The Creative Bloq Awards 2022 are in full swing, and we've been announcing winners in various categories all week, crowning everything from the best laptops to games consoles. And equally as important as hardware for creatives is software.
From Adobe to Affinity, brands from across the worlds of graphic design and illustration have battled it out for the top spot in our roundup of the best software of the year. If you're looking for more software intel, check out our guide to the best graphic design tools available right now. You can catch up on the winners below, and see what's still to be announced.
- MONDAY: Laptops and Tablets
- TUESDAY: Crafting and Home Studio
- WEDNESDAY: Gaming and Entertainment
- THURSDAY: Software and Computing
- FRIDAY: Cameras
Our judges were handpicked from experts in the field, including our sister sites T3 and Tech Radar. They chose the winners from reader nominations. For more information on the awards and our panel of judges, head to the Creative Bloq awards homepage.
Software of the year: Adobe Photoshop 2022
You probably don't need us to tell you that Adobe Photoshop is the industry-standard software for image editing – and Photoshop 2022 is so good at so many things it's hard not to recommend buying it. Appealing not only to photographers and retouchers, it's also useful to graphic designers, digital artists, animators and others. Layering, masking, adding filters and painting is all a breeze once you're up and running.
Find out more in our Adobe Photoshop 2022 review.
Best digital painting software: Procreate 5.2
Procreate 5.2 is one of the best apps available on the market for all things digital art. The app is packed with easy to use menus, customisable and expandable brush libraries, powerful tools and the incredible recreation of real painting techniques, making the platform similar to your real-life creative workstation.
Read our Procreate 5.2 review for more.
Best 3D software: Blender 3.2
The undisputed king of free 3D apps, Blender is an immensely powerful open-source tool for 3D creation that can handle a lot of what more expensive packages can do, from modelling and texturing through to rendering and compositing.
Compare to our pick to the best 3D modelling software out there.
Best video editing software: Davinci Resolve 18
DaVinci Resolve is powerful video editing software, and version 18 is even more intuitive and streamlined. With its all-in-one post-production solution, wide range of audio, video, and colour-correcting tools, and multi-user collaboration feature, it's equipped to meet all your editing needs.
Check out our Davinci Resolve review to find out more.
Best game design software: Unreal Engine 5
Unreal Engine 5 has already won software of the decade, so it's fair to say it's something of a game-changer – literally. It's super-powerful and delivers new levels of real time lighting and high resolution textures; it uses Quixel photogrammetry and is compatible with all existing 3D modelling formats, meaning assets created for film can now be imported and used in video games – billions of polygons can be on screen at 4K resolution, and it really is impressive.
Need some assets? See our list of free 3D models here.
Best UI / UX design software: Figma 2022
Figma is the most popular UI design tool, and for good reason. It’s available on all platforms (Windows, macOS, web) and not only covers more of the design process compared to similar tools, but is constantly innovating with new features and improvements too. In particular, Figma’s collaboration features makes working in a product team fun and energising.
Read our Figma review to learn more.
Best software for animation: Blender 3.2
Another win for Blender. The 3D software is perfect for animation – whether it’s simple keyframing or complex walk-cycles, the tool allows artists to turn their still characters into incredibly impressive animations.
Need new kit? See our selection of the best laptops for 3D modelling.
Best software for designers: Affinity Designer
The most notable Adobe Illustrator rival not only offers plenty of tools that you won't find there (such as infinite redos and one million per-cent plus zoom), but it also tends to run faster. And the best part is that you only have to make a one-time payment, and a fairly reasonable one at that, making this the ultimate affordable option for designers.
Learn more in our Affinity Designer review.