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Why is Photoshop still so famous for game development?

Discussion in 'External Tools' started by DeepShader, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. DeepShader

    DeepShader

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    Hello,
    is there a reason why Photoshop is still the number one for game development instead of alternatives like Affinity Photo?

    Is there a special relationship between Unity and Photoshop, which will make my work better/faster/easier?

    I mean the most competitors can save as PSD too.

    Maybe some people here could tell my why they prefer Photoshop which needs a subscription over a competitor.

    Thank you :)
     
  2. Antypodish

    Antypodish

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    Anyone uses what is convenient for them.

    However, Other than Adobe Photoshop has long time established solid foot in the market, with high familiarity from many its users, Photoshop is often part of Adobe package, which comes with set of other useful tools.

    And since many people are hobbyists in terms of Unity, meaning some of us may have access to Adobe tools by "default", based on the carriers path.

    Often in academia, Adobe is often preferable tools, means even further familiarity for young people.
     
  3. DeepShader

    DeepShader

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    Ah ok, I understand.

    But are there technical aspects which makes Photoshop more useful instead of a competitor like Affinity Photo?
     
  4. Antypodish

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    Photoshop offers wider range of well established tools and Filters than Affinity.
    That may be PS winning factor on that aspect.

    But to be honest, there is tons of websites, describing comparisons and discussions.
    You would be better and quicker, to find relevant detailed info, doing search online.
     
  5. DeepShader

    DeepShader

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    Please read my first post. I don't want to start a comparison. I just want to get different opinions why people choose Photoshop (specially for game development) instand of any competitors.

    I know your reason now and hopefully some other people will tell me their reason too :)
     
  6. Ofx360

    Ofx360

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    There really isnt any other reason other than momentum. A lot of people use Photoshop, so a lot of beginners adopt it, and since its pretty easy to use, they stick with it. And because such a large amount of people know and/or use photoshop, a lot of engines and DCCs support it

    I personally use photoshop because thats where i started and developed a large collection of my favorite brushes, but you personally can use just about any painting tool and get the same results.
     
  7. DeepShader

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    Thank you :)
     
  8. nukeD

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    I use Affinity Designer and Photo for my job since the day they came out. They're modern programs and on par or more capable than the Adobe products. I used Adobe PS since the 90s (Flash 5/ Freehand/ Illustrator for vectors), until Affinity came out.
    More people need to try them out (Designer = Illustrator / Photo = PS / Publisher = inDesign, Pagemaker)... and for a single payment of $50 (for each) they seem too cheap to be any good, but thats the whole trick, they're F***in amazing (and yes i'm just a fan, nothing to do with the company).
     
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  9. DeepShader

    DeepShader

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    I'm using them too, but I makes me insecure that so many developers prefer Photoshop. So I thought there are maybe technical stuff behind this decisions.

    I am of your opinion.. Affinity products are so much more intuitiv and easier to use. Like them much!

    So you never run into any problems with import into Unity or something like that? I think you'll use PSD-Files for Unity, right?
     
  10. Ofx360

    Ofx360

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    You can export psd to unity, but i dont. I stick to targa or png.
     
  11. DeepShader

    DeepShader

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    Is there a reason why you use png/targa instead? I mean it takes more time to export every file manually.
     
  12. Mauri

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    Because Photoshop has always been around, thus became a de facto standard.
    "Affinity Designer" was released in 2014, while Photoshop exists since 1990.
     
  13. Ofx360

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    I personally think the save times are negligible

    The reason I don’t use PSDs is because they are often several times bigger than an image and will balloon your project size. That makes version control a bit rough when you edit those massive files.
     
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  14. DeepShader

    DeepShader

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    So no technical reasons?
     
  15. DeepShader

    DeepShader

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    Ah, ok :)
     
  16. Mauri

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    I don't think so... I never tried "Affinity Designer" before, though... but from the looks of it and from what other people are saying, it can (almost) do everything Photoshop can do anyway(?). So, why switch? In the end, people tend to think "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

    Of course, if you're completely new to graphic design and what not, Affinity Designer might be a pretty good alternative - especially since it doesn't cost that much.
     
