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Graphic Artist Loves Open Source

29 Dec

Are you an starving artist looking for some affordable digital tools? We’ve posted before about open source software. However, I just have to jump in again and focus on Graphic Designing with Open Source. I work on a Mac, PC and even an Ubuntu Linux box. Professional Graphics Software isn’t cheap. So I let my Boss buy it for work. Adobe is great, and pricey. My heart is with the following software. All available for all platforms I use.

 

Inkscape (Illustrator equivalent)

Pros:

  • The Best Auto trace anywhere.
  • SVG native format- (one of Illustrators default save options)
  • PDF editing well underway- not fully implemented
  • Diagraming tool works great for planning websites

Cons:

  • Color Swatches are not currently able to be saved in direct manner. No Built in Pantone support ( but that is just a matter of specifying the proper Pantone number for printing)

 

Gimp (Photoshop equivalent)

Pros:

  • It’s free
  • Regularly updated with fixes and the latest features
  • Strong community
  • Runs smoothly on almost every platform
  • Customizable with plugins and scripts
  • Handles almost any format including: bmp, gif, jpeg, mng, pcx, pdf, png, psd, svg, tiff, tga, xpm

Cons:

  • Newest version can be buggy
  • No 16-bit per channel color support
  • Feature development is slow

 

Scribus (InDesign equivalent)

Pros:

  • It’s free
  • PDF compressing is quality
  • Works well on Windows
  • It is a lightweight program

Cons:

  • Lacks the “spell check”
  • Need to keep the pictures integrated in your document in the same location on your computer or you’ll lose them
  • Doesn’t look pleasant when switching fonts
  • Runs slow with multiple pages or large files
  • Navigation needs to be updated
  • Not enough intuitive
  • Documentation is incomplete

 

Blender (Maya equivalent)

The pros:

  • It’s free
  • Features animation, rigging, fluid simulations, UV mapping, and more
  • Export blender files to different file formats
  • Render with your gpu instead of cpu

The cons:

  • Slow viewport performance with high-poly scenes
  • Layers system is not intuitive at times
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Zamzar Online File Converter

14 Sep

The internet is truly powerful and if used the right way, you can produce powerful results. Remember that line from Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Exhibit A is a recent find called Zamzar which is an online file converter that works great.

Do you have a video in mpg format you need convert to avi? Do you have a word document you need converted to a PDF? Whatever file format you need to covert from audio, video, doc or image, Zamzar can do it! The free account does the basic conversion, if you want to store all your files online, rename, increase maximum size limits or establish a secure connection, then you’ll need to upgrade to a paid account.

Free Zamzar account:

  • Up to 100 mega-bytes (mb)
  • No contract
  • No sign-up
  • File conversion of image, doc, video and audio

http://www.zamzar.com/

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Need Software, No Cash?

5 Mar

Before making the next big software purchase, check out Source Forge.

You just might be surprised what you don’t have to pay for.

My Home Computers run Win XP, at work its Mac OSX. I even run Ubuntu at times. Sourceforge has software for everybody.

I needed to convert some video files and then make a DVD. At Work the Mac has built in options. At Home I needed solutions. I was able to find open source software at http://sourceforge.net/ for converting my video files and make the DVD with menus.

Everything was found, installed and going within a half hour.

George Jetson here I come.

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Write a Novel in November

31 Oct

National Novel Writing Month is here.

http://www.nanowrimo.org/

Do you write?

Do you Dream of writing the Great American Novel?

Starting at Midnight tonight you can start a month long race to the end of a Novel.

“National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.” From the NaNoWriMo website.

The Prize? Being able to say I wrote a novel this month. (You then have a whole year to edit and revise.)

The site allows you to upload your progress to share and track your progress. Message boards are active and Local groups get together and write through the month as well.

Good Luck

http://www.nanowrimo.org/

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Skype to the Rescue

6 Aug

With Skype I am able to call anywhere in the USA for $3 a month (even less if I pay for a year at one time). But does it work? Find out the skinny on this great free web communication tool.

Explore the world of Skype.
Read Article

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