Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 18 years, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard about Adobe Photoshop and all that it can do. Used by designers and photographers the world over, there is a huge community of users that has developed around the creation of unique and inspiring work produced with the application.
Photoshop offers a huge range of functionalities for digital art, design and photo editing and is the choice of a huge number of creatives, both amateur and professional. Whether you’re looking to produce unique graphics for a digital project, create inspired art or retouch and manipulate photos, Photoshop tends to be the first application that springs to people’s minds’.
Whilst it’s worth noting that there a plenty of alternatives out there that are well worth exploring, the amount of resources available straight off the bat for Photoshop make it an awesome place to start. Photoshop’s functionality makes it an awesome application, but it also means that there is a pretty steep learning curve to go along with it.
There are loads of resources out there that give you pointers on how to use Photoshop, but if you’re looking to improve quickly, with lessons that are specifically tailored to your needs, there are plenty of people offering expert Photoshop tuition out there for you to tap into.
The good news is that if you want to dive headfirst into what Photoshop has to offer, then we’ve got a HUGE list of the most creative, useful and downright awesome Photoshop resources for you to experiment with! Take a look below and get creating!
If you already know which category you're after, feel free to jump straight to it through the quick links below!
When we say there are a lot of Photoshop asset marketplaces and libraries, we mean that there are absolutely tonnes, like grains of sand on a beach numbers. Whilst there’s a lot of sites that have very similar collections, there are plenty of Photoshop asset sites, both large and small, that are well worth taking a look through.
We’ve tried to keep the resources varied, highlighting some of the biggest players, whilst also highlighting some smaller resources that you might not have come across - enjoy!
Auto FX Software has been around for over 20 years, so these guys really know their stuff. If you’re looking for Photoshop compatible image enhancements and manipulation software and you prefer to purchase your extensions as part of a bundle, Auto FX are an excellent place to start.
The new Gen 2 software has 4 bundles of Photoshop extensions, which are purchasable as a whole package, or individually, to allow for cherry picking of the bundles most useful for your work. The 4 Gen 2 bundles include the “Mystical”, offering over 100 effects, 100 fiters and 300 brushes for enhancing key features of your pictures; “Photographic Edges” offering a huge selection of over 10,000 frames and border effects; “Dreamsuite” covering all the effects and filters from the earlier Dreamsuite generations as well as adding 48 new ones, aimed specifically at photographers and graphic artists. The final bundle is Automagic Ultimate, which offers 43 artistic filters to choose from, aimed at being broad enough to satisfy both the amateur as well as the seasoned pro.
Auto FX also offer a selection of free Photoshop plugins and effects, so you can take a look at the calibre of their offerings yourself before committing to any purchases.
Blugraphic is another great design asset library for anyone looking to pull new add-ons or extensions to their own Photoshop library. It works great in conjunction with some of the other libraries, offering a rapidly growing selection of Photoshop textures, patterns and backgrounds to play around with, in an easily navigable format.
The site is relatively new, having been developed this year, but looks set to continue adding to its collection and providing you with loads of assets to look through. What’s great is that currently, most, if not all assets are completely free and of a very high quality, so get in there quick whilst it’s staying this way.
As with most of the sites on this list, Blugraphic is aimed at designers in general, so there’s a wealth of other resources in here for any aspiring or professional designers to take a look at too.
Like a couple of other sites on this list, Brusheezy provides a curated library of Photoshop assets, specifically Photoshop brushes. Rather than uploading all of the brushes themselves however, Brusheezy have shifted to ‘marketplacing’, a format that is rapidly growing in popularity.
The site likes to see their users as a community, making it simple and easy to upload and share your free Photoshop brushes and related assets. All of the resources on the site are completely free to download and often free to use in your projects. The site even comes with a Creative Commons license wizard so you can fine-tune how exactly how people use any resources you upload, whilst allowing you to be clear on what you can do with theirs.
The site has been going since 2006, set-up and run by graphic designers, for their counterparts and other digital creatives, so they’ve got a good understanding of what their users want. As part of this, each user has their own publicly visible profile that allows you to communicate with your favourite contributors and potentially ask questions about their work.
Creative Tacos is an awesome marketplace for just about everything you could want for Photoshopping, graphic design and graphic art. They’ve got over 1500 design assets from creative professionals, including a huge collection of Photoshop actions, texture overlays, brushes and gradients. You can pick from a large pool of freebies, submitted by professionals, out of the good of their creative hearts, or you can pick from the very reasonably priced paid resources.
We love to create free Photoshop resources that can be used by all individuals and help them save their time and money.”
Word on the street is that these guys are planning to release even more free Photoshop resources later this year!
Creative VIP has positioned itself as ‘The exclusive membership for creative professionals’ and with 6,000+ high-quality design assets available through the site, it seems there’s definitely some weight behind the claim.
Focusing largely on UI, there is plenty here for you if you’re in the web development or user design industry, more so than if your focus is photography or graphic. That being said, Creative VIP made the list for its small, but useful collection of Photoshop textures, patterns and electronics mockups, the latter being great for use in cutouts.
What DesignerCandies lacks in quantity of free content, it more than makes up for in style. This little site has a relatively humble selection of Photoshop patterns, brushes and renders, but the quality of each is extremely high.
The site offers a great selection of just under 50 free assets, alongside the same again in Premium Photoshop add-ons. What’s awesome about DesignerCandies is that each of the incredibly well-made resources are created entirely in-house by the tiny, but extremely dedicated team of DesignerCandies designers.
The offering may be relatively small at the moment, but with new resources being added regularly, this is definitely a site to watch out for!
Created by a self-taught graphic designer, Dirt2 is a small passion project that houses a great collection of free Photoshop brushes, vectors and fonts. Whether you’re looking to create awesome moon graphics, add some fantasy lighting effects or go a little more grungy, Dirt2 has got some really interesting resources for you to look through.
