Free Graphics Tools

 


         means recently added.

                means that the software is available for the Macintosh.

                means that the software is available for Windows.


      *** means very useful

      ** means useful

      *means less useful

      No star means that it wasn't tested yet.

 

 
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Categories

Viewers (6)
Organizers (5)
Image Editors (26)
Web Design (8)
Texture Tools (6)
2D Image Generators (8)
Text Tools (8)
Video Tools (13)
3D (21)
Morphing (3)
Various (19)

123
items total

 


Viewers

cam2pc Freeware Edition
.... is a very nice image viewer and organizer. It offers an Image Browser for viewing, organizing and modifying your images. There is also an Image Downloader that transfers your pictures from your digital camera to your PC. Other features include running a slideshow with more than 80 transition effects, organizing your images in albums, printing single or contact sheets, viewing EXIF information, processing your images in batches and many more. In addition to the freeware version there is also a shareware version with more features.

Irfan View ***
... is freeware viewer and editor that knows tons of image formats. Version 3.85 of IrfanView (for Windows) now supports Photoshop-compatible plugins, also known as 8BF files. To use 8BF plugins run IrfanView and go to Image > Effects > Adobe 8BF filters or simply press Ctrl + K.
To add some filters, press the "Add 8BF filters" button and select a plugin folder. IrfanView is probably the best free application that supports Photoshop-compatible application at the moment.

fieldOfView Fisheye Viewer *
... is a free tool for quickly reviewing or inspecting single fisheye shots. The viewer can offer an almost instant impression of what the final panorama will be like and what will be visible in the panorama. It wraps the fisheye image to a piece of geometry and renders the image from a virtual camera perspective. However, it isn't very easy to use, because it requires to manually edit a configuration file. Additionally if you want to display images you can only do that by dropping them on the Fisheye Viewer icon on your desktop.

XnView *** (Linux)
... is a freeware utility (for non-commercial use) for viewing and converting graphics files. It supports more than 340 graphic formats in reading and 40 in writing and supports 36 languages. So if you aren't happy with an image viewer in English language or want to convert and view a very exotic image format, XnView should be your choice. Additionally XnView features Multipage TIFF, Animated GIF and Animated ICO support as well as basic image manipulation functions like Resize, Copy/Cut/Crop, adjusting brightness and contrast, modifying color depth and simple filters and effects. Further options include full screen mode, slide show, picture browser, batch convert, thumbnail creation, screen capture, contact sheet creation, TWAIN support and print support.

GSview *** (Linux)
... is a graphical interface for Ghostscript, an interpreter for the PostScript language and PDF format. With GSview you can view PostScript and PDF formats, print them or convert them to various bitmap formats. It also allows you to extract plain text from a PDF file, which is sometimes quite useful.
With a trick you can also use GSView to create PDF files from any application you like (e.g. Word, Internet Explorer). All you have to do is to install a PostScript printer driver (e.g. Apple Color LW 12/660 PS) in the "Printers" control panel and to assign it to the FILE: port. After that you can print with this PostScript printer driver from any application you like. The resulting .PRN file can then be converted to PDF with GSview.
GSview requires Ghostscript to be installed before you can use it. (By the way, if you should have download problems, please log directly into the ftp server or use one of the mirror sites.)

ImageWalker
is an image viewing and thumbnail tool that looks like Windows Explorer. ImageWalker allows you to manage your image files visually. It simplifies the process of viewing, cataloguing, and publishing digital images. Its features include web page creation, thumbnail generation and printing, batch image conversion, slide show and screen saver. It offers an unlimited trial period with no obligations.

Exif Reader***
is an image data file analysis tool. The software displays the information in Exif JPG image files created by digital cameras, e.g. the shutter speed, the state of the flash, and the focus distance. Among other special formats it also supports "TIFF/EP" format used with EOS/D and Kodak digital cameras, "NSK-TIFF" and "TIFF-FX" by Xerox.


 

Organizers

Photoshop Album 2.0 Starter Edition ***
Photoshop Album 2.0 Starter Edition is a free limited-feature version of Photoshop Album 2.0 for finding, organizing and adding keyword tags to your photos. Photo fixing options include: Auto Color, Auto Levels, Auto Contrast , Sharpen, Crop and Red Eye Removal. But as these tools can't be adjusted, they often don't produce the best corrections. Photoshop Album SE also can be used to display slide shows, email individual photos or print them or order prints online. All in all, a nice tool if you don't have any other image cataloging software or enhanced image viewer yet.

STGThumb
... creates HTML albums with high-quality thumbnails while converting images to JPG at the same time. It also features thumbnail generation of AVI files, options to add a prefix or a suffix to the thumbnails filenames, auto-rotation to get a better fit and applying special effects like Blur, Sharpen, Emboss or Fuzzy Blur to the thumbnails. STGThumb also generates HTML slide shows.

Apple iPhoto (OS X)
... is a software for saving, organizing and sharing digital photos. iPhoto lets you import your pictures from your digital camera, organize them, edit and improve them, and share them in a number of different ways. iPhoto automatically imports your photos from cameras connected to the USB port, catalogs them, stores them and displays them on your screen as thumbnails. With iPhoto you can create your own custom coffee-table books. This feature lets you add titles and text to tell your story or describe your pictures. iPhoto also does full-screen slide shows, accompanied by your favorite music, offers an option for emailing them to friends, print them on your ink-jet printer or allows to order Kodak prints via internet.

