Graphics Tools and Resources

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Post by Mitth`raw`nuruodo » 2004-05-06 11:38pm

PixResizer - Will resize pictures of most kinds to whatever size. Will also convert between some common image formats. It probably does other things as well, but I only use it for that. Check the site.
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Post by Shinova » 2004-05-07 01:30am

Softimage XSI


3D modelling, animation, and rendering program. Very easy to use, slick, customizable GUI, and VERY powerful.

With the recent release of version 4, I would put this program well ahead of most other major 3D graphics programs out there, such as Maya and Max. Of course, the steep pricing reflects this, but it is truly a wonderful program. And the full, permanent student-licensing version is only $295, which is almost literally a steal.
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Post by moku » 2004-07-07 09:18am

I like The Gimp... :D
The lighting affects were added in about 30 seconds...

Image
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Post by Antares » 2004-09-22 02:02pm

This posting is dedicated to Blender:

Main site:
www.blender.org

User guide:
http://www.blender.org/modules/documentation/htmlI/

Reference guide:
http://www.blender.org/modules/documentation/htmlII/

(There's a downloadable version, too)

Community:
http://www.elysiun.com/forum

There are other communites in many different languagess of course.

Free models for Blender:

http://www.blenderman.org
http://www.b5-blender.com
http://www.blenderwars.com
http://www.katorlegaz.com

My Intel compiler optimized build of Blender for Windows:
http://www.silentthunder.de/files/blenderintel.zip

It's still the fastest build out there. Speeds up rendering by 20-60% depending on processor. AMD benefit from this build, too.

Gallery of one of the best ( or perhaps THE best) Blender users:
http://www.artificial3d.com/gallery.htm

He's only 18 btw :roll:

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Post by moku » 2004-11-12 02:06am

I kinda re-wrote the first post in this thread while I was creating a Graphic Tools FAQ for another forum. I added many more programs to the list, as well as some more description. Here:




Basic image viewing and manipulation

IrfanView - www.irfanview.com
[Windows][Freeware][Small Download]

- Can handle pretty much all image formats, and change simplistic things like colour, brightness, emboss, engrave and convert. New release just recently too!


Kuickshow - http://kuickshow.sourceforge.net
[Open Source GPL][Linux][UNIX][Small Download]

- Can handle pretty much all image formats, and change simplistic things like colour, brightness, emboss, engrave and convert, just like Irfanview, but open source. Also features a slideshow mode, which is very nifty.


PhotoXplorer - www.lennkvist.com/Xplorer
[Freeware][Windows][Small Download]

- PhotoXplorer is an image manager and a converter for Canon digital RAW images. One particular feature is that PhotXploerer allows you to view Rawthumbs from canon images using IE. Note that there is no documentation yet. PhotoXplorer emulates MS Explorer in a way that documentation for the most part is unnecessary, however, it is known to be unstable, like IE, since it uses the core of it (I wonder how they did that, considering how MSFT's laws are...).

Anyhoo, screenshot right here.


BreezeBrowser - www.breezesys.com
[Freeware for unregistered, but otherwise propriety software for $$][Windows][Small Download]

- Described as the "Swiss army knife forraw files". The BreezeBrowser helps the professional photographer with:

* Selecting images for presentation
* Generating attractive, captioned web pages with watermarking and online ordering (optional)
* Producing contact sheets and proofs
* Batch renaming images and managing folders
* Captioning and editing comments and IPTC data

BreezeBrowser also enables photographers to:

* Convert, resize, sharpen and level raw images from Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Minolta and Olympus cameras
* Rotate JPEG's with no loss of quality
* Display images and shooting data from most major formats and makes of camera(including RAW, JPEG, TIFF)
* Display sharp preview images using the unique 'HQ mode'
* Present slideshows on laptop or pc
* Adjust date and time for batches or single images


XnView & nConvert - www.xnview.com
[Freeware - non commercial - or register][Windows][Mac Linux][UNIX][Small Download]

- Great tool. Supports different languages under Windows (Mac, Linux and UNIX yet to come), and can open almost all of the many file formats, and export into about a quarter of them. Take screen shots, manipulate. Quite nice to work with.
A screen shot of the Windows version:

Image


PixiePlus - www.mosfet.org/pixie
[Open Source GPL][Linux][UNIX][Small Download]

- Pixie is pretty much your ultimate image browser. Circumnavigate every image on your HD, with ease and clicks of your mouse. Play slide shows, zoom, convert and create hotlists, etc. Created by mofset, who also created the Linux Live CD called Freeduc which is essentially all educational Open Source programs on one live CD. Pixie kicks ass. You can also create thumbnails and a html file in your albums which you can choose to automatically open whne entering folders. You get a thumbail view, with inbedded thumbs and links to your actual full size pics. Here is the logo, done with Gimp:
Image

And some additional screen shots, which I just made using Pixie.

