When comparing Photoshop vs Aseprite, the Slant community recommends Aseprite for most people. In the question“What are the best pixel art / sprite editors?” Aseprite is ranked 2nd while Photoshop is ranked 11th. The most important reason people chose Aseprite is:
You can change the playback speed of the loop and the speed of each individual frame. There are three playback modes: forward, reverse, and ping-pong. Onion Skin mode is included to speed up the animation process and to allow for tagging the timeline to help keep animations organized. There is also a live preview so you can always see the end result. Onion Skin mode will overlay previous and next frames over the canvas so you can use them as references when drawing. For Onion Skin mode, you can adjust items like range, opacity, and tint, whether the onion frames are in front of or behind the canvas, etc. You can tag different parts of the timeline when, for example, you need different animations for the same character. You can then loop those tagged sections individually.
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Pro Trove of plugins that extend functionality are available
A wide variety of plugins that add new effects, improve existing functionality and simplify workflow are available.
Pro Industry standard
Photoshop is used by professionals everywhere in a wide variety of fields including photography, graphic design and digital art. It is the de facto standard for image manipulation. If you've seen a magazine ad featuring a model, you've probably seen the effects of Photoshop. You won't be alone when using Photoshop.
Pro Includes powerful content-aware tools
Photoshop includes content-aware tools such as content-aware fill that can fill in a select area based on what surrounds it.
Pro Lots of tutorials
There's a huge number of both free and paid tutorials available online. Websites like Lynda.com offer premium high-quality, in-depth tutorials, but there are plenty of free alternatives to be found on YouTube, blogs and specialized sites on the Internet.
Pro Packs a staggering amount of functionality
Photoshop is the most fully featured image editing software available today allowing you to perform highly advanced image manipulation.
It has tools for RAW image adjustments, lens correction, retouching, image stitching, HDR, fixing framing. It supports most professional color modes and file formats. It includes extensive lists of filters, styles, effects, fonts as well as tools for painting, sketching and typography work. It understands both raster and vector graphics. It even includes tools for video editing, working with 3D objects and support for 3D printing.
Pro Creative Cloud Photography subscription includes Lightroom
Lightroom is another image editing software from Adobe that's specifically designed for photo editing and managing of large quantities of digital images.
Pro Integrates with Creative Cloud
You can save all projects directly to the Creative Cloud allowing you to access them from any device and with any relevant Adobe software.
Pro A cheaper, standalone version called Photoshop Elements is available
A stripped down version of Photoshop, called Photoshop Elements can be bought as a standalone application for $100.
Pro Good selection of tools for animation
You can change the playback speed of the loop and the speed of each individual frame. There are three playback modes: forward, reverse, and ping-pong. Onion Skin mode is included to speed up the animation process and to allow for tagging the timeline to help keep animations organized. There is also a live preview so you can always see the end result.
Onion Skin mode will overlay previous and next frames over the canvas so you can use them as references when drawing. For Onion Skin mode, you can adjust items like range, opacity, and tint, whether the onion frames are in front of or behind the canvas, etc.
You can tag different parts of the timeline when, for example, you need different animations for the same character. You can then loop those tagged sections individually.
Aseprite is available on OS X, Windows, and Linux with source code available on GitHub (shared source license).
Pro Easy to use
Getting started with the program is straightforward. It's laid out intuitively: the main workspace in the middle, color selection on the left, tool section on the right, and animation timeline at the bottom.
All tools and the vast majority of functions have keyboard shortcuts, allowing for results to be obtained quickly.
Aseprite is a very focused program: it's not filled with icons, there's no excess functionality, and dialog boxes generally only have a couple of options so you're never overwhelmed and it's easier to learn.
Pro Responsive developer
Always in touch with the community and approachable via Twitter.
Pro Free and paid versions available
Aseprite is free if you compile it yourself. Its maintainers also offer a security-signed package with a technical support license for a one time fee of $14.99.
Pro Very intuitive thus easy for complete beginners
The interface invites you to be creative, and since it's pixel art you are creating, this adds to the feeling of being in the right environment. Everything seems to have its natural place and thereby could make beginners feel right at home.
Pro Awesome tools
Tools are good, easy to use.
Pro Pixel perfect mode
It makes drawing lines and shapes less jaggy by default.
Pro Beautiful interface
Aseprite has a beautiful pixel-art interface that makes it a pleasure to use.
Con Latest versions of Photoshop are subscription-only
While you can still buy CS6 from 2012 without needing a subscription by contacting Adobe support or the cut-down Photoshop Elements, any full-version version of Photoshop past CS6 requires a subscription.
The standalone version of Photoshop costs $19.99/month, though it can be leased as part of the Creative Cloud Photography bundle that includes Lightroom for $9.99/month.
Con Batch editing of images is not straightforward
Photoshop is designed to work extensively on one image at a time and while batch editing support exists, it's not that intuitive to use.
Con Learning it can take some time
While you can relatively quickly learn how to perform a few basic image editing tasks, understanding Photoshop's ins and outs can be difficult. It's partially due to the sheer amount of functionality that Photoshop packs (and understanding that some of the advanced functionality can take a while to understand on its own), and partially due to it being aimed at professionals with little hand-holding for novice users.
Con Asset management capabilities are lacking
In Photoshop asset management is done through a separate program called Bridge. As Bridge is supposed to be a file management tool for not just Photoshop's files, but for files generated by all of Adobe's applications it covers a breadth of capabilities, but not depth.
Con Not FLOSS anymore
The license was changed to a shared license, that does not allow redistribution of the source code. While older versions should still be FLOSS, the newest versions are not.
Con Pixel-styled interface can be jarring
Aseprite uses low-resolution window frames and fonts. Opinions vary on whether this sets the mood or gets in the way.
Con No tilemap support yet
A tilemap editor is on the roadmap for version 1.6.
Con No file saving on free version
The free version doesn't let you save your files.
Con Text tool could be better
You can't change text and its font or size after you've inserted it. You have to re-insert text every time you wish to make an edit.