Graphics Tools and Resources

AMP: sci-fi art, regular art, pictures, photos, comics, music, etc.

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Graphics Tools and Resources

Post by Enlightenment » 2002-12-11 11:39pm

For the benefit of everyone out there, here is a brief list of graphics tools and resources online. This list is so far oriented towards image creation but I'm interested in adding gallery sites and wallpaper sources as well.

Basic image viewing and manipulation

IrfanView http://www.irfanview.com
[Free][Windows]
Views virtually all image file formats and will resample, color-reduce, recompress and convert images. Free for non-commercial use

Heavyweight 2D image editing

Adobe Photoshop http://www.adobe.com/photoshop
[$$$][Windows][Mac]
Premier image editing tool currently on the market. Extremely expensive and extremely powerful.

The Gimp http://www.gimp.org
[Free-GPL][Linux][Windows]
Primier image editing tool for Linux/Unix. Slightly less powerful than Photoshop but much cheaper and more difficult to use.

Paint Shop Pro http://www.jasc.com
[$$$][Windows]
Cut down image editor most useful for light-duty web image creation. Less capable than the GIMP but easier to use.

2D Illustration/drawing
(vector graphics)

Adobe Illustrator http://www.adobe.com/illustrator
[$$$][Windows][Mac]
Premier vector graphics and illustration package on the market. Expensive and difficult to use but widely used professionally.

Macromedia Designer http://www.macromedia.com
[$$$][Windows][?]
Illustration tool created by Macromedia

OpenOffice drawing tool
[Free-open source][Windows][Linux][Unix][Mac OSX]
Basic drawing tool included with OpenOffice. Rudamentary functionality.

Kontour
[Free-open source][Linux][Unix?]
Drawing tool component of the KDE office suite. Formerly Killustrator until Adobe sued for trademark infringement.

2D Scifi Images

TBD - suggestions?

3D Rendering

POV-Ray http://www.povray.org
[Free-source available but restricted][Windows][Mac][Linux][Unix]
Probably the most widely used free renderer on the planet. Script based and very flexable but difficult to master. Creation of complex shapes generally requires the use of a 3rd party modeler.

Wings3D http://www.wings3d.com
[Free-open source][Windows][Mac OS X][Linux]
Extrusion box modeler most useful in conjunction with POV-Ray. Easy to use. No rendering support; strictly a modeler.

Blender http://www.blender.org
[Free-open source][Windows][Linux][Mac OS X][Unix]
Full modeling, animation and rendering package. Hard to learn but reasonably powerful. Reciently open-sourced.

Lightwave 3D http://www.newtek.com
[$,$$$][Windows][Mac][?]
Professional broadcast-quality 3D modeling, animation and rendering tool. Extensively used for TV and movie VFX. Expensive but very powerful and fairly easy to use. Fast renderer. Poor character animation support. Substantial student discounts available. Free restricted-use 'learning edition'-demo available.

3DStudio MAX http://www.discreet.com/
[$,$$$][Windows][?]
Professional-quality 3D modeling, animation and rendering tool. Extensively used in the games industry. Not regarded as good enough for broadcast or movie VFX use without an add-on rendering plugin. Resource hog. Slow. File formats not portable to other tools. Unstable. Expensive and difficult to use.

Maya http://www.aliaswavefront.com
[$$,$$$][Windows][Linux][Mac?]
Premier 3D modeling, animation and rendering package. Used for movie VFX. Full version sells for $17,000USD (no typo). Cheaper versions available for substantially less (<$2000, $0) but have smaller feature sets. The state of the art for 3D tools.

SF-related 3D meshes

The Imperial 3D Archives http://imperial.star-fleet.org
[Trek][Wars][B5][Other]
Various file formats used. This site is now the only(?) remaining source for SWMA meshes.