Image Image Image Image Image

And another screen shot I fished out somewhere on the net:
Image



Medium graphic creation and manipulation

ImageMagick - www.imagemagick.org
[Open Source GPL][Windows][Mac][Linux][UNIX][Web based][Small Download]

- You can resize, rotate, sharpen, color reduce, or add special effects to an image or image sequence and save in almost all formats. Image processing operations are available from the command line, or from the C, C++, Perl, Java, PHP, Python, or Ruby programming languages. This measn you can use less than 50 characters to create an image based by using the konsole command line. A high-quality 2D renderer is also included.
Images like this had all the effects added with ImagMagick using just simple coding.
Some more examples.


Photofiltre - www.photofiltre.com
[Freeware - non commercial - or register][Windows]
- "PhotoFiltre is a complete image retouching program. It allows you to do simple or advanced adjustments to an image and apply a vast range of filters on it. It is simple and intuitive to use, and has an easy learning curve. The toolbar, giving you access to the standard filters with just a few clicks, gives PhotoFiltre a robust look." Somewhat true. Some effects are to be quite nifty. Better off with something more professional like Gimp, that is if you want more, but for it does, it does it reasonably well. You can also choose to download in different languages (about 4 apart from English).

Here is a screenshot.



Major 2D Image Editing

Paint Shop Pro - www.jasc.com
[$$$][Windows][Mac][Propriety Software]

- Handy for quick, and effective web graphics. can make nifty looking web buttons, and is also used to design skins for programs. Quite easy to use, but costs more than does.


Adobe Photoshop - www.adobe.com/photoshop
[$$$ - almost $,$$$][Windows][Mac][Propriety Software]

- Very powerful editing and creating tool, but very expensive. Render, warp, dilute and edit all your graphics


Gimp - www.gimp.org
[Open Source GPL][Windows][Mac][Linux][UNIX]

- Also very powerful, and considered second to PS9, but most certainly makes up for it in open source aspect. Do all you do in PS9, except of course the features are given different names and there might be one that PS9 only has, and 4 that PS9 doesn't have.
If you see below, I give a screenshot of me using Sodipodi. This is what my creation looks like now, touched up with Gimp. Mind you, you could have done that with almost all programs, except for the nifty layering:
Image

And to see some other creations in Gimp (done by me), have a look below. In this image, I only used blur, sharpen, the paint brush, smudge, dodge, border function and the text funtion. It was originally a sketch, which was flipped also in Gimp. I also included the sketch as a comparison:

Image Image

- Also notive how the original sketch is smaller in dimension, but larger in file size, while the final copy is larger in dimension and smaller in file size.


Krita - www.koffice.org/krita
[Open Source GPL][Linux][UNIX][Small Download]

- Krita is a painting and image editing application for KOffice. It is to be released with KOffice. Krita was formerly known as KImageShop. It is intended to be suitable for all your image creation and editing needs, such as creating original art, making images for websites, touching up scanned photographs or anything else you might need to do with bitmapped images. This program will almost be as powerful as Gimp, since it is to include many of it's plugins as well as a layering functions - in an office package...



2D Illustration/Drawing - vector graphics

Macromedia Designer - www.macromedia.com
[$$$][Windows][Propriety Software]

- Illustration tool by Macromedia - reasonably powerful. Handy for many small buttons, and icons.


Adobe Illustrator - www.adobe.com/illustrator
[$$$][Windows][Mac][Propriety Software]

- One of the many professional illustrators on the market. Hard to use, since of complexity, and also quite expensive.


OpenOffice Drawer - www.openoffice.org
[Open Source GPL][Windows][Mac][Linux][UNIX]

- Comes with the popular favourite office package along with the spreadsheat, master documents, text docus, and presentation creator. Great for home projects and some logo designing. Good to make your basics, and then add effects in something like Gimp or PS. Also includes some features which aren't available in Gimp, or PS.


Kontour - ?
[Open Source GPL][Mac][Linux][UNIX][Small Download]

- Drawing tool component of the KDE office suite. Formerly Killustrator until Adobe sued for trademark infringement. Features almost the same as Open Office's Drawer.


