Free Software that Makes Life Easier

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  • txmikestertxmikester Posts: 4
    edited December 1969

    I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned yet, but Evernote is incredibly useful for 3D and just about everything else. I keep finding new ways to use it - I think it might be the "killer app" for Internet/mobile.

    Although I use it for a lot of things, I first started using it when I got into CG to try to manage the overwhelming amount of information and tips I found on various 3D programs. Now, when I find an interesting thread on a forum or a blog, instead of bookmarking it, I use the web clipper to add it to Evernote. I have a separate notebook for all my CG reference stuff. I'm a software engineer, so I use it the same way for tech-related reference stuff, which is even more overwhelming than all the CG info out there.

    Some other ways I use it:

    - as a to-do list. I struggled with this for a long time, and even read a couple of books on implementing GTD. I ended up using the instructions at The Secret Weapon (Google it) and that has worked for me

    -whenever I get an idea for anything, I jot it down in Evernote. They have clients for every platform, so I can do this whether I'm on my Mac, or my phone.

    - I buy a LOT of ebooks, usually from Amazon, but sometimes from publishers directly (especially for tech books). For reading, I still prefer to use the Kindle app on my laptop or phone (oddly enough, I rarely use my actual Kindle). But in addition, I always upload a PDF version to evernote. That way, when I'm searching for something specific, the results will include any references in books I have as well as my other notes (such as web clippings).

    - speaking of search, if you use Chrome, the Evernote plugin will let you include searches of your notebooks in search results. Whenever I Google something, I get a section on the side of the page that shows my notes that match the search. Pretty cool stuff. I also use an app that integrates Evernote with Spotlight on my Mac, but I can't remember the name of it right now.

    - there's another free program called Skitch that lets you do free hand drawings and upload them as notes. On my phone, there's not much room to draw with my finger, so it's only good for little doodles. But I could see how with a tablet, this would be a great way to sketch out ideas when they come to you.

  • head waxhead wax Posts: 5,547
    edited December 1969

    thanks Evernote looks great, can't wait to try that out !

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,220
    edited December 1969

    Thanks for that tip - looks like just what I need to keep track:)

  • carnitecarnite Posts: 162
    edited March 2013

    Evernote is great - every time I buy from DAZ (or anywhere, and even freebies), I screen capture the item, then tag it with "Hair" "V4" "A4" or "Vehicles" "SciFi", depending on what it is. I've been doing it since 2008. I have a separate notebook for DAZ stuff, away from everything else. When I want something, I just do a search, and I can scroll through the pictures of what comes up. It's even managed to transfer from Windows to the Mac a couple of years ago. Not too much software did that.

    Post edited by carnite on
  • wetcircuitwetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    wow. ok, researching it now...

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,322
    edited December 1969

    Project Dogwaffle 1.2 Freeware
    And I've made some Project Dogwaffle Video Tutorial Playlists

    In some of those tutorials, Philip uses Anim8or, a fine, free modeling/animation software for making brushes and animated brushes for use in Dogwaffle. Really cool stuff. Anim8or is a great software in its own right, too.
    And This Page contains a pile of links to tutorials for Anim8or as well as a link to the main site where you can download it for free, with no strings attached!
    It is a freeware vertex modelling program with some really great features!

  • head waxhead wax Posts: 5,547
    edited December 1969

    thanks Dart

    lot of us cut our teeth on anim8or.
    has a few things that carrara could do with - mainly a cutting tool - very handy for slicing through a polygon and creating anew edge and corresponding verticies. Makes box modelling and edge looping much eassier - sigh - given up that car will ever get a knife tool...

  • head waxhead wax Posts: 5,547
    edited March 2013

    Meshlab = for cleaning up a mesh and also "decimating"

    http://meshlab.sourceforge.net/

    much better polygon reduction tool than carrara

    and once the mesh is cleaned up you might be able to take it into sculptris to use the polygon reduction paint brush
    for more selectiove poly reduction

    (reason: sculptris is very touchy at what meshes you can import)

    http://pixologic.com/sculptris/

    plus other stuff as well ;)

    thanks to Roygee for putting me onto meshlab

    Post edited by head wax on
  • Design AcrobatDesign Acrobat Posts: 459
    edited December 1969

    Not sure if it has been mentioned, but I'll post this from the Xara Website:

    Xara Xtreme is the perfect graphics tool for all your drawing, photo and design needs. Whether you want to create illustrations, edit your photos, layout a brochure or create some web graphics, Xara Xtreme's fast and easy to use design tools make it a pleasure to be creative.