Star Trek Australia http://www.startrekaustralia.com/
[Trek]
Good source of targets. :D

Eon 3D http://www.eon3d.com/index.htm
[B5]
High-quality B5 meshes in Lightwave format

Additional suggestions?
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Re: Graphics Tools and Resources

Post by Crayz9000 » 2002-12-11 11:41pm

Paint Shop Pro 7 has vector-graphics capabilities almost on par with Adobe Illustrator. In that area, it excels for graphics creation.
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Post by Dodge » 2002-12-12 06:27pm

I think PhotoShop is good, but Paint Shop Pro (I have v7) is more than capable of things I want from a very inexpensive graphics package. :)
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Post by HemlockGrey » 2002-12-12 06:30pm

I have the newest version of PhotoShop and some version of 3d Studio Max(For free, too, and no, I did not steal or download them)

Of course, I have no idea how to use them, but...
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Post by Dodge » 2002-12-13 04:25am

:) :) :)

I know the feeling... you've got some really powerful software there that you are glad to have, but haven't a clue how to use it! I had AutoCAD 14 full version on my PC at home (a "backup copy") but never used it because I didn't know how. In the end, I uninstalled it to rescue rather a large chunk of space on my hard disk...

...and I still thought I was doing the wrong thing!! :?
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Post by salm » 2002-12-13 08:29am

HemlockGrey wrote:I have the newest version of PhotoShop and some version of 3d Studio Max(For free, too, and no, I did not steal or download them)

Of course, I have no idea how to use them, but...
if you have a legal copy you´´ve got the manual as well. read it. it´s got good tutorials in it. also, if you click the help button and go to tutorials, you get a bunch of well, tutorials. they´´re very good. you can learn a lot but you need time. you´re still in high school, you´ve got plenty of time. try it, it´s really fun and it´s not as hard as it may seem in the beginning.
keep on maxing!

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Post by salm » 2002-12-13 08:43am

a pretty cool programm for everybody who needs brick textures. download the program, and build you brick textures online. i just found it and haven had time to try it extensively but it looks pretty good.

http://www.acmebrick.com/md/index.htm



and a pretty good recource for textures:

http://www.animax.it/

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Post by HemlockGrey » 2002-12-13 04:44pm

if you have a legal copy you´´ve got the manual as well. read it. it´s got good tutorials in it. also, if you click the help button and go to tutorials, you get a bunch of well, tutorials. they´´re very good. you can learn a lot but you need time. you´re still in high school, you´ve got plenty of time. try it, it´s really fun and it´s not as hard as it may seem in the beginning. keep on maxing!
Well, actually, my grandfather gave them to me, sans manual, but I'll try the tutorials...
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Post by salm » 2002-12-14 09:52am

HemlockGrey wrote:
if you have a legal copy you´´ve got the manual as well. read it. it´s got good tutorials in it. also, if you click the help button and go to tutorials, you get a bunch of well, tutorials. they´´re very good. you can learn a lot but you need time. you´re still in high school, you´ve got plenty of time. try it, it´s really fun and it´s not as hard as it may seem in the beginning. keep on maxing!
Well, actually, my grandfather gave them to me, sans manual, but I'll try the tutorials...
don´t tell that anybody at a 3ds max board. you´ll get your ass banned so quick.

anyway, here´s a link to gmax, a version of 3dsmax with less features. it lacks a renderer and the material editor is a bit different from it´s big brother. the good thing about it: it´s free. you cant make any stills with it for example like the ones by enlightenment, but it´s ideal for everybody who wants to create characters or levels for games. have fun

http://www.discreet.com/products/gmax/

keep on maxing

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Post by Pu-239 » 2002-12-15 02:22am

Xfig for linux does vector grafix

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Post by Pu-239 » 2002-12-15 02:31am

Oh and blender for 3d
XFig and Blender are GPL (Actually I'm not sure, Xfig may have some other open source license)

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Post by salm » 2002-12-15 11:22am

yeah, blender is cool.

i havent found out how to import stuff to blender yet and probably wont because i dont use it anymore. but if you use a combination of gmax and blender, you could model in gmax with all the cool features export the file, import it to blender and render it. of course you can use any other free 3D programm which has a renderer as well.