Sodipodi - ?
[Open Source GPL][Linux][UNIX][Small Download]

- Coolest, smallest and most powerful program for web button and logo creation I have ever come across. This thing rocks so much, you can go about making professional web buttons within 2 minutes.
Here is an example (btw, that takes about 3 minutes):
Image
And here is a screenshot what I just made within 5 minutes. Love the translucent feel it gives you. Take a peak at the Gimp above to see what I did with it in Gimp:

Image


Karbon14 - www.koffice.org/karbon
[Open Source GPL][Linux][UNIX][Small Download]

- Karbon14 is the vector drawing application in KDE.



3D Rendering

POV-Ray - www.povray.org
[Open Source available but restricted][Windows][Mac][Linux][UNIX]

- One of the most commonly used free redndering programs on the surface of the earth. It is script based and quite flexable, however, it can be difficult to use by people who have had no experience with scripts. Creation of complex shapes generally requires the use of another modeler, however for what it is, and what you get, it is enough to build professional graphics. Touch ups are recommended upon finish with POV-Ray.


Wings3D - www.wings3d.com
[Open Source][Windows][Mac][Linux][UNIX]

- Extrusion box modeler most useful in conjunction with POV-Ray. Considered to be rather easy to use, and recommended to be used in conjunction with POV-Ray since it is purely a modeler, and since it has no rendering support.


Blender - www.blender.org
[Open Source][Windows][Mac][Linux][UNIX][Small Download]

- Quite powerful, especially since it comes as a complete package. You get the modeler, rendering, and some other nifty extras. Used to be $$$, but then turned to freeware, and now Open Source. USed often, and can produce stunning results. Touch ups are often not required. Want to see what it can do? Here, take a peak at Andreas <@ndy> Goralczyk's awesome creations.
@ndy's site, and two thumbs:
Image Image


Maya - www.aliaswavefront.com
[$$,$$$][Windows][Linux][Mac]

- Most certainly professional grade, however only at full version which incidentally sells for $17,000 USD (yes, that is correct). Uncomplete versions, which are worse than programs like Blender can be bought for ~$2000 USD. Considered state of the art, but it comes with the biggest price tag in the industry.


Lightwave 3D - www.newtek.com
[$,$$][Windows][Mac][?]

- This thing produces professional, quality 3D models. Comes with the modeler, renderer. USed primarily by Hollywood for the VFX movies. Expensive as hell but very powerful and fairly easy to use. Fast renderer, which requires a state of the art machine. Not good character animation support. Some student discounts are available. You can get a free, restricted-use 'educational edition' demo, but if you want that, you might as well get something good, like Blender.


3DStudio MAX - www.discreet.com
[$,$$$][Windows][?]

- Quite professional, and used often by the gaming industry. Generates reasonably good quality 3D models, animations. Not used for VFX, since it is not good enough for it, unless you get the $,$$$ upgrade. Known to be a complete resource hog, and lagging monster. Other common descriptions include bad file format compatability, quite unstable, expensive, and equally difficult to use.


Terragen - www.planetside.co.uk/terragen
[Freeware - but registerable for just over 90 USD][Windows][Mac][Small Download]

- Terragen? is a work-in-progress scenery generator for Windows and the Mac OS. At this stage of its development, Terragen is free for personal non-commercial use, however a registered version can be bought, which features more functions etc. It is capable of photorealistic results for professional landscape visualisation, special effects, art and recreation. Despite the fact that Terragen can be used for professional landscape visualisation projects, it is accessible and easy to get started with. You could be rendering your first landscape image in as little as 15 minutes after installation.
Here is an example of what can be achieved using the registered version:
Image Image

And here are some screen shots of Windows XP, Mac 9 and OSX:
Image Image Image
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Post by Crayz9000 » 2004-11-12 04:18am

I'd like to add a couple more programs:

Image Viewing

GQview
[Unix/Linux][Open Source]
"An image browser that features single click access to view images and move around the directory tree." It's useful for things like viewing a scanned series of comics that are saved on your hard drive, as you can use the keyboard to "flip" through the images.

SecurityPlus!
[Windows][Shareware/$$]
A similar program to GQView, but proprietary and shareware. Features a proprietary (and apparently easily cracked) encryption, so that you can keep prying noses out of your nudie pics. Or blueprints, or whatever else you feel needs encryption.
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Post by Lucifer » 2005-02-01 02:31pm

openCanvas for Windows, which probably does pretty much what Painter does, but with different or fewer options.