  17. DeepShader

    DeepShader

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    Good to know - thank you :)

    BTW: Affinity Photo, not Affinity Designer :p
     
  18. John-B

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    Yes. I recently switched over from Photoshop (used it since forever) to Affinity Photo when I updated to Mojave, because my old version of PS stopped working. There is one big gap in AF, at least for me. AF does not have easy access to the alpha channel. It can be done, but I've yet to figure it out. In PS it's easy to add an empty alpha channel, and you can edit it just like any grayscale layer. I do a lot of UI graphics with transparency, and textures, so that makes AF less useful to me for Unity-related work.

    I've also tried Pixelmator, and it has no access to the alpha channel at all. Any suggestions for a Mac-based alternative?
     
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  19. nukeD

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    For UI , Huds and graphic design in general i use Affinity Designer... its vector based, but overlaps well into Photo, meaning you can work with pixels as well as layer effects similar to Ps.

    What are you using the alpha channel for?

    If its simply to make a transparent background do this (Affinity Photo screenie below)



    Anyway, try Designer for UI design :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
  20. DeepShader

    DeepShader

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    Thank you. Could you explain me which steps do you use in Affinity Photo for alpha channel?

    As nukeD said an empty background should work (in Affinity Photo too).
     
  21. Joe-Censored

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    On the original question, Photoshop has been the standard in image editing for almost 3 decades. That creates its own market inertia, seeing that it is a common tool in virtually any graphics related business and commonly taught in school. There are alternatives which do a small number of specific functions better, but arguably there is no product which is better and easier to use for a majority of use cases yet.
     
  22. DeepShader

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    So to be sure: The most of you (developers/designers) would say that it would be better to take a subscription for Adobe because of the big presents out there (more tutorials, plugins, people who could help, ...) and not because of technical stuff between Photoshop and Unity, instead of using Affinity products (which I already own) - right?
     
  23. John-B

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    I'm using the alpha channel for transparency. For example, a UI button with rounded corners, or a button with a drop shadow or glow. I sometimes also need transparency in 3D textures. A grayscale alpha channel determines the image's level transparency. It's saved as its own channel in a TIFF file.

    In Affinity Photo, Transparent Background doesn't actually add an alpha channel. It's just a toggle that turns on and off viewing the unfilled background of an image. In Affinity Photo, you can fill an alpha channel from a selection or mask, but you can't actually edit it. In PS, I can edit the alpha channel as if it were a grayscale layer, for example, paint or fill with any gray level, do effects like blur, anything I can do in any other layer. In AF, you can't do any of that. The Pencil icon (makes a channel editable) has no effect on the alpha channel. You have to convert the alpha channel, then edit it, then convert it back. I'm not really sure, as I've not yet gotten it to work.
     
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  24. DeepShader

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    So to say it in harder words: Affinity Photo gives you the feeling of a pro-software, but technical it isn't comparable to Photoshop, because of bad/not so good rendering and missing stuff like a good alpha-channel-workflow and so on?
     
  25. DeepShader

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    I'm still confused, if I create a new document with transparent background and export it later to PNG it is an alpha-channel and I can paint on the alpha-channel. Isn't it that what you want?
     

    Attached Files:

  26. bart_the_13th

    bart_the_13th

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    This! Add the fact that almost any graphics learning book in the nearest book store around me either teach on how to use Corel Draw or Photoshop...
     
  27. DeepShader

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    Could you show me a YouTube Video where someone do it in Photoshop (the alpha-channel stuff)?
     
  28. Antypodish

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    Photoshop has simple alpha slider, in layers panel, for each layer. Or you can set brush with alpha, as if applying strength of the brush.
    I don't know regarding Affinity.
     
  29. APSchmidt

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    Or The GIMP.