MyAlbum **
...
is a freeware image program that displays images as thumbnails. It includes a slide-show utility and options to create HTML thumbnail pages, contact sheets and to batch process images. The album option allows you to create collections of images, complete with keywords and comments, plus searching. The slide-show can be run automatically or manually, and features zooming, full-screen, and other options. Nice is the feature for printing posters on several sheets of paper. Plugins and scripts for MyAlbum can be downloaded from the web site. It can't fully compete with similar commercial tools and is still a bit buggy, but is worth a look if you want such a tool for free or need one of the mentiond features.

Plugin Commander Light

... lets you organize, preview, convert and apply your plugins.

 

Image Editors

Microsoft Expression 3.3
... is a free vector, drawing and illustration tool for Macintosh. It was formerly available from Creature House. A Windows version is not available yet.

GIMP 2, GIMP 2 for Windows ***
... is the most popular open source image editing application. GIMP 2 is available for Unix-based systems, Windows and MacOS X. The user interface is now easier to use and the dialog boxes are grouped together in a tabbed interface. Additionally the Windows Version finally seems to work relatively stable now. Previous versions more or less supported Photoshop plugins. Looks as if this feature has been removed in the new version.

Oscar's JPEG Thumb-Maker
MediaChance offers a simple batch resizing tool called Oscar's JPEG Thumb-Maker. It only supports JPG files, lets you enter the JPG output quality, apply three simple filters and a few resizing rules. Still this tool is quite useful if you want to batch resize your digital photos to a certain size for displaying them on a device with a fixed resolution, e.g. with DVD player on a TV or on a pocket PC. If you are on that page, you may also read the interesting story about Kodak's Smart Picture Frame.

Zoner Draw 3
....is a free vector graphics application. It can be used to create brochures, leaflets, illustrations, business cards, vector animations and more. Beside a lot of other features it also supports Photoshop filter plugins. You have to save a .ini file before you can start adding plugins, which is a bit confusing. We tested a few plugins and noticed that ZonerDraw causes some problem with the preview. It cuts off a part of the image and sometimes produces problems if the image isn't fully displayed in the preview. If you have a look at ZonerDraw you can also download the free Zoner Media Explorer Classic, which is a nice image viewer with a simple image editor.


Image Stacker
TawbaWare Image Stacker combines multiple photos into a single photo. It can also be used to reduce the appearance of "digital noise" in images created by digital cameras or scanners, and create "synthesized long-exposures" without overexposure. Although Image Stacker is distributed as shareware ($17), it operates without registration, but limited to 10 images with sizes up to 640x480 pixels. Of course similar results can be achieved by assembling images as layers in Photoshop or PSP and using various blend modes, but Image Stacker is doubtlessly a more convenient alternative.

Compositor v1.9.5 SE
Artly There Software offer Compositor v1.9.5 SE (for Mac Classic), a free image editing and image-to-art application. It includes luminosity mapping, anti-aliased image rotation and lets you apply actions to movies and more than 120 filter and channel effects. Version 2.x of Compositor is commercial. They also offer Slide Freebie, a free image viewer (for Mac). It can convert images to other formats, rename them and demonstrate 61 filter effects.

Alive Colors **
The Standalone Freeware version of Alive Colors lets you apply some color effects to your images, but doesn't offer the more sophisticated options of the full version. The Casino options apply random color effects, the Image Correction options let you apply simple brightness, contrast, sharpness and blur effects and Matrix produces simple color effects. More useful is the Two Keys option for shifting one color towards another by selecting a source and target color.

Image Utilities ***
Kerlin Softworks offers a set of "Image Utilities" which look very interesting. Eleblend blends textures, bump maps and specularity maps based upon an input grayscale image, "Ripple Rain" creates animated bump and alpha maps for rain and water impact ripples, "Gradient Thief" lets you create gradients by sampling colors from images, "UT Screenshot Assistant" grabs multiple screenshots in row and Mosaica adds mosaic effects to images. Some of the tools might require reading the help file until you can use them, but they are quite useful.

RedEye **
... allows you to remove red eyes in a digital photo. After loading a JPEG photo file into RedEye, you can automatically remove the red eyes by drawing a rectangular selection around an eye. You can also slightly vary the amount of reduction of the red color component. Although this may sound great, this tool has a few drawbacks. It only runs in full screen mode and doesn't let you choose the JPG quality when saving. Secondly, it only works fine for pure red eyes. If the eyes are more pink or yellow, the tool fails. So you can't use it to correct animal eyes or some red eyes. Nevertheless the RedEye tool might be helpful for certain images.


Rota ***
... is a free lossless rotation utility for JPEG images. After selecting a folder, the contained JPG files are displayed as thumbnails. Clicking on a thumbnail rotates it by 90 degree. After rotating all images you can use the Apply button to apply the changes. Rota still uses an old-fashioned file dialog and may be confusing at first, but it lets you rotate your digital images very quickly and conveniently.

GLab Bumy Paint 0.5 **
... is a free and full-featured paint application. It is available in Japanese and English language, but the web site is only Japanese. The specialty of this tool is the drawing of bumped lines and the Warp Paint feature. Bumy Paint uses a lot of palette windows where you can find different options like pens, gradients, textures, selection tools, paths and much more. Unfortunately it only supports uncompressed TIFF and BMP files and no JPG files.
To our great surprise Bumy Paint supports Photoshop filter plugins. To use filter plugins with it, you have to specify a plugin path and press the Search button in the File > Options dialog firstly. Then you have to press the small plug icon located in the middle of the button bar and press the Do button in the Tool Options palette to display a plugin menu. Bumy Paint is really worth a try if you like paint effects. To download it visit the following URL and use the second link from the top to download the English version.


