior simply on the basis of making it familiar and easy to adopt, not that they are being “cheap or free” versions of said software. You are basically touching on the topic of what is seen as “industry standards”.


What are people thinking of Gimp these days? I used it for years before I finally was able to afford Photoshop and I have used it here and there over the years. I still find it very clunky. But a mixed bag, some features I kind of like. Though they have made more of an effort to format it like Photoshop. I used to use Gimpshop.


I like it. I will switch to Gimp as soon as it can handle multi layer openEXR.
It does everything I need besides the above and is FOSS.

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Here is an interesting find:

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Yeah, I recently bought Affinity when it was on a 50% sale. Haven’t used it yet as I need image editors perhaps once every 3 months or so these days.