Photoline 19 is out!

The new version is out! This is a milestone release, with workflow improvements across the board, and many new features such as:

  • placeholder layers to place external content. These update in realtime when changes are made to the external file;
  • a new colour to transparency adjustment layer (think unmultiply black, or any other colour!)
  • dehaze filter
  • wipe effect layer
  • variable width stroke options (wacom support)
  • guide creator for easy grids and column/row setups. Guides can now be set to a formula!
  • spot colours and overprint options;
  • improved stamp (clone) tool

See for all the improvements. A more exhaustive list of all the smaller changes and improvements can be found here:

And finally a new website:

Photoline is an image editor which provides a mostly non-destructive professional workflow. Full vector editing is also integrated. Its image editing is on par with Photoshop.

Photoline is compatible with most common Photoshop plugins, such as Topaz, NIK, and FilterForge, and loads Photoshop compatible brush and gradient libraries.

For a fraction of the cost (€59 new license or €29 update) of Photoshop, creatives and photographers receive a wide range of professional image editing and design features.

  • 32 & 64bit versions, Mac and Windows. Fully Linux WINE compatible.
  • 8/16/32bit per channel / RGB, CMYK, Lab, greyscale & monochrome
  • Color management with ICC profiles and linear workflow
  • all functions, adjustments, effects, filters, layers and masks work with 8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit images (full 16bit support unlike Photoshop which operates in 15bit)
  • 47 available adjustment layers
  • 18 available layer styles
  • a layer in the layer stack can be any image mode and bit depth
  • layer masks are regular layers, and may consist of multiple combined layers & groups(!)
  • layer opacity from -200 up to +200 for easy inversion of blend effects or doubling an effect
  • convert bitmaps to vector layers
  • vector layers can be anti-aliased, and be aligned to the pixel grid. Photoline also offers a pixel view
  • develop photos with a non-destructive RAW workflow
  • retouching tools such as a remove brush, clone stamp tool, liquify, and many more
  • PSD import retains most common adjustment layers & layer effects
  • Import & export multi-layered 32bpc EXR files
  • non-destructive rotate & scale
  • external app link for easy round tripping
  • rename images and create catalogs
  • powerful image management: search, edit IPTC & EXIF data
  • true PDF import & export with /x1a & /x3
  • multi-page documents
  • rich text & DTP functionality, spot colors
  • web export, including WebP, image maps & GIF animations
  • batch conversion
  • record actions
  • print multi-page documents, flyers & labels
  • portable app on a USB-Stick support
  • multiprocessor support
  • Linux WINE compatible with LittleCMS colour management option for improved compatibility; tested and supported by the developers

is a valid Photoshop replacement for a 3d artists? Also, can match the large and complex file like (or mybe better) photoshop?

krita for me. This has no linux version

kudos for the new look of the site, looks much more professional. :slight_smile:

Are there any tutorials for 3d artists available (free or paid ones) for photoline?
I would be interested in Photoline if @Herbert123 would release a stone wall/mosaic tutorial like the image he had shown a while ago.

Krita so far has a big advantage which is that it has a plethora of really cool and helpful tutorials available(muses dvd) which photoline seems to be still missing.

Funnily enough there are no limitations to the dimensions of a Photoline file - Photoshop cannot exceed 300.000 pixels in either height or width, and in Photoline I can save a millions pixel wide file as a psd - which Photoshop is unable to open!

Aside from this, one of the advantages of Photoline is that it opens multi-layered EXR files, and that 16bpc is truly 16bpc - Photoshop works in 15bpc in its so-called “16bit” mode. It will cut that 16th bit from any 16bit file you process in Photoshop - beware.

As for your question: try it out for yourself (trial for 30 days). I have done pretty complex things in Photoline. With external file layers it opens up a whole new level of possibilities (comparable to Photoshop’s smart objects). It also links up to other software with its unique external app link: meaning, you can open a vector layer in InkScape, do some edits, and save it again for some nice round-tripping. Also works very well with Krita. You can even send a psd to Krita, edit, and send it back to Photoline.

Another thing to keep in mind when working in Photoline, is that groups are cached when set to “Draw Isolated”. That will also improve performance.

… it does run 100% in WINE, though. The devs have even implemented LittleCMS as an alternative colour management engine to ensure colour management is fully supported under WINE.