Image Analyzer
***
... is a freeware image editing, enhancement and analysis software. It supports reading and writing of JPEG 2000 files among various other formats and also lets you scan and print images. It features built-in conventional and adaptive filters, e.g. for red-eye removal, noise reduction and brightness, contrast and saturation adjustment. Image Analyzer also lets you do distance, Fourier and discrete cosine transformations, morphological operations, deconvolution and color model conversions. Other interesting features are a math expression module for creating and transforming images and an advanced pocket calculator with equation solver.

PixelNhance ***
Although Caffeine Software has suspended operation, they now added a link for downloading their latest software. The download size is 56MB and also includes the PixelNhance tool. PixelNhance (for MacOS X) is a free image enhancement application. PixelNhance offers controls for adjusting brightness, contrast, levels, color, saturation, tone, sharpness and noise reduction. It features a split-screen window with the original settings on one side and the current settings on the other. The dividing bar can be adjusted horizontally, vertically and rotated.

PixelToolbox *
.... is a kind of icon editor which lets you create, edit, and apply 1-bit patterns, wallpaper tiles, icons and cursors. PixelToolbox offers the several painting tools and some pattern and color effects. It takes some time to get used to the dialog layout, but it is nice for creating pixeled graphics.

IconForge 4.92 **
which was sold commercially before can now be downloaded freely from the PCPlus web site. Icon Forge is a fully-featured icon editor. It can create static as well as animated icons and cursors and offers a few effects like Brightness, Contrast, Blur and Sharpen. Icon Forge offers several tools, e.g. a freehand, shapes and text tool.

Gertrudis *
... is a free application for creating paint and ink drawings. In addition to some sophisticated pen and ink tools, it also includes a few retouching, airbrush, color correction, alpha masking, selection and image warping tools. Gertrudis features an unlimited number of layers, a large number of Undo levels and a variety of brushes and patterns.
All in all, there are still many bugs present, there are no standard brushes, only esoteric ones and graphic tablets aren't supported yet. So Gertrudis is something for people who like experimenting.

Serif Applications ***
Serif offers various applications on their special freeware web site. You can download old versions of their commercial products PagePlus, PhotoPlus, WebPlus, DrawPlus and 3DPLus. These applications do not offer that much features as top commercial products, but can easily compete with similar shareware products.

Tint (OS X)
... is a tool for adjusting the color balance of images. Color adjustments with original color near the pixel color are applied more, whereas color adjustments that differ in original color from the pixel color have little or no effect. This allows changing different colors separately.

Clic 2.0
... is a freeware icon editor that supports 24bit color icons with transparency. A screen capture function lets you grab an icon from anywhere on screen in real-time and a Paste-to-Fit function auto resizes your picture. It also offers grayscale conversion, mirror, flip and rotate features and a multilingual interface.

GOLDBERG ***
is an image and movie viewer with some image editing capabilities such as the QuickTime effects, rotations, free zooming, selecting, cropping and printing. Goldberg supports several image file formats as PICT, Photoshop, JPEG, TIFF, FlashPix, GIF, PNG, Targa, BMP, SGI files and also QuickTime movie files. There's a version for MacOS 9.0 as well as MacOS X.

Pixia **
...is the English version of a famous free Japanese painting and retouch software. It is tablet-sensitive and supports brushes, masks, layers and many other features. You can use your own customized brush tips and even use an image file as a brush tip. Additionally it includes several effect filters. Although an English help file is not available yet, it shouldn't be that difficult to use if you have experiences with other graphics applications.


Ultimate FX 1.3 ***
... is the little brother of Ultimate Paint 2. It can run Photoshop-compatible plugins and includes many nice image effects.

Digital Camera Tools ***
... are five free "Digital Camera Tools" for Windows.

Irfan View ***
... is freeware viewer and editor that knows tons of image formats.

imageN ***
... is freeware image editing application can use Photoshop-compatible plugins.

Megalux Ultimate Paint 1.x ***
... has some nice features and effects.

InstaCropper ***
...
is a small free program for automatically cropping white backgrounds of .jpg, .bmp, or .tga files. It features manual as well as batch processing, noise filtering, manual and auto rotation. This easy to use and convenient tool is perfect for straightening out your scans.

 

Web Design

Buttonmania *
.... allows you to create button images of various styles and shapes. You can choose from a variety of available styles and customize them to your preference. The button styles range from simple form-style web buttons to graphical shapes and 3D style push-buttons. Additional features include a text tool, gradient options, effect buttons, mouseover styles, Mac style buttons and more. Buttonmania also comes with a Java script tool for creating mousover code for buttons. Some button styles look a bit unprofessional and the dialogs are somewhat confusing, but overall it lets you quickly design some nice buttons.

JAlbum ***
.... is a free web photo album generator (for Win/Mac/Linux). It supports deep hierarchies of image folders and movie files like mpg, avi and wmv can also be added to albums. There is an integrated FTP client with synchronization capability and EXIF support. JAlbum is highly customizable: The album appearance can be changed with the included skins as well as your own skins and album functions can be programmed in a Java-like language called BeanShell. If you want to create a photo album for your web site or to burn it on a CD, JAlbum should be your first choice.

