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The Paint Editor included in Scratch can be limited to advanced users, such as the lack of support for layers. In addition to the paint editor, there are also many alternative image editing programs that Scratchers can use in order to take advantage of advanced features or techniques that these offer. In addition to the Paint Editor included in Scratch, there are also many alternative image editing programs that Scratchers use in order to take advantage of more advanced features the Scratch paint editor does not support. Many of these alternatives are free; however, some of them must be purchased before use. There are two main types of image editors: bitmap/raster editors and vector editors.

Some programs mentioned here are used for drawing and painting art, rather than editing images and applying special effects.

Note Note: All prices listed are in US dollars.

Bitmap/Raster

Bitmap/raster images are made from individual pixels. For example, if a bitmap image is resized bigger, the individual pixels will become bigger, making the image look pixelated. When a bitmap image is resized smaller, some pixels are removed. As such, quality will be lost when resizing these images.

Downloadable Software

The following items listed below are downloadable software that can be downloaded to a desktop and can be used to make bitmap images.

Photoshop icon
  • Paint
    • Microsoft Paint is a simple graphics editor (similar to the Paint Editor) that comes bundled free with Microsoft Windows. Current version: 6.1
  • Paint.NET
    • Paint.NET was designed to replace Microsoft Paint and includes more advanced features like layers, transparency, and graphical effects. It is free to download and use, but it is only available for Windows. Current version: 4.0.21
  • GIMP
    • GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a free, open source image editor that is almost as powerful as Photoshop. It runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Current version: 2.8.22
  • Adobe Photoshop
    • Photoshop is a professional image editing program that is extremely powerful and runs on both Windows and Mac OS X. However, it is very expensive ($9.99 per month, with a required 12-month minimum). There is a less advanced version of the software, Photoshop Elements, that costs $99.99. Current version: Photoshop CC
  • ArtRage
    • ArtRage is an image editor and designed to create beautiful paintings. However, it is expensive (however less than Photoshop) and costs $49.99 on Windows and Mac OS X (a demo can be downloaded here). It can be also bought on a mobile device for $4.99 or $1.99. Current version: 5.0.5
  • FireAlpaca
    • FireAlpaca is a software designed for painting art rather than editing images and can be used also to create smooth and beautiful drawings. It can also be used to make comics. The version with ads is free and available for both Windows and Mac OS X, otherwise, it costs $39.99 on Steam ad-free. Current version: 2.1.1
  • PaintTool Sai
    • PaintTool Sai is another piece of software designed for painting, available for only Windows. It costs $48.17 to use permanently, however, the user can download a 31 day trial for free. Current version: Unknown
  • Affinity Photo
    • Affinity Photo is professional photo editing software for Windows, Mac and iPad. It can be bought for $49.99 without any subscription, A free trial is also available.

Painting Apps

The following items listed below are apps that can be downloaded to a mobile device, and can be used to make bitmap images only.

  • Tayasui Sketches
    • Tayasui Sketches is a virtual canvas for sketches, which includes oil pastel and watercolors. Also, images can be exported through "pro-export" into an iCloud drive or a photo library. Supports layers and transparency. This app is completely free, but there is a pro version upgrade for $4.99.
  • Inspire Pro
    • Inspire Pro Free features "breathtaking blending effects" and great precision at a fast speed. It has some special paint settings, such as glaze, random size and scatter. It also supports a pressure sensitive stylus! The pro version costs $9.99.
  • MediBang Paint
    • MediBang Paint is a painting application similar to FireAlpaca. MediBang comes with over 90 downloadable brushes, has a text cool with loads of fonts, has the ability to make comics and other resources like backgrounds. Has layers and transparency and supports stylus pressure. Has free cloud save and syncs brushes, colors, settings, etc for different devices. It is also possible to use the cloud to collaborate on MediBang projects. Images can be exported to the MediBang Paint online gallery. It is available on iTunes and Google Play for free.

Online Paint Editors

  • Pixlr
    • Pixlr is a free online paint editor and photo editor. It includes layers, replace color, transform and more. There is also a desktop version available.

Vector

Vector images are made from mathematical calculations that form lines and objects. These images do not use pixels and therefore do not lose quality when zoomed in or out.

Downloadable Software

Inkscape icon
  • Inkscape
    • Inkscape is a free, open source vector graphics editor. It is generally used for drawing images rather than editing them. Current version: 0.92.3
  • Adobe Illustrator
    • Illustrator is Adobe's vector graphics editor. It operates on the same monthly pay model as Photoshop and costs $9.99 per month (with a 12-month minimum). Current version: Illustrator CC
  • Affinity Designer
    • Affinity Designer is a proprietary vector graphics editor for Apple MacOS and Microsoft Windows by Serif Europe. It can be bought for £48.99 with no subscription. Current version: 2.9

Painting Apps

The following items listed below are apps that can be downloaded to a mobile device, and can be used to make vector images only.

    • Skedio is an easy to use vector paint editor. It can be downloaded for free on Android, but has in app purchases for $4.99 or below. Skedio does not support transparency and watermarks everything you export, unless the app is upgraded with pay.

Online Paint Editors

  • Sumo Paint
    • Sumo Paint is an online paint editor. It allows one to draw with realistic looking virtual paints, blenders, shapes, and tools such as the symmetry tool. One can also save paintings to the cloud or to one's computer. It is free, and does not require an account to use, though one could create an account. There is a downloadable version, but it is not required to run. It also runs on Adobe Flash.

Bitmap/Raster and Vector

The following is a list of programs that can draw in Vector and Raster form.

Painting Apps

  • Sketch Club
    • Sketch Club is a painting app for iOS. It has multiple different features for making bitmap and vector images. Images can be exported from it as a jpeg, a png, or a transparent png (an image without a background). It can be downloaded for $0.99.

Importing into Scratch

Below is explained how to import from alternative image editing programs into Scratch, which is, of course, necessary when you want to use graphics drawn outside of Scratch in your projects.

Bitmap/Raster

With bitmap graphics, this is very simple. Save the file in a common bitmap or raster format, such as .jpg, and then import this into Scratch.

Vector

Importing vector files into Scratch is a little more complicated. Scratch costumes are in the .svg format, so other common vector formats such as .eps or .ai will not be read properly as a vector path in Scratch, if Scratch manages to import them at all. Therefore, files you want to appear as a vector path in Scratch must be saved in the .svg format. In Adobe Illustrator, this can be done through "Save as" and then choosing .svg when it asks you for the format (it will probably be .ai to begin with).

Note Note: All text must be converted into a vector path before saving, or it will not appear correctly in the Scratch editor! In Adobe Illustrator, this can be done through the command ‘create outlines’ after selecting the text.

See Also