What’s cool about this site is that the vast majority of resources have all been created by the site owner himself, so you really see an idiosyncratic style conveyed in his work.
Developed as a creative outlet for its founder following changes to the old Adobe Exchange (Adobe Xchange), FinesseFX offers a great variety of Photoshop actions, brushes and styles in a simple and refreshingly ad-lite interface.
Each resource has a load of great examples for how they look when used in reality, as well as a fairly in-depth description, so you can be pretty sure of what you’re getting before you download it and start using it. Pretty much everything on the site is free, with the option to donate a few dollars if you’re in a giving mood, or just love the resources.
Whilst the vector icons available on FlatIcon aren’t necessarily vital for Photoshop users, there are plenty of designers who use vectors daily and the sheer volume of resources available on the site meant that it’s more than worth a quick mention.
With more than 16,500 packs of vectors available (that’s a ridiculous 860,000 individual icons), FlatIcon is basically vector heaven for any designers or digital media users that use them regularly. Whilst there are sure to be plenty of niche sites offering icons that aren’t yet hosted on FlatIcon, you can be fairly sure that they’ve got something very, very close to what you’re looking for.
Another Photoshop asset site to explore, Free4Photoshop covers pretty much every category of Photoshop resource there is, from brushes to patterns, gradients, textures and styles. The search function on the site isn’t the best, but there’s enough in the library to make it worth taking a look at what resources could work for you.
All resources are free for both private and commercial use, so unlike a lot of similar sites, you don’t have to worry about checking the licensing, you’re just good to get going.
A library that houses hundreds of curated Photoshop brushes, fonts and textures, offering them out to users completely free of charge. Broken down into a easily navigable categories, the site is easy to move around, find the Photoshop resources you’re interested in and download in a single click.
What makes GFXFever stand out for us is the clearly visible rating system used across the site. Rather than spending hours sifting through attractive-looking, poorly performing resources can be easily avoided by paying attention to the community-rated score, present for every resource on the site.
We couldn’t write a list of the ultimate Photoshop resources and not include Graphic River, with over 646,000 Photoshop actions, logos, fonts, the site is absolutely huge for anyone who uses Photoshop regularly, or who is involved with graphic design.
Part of the rapidly-growing Envato Market: a huge, ‘creative eco-system’, Graphic River prides itself on having stacks of community spirit, with busy forums allowing you to get in touch with other creatives and regular features of top-rated contributors.
Graphic River is designed to be as simple as possible to use, offering all the functionality you need to get the job done, without any of the extra fluff getting in the way. There’s an efficient search function coupled with plenty of categories to separate the library with.
Whether you’re a Photoshop pro, or you’re just looking to tutor yourself, Graphic River gives you tonnes of resources to practice with.
This little site is designed and curated by artist Nela Dunato, who offers a small but interesting collection of Photoshop resources, including brushes and textures, all free to use for personal use and as little as $1 a pack for commercial.
Inobscuro also has a small selection of Photoshop tutorials, which are fairly specific to the creator’s taste, but give you an opportunity to learn different techniques and to apply them to your own projects once you’ve mastered them.
A small, but highly entertaining offering of Photoshop resources, including filters and vectors which all give an awesome, high-quality retro-look for a very reasonable price.
What really makes Mister Retro stand out for us is the incredibly energetic and not-a-little off-beat writing of the site creator, which you can check out in the site blog. Whilst the blog hasn’t been updated for a little while, there’s loads of useful pointers to help you improve at Photoshop and plenty of crazy sayings in there that’ll make you feel like you’re learning in the deep south!
We love Mixergraph for its small, but incredibly inventive selection of Photoshop brushes and textures. The whole site just oozes cool as do the Photoshop resources available to purchase and download.
Created in 2017 by a graphic designer who began dabbling in the creation of his own Photoshop brushes and textures, Mixergraph is a site that really reflects the artistic feel of its creator.
If you’re looking for graphic design inspiration, then you can take a look at the site owner’s work on the homepage, it should give you plenty of ideas for how to use the resources he offers.
You can head over here - Just be warned, there is a smattering of explicit language in places.
Another incredibly useful and well curated Photoshop add-on and extension marketplace, MyPhotoshopBrushes offers over 27500 absolutely free Photoshop tools. If that number alone doesn’t convince you of just how much they’ve got on offer, then you should take a look around. The interface is smart, simple and easy to navigate, making exploration of the massive library enjoyable and a little bit addictive.
As one of the first websites to share free photoshop brushes, MyPhotoshopBrushes have been in the game for over a decade.
Since 2007 we’ve been gathering and sharing the highest quality photoshop items of different types...carefully categorised, easy to download and with no limits.”
You’ll find Photoshop tools created by professionals and amateurs alike, from all over the world, as well as a substantial number of those crafted with love and care by MyPhotoshopBrushes themselves.
Obsidian Dawn is a site dedicated to providing high quality Photoshop brushes, images, patterns and shapes. There are currently over 3000 unique resources available on the site and they’re all absolutely free!
Set up by a military wife with a passion for design, the site owner and creator, Stephanie, makes many of the Photoshop brushes herself whilst she travels across the world with her husband.
I try to make my resources original and unique. Being an artist and graphic designer myself, I found myself in need of certain brushes that couldn't be found anywhere else. I regularly use many of the 200+ brush sets on my website in my own work.
I figured if I could make use of them, others could, too! I also accepted requests for a long time. That helped make sure I was creating the kind of brushes that people (hopefully!) wanted and would make use of. It's always a pleasure to hear they help!”
PanosFX has been focusing on the development of very high quality Photoshop actions and brushes and styles, since 2005. The site offers a large collection of high-quality, free effects, as well as a number of paid Photoshop actions, which all come with a free trial so you can see how great they are before you commit to buying.