GIF Optimizer ***
... is a small freeware tool that removes unused colors and duplicate frames from GIF files and thereby reduces their size. You start by selecting single files or a complete folder and GIF Optimizer presents a list with all files and an estimation of the saving. Pressing the Optimize button processed all files. There's also a preview for viewing the images. This tool is highly recommended.

DotColor 3.0 ***
... is a free small tool for web designers. You can zoom any area of the screen with it, examine the color of the pixels under cursor and even copy part of the screen on the clipboard. If you want to know how your HTML page looks on a different background, you can use the color mixer and change certain pixels on your screen to a different color.

Zpaint *
is a flexible button maker for creating 3D-looking elements for websites and software interfaces. With the help of Zpaint you can easily paint raised or lowered shapes such as buttons, rings, boxes, or add these effects to existing graphics. It lets you colorize and texture selections, offers adjustable extrusion depth, gloss and other effects. As its editing functionality is a bit limited you still need an image editing application for the final touch.

Serif WebPlus 1
...
a free and fully functional download. WebPlus 1 is a web publishing software with professionally designed templates, animated GIF wizards, Web wizards for instant Web sites, animated marquee wizard, logo/graphic module, FTP upload and many more features.

3D GIF Animator ***
... is a great freeware tool for creating animated banners and buttons.

HTML Shrinker Light ***

... reduces the size of your web pages and speeds up your web site.

Texture Tools

The Texture Editor
.... is a tool for generating procedural quadratic textures. Texture Editor creates color texture maps, bump maps, specular / diffuse maps, reflection / refraction maps, transparency maps and displacement / height maps.

Knot Maker *
... is a freeware tool for designing knot patterns. It generates the text for the knots to use with my Knot Maker font. The Knot Maker font is included in the package. Knot Maker is nice for producing material for antique designs.

Texture Processor ***
... is a freeware tool for producing seamless textures. It already comes with a variety of textures that can be modified, mixed or altered for a quick start. Texture Processor includes several pattern, deformation and filter algorithms which can be combined to produce seamless textures. Unfortunately the texture size is limited to 256 x 256 pixels and you can only save them in BMP format. Other than that it is fun to use.

sTile 2.6 ***
.... is a free texture generation application. In the past it was also known as Harm'sTile 99. It lets you create texture tiles with the help of many filters and special features. It is highly recommended for people who want to create some nice background textures.


Strichzeichner
*
... is a freeware painting tool for generating brushed metal surfaces. You can choose between two methods of painting the surface. The first method draws continuously three lines in different colors. The second method draws continuously only one gradient line. The color of the lines can be adjusted through the whole grayscale. The direction, the color and the length of the lines can be changed during the drawing process.

Tiles from Syntrillium**
... is a small tool for making seamless fractal patterns. The patterns are created randomly and the colors palette can be randomised, too. There's a lot of noise in the created patterns, but that can be removed by editing the saved tile in a graphics application.


Reptile Texture Generator

... is not a plugin, but another Texture Generator. You need to register it before you can use it though. 

Texture Discovery ***
... is an application for viewing seamless textures.

 

2D Image Generators

Puzzler and Van Klee
Ransen Software offer two free applications (for Windows) for download: Puzzler, for creating puzzles with square pieces, and Van Klee, for turning images into paintings. Both tools are limited versions of Ransen's commercial Repligator tool.

Patchwork Maker ***
... is a tool for combining many photos into a composite image known as a photo mosaic. It allows you to set contrast and transparency of composites pictures and the maximum number of time you want to use one picture. The created image can be saved as a BMP or JPG.

Knot Maker **
Knot Maker is a freeware tool (for Windows) for designing knot patterns. It generates the text for the knots to use with my Knot Maker font. The Knot Maker font is included in the package. Knot Maker is nice for producing material for antique designs.

Fractal Snowflake Generator **
... creates 2-color fractal snowflakes. It lets you define foreground and background colors, the complexity and number of rays and many more. A Randomize button allows you to quickly cycle through possible effect settings. The created snowflakes can be saved as a BMP file and post-processed in any image application, e.g. to be added to Christmas cards.

Fractal Explorer ***
... is a freeware fractal generation tool that can draw classical fractals, 4D-complex fractals , 3D "strange" attractors and IFS. Also, Fractal Explorer has many features for the creation of special effects and improvement of the pictures. There's also an additional plug-in called Fractal Landscapes Library for rendering fractal landscapes and a compiler for your own formulas available as a separate download available. Images can be saved as BMP, GIF or JPEG and animations as AVI files.

STARBITS 7 **
... is a shareware tool for creating stars and galaxy images. It isn't disabled in any way and doesn't time-out. The author requests to pay him $10 to cover the development costs if you should find his tool useful.

NovaMatic 2000 *
... is freeware and allows you to create supernovas, rays and globulars on existing bitmap images. The effects are created by clicking somewhere on the image. Unfortunately the program only supports BMP files.

Fractal Flame Standalone Version **
is a tool that creates fractal flames effects just like Kai's Power Tools 5.

 

Text Tools

Speed Reader 2.0 ***
... from Cybia (for Windows) lets you quickly browse through your drives and folders and display the text files with just a few clicks. SpeedReader now also features a basic image viewing feature that can display graphics full-size or tiled for testing seamless textures. The program supports many formats including jpg, png, bmp, psd, tga and more.

