Adobe Alternatives and Free / Inexpensive Software Suggestions
Here's my list of software for people trying to either move away from using an Adobe subcription or people getting started with design and looking for free or low cost design applications. Just because many of these are free to use doesn't mean they cannot produce top quality professional work.
Free and Open Source video editor. This is a great editor for most projects. It has many high end features so it would sufice for most people and projects. Alternative to Adobe Premiere.
Editing / Compositing / VFX
High end professional editing software used by the film industry. The learning curve is a bit steeper than Kdenlive but you end up with top notch professional tools. The Fusion area of the app is a full compositor similar to Adobe After Effects, but it uses a node workflow as compared to AE's layered approach. The base version is free. Alternative to Adobe Premiere and After Effects.
Prefessional free and Open Source painting program. This is a great option if you are looking for a digital painting program as compared to an image editior. Alternative to Adobe Photoshop.
Photo / Image Editor
Free and Open Source image editor. Alternative to Adobe Photoshop.
Photo / Image Editor
Commercial image editor similar to Adobe Photoshop. You can buy this for about the price of one month of Adobe's creative suite. Alternative to Adobe Photoshop.
Commercial vector design application with no subscription costs. Designer and Photo are highly integrated and can open each others' native files. Alternative to Adobe Illustrator.
Publishing / Page Layout
Commercial page layout software. Integrates extreamly well with the other Affinity products. Alternative to Adove In-Design.
Free and Open Source vector design application. Good software to edit and create all of your vector designs. Alternative to Adobe Illustrator.
Free and Open Source application for 3d modeling, animation, texturing, sculpting and 2d animation. If you are starting out in 3d there really is no reason to use anything else. Blender has evolved into a robust full featured 3d / 2d application.
Design & Prototyping
Cloud based commercial web application for prototyping and vector design. There is a free plan which can work well for many indivuduals. Alternative to Adobe XD.
Reference Image Sheets
Create layouts with all of your reference images. You can zoom all the way in and arragne and organize your images. It supports a varity of image formats. Once you start using it, it becomes a must have tool for projects where you are looking at multiple reference images. The cost is low and you can try before you buy as well.
Typography / Font Design
Free and Open Source software to create , modity and edit fonts. A great option if you are interested in font creation and have a love of typography.