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Post by Einhander Sn0m4n » 2005-07-07 01:40pm

Icon Editing:
Einhander Sn0m4n wrote:I want a cursor editor (open-source much-preferred) so I can make my own windows cursors. Any takers?
Pu-239 wrote:Google is your friend: http://www.bouffler.freeserve.co.uk/icon_edit.htm
Einhander Sn0m4n wrote:Thanks Fissionable Isotope. My Google-fu was apparently found wanting...

And now I have a nice target reticle instead of a hand for my link cursor. W00t!
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Post by RThurmont » 2006-04-22 08:55am

As the owner of a firm that, among other things, does graphics design, I'd like to add my thoughts on a few software programs I'm familiar with:

Autodesk Sketchbook Pro
This is a real-media simulation program for users of Tablet PCs or pen-input pads (such as those made by WACOM), and is quite possibly my favorite graphics program. Ideal for sketching (as the name implies), it offers a range of standard tools (pencils, ink pens, markers, et cetera), support for layers, a really nice-looking patented UI that you operate by "flicking" your pen, and impressive zooming and scaling capabilities. I have three gripes: all images are purely raster graphics-it does not support vector graphics, it has no text input function, requiring any letterforms that you use be hand-drawn (or added in PhotoShop or other third party software), and it does not allow you to work on multiple images at once. However, since no one else has any product even remotely like it, and since it rocks regardless, I tend to put up with it.

Adobe CS2 Premium
We do 75% of our graphics design work in the Adobe Creative Suite environment. We use the standard Premium bundle, which gives you Illustrator and PhotoShop, which have been discussed extensively elsewhere in this thread, and additionally features InDesign, a superb print design program generally regarded as superior to the old standard Quark XPress, GoLive, a second-rate web development tool, ImageReady, a version of PhotoShop optimized to create buttons for GoLive, Acrobat Pro, some workflow tools that we don't use, and some other stuff you're also unlikely to use (like a form designer).

CorelDraw GS12
They just released a new version of this fine vector graphics program, but I haven't upgraded yet. I personally prefer Corel to Illustrator, as it is quite a bit more powerful: you can zoom up to 68,000%, files can contain multiple pages (allowing it to be used for publication design, although for that I would reccommend InDesign, which has vastly superior typographic controls), curve editing is somewhat more precise, and the software has built-in PDF export capability. The downsides are a really crappy looking UI, lack of compatibility with Illustrator (you can export to Illustrator-but its a bitch-combined objects often glitch up quite a bit and the colors are invariably fucked in the translation process, mild instability (never lost work as a result, but I occasionally have to close and reload), and an annoying color palette system. Illustrator is also slightly more fun to use, for some reason. I use Corel primarily to design letterforms for logos, where the superior zooming and curve-editing capability comes in handy, and generally, letterforms will export into Illustrator (and from thence to Photoshop or Indesign) with relative ease.

We also use Macromedia Studio8 for web design, but I'm not experienced enough to comment on it. If you consider technical drawing an art form (as I do), give Microsoft Visio a shot. TabletPCs are a must, in my opinion, for any truly progressive graphics design firm, and please, for the sake of all that's good, dispense with the "I'm too sexy for _" attitude that is all too prevalent in the profession.
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Post by Faram » 2006-04-29 01:41am

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Post by TimothyC » 2006-04-30 10:46pm

Rastor Based Image Editor

Paint.net
[Windows 2k+*][Freeware][Small Download*]
*Requires Microsoft's .NET 2.0 or higher
- Nice Small image editor with a very intuitive interface
- Includes suport for tablets, and tablet PCs right out of the Box
- Built in extendability (Extensions include varius filters and tools)
- Multi-core aware
- Supports most major formats (JPEG2000 only with an extenstion though) [/url]
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Post by salm » 2006-09-27 08:16am

Virtools is a programm that lets you easily create gemes or prototypes of games without having to know anything about programming.

They just changed their marketing strategy and the full version is down to only 180€ when it used to cost (i think) 5000€ and 500€ for an educational licence.

I´m thinking about buying

http://www.virtools.com

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Post by Pick » 2006-09-27 10:25am

To expand on Opencanvas:

Opencanvas 1.1 is a freeware program. It allows for internet link to allow mutiple people to draw on the same canvas (without interruptions from unwanted others, of course.) It also has a 'playback' function, which allows you to watch the progress of a picture being made at any later time, on any other computer that has the playback file and any version of Opencanvas. It is designed to be used with a graphics tablet, but will also work with a mouse. It does not need to be installed, you just need the file itself. It is a very small file, too (967K, if I recall.) Simple and fun. Do a Google search.

