Sunday, March 23, 2014

Creative Programs

John Marine | 6:52 PM | | | | |
Multimedia has come a long way. Many programs have been created to help people fuel their creative spirits and make almost anything. This blog post takes a look at some of these programs. If these items interest you, click on the headings to visit the websites of these programs. Part of "John's Creative Space" is in showcasing certain programs and such in case if you want to use these programs yourself. Consider this my way of showing you great programs and other items.

Please note that I may update this post regularly with new content. So therefore, look for the "UPDATED: ..." text to know when this post was last updated.

Welcome once again to...

John's Creative Space

About The Label: "Programs"

Certain programs and services online allow you to express yourself and create different things. Posts under this label highlight certain programs that can be downloaded or accessed to help express your own personal creativity.

Any opinions shared on any featured programs are my own personal commentary.

--- Creative Programs ---

Click on the program names to visit any official websites featuring each of the following items. Remember- more material may be added in edits to this post. These programs may be featured in individual posts in the future.

Creativity: 2D Art.

This section pertains to 2D art. You can almost never go wrong trying to express yourself with any number of different programs. I will share with you a few items here.

Photoshop Series
Known worldwide as the gold standard for editing images, Adobe Photoshop has long been the most powerful 2D art editor for a long while. Its many tools and features allow for it to be powerful for anyone to use.

The GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program), unlike Photoshop, is free. It is powerful in its own right in editing images. There is even a suite full of various effects that make it easy to make items such as buttons for websites. Many items can be either added or created to help boost the array of options you have in making quality graphics. In fact, a lot of what I've used to make art for all of my blogs was made through the GIMP. I use GIMP version 2.6 in my work.

Paint.NET is an adaptable and fairly easy-to-use program for editing images. However, it is only for Windows systems. You can add on more file formats to be edited if you so choose. Its interface is very basic. Everything is fairly understandable and simple to use.

More items and links may be added in future edits.

Creativity: 3D Art.

Here are some 3D art programs to get you interested in 3D modeling...

3D Studio Max
The gold standard and most-used 3D modeling program is Adobe 3D Studio Max. Many feel it is worth the investment to get 3D Studio Max to build high-quality 3D models for a variety of applications ranging from projects to games to even movies.

If you prefer using OBJ files, give Maya a try. There are a lot of people who use Maya over 3D Studio. So at least in terms of top-tier 3D Modeling software, you have 3D Studio and Maya to choose from.

LightWave 3D
All I know about LightWave 3D is that models constructed are created in LWO format. Other than that, I know not much else about it. This is another top-tier 3D modeling package. Prepare for amazing and powerful 3D modeling capabilities with LightWave 3D.

3D-Coat is powerful enough a 3D modeler for any sort of application. You can make a wide array of models and touch them up in many different ways using this professional-type modeler. You're going to have to pay if you want to be able to do more advanced 3D material with 3D-Coat. Visit the website for more details on paid versions of 3D-Coat.

Blender offers a powerful overall package of making and editing 3D models. Most of all- it's FREE! It is also open-source. Blender can be used in making 3D models and even in making videos. You can also make quality renders with this program and any number of effects. What can YOU create with Blender? Find out for yourself by downloading Blender!

Wings 3D
A little-known freeware 3D modeling program is Wings 3D. I have an old version of this program, but have never used it. I am not real sure of the range of possibilities and capabilities with this program. All I do know is that this is another option for one to consider in terms of freeware 3D modeling software.

Google SketchUp
From the fine folks at Google, they offer their own free 3D modeling software- Google SketchUp. I have only limited experience using this program, so I can't say too much about this program. All I can say is that this program can be just as solid in making any sort of 3D models and such as any other program.

Voxels (think volumetric pixels) are nothing new. In recent times, however, the 8-bit or pixelated look has become popular. Only so many programs actually allow for people to make amazing 3D models based entirely on pixels. The best program available now in the creation of voxel models is Qubicle Constructor from Minddesk. Qubicle is an easy-to-use program allowing for great control of making voxel models. I hate to say this to some people... but if you really want to maximize the array of options in exporting your work and being able to even sell your modeling work with this program, you need to pay for any of the different versions.

Qubicle Constructor is used for various cube and voxel games such as Stonehearth, Ace of Spades, almost any Voxlap game (such as Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior, and Blood among others), Cube World, Guncraft, Minecraft, and much more.

More items and links may be added in future edits.

Creativity: Audio.

Time to put those ears to good use! Here are some programs for making quality audio:

FL Studio
FL Studio is the most well-respected music-making software today. This music sequencer is used by many people ranging from amateurs to professionals. High-quality and powerful material help make FL Studio the can't-miss program for anyone wanting to make quality music. The program is free, but more advanced versions with better features will cost you some money. I'd say it's worth the investment based on how serious you are about making quality music with this program.

Linux MultiMedia Studio
If you don't have the money for any paid version of FL Studio, you may want to give Linux MultiMedia Studio a try. Don't let the "Linux" part of the program's name fool you- this is an open-source music maker made for various platforms- including Windows and Mac. It is fairly simple to make basic music with this program. Projects can be exported to WAV or OGG. This is a free program- so no worries about any limitations. Actually, there is only one limitation with what you can do with this program- your imagination. Otherwise, this is a great free alternative to FL Studio.

Audacity is a free, open-source audio program good for creating a number of different audio files. Everything is fairly simple to use in recording audio. You can even convert lossy audio formats to other popular formats. MP3s, OGGs, and even basic WAV files can be created using Audacity.

If you are familiar with tracker music, this program is a very good one in the creation of tracker music. It has support for many instrument samples as well as VST instruments to help create great music. Unless you get any of the paid versions, you can only export sounds as OGG or MIDI files. Paid versions of MadTracker will allow you to save files in WAV format.

More items and links may be added in future edits.

Creativity: Video.

Video-making resources coming your way in this section. Check it out:

Sony Vegas
Sony Vegas is an industry standard in making quality videos. The entire suite of Sony Vegas compliments the video making and editing desires of amateurs and professionals alike. There is absolutely no shortage of quality video material that can be created using the powerful Sony Vegas program.

Adobe After Effects
In the post-production phase of making videos, one of the most powerful programs available in making such effects is After Effects from Adobe. After Effects allow you to jazz up any number of videos with spectacular effects. That is... as long as you have the finances to buy this program.

A few times, I used VirtualDub. To be honest, I haven't had much success or need for using this program in the creation and editing of videos. Many people do still use VirtualDub for their video editing needs.

FRAPS is very popular among gamers in capturing video. A lot of online video makers use FRAPS to showcase game videos and even video tutorials. I don't have any FRAPS experience to say I recommend it.

An alternative to FRAPS is CamStudio. Some others use CamStudio to capture their video content on their computer. I have absolutely no experience with CamStudio.

More items and links may be added in future edits.

Creativity: Gaming.

If making games is your biggest creative aspect, allow me to point you in the direction of these items:

Unity 3D
Unity 3D is one of the most popular game-making software packages on the market today. Amateurs to professionals make all kinds of games and all sorts of resources to build games with Unity. If this is to your interest, feel free to visit Unity's website to learn more about this and other programs offered by the Unity team.

Game Maker from YoYo Games allows people ranging from amateurs to professionals to make their own gaming masterpieces. Many independent (or "indie") game creators and teams have made their own games with GameMaker.

More items and links may be added in future edits.

I'm hopeful this post was of help to you. I may add more resources in edits to help keep this post useful. If you are viewing the Desktop version of this blog, you can find links to these items in the sidebar under the "Creative Links" section. Thank you for reading!

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