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Post by Vertigo1 » 2002-12-18 03:09am

3dsmax's interface, while intimidating at first, is very well laid out. The first thing you should do is check out what everything does before you get into rendering anything. Makes things alot easier when following tutorials.
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Post by salm » 2002-12-18 10:40am

Vertigo1 wrote:3dsmax's interface, while intimidating at first, is very well laid out. The first thing you should do is check out what everything does before you get into rendering anything. Makes things alot easier when following tutorials.
erm... why? a simple render is pressing f10 continued by pressing enter? if you check out what everything does before, you´ll get to render your first image after a year.

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Post by ArmorPierce » 2002-12-30 01:46am

So nobody uses photomax but me
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Post by HemlockGrey » 2003-01-19 10:59pm

Out of curiosity, how does one justify a 17K dollar pricetag?
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Post by salm » 2003-01-24 09:16am

HemlockGrey wrote:Out of curiosity, how does one justify a 17K dollar pricetag?
by selling the product with 17K funktions.

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Post by Pu-239 » 2003-01-31 08:39pm

Oh I think there's an addon for export from blender to povray. Also Povray has rudimentary animation support with AVI-creator from bloodshed.net.

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EDIT: http://www.janw.gothere.uk.com/exportmesh.html is a bunch of exporters in python for Blender. This includes VRML and Povray.

Pyvon is a Linux frontend to Povray.

Oh yeah another thing. If you are running Linux/Unix, using povray, and have a home network, download PVM and PVMPOV and the POVRAY source.

PVMPOV (patch for POVRAY): http://sourceforge.net/projects/pvmpov/
PVM: http://www.epm.ornl.gov/pvm/
POVRAY (Get source): http://www.povray.org/download/

Read the documentation for everything. I'm not sure, but I think only the computer you are running povray on needs to run Linux/Unix, since there is PVM for Windows.

I've never used it since I don't have a home network

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Post by Pu-239 » 2003-02-05 05:14pm

Coreldraw is free for Linux. Get it at http://linux.corel.com

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Anything worth the cost of a missile, which can be located on the battlefield, will be shot at with missiles. If the US military is involved, then things, which are not worth the cost if a missile will also be shot at with missiles. -Sea Skimmer


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Post by salm » 2003-02-15 01:07pm

a free 3d lego cad program... havent tried it, but it looks funny.

http://www.ldraw.org/

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Post by darthdavid » 2003-02-17 10:58pm

Can Anyone say "Gif Compiler"

Unfreez
http://whitsoftdev.com/unfreez/
Free drag and drop gif compiler. Bare basics. Enjoy.

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Post by phongn » 2003-03-02 10:26pm

I posted this in another thread, though I think it'd work well here as well. If you're looking for digital cameras, there are a few websites that can help (and are for all price ranges).

www.imaging-resource.com
www.stevesdigicams.com
www.dpreview.com
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Post by Exonerate » 2003-03-02 10:38pm

You forgot Cinema 4 D for the 3d programs... I use it; very simple and effective.

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Post by Warspite » 2003-03-03 06:21pm

TrueSpace 3 is now free!
The whole package, without any restraints, like saving or watermarks. It's not 3DS, LW or Maya, but it's good enough for those that can't get these programs. Getting tutorials might be tricky, though. Once I found one for TS1 in the PCFormat freebies section, but that may not be up. Anyway, it's easy to get the hang of it.

Get it at: http://www.planit3d.com/index.htm, Software section - 3D Modelling and Animation.
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Post by Einhander Sn0m4n » 2003-03-04 03:23am

Warspite wrote:TrueSpace 3 is now free!
The whole package, without any restraints, like saving or watermarks. It's not 3DS, LW or Maya, but it's good enough for those that can't get these programs. Getting tutorials might be tricky, though. Once I found one for TS1 in the PCFormat freebies section, but that may not be up. Anyway, it's easy to get the hang of it.

Get it at: http://www.planit3d.com/index.htm, Software section - 3D Modelling and Animation.
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