GRAPHICS SOFTWARE FOR LINUX

Application ColorCorrection Video ARM Arch Paint Description
DarkTable Yes No Prelim/Devel only? Mask only? Photo edit – Strong CC
Gimp Yes As Animation Yes Yes Paint/Photo Edit
Inkscape Some No Yes Yes Vector Graphics
DaVinci * Yes Yes No No Film Finishing
Krita Yes As Animation Yes Yes Strong Drawing, Also photo edit
Blender Yes As MJPEG, others Yes Yes 2D/3D Drawing, Video edit
Lightworks* Yes Yes No Mask only? NLE for Video edit
Natron Yes Yes No ? Video clip ed, multi

Table 1Some attributes of various linux graphics software entries ** 

Note that table 1 is not at all inclusive of every known graphics software project, but is an enumeration of a few projects that I am aware of and that have some substantial following of users.

I won’t vouch for the absolute accuracy of the feature list, as I’ve used only one of these packages very intensively, and most of them not at all. I would advise to check out the features of the various projects, and make you own determination as to which may be a good choice to try. For the most part, the items are free, so there shouldn’t be much downside to a trial and error approach to this.

I use the Gimp extensively to touch-up my photos, Inkscape to make funky graphics headers for blog articles, or to make my own fonts, Blender to  color-correct or colorize my videos,  and I do all of this using the ARM platform based Odroid XU4 SoC/SBC computer board.   It’s for this reason that the table (shown in table 1) shows the ARM architecture as one of the attributes in the matrix.

My Odroid board is of the 32 bit variety, so a usable Darktable build for me must wait til I have the next generation of the board (some say it’s to be named the 64 bit “N2”).   I suspect Natron will be ported at some point, but no ARM SoC/SBC viable build yet exists.  Darktable would be a better bet for color composition/correction than the Gimp, IMO.  I would use Natron  (if a build ever became available for ARM platforms) – less than I currently use Blender, but occasionally I might use Natron for some unique video editing capability it has.

Likewise, Krita has some unique editing capability that could spark my usage in certain situations, but I think it fits between Gimp and Darktable relative to color correction ease/capability.

Davinci Resolve and Lightworks are commercial video editing suites available for Linux.  They are used by commercial cinema production facilities, but an ARM version is unlikely due to the binary release nature of the packages (i.e. currently available AFAIK – only for x86/x86-64 platforms).  The current crop of SoC/SBC boards is not well equipped enough for those packages anyway IMO.  Gobs of CPU speed, memory, and a GPU (taylored to one of a number of specific vendors) are more or less dictated by those packages IIRC.

Finally, if I ever get around to studying the GMIC photo workflow pipelining language, I might use it for automated photo workflows.  Currently, the GMIC plugin for Gimp does work on ARM platform boards (even the 32 bit ones) – but that would be less interesting to me than the workflow language (used with the GMIC interpreter rather than the Gimp plugin).

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