4 Free Node Based Image Editor

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Photoshop, Affinity Photo, and Gimp have historically dominated the layer-based image editing system.

Although the layer-based image editor is powerful and flexible, the node-based system completely destroys the layer-based system in terms of utilisation possibilities.

This is the post for you if you’re looking for node-based image editing software or an image editor like DaVinci resolve, blender, or Houdini.

In this article, we have identified four of the top node-based image editing software. Some of these image editors are currently in active development, while others are unfinished.


Gimel Studio


Gimel Studio has a non-destructive workflow, powered via nodes — by default. A major advantage of Gimel Studio and other node-based editing tools is the possibility to always adjust the final result by editing values in any step of the process. Because each modification is stored inside a single node, you can target your changes and minimize wasted time.


GIE (Generative Image Editor) is a node based image editor, inspired by Blender’s material node editing feature. Building upon the descriptive nature of visual data flow programming, each node represents a mutation done to a source image.

The UI is intended to be relatively straight-forward. Much like in Blender, the right click context menu contains all possible nodes. In order to use pictures as sources, the user has to import them through the menu present on the top bar. Similarly, exporting is done using the export button present on the toolbar menu.

Cascade Image Editor

Cascade is a node-based image editor with GPU-acceleration.

  • Non-destructive node-based editing workflow
  • All image processing is done on the GPU
  • 32 bit linear color pipeline
  • Support for the most common color spaces and file formats



ImagePlay is a rapid prototyping tool for building and testing image processing algorithms.

It comes with a variety of over 70 individual image processors which can be combined into complex process chains.

ImagePlay is completely open source and can be built for Windows, Mac and Linux.