Opencanvas 2,3,4, 4Plus are improved versions of Opencanvas 1.1, but do not have the internet link function. They are also designed to be used with a tablet, but can be operated with a mouse. Opencanvas 4 (and +) can be downloaded directly from the Portalgraphics website, and paid for by credit card. There is a 30 day free trial, but you cannot save files while it is in demo stage. It is very cheap for such a graphics program. It is similar to Painter, but works perhaps even better if you prefer tablet work.

www.portalgraphics.net
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Post by salm » 2006-12-15 08:31am

Adobe Releases Beta Version of Photoshop CS3:

Link

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Post by Marko Dash » 2007-09-23 09:12am

DoGA, its free, comes with a built in renderer, really easy to use, and the download is 26mb.

go ahead and get L3, its easy enough to learn that you don't need the beginner versions.

http://www.doga.co.jp/english/download/index.html
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Post by 1138 » 2008-01-16 02:41am

Inkscape - http://www.inkscape.org

Open source vector graphics program, saves to a bunch of formats, including SVG, EPS and PDF. It's a pretty good program and development is going at a good speed. You can use SVG filters to get all sorts of interesting effects. It was based on Sodipodi but has a better interface and is much more recent.

Side Effects Houdini - http://www.sidefx.com/

Professional 3D package for the film industry, currently mainly used for high end visual effects but the character animation is improving (it has a muscle system for simulating skin over muscles that's a lot faster than cloth-sim based systems). The notable thing about Houdini is that everything can be procedural - you can literally program your visual effects (think modifier stack on steroids - the modifiers can be connected in non-linear ways and it's not just for modeling - every parameter can be driven procedurally). The programming is done by connecting visual nodes so it's pretty slick, but does involve a learning curve. The full version is very expensive ($8000) but you can get the Apprentice edition for free. The only limitations are a limited resolution, a small watermark and the fact that you can't use your files with the full version (otherwise, it has all the features of the full version). There's also an Apprentice HD edition that's $99, no watermark and a resolution limit of 1920x1080. I believe Side Effects still offers free conversion of any Apprentice files to the real file format if you purchase the real thing.

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Post by Einhander Sn0m4n » 2008-01-16 03:14am

http://vectormagic.stanford.edu/ Bitmap to Vector application on the entarwebs. Outputs EPS, SVG, and PNG.
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Re: Graphics Tools and Resources

Post by Tolya » 2009-04-20 08:49am

Many years ago I found this little thing, on which I learned the basics of 3d drawing, rendering and animation.

Ladies and gents, may I present you with: Anim8or

It is a bit clunky and takes some time to get used to it, but I can't think of a better way to get introduced to 3d graphics.

What is even better, since it was conceived as a 3d program for newbies, it has great community. There are many experienced designers in there who will be more than happy to help you and even praise your half-assed efforts at making your first 3d model.

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Re: Graphics Tools and Resources

Post by open_sketchbook » 2009-11-11 11:16am

If you're looking to create normal or bumpmaps, the program Crazybump is a $10 lifesaver. Very flexible and absurdly easy to use.
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Interesting Image Search Site

Post by FSTargetDrone » 2009-11-13 12:19am

I recently heard about a site on Twit.tv called TinEye. TinEye is a web-based image search tool. You upload an image or point the site towards a photo on the web and it will search the web to see if it can find a match of the provided image.

A few minutes ago, I used it after seeing Phantasee's desktop image of the Alcántara Bridge in the 2009 Desktop thread here.

I copied the image location from his post and the results pointed me to the bridge on Wiki, among others. Apparently it works well enough to see the image despite cropping or alterations. I've been playing with it with other images and so far, it works pretty well!

It should go without saying, but do be careful about clicking the resultant links if your search returns any items, particularly if the results point to dodgy sites...

EDIT:

Mods, I don't know if this is better as part of the Graphics Tools and Resources thread?

I think this should be retained. -S
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Re: Graphics Tools and Resources

Post by salm » 2009-11-13 09:22am

open_sketchbook wrote:If you're looking to create normal or bumpmaps, the program Crazybump is a $10 lifesaver. Very flexible and absurdly easy to use.
Crazy Bump costs 300$. Or at least 100$ for non commercial use.

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