If we were to pick 4 words that describe our work, these would be: Creativity, Quality, Consistency, and Support. Because of our attention to these properties, PanosFX has being recognized as a distinguishable site, by Photoshop users and pros.”
Featured in many magazines and recommended by some of the top professionals of the graphics design industry, PanosFX offers great value for money. The site also regularly offers bundles of Photoshop add-ons and actions for cheap!
One for the graphic designers and UI developers, Pepsized has got a crisp, clean aesthetic to it that makes it incredibly enjoyable to spend time looking through. The site offers a range of freebies, including Photoshop brushes, textures and PSD files for web developers and designers, all for free.
The company are built up from a small number of super-passionate designers and developers who really seem to love what they do, offering an array of design and Photoshop tutorials to help you hone your skills.
If the clever domain title of Photograghypla.net doesn’t make you smile, then the huge selection of Photography and Photoshop resources definitely will. You can choose from a stack of Photoshop actions, frames and overlays to add something special to your Photoshop arsenal, or you can dive head first into the massive collection of articles posted on the site.
The blog truly is a treasure trove of photography inspiration. Curated by a passionate team of professional and amateur photographers, there’s enough information in here to keep you going until doomsday. Whether you’re looking for ideas, or some excellent advice and direction from pros, you’re bound to take away some ideas or resources that improve your Photoshop skills.
Pix Eden is a web and graphic design marketplace for all of the assets you need as a designer. Whilst not as heavily focussed on photo editing assets as some marketplaces, Pix Eden still offers a huge range of textures, backgrounds, vectors and even PSD web templates if you’re using Photoshop as a web designer, rather than as a photographer.
Pixeden came to life with the idea of creating a one-stop shop for all the tools that a modern designer might need in their day-to-day routine. We thrive on providing the best quality possible for each of our premium and free graphics, web and design resources. Enjoy it at will!”
Pix Eden offers a great selection of free and premium assets, the latter being available through a $6 monthly subscription (about £4.50).
Initially started as a blog over 10 years ago, PSD-Dude offer users 250+ free Photoshop brushes, actions, patterns and layer styles that are completely original and entirely exclusive to the site. You can download these directly from the site and start creating immediately, or you can spend some time getting inspiration from the hundreds of additional resources available to peruse on the site.
Our passion for graphic design is driving us to create new resources everyday!”
From artist and designer features, to design news and tutorials, PSD-Dude has a wealth of information onsite that is sure to get your mind buzzing. With 10 years in the graphic design game, these have curated an awesome collection of Photoshop resources which are well worth taking a look through.
If vintage, retro, grunge or aged tones are the look you’re after when photo editing or designing, then you’re going to love RetroSupply.co. The team behind the site are truly committed to providing high quality, nuanced Photoshop brushes, textures and actions for their users, meaning you get to reap the benefits of their retro-hunting labours.
We’re committed to preserving analog design in a digital world.
Sometimes that means buying $300 catalogs on eBay just to capture the gritty authentic halftones – then serving them up to our customers as high quality Adobe Illustrator brushes.
Other times that means working with small studios like Brave the Woods to create brush and tutorial sets made to help illustrators capture the look of mid-century children’s books.
The bottom line is we want to preserve the history and magic of design. We do that through products for Photoshop, Illustrator and Procreate as well as loads of tutorials from professional artists.”
It’s gratifying to see a team that are so involved in what they’re doing, going the extra mile to create something really special for users.
Toptal.com is primarily a recruitment site for digital designers, specifically those at the top of their game, recruiting and placing freelance designers that are ranked in the top 3% of the US.
Whilst this may be of interest, you may be asking yourself, ‘what does this have to do with the ultimate Photoshop resources and how is it going to help me improve my skills in this area’? Well, as you might hope from a site claiming to deal in expert designers, Toptal showcase almost 500 Photoshop and design resources uploaded by current and former freelancers. You can download these all for free, safe in the knowledge that they were created by the top 3% of designers out there.
Positioning itself as the “ultimate designer toolbox”, WeGraphics certainly has a lot of Photoshop and design resources in its collection. With over 3000 high-quality Photoshop brushes, icons, textures, vectors and fonts, there’s not much else you could ask for in a tool box, let alone want.
There’s a fair few free resources to get your teeth around, but if you really want to make the most of the resource, then you really need to check the Premium option out - it’s next to nothing and gives you access to a HUGE library of Photoshop resources to try out on your own or in your lessons.
There are absolutely tonnes of sites out there offering Photoshop brushes, with libraries of 100s, to 1000s, of unique creations that you need to know about if you’re serious about improving your skills. Likewise, there are some individual brush sets that have come so highly recommended that we felt they and their creators had to be included.
Another Photoshop brush marketplace well worth exploring is BrushKing. These guys have almost 10,000 brushes in 547 unique packs, available completely free of charge and have hit over 48 million downloads since the sites inception in 2008, so if that sort of popularity doesn’t convince you to at least take a look, I don’t know what will.
As mentioned, the vast majority of resources are completely free, but there is a small number of Premium brush packs that you can pay to use and come with no Creative Commons limitations.
BrushKing also has a load of free tutorials and regularly updated news articles so that you can keep on top of what’s going on in the design world.
BrushLovers, as you might expect, share a huge library of free Photoshop brushes sourced from all over the internet and uploaded by individuals. BrushLovers also offer a great range of patterns, vectors and textures, alongside a selection of other digital design assets, so they’ve got you covered on most bases once you’ve finished searching for your next brush set.
Speaking of searches, BrushLovers are particularly proud of their advanced search function, offering a wide range of categories to enable you to narrow the search down. This makes life a lot easier when you’re looking for a particular type of asset, or feel for your current project, whether that be abstract, retro, or just a specific tone or colour.