Some hints have been made that Linux might get its own version. Cross our fingers!

When I have the time I will prepare such a tutorial. May take a month, or so, though - I am leaving for Europe for a while.

Thanks for your fast review Herbert123. Agree, the best way is try a software, but as you well know deep trying a software can be a long and sometime stressing task.

About Krita, no, Krita is a viable way for paiting, it aim more to Corel Paint users, but cannot win photoshop in photo manipulation and handle large files (this at the moment, Krita developing is very fast)

The new website looks fantastic, and with version 19 is definitely going to be a rather good upgrade from my copy of Paint Shop Pro 7 (because it’s inevitable that it will eventually stop working due to it being too old).

I can really see this take off and as such start hammering away at Photoshop’s marketshare, the fact that it’s a permanent license alone should turn heads.

I’ve been using Photoline for about one year now and for me it is a valid replacement for Photoshop. I had been using both Gimp and Photoshop before but Photoline suits me the best (and compared to PS I can actually afford it :))
I use it mainly for making textures and for combining rendered archiviz exteriors with photos - some masking, cloning, curves, etc.
The first big advantage of PL is the 32bit processing - so no problems with images with higher dynamic range, you don’t need to switch from 16bit to 8bit like in PS all the time, loosing data, you actually don’t need to care about bit depth at all. The second highlight is the number of adjustment layers - almost every effect can be applied as an adjustmen layer so you can change the parameters later if you need to. The third highlight is that you don’t need to apply transforms - scaling, rotating and even perspective transforms.
And now the cons :slight_smile: :
The UI is quite usable but it is not very fast and intuitive. PS is miles ahead in this area - I would say it is much more workflow friendly. PL is still quite weird and clumsy. The bad thing is that the developers don’t seem to care too much about the UI.
There is something like content-aware fill in PL as well, but it does not work so great as in PS. I quite miss that CA-fill but I can live with the one in PL.
PS has the great color match tool but there is no usable alternative in PL unfortunately. I miss that one a lot.

That is not all: you are allowed to run Photoline off a usb drive or stick, for personal work you can even run both the mac AND windows versions on a usb stick. Plug it in any machine (Photoline still supports relatively old operating systems), run it in WINE on Linux off the usb stick. And the settings are maintained.

And Photoline does NOT phone home, btw, as far as I am aware - insert your serial number, and… Done!

Truly a flashback to simpler times, indeed. And a breath of fresh air compared to Adobe’s licensing crap.

One of the major workflow advantages that blew my mind when I first started to work in Photoline, is that a layer can have its own custom bit depth and colour space. Thus, the user may freely mix and match cmyk, lab, rgb, greyscale, b&w layers in the same layer stack, while the bit depths for those layers (and layer masks, because in PL layer masks behave like layers) can be maintained as well.

Let’s allow that to sink in for a bit… it means that a 16pbc RGB layer happily co-exists with other 32bpc and 8bpc (and less) layers in the layer stack! That information is RETAINED throughout the workflow. The background layer decides what colour space and bit depth all those layers are calculated towards. Need a 32bpc rgb version of your work? Change the background image settings, and, presto: done. Then you wish to create a 8bpc cmyk version for print? Same thing. Merely change the background layers image mode. The layers in the layer stack do not lose their information, unless the user specifically converts a layer to a different colour space/bit depth.

Stupendous! Photoshop looks old compared Photoline’s layer stack. And the fun really starts when you realize most adjustments can be switched to work in various colour space with a simple drop-down menu. No need for that awful image mode switch anymore!

The latest version has improved by leaps and bounds in that area - especially in terms of workflow. Many small changes (some hidden) make life much easier. For example, the middle mouse button can now be used to control any input field - drag over the field to change the value. The new vector stroke panels make working with vectors much more convenient.

And talking about vector layers: Photoshop forces a number of incredibly funkyand clunky workflow quirks on its users as well: have you ever noticed that in Photoshop there are TWO different colour selectors? One for bitmap, and one for vector. I never understood that - quite a neurotic way of working. Why have two completely separate colour selectors? What is the point?

In Photoline there is no separation between bitmap and vector colour selectors. They share the same controls. As it ought to be.