PDF4Free
... is a printer driver that lets you create PDF files from any Windows application. It is free for personal and noncommercial use and there is also a more sophisticated commercial version.

X-Fonter ***
... is a free-for-personal-use tool for managing TrueType fonts. It lets you browse and preview installed fonts as well as not-installed fonts, install or uninstall any font and search for fonts on your hard drive. It offers a character map with all ASCII codes, unicode support, printing a font overview and much more.

The Font Thing ***
... is another font management tool with fewer options, but easier to use. It is totally freeware and also lets you browse installed and uninstalled fonts as well as install and uninstall them. Additionally it lets you group fonts into collections for easier management, use multiple font windows simultaneously for easy font comparison.

Baytex FontShow!
Macintosh users should have a look at the free Baytex FontShow!. It let's you preview any text with your installed fonts. You can choose the show speed, and you can pause, go back, forward or change the speed during the show. Clicking on the styled text (with your chosen font and your chosen color) copies it to the clipboard.


HTMLDOC
*** (UNIX/Linux)
... converts HTML files to PDF, PostScript and indexed HTML. It can generate a table-of-contents for books, indexed HTML files and on-the-fly for web applications. You can use the command- line for batch jobs or a GUI for interactive work. HTMLDOC is an easy-to-use and intuitive tool for creating a PDF document from html pages or a whole web site. Download the "FREE Windows version" and ignore the hint about limited functionality. I tested this version and it worked properly. However, you should save your settings before you generate the PDF file, because there may be occasional freezes. HTMLDOC is open source software, but they finance themselves with the help of support fees.

PDF2HTMLgui
is a freeware application for converting PSD files to HTML. It can export the whole document or only certain pages and even ignore images. To use PDF2HTMLgui you also need to download the binary PDF2HTML and GostScript binaries from the same page.

Font Magic**
is a free tool for creating 3D text. You can use any TrueType font on your system and instantly create a three-dimensional image with a variety of effects. It lets you apply material characteristics and textures to text, change the size and orientation of the text and use plain or shaded backgrounds. Font Magic offers wire frame or fully textured image display and saves static images as well as animations.


Aldus Type Twister
*** - Currently Down!!!

...
is old freeware tool from 1994 that is no longer developed or supported. It is ease of use and has many nice features. You can change differen options, e.g. text, colour, fill, font and shape, but you can't simply save the result. You have to copy the file to the clipboard and paste it then into a graphics application. Although it doesn't support anti-aliasing eigther, it is nevertheless a nice tool to play with.

 

Video Tools

JPGVideo
JPGVideo creates a video file from a series of JPG Files with the same image size. The frame rate of the video can be chosen. JPGVideo tends to create very large AVI files, so you have to recompress the AVI file or convert it to MPEG with another tool if you want video files of a reasonable size. On the same web site you can also find JPGAVI which is shareware, but offers more features.


AVIPreview
... is a free video player that can play back video files which are only partially downloaded. It doesn't need to create a copy of the video file to display it, so you can even watch the video file without interrupting the download process. There is an option for full screen viewing and an option for saving the partial video files in order to repair them.

Avid Free DV ***
...
is a streamlined version of Avid's award-winning video editing software with capabilities that include two video tracks, four audio tracks, basic trimming and editing functionality and up to two streams of real-time effects. Avid Free DV is an easy, free way to learn the editing interface and tool set used by many video editing professionals.

DivFix
lets you repair partially downloaded DivX AVI files. It rebuilds or strips the index part of the video at the end of the file. There is also an error detection, which can detect serious errors in the audio/video stream.

BSplayer ***
... is probably the best video player around and it is freeware. It may easily gather the same cult status as WinAMP in the audio scene. BSplayer is playing back avi, asf, wmf and mpeg video files and also supports sub titles. It is a great replacement for the slow and clumsy Microsoft Media Player. Localization files for 35 different languages are included. You need to register before you get access to the BSplay web site, but you will rewarded with 88 downloadable Bsplayer skins.

STOIK Video Converter **
... is a free helper application for Video Man 3 and Morph Man 3 from STOIK, but can also be used without them. It converts AVI and Windows Media Video files while changing fps, frame size, code, sampling depth, frequency and the number of audio channels. STOIK Video Converter also detects scene changes and splits video by episodes. It can create multiple clips of individual episodes while avoiding additional recompression.

DivX 5.0 *** (Linux)
... is the highest-quality, highest-performance video technology available. DivX 5.0 introduces a host of new features, including new technologies and tools that make it easier than ever to create DVD-quality video at very small file sizes. There are two different versions of DivX: DivX and DivX Pro. DivX is free while DivX Pro is the professional-level product with advanced encoding features. DivX Pro exists as a free ad-supported version and a commercial version. All versions include the DivX Player 2.0, which is unfortunately a slightly unstable alpha version.


TMPEGEnc 2.0
***
.... converts AVI files into high quality MPEG-1/2 files. TMPGenc enables you to adjust the bit rate, quantize matrix, GOP structure, interlace and many other parameters. Presets for various Video CD formats are already included. As long as it is still available for free, grab it.

FadeToBlack *
... is a nice and free tool for editing your home movies and AVI files. It lets you dissect video files and re-edit them without altering your original files, combine many AVI files and even include your digital camera pictures. You can make your video files play backwards, speed them up, slow them down, cut out scenes, modify the colors and overlay, move or fade clips. There's also a Custom Filter for creating more visual effects. The free version of FadeToBlack lets you save projects, but you need the commercial version to open them again. So you have to create your projects in one session if you don't want to pay for the low-cost commercial version.