    Old habits die hard it is... ;)
     
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  30. Antypodish

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    Gimp only advantage over photoshop for me, is the pricing. Working with it otherwise, is quite a pain, doing same job in comparison.
     
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  31. APSchmidt

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    I've always been lazy at learning how to use the GIMP for a good reason: I own a legit copy of Photoshop...

    I'm pretty sure that, once fully learnt and mastered, the GIMP would provide a good alternative. ;)

    I had never heard of Affinity Photo before this moment.
     
  32. John-B

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    NO, Affinity should not go the subscription route. That's why I've not updated my old Photoshop CS5. I can't bring myself to rent software that quits working when I stop paying. I'd have to keep paying for the rest of my life.

    And I doubt very much Affinity expected any great windfall, at least relative to Adobe. The (one-time) cost of Affinity Photo is about the same as renting Photoshop for two months.
     
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  33. John-B

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    I don't mean to hijack this thread, but I too am confused. I've tried what you showed in your screen capture (see the attached image) MANY times. Coming from Photoshop, it seems simple and obvious. But it DOES NOT work, at least for me. You can see from the screen capture, I have the Composite Alpha channel editable and the others not editable (the Pencil icon). But when I draw with the Paint Brush, for example, it draws in the RGB channels. It just makes the corresponding alpha channel white no matter what the current foreground color is. In Photoshop, it's obvious when you're editing the alpha channel as the color palette turns to grayscale. Other than the Pencil icon, there's no way to tell in AF. And that doesn't work.

    I don't know what I'm doing wrong. Maybe there's some setting I'm missing. When I first started using AF, I didn't realize that layers had to be rasterized before you can edit them, so maybe there's some step required for alpha channels that I'm not doing.

    AF Sample.jpg
     
  34. DeepShader

    DeepShader

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    Maybe this helps?


    Could you show me what you mean in Photoshop? Maybe it's easier, if I can see what you try to do.
     
  35. DeepShader

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    I viewed a lot of videos for (game)development and Photoshop and yes, there are many reasons to use Photoshop over competitors.

    I've one special question for you, because you seems to know a lot about this stuff:

    You wrote: "Photoshop works like this: Any layer == Channels == Red, Green, Blue and Alpha. Each channel is an image, expressed in greytone, thanks to it's range, in either 8bit or 16bit greyscale. A layer's appearance is the blend of its RGB (and invisibly), the Alpha channel.", but isn't it the way all of this programs work (GIMP, Affinity Photo, Pixelmator, etc)?
     
  36. John-B

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    I finally figured it out, at least one solution. In Affinity Photo, you have to create a mask, then you can edit that mask as a grayscale layer. When you flatten the image, the mask becomes the alpha channel. My problem was I was missing one crucial step, you have to option-click the mask layer's icon (obviously) to make the mask layer visible. D'oh! That explains why it looked like nothing was happening. It's a bit cumbersome compared to PS, but at least it can be done.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
  37. DeepShader

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    Next stupid question: In what cases do you need this technique? I saw a lot of videos people uses alpha-layer to select parts of an image. But why? Isn't it the same as you would use the select tools?

    And is the alpha-channel/parts in a transparent PNG something else like the one in TARGA?

    Sorry for that questions, but I still don't understand why so many people says I should use Photoshop instead of a competitor because of the alpha-channel.

    Maybe you or someone else can bring some light to this question :D



    BTW: It seems that Photoshop helps you in some more cases for Game Development. NormalMap-Generator, LUT-Workflow in Amplify-Color, (better) direct PSD-Workflow with Unity, etc..

    Photoshop is available for around $10/month. Yes, Affinity Photo is a one-time-payment of around $50/version.

    But look at this: If you've to do more steps in Affinity Photo, which takes you more than one hour per month, I'm pretty sure that your time (1 hour) is more expensive that $10. So why don't pay $10 to save a least one hour per month with no thinking about complex workflows, if it's could be so easy.

    I really like Affinity Photo. It's fast (enough), it looks really good and it has some tools like the inpainting, which is much better as in Photoshop. But all this stuff is useless, if the software makes my workflow slower or harder.
     