    Now you can get Xara Xtreme 5 for FREE! Yes, it's true, completely free, no charge whatsover! This is the full download version of Xara Xtreme 5, as previously sold for $89!

    You can read a bit more about what was new in v1 - v5, but why not just download it now for free and give it a try!

    The offer will only last until 29th April 2013, so don't hesitate!


    http://www.xara.com/us/specialoffers/designer/

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,322
    edited December 1969

    Wow, Thanks for that, and all of this stuff. What a great shopping mall this has become... but so so much bestester!

  • head waxhead wax Posts: 5,547
    edited December 1969

    Not sure if it has been mentioned, but I'll post this from the Xara Website:

    Xara Xtreme is the perfect graphics tool for all your drawing, photo and design needs. Whether you want to create illustrations, edit your photos, layout a brochure or create some web graphics, Xara Xtreme's fast and easy to use design tools make it a pleasure to be creative.

    Now you can get Xara Xtreme 5 for FREE! Yes, it's true, completely free, no charge whatsover! This is the full download version of Xara Xtreme 5, as previously sold for $89!

    You can read a bit more about what was new in v1 - v5, but why not just download it now for free and give it a try!

    The offer will only last until 29th April 2013, so don't hesitate!


    http://www.xara.com/us/specialoffers/designer/

    thanks for that to, I think 3dage swears by this? you can use it for exporting ai files I think that actually load into the Carrara spline room?

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,220
    edited December 1969

    Thanks for that heads-up:) 3dage sings the praises of Xara, so I just had to grab it.

    Head wax and I both started out in Anim8or - very simple and easy to use, with some surprisingly advanced features. It has the same workroom type of layout as Carrara. When I put in a feature request to update Carrara's rigging system, I pointed the devs to Anim8or to see what a rigging and weight-painting system should look like.

    Can't figure out why development seemed to stop a few years ago - this app is a one-man hobby and has huge potential.

  • Jay_NOLAJay_NOLA Posts: 1,145
    edited December 1969

    Gimpel3D lets you convert 2D images and 2D video to 3D stereographic ones.

    http://www.gimpel3d.com/

  • edited December 1969

    Has anyone mentioned these yet? I'm not sure so I'll post it anyway:

    http://www.123dapp.com/

    ^ Free Autodesk modelling apps ;-)

    (At least they were free the last time I checked... I'm pretty sure nothing has changed though, lol.)

  • namffuaknamffuak Posts: 2,396
    edited December 1969

    I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned yet, but Evernote is incredibly useful for 3D and just about everything else. I keep finding new ways to use it - I think it might be the "killer app" for Internet/mobile.

    Although I use it for a lot of things, I first started using it when I got into CG to try to manage the overwhelming amount of information and tips I found on various 3D programs. Now, when I find an interesting thread on a forum or a blog, instead of bookmarking it, I use the web clipper to add it to Evernote. I have a separate notebook for all my CG reference stuff. I'm a software engineer, so I use it the same way for tech-related reference stuff, which is even more overwhelming than all the CG info out there.

    Maybe I'm missing something here - but I don't see any way to use Evernote on a system with no internet connection. The first thing it wants to do is set up an account, and, like good luck with that!

  • head waxhead wax Posts: 5,547
    edited December 1969

    thanks Jay-Nola and Koukotso

    those auto desk apps look wondedrous, !

    sorry namffauk cant help you with that!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,322
    edited December 1969

    Yeah, Cool stuff, folks!

  • edited December 1969

    head wax said:
    thanks Jay-Nola and Koukotso

    those auto desk apps look wondedrous, !

    sorry namffauk cant help you with that!

    123D Design is quite a slick and user-friendly app... the major drawback is that it can only export in the .stl format :blank:

    It seems like I can remember importing .stl files into Blender 2.49 at one point, but my recent attempts were more than a little unsuccessful, lol.