Darek Zabrocki is the creative genius behind the environment and character design of some of the worlds biggest AAA video game titles, including Assassins Creed: Syndicate, Destiny 2 and Need for Speed, so he knows a thing or two about digital art. Whilst Darek’s work doesn’t tend to involve Photoshop, he has produced an awesome set of brushes based on the art he creates which truly reflect the feel of his work. These brushes are usable in the Photoshop, so once you’ve downloaded them you’ll have free reign, creatively speaking.
You can check out his impressive collections of work and get directions to more of it at his personal site www.dareckzabrocki.com.
Designers Brush is a curated collection of free Photoshop patterns and brushes pulled together by the designers behind the site in aid of helping people access more of the resources they need to produce high-quality digital works. Each resource is searchable by a handy category system, so you can peruse only the types of Photoshop brushes and patterns that interest you.
The site encourages people to create and share their own Photoshop resources with the community, offering features to the best creations and also encourages users to get in touch and make requests if they can’t find the add-on they need.
Another small, individually created site based out of Spain is Efeito Photoshop. Like many of the other, smaller Photoshop resource sites, Efeito has a lot of brushes and styles that you just won’t find anywhere else.
The collection of free and premium resources largely focuses on festive brushes and styles, so keep this one bookmarked for Christmas time creations!
FBrushes is another awesome Photoshop brushes library created from a mixture of self-made, community-shared and internet-sourced resources. As standard with a lot of these sites, there’s an excellent selection of free resources for you to download and use to your heart’s content - so long as you abide by the Creative Commons license attached to each. The count currently stands at a whopping 145 pages worth of resources, so you could feasibly click through these for a fair few hours, or alternatively, for those with slightly less time, there’s search bar and category selection. There’s also a good selection of high-quality, high resolution brushes, patterns and textures available if you choose to put a little money into your search.
GetBrushes.com is a small Photoshop brush library with an interesting collection of resources available completely free. Started initially as a web-developer’s side-project, GetBrushes has a lofty goal of organising the internet’s Photoshop brushes to make life a little easier for its users.
Whilst they haven’t quite organised the internet’s Photoshop resources just yet, they’ve got a small collection of high-quality brushes, with a fairly active community to go along with it.
Gina is a traditional artist turned digital and her site is largely used to display her beautiful collections of work. What makes Gina’s site even more special and relevant to this list, is her awesome library of Photoshop brushes. Each pack is very reasonably priced and range from classical brush strokes, to 3D grids, abstracts and digital patterns.
I have been working with Photoshop since 2005. Photoshop to me is so much more than a photo editing program. For a person like me, who started out as a traditional artist, it was like walking into an extensive art shop where everything in the shop is on sale, Buy 1 get everything else Free! Unlimited paint brushes, canvases, & tools of every sort!
In the past decade I have learned how to create custom brushes, textures and other recipes to produce digital art that for most, is indistinguishable from traditionally created pieces. Not a day goes by where I don’t use this wonderful tool...”
Hejbrush is the awesome creation of Eilert Janßen, a freelance illustrator and impressively prolific producer of over 520 original Photoshop brushes.
If you’re looking for a drawn, inked or painted style for your pictures or designs, then this is pretty much the holy grail. There’s a huge selection of brushes that are surprisingly varied in their look and feel, providing you with a huge amount of creative potential.
What’s even better is that you can get your hands on all of Hejbrush’s brushes ever for cheap and I mean insanely cheap - €30 (£26). If that doesn’t tickle your fancy then Hejbrush even has a decent selection of freebies for you to take advantage of.
A designer and graphic artist from Barcelona, Roberto Nieto produces some incredibly creative environment-inspired pieces which you can find at his site, Syntetyc.com. Inspired by his work, he went a step further and shared the environmental Photoshop brushes that he’d created and used in his own pieces.
Whilst Roberto doesn’t have a huge library of brushes to select from like some resources you might find on this list, this small add-on is all about quality.
The Photoshop brushes are wholly original and completely free, with no restrictions for commercial or personal use. He doesn’t host them on his own site, so you’ll have to make an account with DeviantArt and download them from here if you’re interested.
I published these brushes because they were my most-used for all of my illustrations and I wanted to see what others could do with them.
I think people appreciate much more the quality than the quantity. My collection is not a collection of hundred and hundred of brushes, it’s a little selection of the most versatile brushes for all type of environments.”
Traditional artist Stefano has a huge library of work that he’s produced in oil and acrylic over the years, which has enabled him to develop a deep understanding of the form and flow of brush strokes and their best uses. This deep understanding has led to the development of an intensely unique digital mastery and the Fairy Tale brushes selected for inclusion in this list.
The Fairy tales brushes (2 volumes) are unique because they are created from high resolution renders generated by my custom different fractal formulas. They are suitable for quickly creating fantasy backgrounds and textures like rocks, cave and catacomb walls; alien metals, rusty armours, charcoal etc.”
The brushes are large (up to 2500px) so with only few overlapping strokes it possible to produce incredibly convincing results, in only few minutes. Flexible and easy to use for those who need an authentic touch in their creations, these brushes add something very special to your arsenal.
Whilst most of the best Photoshop actions are available on the huge array of Photoshop asset marketplaces and libraries, there are a few smaller sites and services offering actions that we had to give a mention to. Check them out below!
MCP Actions is a professional photo-editing company build by a team of passionate photographers and developers whose mission is to take the laboriousness out of creating beautiful, timeless images.
The site offers a decent selection of free Photoshop actions and frames alongside a substantial variety of premium actions and other Photoshop resources. Alongside providing photo-editing tools, the site aims to educate users on how to get the most out of them, providing video tutorials for Photoshop resources as well as producing a whole section of learning tools to help tutor you in specific photography and Photoshop techniques.