MovieXone 4 ***
... means video editing, animation, titling and audio under one single interface, it features a freely scalable Live Preview in realtime, DV editing and will be expandable with plugins in the future. It offers one compositing track, one A/B editing track, two audio tracks and 7 different video effects. The maximal resolution is 720 x 576 pixels at 32-bit color depth.


ProjectDivX 1.5 **
... is a small tool for editing and merging DivX (MPEG4-Codec) AVIs encoded with Low-Motion and Fast-Motion. It can quickly cut big AVIs into smaller parts. The interface is a bit overcrowded at first sight, but usable after some practising.

Scenalyzer 3.52*
is a freeware tool for splitting AVI files containing dv-video into the individual scenes and thus saving a lot of time when you prepare your DV-material for editing.

RAD Video Tools **
... include Smacker, a 256- color video compressor, and Bink, a true-color video compressor. Bink produces higher quality than MPEG-II and is up to three times faster than other software decoders. The RAD Video Tools contains the compressors, a sound mixer, a player, a graphics processor and a sound processor. They can even compile the files into an EXE file for self-running videos.


ABC Video Roll

... is a free video editing application built around Quicktime 4.

 

3D

DeFish
... is a tool for creating environment maps from fisheye photos. It lets you map fisheye images to hemicubes and cylinders for the creation of panoramic images.

Softimage|XSI EXP 3.0 (for Windows XP and 2000)
.... is a non-commercial training version of Softimage|XSI, a 3D animation package. You can use it to learn the full XSI 3.0 toolset without a hassle. The only limitation of this version is a watermark on the rendered images. The pack contains six tutorials, providing instruction on everything from the interface to the integrated compositing capabilities.

Amapi 3D v4.15
The full version of Amapi 3D v4.15 (Win/Mac) , an interactive 3D modeler, is available. Amapi makes the creation and editing of complex geometric surfaces easier by offering a wide selection of advanced tools such as NURBS, polygonal curves and Gordon surfaces. Thanks to its customizable interface, it not only meets the demands of professional designers, but is easy enough for beginners to use.

trueSPACE 3.2
Download.com is offering Version 3.2 of trueSPACE for free. So if you are looking for a nice 3D tool, check out this 21 MB download.


trueSpace 1.0

Another freebie on the PCPlus web site is trueSpace 1.0. It is a 3D rendering package from Caligari which was originally sold for more than $700. trueSpace lets you model, render and animate 3D graphics. It contains many professional features, interactive painting, hierarchy, direct manipulation and a True 3D Interface. You can create anything from flying 3D text, titles and logos to realistic ray-traced animations that explain complex mechanisms in trueSpace.

GenesisII Freeware & Landscape Explorer 2000
Geomantics offer two free 3D landscape tools. "GenesisII Freeware" is a 3D landscape renderer which provides most of the functionality of the Light and professional versions except for the integration of 3D models, the image overlay renderer and full support for GIS. "Landscape Explorer 2000" is a map and landscape rendering program offering real-time manipulation and non-photo realistic rendering. It is free for non-commercial and educational use, but requires registration for commercial users and users who need larger image sizes.

3D Canvas Standard ***
... is a free real-time 3D modeling and animation tool that incorporates a drag-and-drop approach to 3D modeling. Complex models can be constructed from simple 3D primitives or created using 3D Canvas' Object Building Tools. Modeling tools are provided to deform, sculpt, and paint 3D objects. Creating an animated scene is as simple as positioning the objects within your scene for each point in time in your animation. Your animation can be stepped through a frame at a time, viewed in real-time or recorded to a Video (AVI) file. The enhanced Pro version of 3D Canvas costs just $70 and also supports Photoshop-compatible plugins.

P3dO Explorer ***
... is a free Explorer-like graphics browser supporting 38 images files formats plus Poser and Vue d'Esprit file formats. It features selectable thumbnail image size, slideshow, zoom, Favorites menu, Zip through browsing, various plugins and more. 3D viewing is not supported yet, but the 3D engine is under construction.

quick3D Viewer
... is free 3D file format viewer with expansive file format support, high quality real-time display and advanced feature set. quick3D Viewer includes all features of the full quick3D version except the save, export, and conversion features and the command line interface. The supported file formats are e.g. quick3D, 3D Studio, Truespace, AutoCAD, Lightwave, Quake, Sense8, Wavefront, DirectX.

Blender Creator *** (Linux)
... is a fully integrated 3D creation suite and distributed as freeware. Blender features a versatile animation system, contemporary modeling principles, an advanced rendering engine, character animation tools, an editor for post-production and tools for creation and playback of real-time interactive 3D. Blender can be used to create commercials and other broadcast quality linear content, while the incorporation of a real-time 3D engine allows for the creation of 3D interactive content for PCs, next generation game consoles and mobile devices.

Now3D *
.... is a free and easy to use raytracing tool for the creation of animations and 3D objects. Now3D has evolved from an application for astronomical visualization called Planets. The Now3Dweb site contains the manual as well as galleries of images created with it.


Maya Personal Learning Edition ***
It provides users with free access to a personal-use, non-commercial version of Maya, the high-end 3D graphics and animation app.

