Software for painting, illustration, and 3d design

 

Free creative software where you can learn to draw, make graphics or animate characters in Blender 3D. Make your own story.  Download for free and make your ideas come to life.

Learning new software can be tricky but you just need to spend a little bit off time getting to know the tools, commands and functions.  Start small and set achievable goals and you will be able to create great things. This software is for advanced users that would use a laptop or desktop computer.

Learning curve

Suited to young people who are little more advanced and familiar with technical devices. Are working on laptops or desktop machines and love a challenge. Tese apps are great for making graphics for a presentation for a school project. Great tools for drawing,  creating characters or landscapes for stories and game development. 

Let’s get stuck in!

 

Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac OSX.
Best for: Drawing, digital illustration or painting, graphic design, photo editing.
Learning curve: A complicated interface means a slow learning curve. 
Resource: An open source community that sharing knowledge to help you learn more.

1st off…

GIMP

GIMP (graphic image manipulation program) is best described as a free version of photoshop. Photoshop is a fantastic tool and industry leader. A program with a lot of power for making your content from scratch. It’s also great for editing and manipulating photos and images.

 Hotkeys and commands may be a little different to normal Photoshop users but do not to fear.  as you become an advanced user you will have no problem changing the settings to suit your needs. GIMP is a powerful image editing program with great features. 

you will need to  download and install on your local machine (laptop/ or desktop) and there are plenty of beginner tutorials on the GIMP website or you can simply search youtube for relevant videos. We have added some examples below.

Link for tutorials

https://www.gimp.org/tutorials/The_Basics/

Tutorial Overview on GIMP at work.

Awesome examples of GIMP at work

Check out artist  Johan Brits using Gimp below in these two Speed drawing videos. You can see more of his work on his youtube channel. Very inspiring stuff.

Inkscape Logo

Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac OSX.
Best for: Drawing, digital illustration or painting, graphic design.
Learning curve: A complicated interface can mean a slow learning curve. 
Resource: An open source community that sharing knowledge to help you learn more.

Next up

Inkscape – Draw freely

Inkscape is professional vector graphics editing program.

There are lots of different ways to save files but there are two types of graphic digital artwork formats that are important to know. They are; Vector and Bitmap.  A vector artwork image is calculated by your computer using maths and a bitmap artwork such is calculated by a pixel or coloured square. A photograph would be a very good example of a bitmap artwork.

Inkscape provides tools for you to build vector and shapes where you can design characters for animation or games.  Or you can enhance a website with graphics and logos. Gimp also provides pen and brush tools that allow you to draw in freehand. The process are a little different to bitmap editing software (GIMP of photoshop) but again there are plenty of tutorials for you to check out and learn a little bit before you start.

 

Teddybots soft toy competition winners at the RDS

Watch: important Inkscape  tools

 

Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac OSX.
Best for: 3d modeling, animation, or game design.
Learning curve: A complicated interface can mean a slow learning curve. 
Resource: An open source community that sharing knowledge to help you learn more.

Not for the faint hearted.

Blender 3d

 

A whole new world for building stories for games and films

What can I say about blender.
I’m relatively new to this software but I can see the huge advantages for learning on this application. Especially if you are into developing games, animations or films. 
It’s such a great tool that has a wide resource and community that can help you when you get stuck.
Be warned that blender does so many things it has a slow learning curve. But when you get good you will enjoy making and designing your own new worlds.  Most of the functions are set out in modules. For example; Modeling, Editing, and painting are in different modules or ‘tabs’ within the Blender interface. Once you get a hang of ‘modules’ or ‘tabs’ you will start to enjoy using the software. There are also plenty of character development applications that you can use with blender and we will feature these in another blog soon. 

 

 

Blender has a comprehensive interface with many aspects that can confuse. But As complicated as it looks there are lots of simple exercises that you can do to start learning this amazing application.

Blender Machine requirements:

Check here to see what machine you need to get blender working.

Recommended hardware:

  • 64-bit quad core CPU
  • 8 GB RAM
  • Full HD display with 24 bit color
  • Three button mouse
  • OpenGL 3.2 compatible graphics with 2 GB RAM

Minimum hardware:

  • 32-bit dual core 2Ghz  CPU with SSE2 support.
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 24 bits 1280×768 display
  • Mouse or trackpad
  • OpenGL 2.1 compatible graphics with 512 MB RAM

For more system requirements – check here

Teddybots soft toy competition winners at the RDS

Awesome examples of Blender 3D

For now, it’s probably best to leave you with some samples of Blender 3d at work. This film is credited to the blender community who work on various projects created by the open source community group.

This next clip is a demo reel made from various work by people and studios using the software. It’s a great example of the wide variation of styles you can achieve using this software. The possibilities are endless.

Watch this space!

Overview

Open source software is free to use and has a huge resource of users from around the world eager to share knowledge. If your going to work with the software be sure to check join the forums and get involved. If you have any comments or questions let us know and please leave them below and we will get back to you.