If you’re looking for high-quality, high-res Photoshop actions then look no further. ShutterPulse have got an awesome collection of over 300 actions, compatible with pretty much every Photoshop iteration you’re likely to be using.
Whether you’re looking for HDR actions to give you some high-contrast definition, or you want a softer vintage look, ShutterPulse have got you covered. Our personal favourites are the Light Leaks actions, giving a beautiful, hazy feel to your images. There’s loads you can learn by using these actions, whether that’s playing with them on your own, or enlisting the help of your tutor to show you just how far the effects can stretch.
Odd name aside, Turning Turnip are an Adobe Photoshop specialist with loads of experience in the photo editing industry and they seem more than happy to share that experience with the world. Offering loads of super high-quality Photoshop actions for free, these effects are all created in-house and so are completely unique.
On top of this, the site offers some awesome Photoshop tuition, from the basics of navigation, to skin smoothing and contrast manipulation.
Photoshop plugins range from providing handy, time-saving tools, to complete replacements for default Photoshop functions. Photoshop plugins generally tend to be created by long-term users who have identified a better way of doing something within the application and have created a plugin to make it a reality. We've picked some of the best Photoshop plugins on the web for you to take a look at.
CC-Extensions is the result of 20 years of Photoshop retouching experience combined with sharp brains in the field of scientific image processing.
Whether you’re looking for local contrast enhancement, image sharpening or you want to take your black and white conversions to the next level, CC-Extensions have got an extension or plugin for you! The company have got a great collection of photo editing and manipulation extensions for making you pictures look gorgeous, as well as some excellent, user-friendly plugins to make using Photoshop that much easier.
We've released plugins that are the ones we would use ourselves: user-friendly, but effective. Our secret agenda is to build solutions that both beginners and advanced users can enjoy, either as a one-click effect or as parts of sophisticated workflows. We're super-proud to be featured in this Tutorful roundup! Thank you all, Photoshoppers!”
The Chameleon Adaptive Palette is an awesome plugin that will completely change the way you use Photoshop for concept art and digital painting. This little baby intelligently adapts to the colours you’re using in your design, generating a colour strip with closely related spectrums of colours, allowing you to rapidly switch to different shades as you progress.
One of the many beauties of this palette is that the it can be placed anywhere around the display, all in one interface, avoiding the switching and searching that you experience using the Photoshop colour selection panels.
You can also generate your own, personal ‘User’ strips, adding or removing colours to create the palette that works for you!
Exposure X3 is an intuitive photo editor and organiser that makes it easy for photographers to create beautiful photos and master their workflow. Exposure offers hundreds of customisable looks that include analog film, advanced special effects like bokeh and grain, and complete portrait retouching tools. All edits are non-destructive. Exposure also offers a full selection of organising tools, helping users quickly cull and organise their photos.
Exposure is fast, easy to use, and stable. There's no subscription required, and it works amazingly as an editing plug-in with Photoshop, as well as Lightroom.
Digital Anarchy’s small, but useful selection of Adobe Photoshop plugins offer some awesome functionality, with many of them being offered for free. Whether you’re looking to use their Backdrop Designer plugin to create high-quality, resolution-independent backdrops for graduation photos or are looking for seamless Photoshop textures and borders, Anarchy’s free plugins are a great way to get started on developing your own library of resources for personal use.
The site also offers a range of paid plugins, including skin retouching software as part of Beauty Box Photo and their incredibly useful workflow software, Primatte Chromakey 5.1. The latter offers a loads of options for working through large numbers of photos as a professional and perfecting them with tools such as auto-masking.
Filter Forge is a standalone program that can also be used as a plugin for Adobe Photoshop that focuses on - you guessed it - filters. Downloading the plugin gives you access to a shed-load of filters, or 12,000+ if you want to be a bit more precise.
What’s awesome about Filter Forge is that if, somehow, you can't find an appropriate filter out of the thousands in the library, you can just make one yourself - without writing a single line of code!
All filters are adjustable and resolution independent, and most of them support seamless tiling and real-world HDRI lighting.
Prices range between $149 (£110) for the Basic Edition and $628 (£465) for Professional Plus, or alternatively, they offer a Professional Edition subscription for $29 (£21) a month. If you just want to give it a go before committing any money, you can download a free, fully functional trial version without registration.
Whilst the site is admittedly looking a little worn now, the AV Bros offering is one of those beautifully simple, understated collections of Photoshop plugins and scripts that add something a little extra to your capabilities.
AV Bros have an array of extensions built to improve the functionality of Photoshop, improving your ability to manipulate guides and store unlimited layouts within the application, meaning you’re able to quickly pull in previously used layouts for your new work.
Another of our favourite plugins is Page Curl Pro 2.2. Again, this plugin might not come with thousands of tools or the promise of an entirely new way of looking at Photoshop, but the simple focus of the filter enables it to do its job very well. If you’re looking to curl or fold an image whilst having the freedom to play with its orientation, the textures and the luminosity then this little plugin is well worth taking a look at.
A MadebySource plugin that supercharges your Photoshop font options with an additional 800 choices, Fontea is an awesome plugin that you can try out completely free, with a money-back guarantee. Drawing from the Google Fonts library, you’re able to select your typeface from a huge variety of options and even create your own collection of favourites for future use.
Whether you’re using Photoshop for professional design or for a personal project, having the correct font can make all the difference. Get playing and see what you can do with Fontea
Having been voted into a raft of ‘best of’ lists and awards, Fontself is an app that we just had to include. Used to make awesome fonts in both Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, you can get as creative as your imagination can handle and develop fonts from scratch, or use the templates provided as a basis to edit.
Whether you want to create beautiful script, ligatures, generate characters from shapes, or make some insanely detailed text designs like those displayed on the site, with Fontself, you’re good to go!
