I’ve been hearing a lot about Paint.NETand thought I’d give the new Paint.NET 2.0 a test run. I’ve been using Photoshop for years, so its my point of reference for comparing Paint.NET. The standard is set pretty high, and maybe unfairly, but there are basic requirements in a graphic design program for me to find it useful. And Paint.NET isn’t quite there. Yet.
I was very impressed with it, particularly in approaching it as a .NET Windows application. How cool is that! Basic functions I would need to use it instead of Photoshop for utility work are stroking and applying drop shadows. Basic area stroking and fill are supported in a different approach in Paint.NET than Photoshop so it is kind of supported, but selecting the contents of a layer and performing stroking or fill are still missing. As for drop shadows, I don’t use them for production quality work as they get old quick, but for everyday utility work, drop shadows are a staple.
My advice (for what its worth) is to pattern Paint.NET after Photoshop in every way possible, allowing for Paint.NET creative differences. There are many Photoshop users like myself who would be more than happy to use a .NET-based application instead, but who don’t want to lose the productivity of Photoshop. Duplicate the keystroke functions and popup menus of Photoshop, add a few more basic utility features, and I’ll have it loaded all day long.