PhotoModeler Lite ***
... is a program for creating 3D models from photos of the same object from different angles. The 3D models are created with points, lines, surfaces, and photo-textures mapped on right from the photos. The model can be viewed or measured in PhotoModeler Lite's 3D Viewer or exported in VRML, DXF and 3DS formats. The Lite version is free for non-commercial use and there is a Pro version for commercial users.

Infinity Model Builder
... is a free powerful 3D editor designed to create and edit object files with real-time rendering through the Infinity 3D Rave engine. Model Builder can import the meshes contained in 3DMF files, DXF files or OBJ files, modify them, add colors or textures and save the result as a standard Infinity MetaFile. However, Model Builder is not a 3D modeler. It does not allow you to create meshes.

3D Canvas 4.1***
is a freeware real-time 3D modeling and animation tool that incorporates an intuitive drag-and-drop approach to 3D modeling. Complex models can be constructed from simple 3D primitives, or created using 3D Canvas' Object Building Tools. Modeling tools are provided to deform, sculpt and paint 3D objects. It is a 16.7 MB download.

PiXELS3D | studio | 3.6
... is an animation, modeling and rendering tool which can be downloaded for free now. It lets you build 3D models and animation, create 3D characters, environments and presentations with realistic movements.


Terragen for Windows ***
... is an amazing 3-D terrain rendering program that lets you produce great results within minutes.

Terragen for Macintosh
See above!


Genesis II (Freeware)
... generates schematic and photorealistic images of landscapes from your geographic data.


Geometra - Currently Down!!!
Get the free Ligh Version of this software that lets you create 3D models from photos.


Crystal 3D Impact
***
is a previously commercial and now free 3D application you shouldn't miss.

 

Morphing

Xi-WARP ***
... is a freeware tool for bending, distorting and morphing any image simply by drawing two outlines - one around the part you want to distort and another to define the shape to be molded into. You can do that with many parts of the image and animate these parts simultaneously.

STOIK Morph Man Helper **
... is a free application designed to properly crop and rotate photos or videos to facilitate the creation of face-to-face morphing projects. It was designed to be used for MorphMan, but can also be used without it for other purposes. MorphMan Helper allows you to easily crop and rotate a pair of images or videos so that faces or other objects are of the same relative size and position in both cropped images or videos. MorphMan Helper lets you then save the cropped images or videos as various file formats.

Morpheus***
.... is a tool that lets you morph from one image to another and to save the result as an AVI, Animated GIF or BMP/JPG/PNG/TIF sequence. It is easy to use, even for beginners, because all you have to do is to open two different images, set the corresponding dots in both images and to let Morpheus render the morph video.

 

Various

CoffeeCup Software
... offers a few freeware tools (for Windows) for web design purposes. They offer an Image Viewer, Zip Wizard, Scrollbar Wizard, Image Slicer, Icon Studio and Browser Skinner. Especially recommended are their DHTML Menu Builder and Flash Text Wizard for creating menus and Flash text effects for your web site.

ICC Tool (Linux)
ICC Tool from Serendipity Software is a simple tool for checking how ICC profiles convert certain color values. This tool can give you a basic idea how color management works.

hugin (Linux)
....is a free GUI for Helmut Dersch's Panorama Tools. With hugin you can correct lens distortions, stitch together overlapping images and assemble photos into a panorama. There are some tutorials on the website that explain how to use it.

TawbaWare Image Stacker
combines multiple photos into a single photo. It can also be used to reduce the appearance of "digital noise" in images created by digital cameras or scanners, and create "synthesized long-exposures" without overexposure. Although Image Stacker is distributed as shareware ($17), it operates without registration, but limited to 10 images with sizes up to 640x480 pixels. Of course similar results can be achieved by assembling images as layers in Photoshop or PSP and using various blend modes, but Image Stacker is doubtlessly a more convenient alternative.

File Recovery 3 & Smart Recovery
PC INSPECTOR File Recovery 3 is a freeware data recovery program (for Windows) that supports the FAT 12/16/32 and NTFS file systems. It finds partitions automatically, even if the boot sector or FAT was erased or damaged, and recovers files even if a header entry is no longer available. However, it does not fully support the NTFS file system. On the same web site you will also find the Smart Recovery tool, which seems to be sponsored freeware. It is aimed at recovering files from various memory cards. During recovery it can also display thumbnails of the found photos.


Zero Assumption Digital Image Recovery
... is a freeware data recovery tool for recovering digital photos accidentally deleted from digital camera memory or media type (e.g. Compact Flash, Memory Stick, Smart Media). In most cases the necessary direct access may be gained without any complementary devices by just connecting the digital camera to the PC. They claim that card readers also work. However, I didn't manage to make it work with my old CF-Reader, but maybe you have more luck.

Canon RAW Image Converter 2.0 **
Canon offers Version 2.0 of its RAW Image Converter (for Win/Mac) now. It still isn't that comfortable to use like the commercial BreezeBrowser or the Adobe RAW plugin, but it has improved a lot and is freeware. The most important new feature is the dialog that appears when you press "List for Development Condition Settings". This dialog offers a thumbnail view and a preview mode. You can also choose between different white balance, contrast, saturation and sharpness presets as well as apply a false color filter and convert to linear. A color picker tool also lets you set the white point.
Windows: http://www.powershot.com/powershot2/customer/RIW_202.html
Macintosh: http://www.powershot.com/powershot2/customer/RIM_202.html

ScreenRip32 **
... is a freeware screen capture utility that let's you capture areas of the screen with a variety of methods. It supports different image formats such as ICO, BMP, JPG and GIF. ScreenRip32 also lets you view and create Animated GIFs from opened files or captured images.