GuideGuide is an extension for quickly and easily creating grids and manipulating guides with a consistent UI in Photoshop, Illustrator, and Sketch. Whether you’re looking to generate grids to organise layouts, measure the alignment and spacing of elements, or pinpointing the centre of objects, GuideGuide has got you. You can even use it to calculate golden ratio or Fibonacci layouts.
And if all that sounds way too technical, creator Cameron McEfee takes it to a whole other level:
Heck, one person even taught a monkey to play music using a grid he created with GuideGuide.”
And you think you’ve got issues with procrastination.
In its early days as a donation-based plugin it was Photoshop's most-installed extension, and now as a paid product is has a loyal following of tens of thousands of customers, reinforcing just how useful GuideGuide is!
For those of you who are less technical, Cameron McEfee tells you all you need to know to convince you that this is an extension you need in your life:
GuideGuide does a bunch of math so you don't have to. Photoshop was never intended for design, so when designers made it their primary tool, they found many features "missing". Photoshop has no support for grids, so GuideGuide adds a form that calculates common grid functions, and provides a powerful grid language which makes it possible to create just about any sort of calculation a designer could need.
Over the eight years it's been around, I've rarely received negative feedback, with most people madly in love with it...”
Considered by many to be one of the the ultimate Photoshop plugins on the web, INK was initially a tool developed by its designer to be something that enabled him to identify UI specifications more easily. Basically, if you use Photoshop for design purposes, especially for User Interfaces or web design, this little guy will generate precise information on pretty much every attribute you’ll be playing with in enough detail to pass it onto front-end developers.
Attributes range from text, raster and layered pixel measurements, to colour recognition and CSS-friendly outputs. Each attribute is not only measurable, but also editable from within the plugin interface. What makes it even better is that any donations to the plugin go straight towards supporting social enterprises or any other good cause you want represented!
"INK was the first free and open source specs generator solution out there, so I guess that's the main reason behind his large adoption. Crazy to think since originally, the plugin was just supposed to be a little tool to help my everyday tasks with User Interfaces.
Klaia create Photoshop plugins for designers, developers and photographers, aiming to tweak Photoshop to make it as easy and efficient as possible to use. The 4 plugins currently available include Zeick, Renamy, Imager Vol. 001 and CSS3Ps.
Perhaps not the most inspiring names, what these plugins lack in exciting monikers, they more than make up for in utility. Imager is currently on its first volume of what we expect to be many, many more. Offering an array of vintage and retro effects, these are an excellent addition to any hipster projects.
Zeick, CSS3Ps and Renamy are a little more technical, allowing you to export vector shape layers to SVG files, convert an array of layers to CSS3 and rename and manage multiple layers in your project respectively. Niche tools which are hugely helpful if you’re spending any amount of time on Photoshop. For those of you that don’t understand a word of that, you can take a look around the Klaia site to get learning Photoshop technicalities.
Invented by photographer Kevin Kubota and Developed by the Kubota Market team, an online Photoshop asset library, the Kubota DASHBOARD takes the benefits of all those brushes, actions and textures available on the site and makes them instantly accessible whilst working in the Photoshop application.
The DASHBOARD for Photoshop was created for the sole purpose of making the use of Photoshop actions as fast and easy as possible.
Once photographers start using it, they quickly find they simply can’t work without it.”
The DASHBOARD provides instant search, and control, of ALL the actions in Photoshop – as well as being the control panel for the award-winning Kubota Actions, borders, and textures. The beauty of the DASHBOARD lies in its simplicity and power – providing accelerated workflow for the experienced Photoshop user, and easy control of professional quality effects for the novice.
Available as both a plugin and a standalone program, ON1’s most recent ‘Photo RAW 2018.1’ release is hailed as the perfect companion for both Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. Aiming at making the photo editing process as smooth and efficient as possible, ON1 have broken the entire workflow down into essential steps and focused their efforts into optimising each of these stages.
High-speed, intuitive browsing, library creation and search allow for quick and simple cataloguing of your images, with no fuss. The hundreds of high-quality photo effects and filters, and the ability to manipulate them in a completely modular, stackable manner gives you total control over the editing process. The ability to edit the photo effects themselves alongside powerful blend adjustment tools also guarantees you virtually endless possibilities for creativity.
Perspective Mockups offers a super quick and easy way to take your mobile, desktop or general UI designs and present them in a unique perspective. The vibe is straight out of Silicon Valley, with an awesome sophistication that can sell the hell out of any design. If you’re a designer looking to make a UI really stand out, then this is definitely a resource worth considering.
Presentation of your designs plays a big roll in how your designs are received so I think Perspective Mockups offers an easy solution to presenting your work. Playing on the perspective mockups design trend that's been around for a few years now, with the use of Smart Objects it's super easy to create beautifully presented work...Plus the website is super cheeky...”
The Smart Objects feature makes using the plugin a cinch, so you’ll be perspectifying in no time.
You can take a look at what’s going on here - Fair warning: the language on here is explicit in places, so not one for kids or the easily offended!
This awesome offering from HDRSoft takes your high contrast captures to a whole other level. HDR photographs are something you’ve undoubtedly heard of if you’re even a little bit involved in photography, but for those of you who don’t know, its lesser known pseudonym is High Dynamic Range photography. Basically HDR photos give you a better range of dynamic lighting, or luminosity, which enables you to generate super high-contrast images through photo-editing.
Photomatix Essentials makes it easy for photographers of all levels to create great HDR photos that stand out. Whereas other apps can make the HDR process look a bit intimidating, the company have designed a Photoshop plugin that’s effortless and fun.
The simple to use software has loads of varied style options, with presets ranging from natural to artistic and grunge. What makes the software great is that whilst it was originally developed for architecture professionals, being used for subtle contrast enhancements or to add some "pop" to their photos, it’s also versatile enough to be used as a tool to unleash your creative side.