  38. DeepShader

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    In what cases do I need this features for Game-Development/Design (specially the alpha-channel, I still don't understand why it's so important to have the workflow of Photoshop for alpha-channel or why this is so much better in comparison to the competitors)?
     
  39. fffMalzbier

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    I do user Photoshop and export my assets as png files.
    Maybe that other tools handel this better but im trained in PS, my whole team uses it and so its the best tool for me at the moment.
    (im not doing clasic game development so my need are a bit different.)
     
  40. aer0ace

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    I am also a fan of the alpha channel workflow of Photoshop. Especially for this reason:
    However, the last time I used Photoshop was a pirated PS6 copy, so it's been a while. I had been using a copy of Photoshop Elements 9 for several years (please don't crucify me). I just couldn't afford full blown Photoshop. But the alpha tools and pen tools are the best I've used of the paint/photo-editing packages I've tried.

    Strangely, if I ever need specialty/custom alpha work done, I turn to GIMP. It's painful, but it has slightly more power than PSE, or the other tools that I use. Generally though, GIMP falls way short of giving that natural creative flow to me.

    I played around with Affinity Photo for a total of about an hour or two. I was impressed, but not enough to break away from my current environment (PSE9, Krita, Paint.NET, and Inkscape). As you can see, I'm trying to go as open source as possible, but can't bring myself to it completely.

    @DeepShader I would recommend to you to stick with what you feel comfortable with. I know the discussion suggests that Photoshop has a lot of benefits over Affinity, but I wouldn't go against your budget just for FOMO. Maybe at one point in the future, you will find a definitive reason to switch, but I believe that almost all paint/photo-editing packages will get you results, just with a few more workarounds than other packages.

    I wrote a blog post about a few other paint tools that you may want to check out too.
     
  41. Antypodish

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    Is semantic, but I think you mean freeware. It is not the same what open source. Open source can be as well paid and free to use. Just to let know.
     
  42. aer0ace

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    Both Krita and Inkscape are free and open source. Paint.NET is certainly just free. I'm aware of this, thanks.
     
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  43. John-B

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    If you have to ask...

    If you just need to create simple alpha masks from selections, then IMO either PS or AF are comparable. If you want to do anything beyond that, like drawing/painting an alpha channel, then it's quicker and easier in PS.

    I'm not too sure about your math. I wouldn't just be paying $10 to save some time (actually the cheapest PS subscription is $20/month), I'd be paying $10 per month forever. Compared to a one-time charge of $50 for AF, it's a no-brainer for me. The slightly-better workflow for a very few specific functions are not worth the huge extra cost of PS for me.
     
  44. nitrofurano

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    i'd say that people use photoshop in game development because cmyk support! :D (just kidding, actions is great as well! :D )

    i used Photoshop on MacOS-Classic since version 1.0 (layers only appeared on 3.0! :D ) - when 7.0 appeared, i migrated to Gimp, and never used Photoshop back again (i almost have no idea what 'CS' is about! :D )

    vector editors like Inkscape (or its equivalent proprietaries, like the good old Freehand, or Illustrator) are good for speeding up the sketching and composition process - and some people might enjoy creating vectorial documents with scripting tools, like Nodebox or Shoebot

    eventually i also use GrafX2 (quite close to DeluxePaint, and it is easy to code plugins like filters, in Lua language), and ImageMagick on command line sometimes

    from my humble experience, i think that there is no need at all using proprietary software these days, you almost can do the same stuff with software libre only
     
  45. pinkhair

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    The preview PSD importer that lets you automatically assemble sprites currently doesn't seem to work well with files generated by other programs(at least, not ones I tested), because they don't add the correct metadata Unity needs.
     
  46. BattleAngelAlita

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    Because photoshop had separate channel editing and alpha-as-a-channel. Krita has no alpha channel at all, just "transparency" channel. In GIMP only way to edit channels is to separate image to 4 images, edit what you need and combine back.