Liquid Media ***
... is a free-for-personal-use presentation software. It lets you create professional multimedia slide shows with sound, 3D Animation and special effects. It lets you import PowerPoint presentations, animate and rotate 3D objects, is timeline or action orientated and exports to a standalone EXE file, AVI video or CD menu.

Animation Stand Personal Edition
... is a free cross-platform tool for computer-assisted pseudo-3D character animation, compositing and film quality special effects. Key features of Animation Stand are multiplane camera control, automatic cel painting, 3-D shading, audio editing, production cost reporting, and easy output to film, HDTV, video, QuickTime, and standard graphics files. The Personal Edition is limited to a 256 x 192 pixel resolution, which is still sufficient for web animations.

The ADG Panorama Tools
... are free for non-commercial use. ADG Panorama Tools is a program which lets you generate an interactive panoramic composition from a series of photos. It features auto-alignment of images, warping images into true cylindrical view, customized designer user interface and performs a vertical camera movement perspective correction. The created panoramas can be placed on a web site and viewed through a java applet.

RenderSoft CamStudio
... is a free tool for recording screen activity into standard AVI video files. CamStudio can be used to demonstrate features of a new software, to create movies for user trainings, to record the sequence of steps that cause the occurrence of bugs in faulty software, to record a movie stream and many more. There is a great autopanning feature, which tries to keep the cursor in the middle of the frame. This means that you don't can show what is happening on the whole screen without recording at full screen size which keeps the AVI file very small.


Scott's Box Shot Maker **
... is a free application for creating virtual box shots of products. You can manipulate the width, depth and orientation of the box, add shading and shadows and make it two-sided, three-sided or even a book cover. Also, create templates for your box shots so you can easily make modifications for future versions of your product. The end product can be saved as a JPG, BMP or GIF file.

"The Screen Calipers" *
... are a on-screen measurement tool with a fully skinable interface. So they resemble real life calipers in both form and function. They can be used with any program where fast and accurate measurements are required. Originally created for graphics and web design, the Screen Calipers are also used for CAD drawings, architecture blueprints, illustrations or even on X-Rays scans. Pixel-perfect accuracy is ensured every time simply by aligning the Screen Caliper's pointers around an object. They can be used with any program as they float above other applications allowing quick and easy measurements. Screen Calipers are free to use for an unlimited time, but there's also a fully featured commercial version.

Drive Rescue **
... is a free undeletes and data recovery tool. It can find any lost and deleted data on your drive (e.g. hard disk) even if the partition table is lost! Lost Data which is the result of a system crash can also be recovered. However it cannot find any data on a physically damaged drive and isn't very effective if your drive is very fragmented. Supported file systems are FAT 12/16/32 (used by hard disks, disks, Smartmedia, Compact Flash, Memory Stick and other). A second hard disk is recommended for recovery, but a floppy disc will do it, too. Supported languages are English, German and French.

EVE
*
... is an application for drawing vector diagrams. It features advanced vector line drawing with 'sticky' lines, built-in drawing elements (circles, lines, etc plus icons), pictures, sound and other EVE files can be embedded. EVE isn't very user friendly, so it can be quite hard to understand when used for the first time. But for a file size of 41K this tool offers unbelievable functionality.

Turbo Squid
is a free software application used to buy and sell digital assets online. Turbo Squid has a fast growing image bank of 2D and 3D assets. Using the PC or MAC web versions you can search for 3D models, motion capture files and textures in multiple file formats and download them instantly.

Snap it!**
is a screen capture tool for MacOS. Contrary to other screen capture tools available, Snap It! is a very low-level screen hacker: Snap It! can take a picture of every part of the screen absolutely whenever you want and save the result in a standard PICT file. Snap It! can capture in any bit depth and in any size, provided that enough memory is available.

GRIDLINER
is a utility for Corel Photo-Paint that makes the drawing of horizontal, vertical, and grid lines a snap. It has options for line size, spacing, transparency, and apply mode. Lines can be filled with a solid color or gradient and can be rendered to an existing object or as an object. There's even the possibility to add a custom background, solid color or gradient, and have the entire image embossed. It also has the time saving feature of "remembering" the last used settings and can save settings as presets for future use. There's both a free LITE version and an inexpensive PRO version available for download.

StarOffice Draw ***
If you are looking for a free full-featured vector application, have a look at StarOffice Draw which is part of the free Star Office package. Unfortunately you'll have to download the full 79 MB package to get Star Draw as it isn't separately available. StarOffice Draw includes 3-D modeling that enables you to fuse basic shapes together to create complex ones, Bézier curves, a range of connectors that draw lines between objects, and even the elusive "text on a curve." New and improved 3-D sizing handles make it a snap to rotate drawing objects and manipulate their invisible bounding boxes.

Pro Tools FREE 5
... is a free, but professional audio editing application. Features are 8 audio channel (plus 2 channels with Audio Drivers support) and 48 MIDI tracks. It includes real-time DSP processing plug-ins and is compatible with a large assortment of RTAS and AudioSuite plug-ins.

Magenta II Free Edition***
is a multimedia authoring tool with an object oriented multimedia-programming language and compiler. There are powerful wizards for code generation and a Python scripting engine for building your own wizards and composer extensions. The download is 9 MB large.

 

 

 
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