  • head waxhead wax Posts: 5,547
    edited March 2013

    Thanks Koukotsu, i played with the meshmaker last night, "made" a model of a latrge turtle skull I had,
    looks like it has potential

    didn't realise you had to upload all the photos to their site though,

    let's see, 40 phpotos at 6 mb each :)

    I ende up dropping them to about 500pix wide i at heavy jpeg compression
    the result was not bad, just needs to be retextured with the higher res maps

    Post edited by head wax on
  • Jay_NOLAJay_NOLA Posts: 1,145
    edited December 1969

    P3dO Explorer

    Helps finding stuff. Also, the paid Pro version is worth getting.

    http://www.senosoft.com/

    Developer's bio is on the Carrara Cafe site.

    http://carraracafe.com/senosoft/

    UV Mapper Classic

    You can UV Map with Carrara but I still like using the old UV Mapper for somethings.

    http://www.uvmapper.com/downloads.html

    YTD Video Downloaded

    You want this so you can download all those great Carrara, Brryce, DAZStudio, Poser, etc. videos that are on You Tube and other places.

    http://www.ytddownloader.com/

  • head waxhead wax Posts: 5,547
    edited March 2013

    Thanks Jay_Nola, was using p3do this morn, ceratinly makes life easier even if just for viewing psd files!

    I was fortunate enough to win uvmapper pro quite a few years ago and can highly recommend it - every few years I buy a new computer and email the developer to get a new download and he responds almost immediatelly - so great service even after all those years !

    there's also free roadkill for uv mapping which people tell me is very good?

    http://www.pullin-shapes.co.uk/page8.htm

    Post edited by head wax on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,322
    edited December 1969

    Jay_NOLA said:
    P3dO Explorer

    Helps finding stuff. Also, the paid Pro version is worth getting.

    http://www.senosoft.com/

    Developer's bio is on the Carrara Cafe site.

    And when you buy Pro, the developer is really cool and offers to help you if you need it. Very comfortable experience buying directly from cool people.

    Thanks for the other links too, Jay!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,322
    edited December 1969

    Koukotsu said:
    head wax said:
    thanks Jay-Nola and Koukotso

    those auto desk apps look wondedrous, !

    sorry namffauk cant help you with that!

    123D Design is quite a slick and user-friendly app... the major drawback is that it can only export in the .stl format :blank:

    It seems like I can remember importing .stl files into Blender 2.49 at one point, but my recent attempts were more than a little unsuccessful, lol.I think that might be a 3d printer format - 123design is said to be for 3d printer use. Isn't it?

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,220
    edited December 1969

    Nvil - or Voidworld - a seriously good modeling app, free while in Beta. Very active in development with almost daily updates. Just when we thought the days of stand-alone modeling apps was over - Applink to 3D Coat

    http://digitalfossils.com/

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,322
    edited December 1969

    Roygee said:
    Nvil - or Voidworld - a seriously good modeling app, free while in Beta. Very active in development with almost daily updates. Just when we thought the days of stand-alone modeling apps was over - Applink to 3D Coat

    http://digitalfossils.com/

    in particular, the part about "almost daily updates"
    Wow, you aren't kidding there! Looks interesting for a stand-alone modeler. Some current users are professionals using Maya. They'll copy and paste their work to NVil, model it in there because it has a more specific, easier to use workflow, and then paste the results back into Maya for UV, Rigging, animation, etc., before exporting to game engine. They look to be very serious in the modeling environment, making the interface easier, friendlier by making it smarter towards what you want to do - so your menus change depending upon what your working on yet the individual user has the ability to create custom toolbars. Pretty ingenious.
  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,220
    edited December 1969

    Yep - if there's anything out there that will replace Hex for me, that'll be it:)

  • edited December 1969

    I think that might be a 3d printer format - 123design is said to be for 3d printer use. Isn't it?

    Yep, it seems so, and it isn't exactly a "convenient and universal" file format either :long:

    I love the interface, but unfortunately 123D Design borders on "useless" from my perspective thanks to it's lack of exporting options, lol.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,322
    edited December 1969

    I kinda figured that from looking. But I really appreciate the link. Now can we get a new Mulberry render? SciFi, Fantasy, Real Life... I don't care... take your pick...
    But Koukotsu, you are THE Mulberry renderer... you really are!
    Please!!!! :)

  • edited December 1969

    I kinda figured that from looking. But I really appreciate the link. Now can we get a new Mulberry render? SciFi, Fantasy, Real Life... I don't care... take your pick...
    But Koukotsu, you are THE Mulberry renderer... you really are!
    Please!!!! :)

    I'm working on it, but my most recent faery render was an absolute disaster though. :red:

    It turns out particle emitters and parented objects don't transfer from the object browser very well, lol.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,322
    edited December 1969

    Ouch! Sorry to hear. No rush... I'm just anxious, is all. I enjoy all of your renders. That V4 character is so darling I could swear she's related, somehow, to your precious Mulberry. She wouldn't happen to have a Thorne or Sarsa custom face, would she?

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