The productivity and happiness-focused minds over at PluginMate have made it their mission to help designers achieve more, faster by smoothing the use of Photoshop with their time-saving tools plugins.
The beauty of PluginMate’s tools lies in their simplicity. They’ve seen the actions that Photoshop users make when designing with the application and identified areas that could be made simpler, easier and ultimately less arduous. They haven’t tried to produce a hyper-complex plugin that tries to do everything, they’ve made a few elegantly simple tools that fix issues commonly felt by users and made Photoshop more enjoyable to use because of it.
The tools available range from Copio, allowing you to copy and paste layers in Photoshop using shortcuts, to Templay, which lets you create a PSD templates library through a user-friendly interface.
Our personal favourite is ScreenSnap, an incredibly useful tool for creating screenshots of your work. You can create retina and normal screenshots of your design from Photoshop super-fast. All you’ve got to do is select a folder, choose your settings and press a single button from there-on. No need to manually crop or use the Save for Web option.
A simple, but awesomely useful selection of tools for anyone that spends a lot of time on Photoshop!
A Russian software company, Red Field Plugins offers an interesting selection of Photoshop plugins that generate unique effects for graphic designers and digital photographers to utilise in their projects.
One of our favourites is the Fractalius range of plugins that distorts images to give a painted, abstract vibe that will give your projects a playful flair unlike that produced by many other Photoshop resources.
Created by the small San Fran software company Fnord, SuperPNG provides tight, lossless compression of PNG files so you can import and export high fidelity images without losing any of the quality.
What’s great about Fnord Software is that they openly admit to creating software that solves problems they have in their work as graphic designers, meaning that the functionality of their plugins is always top-notch.
Whilst the web page hosting the software is a little dated, the plugin itself is still an awesome little tool that’s well worth a look, which you can do through here
The Topaz Plugin Collection combines 17 individual Photoshop plugins designed to help you get the most out of your photo edits. Ranging from photo and artistic effects, such as ReStyle, allowing you to apply one of over 1000 preset effects, to the awesome technical fix plugins like DeNoise and ReMask, capable of reducing noise and easily masking, respectively.
You can buy each of the plugins individually or altogether as a bundle, the choice is yours!
As with most Photoshop resources, there are a tonne of options out there for masking or background removal software, however, Vertus Fluid Mask 3 has got to be one of the most effective tools out there today. The effectiveness of the plugin is less visible in the range of functionalities that it offers, so much as the fact that the jobs it does do are incredibly smooth and straight forward.
The software is used by some huge companies such as BBC, Fox News and even Disney, so you can be fairly sure that this little application does its job pretty well.
Created by OptikVerve Labs, this Photoshop resource is a plugin filter that offers over 200 1-click effects already loaded into the application. Whilst the plugin is admittedly, a little old now, it was rated as one of the best Photoshop plugins around by a number of publications, including Photoshop Creative magazine and its timeless effects seem to have stood the test of time.
You can download the plugin for free, so with that many new filters available in one place, it makes sense to give it a go today!
Photoshop textures can vary wildly from awesome graphic designs, to architectural backgrounds, plants and just about anything else you can get a seamless file for! Textures are a great way to give your design something a little extra, whether that be an overlay that makes the scene more textured or a background that gives a vibrant, patterned feel. Perhaps surprisingly, some of the best free texture sites out there are actually aimed at providing resources for architectural visualisations! Check some of the best offerings below.
DinPattern has set itself up to be the home of all things patterns (or textures), be this Photoshop, wallpapers or backgrounds, DinPattern is aiming at hosting it. All of this is great news for anyone working with digital media, especially Photoshop, as you get to access a decent number of interesting patterns in one place.
The site doesn’t have as many resources to offer in comparison to some of its larger competitors, but as a passion project there’s a good variety of options on offer, largely for free.
Flying Architecture have some of the highest quality, easily navigable textures and 3D models available on the web if you’re looking to create room-based or architectural images.
Whilst not necessarily in keeping with some of the other sites on the list, many of the architectural visualisation sites out there - Flying Architecture definitely included - have some of the highest resolution backgrounds and textures you can get, making them invaluable resources to look through when you’re working on your projects.
Aright, so the name doesn’t exactly inspire excitement, but the library itself should be something that gets you chomping at the bit to dig through all of the Photoshop textures on offer. The site does offer over 400 brushes to choose from as well, but as its namesake suggests, its real powers lie in the sheer volume of textures available - over 10,000 and still climbing.
PlainTextures have got you covered from asphalt, to graffiti, furnitures, leaves, flowers and then some. If you’re looking for new textures to add some excitement to your projects, or you just want to play around with what textures can do and get better at Photoshop in the process, then you’ve gotta take a look at this place.
SketchUp Texture is an awesome site for all of your environmental, industrial and architecture textures. With every texture available on the site absolutely seamless, SketchUp offer a huge selection of the most commonly used materials for you to add to your library of assets and to start using in your creations.
Textures are divided into 4 macro categories that take into account the intended use: Architecture, Materials, Nature Elements, Backgrounds and Landscapes. In this way they are easy and fast to find, the previews are clear and appreciable, and you’re able to start rapidly developing unique designs with the impressive variety of textures on offer.
The wonderful people at SketchUp Texture let you access their huge selection of Photoshop assets through an awesome, free to use account, allowing you to download up to 15 per day. For any more than this you can pay €12/year as a donation to help support the costs of the site, becoming a Club Member. Club members can download 50, high resolution images a day, royalty free.
Textures.com is the leading image repository for CG artists, with over a decade of expertise creating high-quality pictures and a library of more than a hundred thousand files, that increases every day.