Anyway, both apps have their quirks and perks :stuck_out_tongue:

If they do a native port, maybe I will buy it :slight_smile:

Krita is getting animation features this year. I dont think Photoline’s animation features can compete there. From what I saw at their website - its just for simple web buttons.

Does photoline have krita’s wrap around mode? If no, then its not as good for painting tiling textures.

There are few animation options in Photoline - and those are quite rough around the edges. There is layer based animation, if required, but I am waiting for Krita’s bitmap animation.

I use Krita with Photoline’s app link to send layers and fies across (roundtrip option is quite useful in PL), and use Krita’s wrap around mode option, and then send the layer back to Photoline. They complement each-other very well.

Photoline does have mirror painting, though: create a virtual instance of any bitmap or vector layer, and mirror it in one of the axes. Then start working in the original - presto: mirror painting. This way any number of virtual layers can be set up for multiple mirrored axes. Or clone those virtual layers and scale them down, mask them - no limits.

But Krita has those symmetry tools as well! And layer instances too.

Does photoline have multiple brush engines like krita does? With a large library of brushes?

Can photoline do gmic’s line colorization:

Does photoline have non destructive transform layer effects (great to use with cloned layers)?

What are the features that it has that Krita doesnt yet? I want to hear about features that are unique to photoline and Krita doesnt have. Why should I go through the effort to buy it if they dont even have a native port for linux and Krita already has the features and more.

Why not fund krita’s kickstarter instead of buying a photoline license


BluryMind, my intention is not to convince you to try out Photoline - I was merely responding to your question.

Yes, all layer transformations in Photoline are by default non-destructive, and require no additional transform layer effect. What that third demonstration video shows is actually easier and more efficient to achieve in Photoline.

Yes, Krita’s paint tools are far superior to Photoline’s paint tools. And that is the point I am trying to make: while Krita focuses on painting and digital art tools, Photoline focuses on image processing and compositing, and layout tools. Krita’s devs have mentioned this as well: their focus is on developing the best art creation tool.

My experience so far tells me that the weaker areas in Photoline are complemented by Krita, and vice versa - they make a great combo. There is no sense in comparing them - apples, pears, and oranges, and so on. :slight_smile:

Photo editing, masking, high-end image processing are Photoline’s strong points. In these it is on par with Photoshop. The curves adjustment layer by itself is far more capable in Photoline than the one in Krita and Photoshop: instant access to RGB, Lab, HSV, and HIS colour modes, a plethora of spline interpolation options, and access to the transparency as a channel.

Then it adds DTP layout and print tools (multiple page support, PDF/x, spot colours and overprinting). For comic work, for example, it is simple to activate document mode in Photoline, and work with layers in different resolutions and multiple pages. This is extremely handy when, let’s say, a comic artist wants to print his b&w ink work at 800ppi, while the colour layers are printed at 300ppi. All of this is just not possible in Krita. So, again, PL complements Krita where it is needed. There is no HDR raw processing in Krita either, for example.

And did you read my post above in which I described how any layer can be set to any colour space and bit depth? Again that shows how Photoline focuses on compositing of images. Krita requires a image mode switch to work in a 16bpc layer when your document is setup for 8bpc.

Anyhow! It is very simple: Krita has no hope competing with Photoline’s image processing and compositing features, just as Photoline cannot even begin to compare its bitmap drawing tools with the ones in Krita. They complement each-other perfectly! As a combo they become a very, very feature rich solution. There is no benefit in comparing them - that makes no sense, because each one has a completely different focused feature set. (Think of Photoshop and Corel Painter - no-one would compare those two either!)

Thanks for sharing this, tired of having to use After Effects to process 32 bit Exr files. I’ll need to try the trial sometime. Funny Krita debate here as well, but I’ll need to give Krita another go as well, could never quite get into their brushes to be honest. I prefer Clip Studio for painting :stuck_out_tongue:

I may add to Herbert’s post, you generally want a general purpose image processing software if one of things you do is post-production on rendered images coming out of Blender.

Krita doesn’t focus on things like removing noise from renders and applying color grading and whatnot.

I agree with Herbert on this, those are very different programs and they are both good in different things. In my experience the performance of the Krita on Windows is not that great, the PL on the other hand handles larger layer stacks quite easily. But can’t compare those two very well because I never used Krita for a long time.

Thank you :slight_smile:
That is what I wanted to learn the most. Photoline’s advantages over krita and other software!