From plants to elephant skin, if it exists, it's there. Formerly CGTextures, the site’s images have been used by practically every game developer and visual effects studio in the world. All resources are carefully labeled and categorized for the best user experience, with extremely sharp and high-def bitmaps, coupled with the convenience of tiled images.
Another awesome site for architectural visualisation and Photoshop resources, TonyTextures has got a loads on offer, from free textures and cut-outs, to in-depth tutorials that teach you effective Photoshop techniques.
What’s great is that the tutorials aren’t just relevant for architectural visualisation, the lessons that they teach can be readily applied to a raft of other photo manipulation projects.
Ok, so these won't directly improve your Photoshop skills and they're not a resource that changes the way that Photoshop works, but what they do offer is a varied collection of articles, tutorials and inspiration to help you get those creative juices flowing. Take a look below at some of the most helpful Photoshop blogs out there.
A site that publishes a shed-load of articles, how-tos and free resources, covering Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Wordpress. There’s tonnes of information on how to get the most out of Photoshop through useful tips, tricks and walkthroughs as well as discussions on some of the commonly felt issues when using the application.
If you want to read a little more about Photoshop and build up your general knowledge around the subject, this is a great place to start. If you’re more of a doer than a reader, then the site also offers an excellent array of freebies for you to download and start using straight away. Due to the focus of the website, the freebies cover website templates and illustrator extensions as well as high-res Photoshop brushes and vectors, so you’ll have plenty of free stuff to try out.
Created by a homeschooling parent who wanted to share her boundless passion for photography, The CoffeeShop Blog is a one-woman run business and website, which has a huge selection of absolutely free Adobe Photoshop actions, Lightroom presets and digital design resources. The blog also offers loads of awesome, step-by-step photography, photo-editing, and digital design tutorials.
Not only is everything on the website free, the downloads also come with free commercial terms-of-use, so they can be used anywhere and in anyway the photographer or digital designer wishes.
Creative Nerds is a vibrant digital design blog, focusing on Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and the artwork created with these applications.
Acting as a hub for design news, editorial articles and tutorials, the site is a treasure trove of information for anyone interested in Photoshop or Illustrator; design or web development. The site publishes ‘Best of The Web’ features each month, rounding up - you guessed it - the best design, illustration and web development examples they can find from across the internet. This is an awesome way to get loads of inspiration for your projects and to get a feel for the direction that design is going in across the year.
The site also has a Freebies section full of Photoshop actions, brushes, vectors and textures, so you’ll walk away with a head full of inspiration and a hard drive full of shiny new Photoshop toys. There’s also the option to pay a fee to upgrade to a Premium account to gain access to a wider array of Photoshop extensions.
Exposure School is essential an Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom blog which has loads of awesome articles on photography, getting the right shots, convincing models to work with you and more which are hugely helpful and more than a little insightful. The site is a great place for any budding digital photographer to head to for some great reading.
On top of the articles they produce, Exposure School also offers loads of free Photoshop actions to get creative with.
Started in 2008 by designer Franz Jeitz, the site’s mission is to provide the highest-quality Photoshop resources to users and to provide inspiration for their own work. Fudgegraphics certainly does provide an excellent assortment of Photoshop brushes, textures and vectors, with a substantial archive of posts giving some background to the resources and how best to use them.
What really makes the site stand out however, is the huge amount of inspiration posts on the site. It’s when looking through this section that you can really see the passion behind the site and understand the love for graphic design that drove Franz to create the site. Whatever your taste in graphic design, you’re guaranteed to find something that will have you raring to get back to Photoshop and start creating.
A graphic and web design blog turned Photoshop resource library, Fudgegraphics has got loads going on, so is well worth a look-in.
Media Militia is another community-driven Photoshop blog aimed at providing Photoshop users with a place to gain inspiration, source some free, high-quality Photoshop resources and learn a little more about the application and getting the most out of it.
As with a lot of other, smaller Photoshop blogs, the offering isn’t huge, but the passion and care put into each piece is obvious and it’s clear that you can learn a lot from the content on here. So if you’re looking to get inspired by the stories of community members and improve at Photoshop, you should definitely take a look.
PSD Learning is an awesome, general interest, design and photography blog aiming at giving you all the information you need to hone your Photoshop skills and broaden your understanding of the reach that the application has.
Whether you’re looking to learn how to create awesome real estate pics with Photoshop or want the low-down on the developing place of Photoshop tuition in schools, PSD Learning has got something for everyone.
Created by design aficionado Chris Spooner, Spoon Graphics is an awesome blog with loads of regularly updated information aimed at showing you the design ropes, whether that be with a Photoshop tutorial, or article explaining some of the techniques behind his work.
There’s tonnes of material and downloads that are freely accessible, including Photoshop brushes, textures and actions. These are all great quality and are often used in Chris’ own work, so you know they can’t be bad!
Whilst a lot of the content is free, there is also the option to pay $10/month to access 100s of premium design resources to really fill out your Photoshop library.
Created primarily as a web design blog, Web Designer Lab has plenty of Photoshop resources that are usable in any aspect of design or digital photography. The categories are largely focused around web design, as you might expect, but there’s a good array of Photoshop actions, seamless patterns and brushes that are sprinkled amongst it all.
Zinx is an online publication specialising in all things art and design, web, photography and tech - especially Apple products. The Art & Design section is a treasure trove of free Photoshop resources, inspiring creations and thought-provoking designs from throughout the tech industry.
Whilst the site doesn’t give you that much in the way of tutorials or specific direction on recreating a lot of the work, it gives you an excellent feed of high-quality imagery and industry concepts.
So, whether you're a Photoshop master looking for the best Photoshop resources out there today, or you're a complete newbie hoping to learn how to use Photoshop, these resources should give you something to play with!
If you're looking for expert tuition in Photoshop to hone your skills on a specific area, or you just want an introduction to the application, there are plenty of expert tutors available through Tutorful.