Free Software that Makes Life Easier

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  • thoromyrthoromyr Posts: 442
    edited December 1969

    not sure if it has already been mentioned, but crazy bump (http://www.crazybump.com/) can take a photo/diffuse texture map or bump map and generate normal maps, specular maps, etc. from them. I use this frequently to create normal maps for use in Carrara. Starting with a bump maps seems to give the best results. On OS X its been in beta release for years without change, but (knocks on wood) still works!

    I've also done this to generate gratuitous normal maps, e.g., of noise/cloud/turbulance and then use that to improve the surface of turbulent water in Carrara. Most recently used it to create pebbled glass for a DM lantern from the bump map that, IMO looks better than with the bump map.

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  • 3drendero3drendero Posts: 830
    edited December 1969

    makma said:
    Unfortunately I don't have DAZ Studio installed now nor its free content. Should I do that? I'm not after figures now. My preferred subjects are still-lifes and arch-viz. Though if I could help I will install it. What do you want to check?
    My system is WIN7 PRO 64 bit, the apps are: Carrara 8.1 32 bit and DaVinci Resolve 11 lite 64 bit.

    Thanks, basically if Smart Content works, if you can find any Daz store item.
    I got nothing when I had both installed.

  • 3drendero3drendero Posts: 830
    edited December 1969

    thoromyr said:
    not sure if it has already been mentioned, but crazy bump (http://www.crazybump.com/) can take a photo/diffuse texture map or bump map and generate normal maps, specular maps, etc. from them. I use this frequently to create normal maps for use in Carrara. Starting with a bump maps seems to give the best results. On OS X its been in beta release for years without change, but (knocks on wood) still works!

    I've also done this to generate gratuitous normal maps, e.g., of noise/cloud/turbulance and then use that to improve the surface of turbulent water in Carrara. Most recently used it to create pebbled glass for a DM lantern from the bump map that, IMO looks better than with the bump map.

    It is not free.
    But there is a free tool that does the same job, just less user friendly.
    http://ssbump-generator.yolasite.com/

    Here is another, online:
    http://cpetry.github.io/NormalMap-Online/

  • thoromyrthoromyr Posts: 442
    edited December 1969

    3drendero said:
    thoromyr said:
    not sure if it has already been mentioned, but crazy bump (http://www.crazybump.com/)

    It is not free.
    But there is a free tool that does the same job, just less user friendly.
    http://ssbump-generator.yolasite.com/

    Here is another, online:
    http://cpetry.github.io/NormalMap-Online/

    interesting, thanks for the tips I'll look them up. At least on OS X it is a free beta -- admittedly I never checked out Windows version.

  • DADA_universeDADA_universe Posts: 336
    edited December 1969

    Found something I absolutely must share. If you ever needed to send a video file via the internet and it was just too big to make any sense, just use handbrake. I was able to reduce a file from 1.2GB to 375MB without a loss in quality. Also good for compressing videos on phones and tablets. I keep a lot of videos on my android phablet so I can watch them on the go, I've run out of space for a while and suddenly I just discovered I can save more than half of the space on my device without discarding the current videos stored there, without losing quality too, all by clicking quick presets. Awesome tool!

  • DADA_universeDADA_universe Posts: 336
    edited December 1969

    easy, download both

    Will do, though the export options you just mentioned and other things I've observed seem to weigh more towards UE4......and then there is the ever scary learning curve. Nearly needed a hacksaw to split my skull open so I could dump in both PD Howler and Fusion, painful experience but seems it might pay off now that I'm using and combining both in certain ways.

  • DADA_universeDADA_universe Posts: 336
    edited December 1969

    head wax said:
    And UDK4 has just gone free download, I will be grabbing that now.

    And apparently Unity 5 is free...as in free, with seriously improved graphics to compete with Unreal 4.

    Which way do you vote?

    looks good dada, thank you :)

    easy, download both
    that Viking village showcase looks awesome!!!
    I can get the props in carrara but sadly not the textures or complete scene.
    Unity does not export as obj or FBX like Unreal.
    But the prop assets themselves are FBX
    Been playing with an Unreal set I bought in Carrara, iClone and DAZ too.

    Really interesting the possibilities in round tripping between all these great tools and the awesome content they have in their respective market places. Would love to see the results you are getting.

    I've ended up voting for Unreal Engine. Really tried to give Unity a shot since it seems to have a lot more following and there's a lot more information out there on using Daz or Reallusion content / tools for Unity than Unreal. Also Unity 5 is touted to have notched up their graphics output to better match up with Unreal, but after two days staring at Unity and scrambling through documentation and tutorials and still ending up with glazed eyes, I took the trouble to free up the 11GB space Unreal required on the HDD and installed it. My verdict is that the Unreal UI is more intuitive to work with and the tutorials and documentation are easier to grasp, anytime I watched any of the tutorials, I really felt like getting into Unreal to do something, but with Unity, I only had speech bubbles pop up in my brain with "Whu..." written in them. Damn, I even only started understanding some things about Unity only after reading the portion of the Unreal documentation created for helping Unity Developers transit to Unreal. So I might have to learn Unreal first as a prerequisite to learning Unity! :coolcheese: Eventually, I ran into another stumbling block. Unreal needs more Ram than I've got, and it need a stronger graphics card. Once I launch Matinee and try to play in there, my Nvidia card crashes together with Unreal. Obviously I have to find a way to afford a more powerful rig as I've hit the same limitation with iClone 6, but in the interim, will try to learn as much as I can with the limited functionality my graphics card allows me. What I'm aiming at is to be able to use Unreal Engine for architectural visualizations and as an unbiased renderer for some of my 3d work and maybe some interactive web stuff. Not very keen on games, but, who knows?

    Note to self: *stop filling the freebie thread with Unity / Unreal stuff and find the right thread for that kind of conversation*.

  • head waxhead wax Posts: 5,614
    edited December 1969

    Note to self: *stop filling the freebie thread with Unity / Unreal stuff and find the right thread for that kind of conversation*.

    Ha ha, don't worry! Great info thankyou :)

  • th3Digitth3Digit Posts: 16,000
    edited December 1969

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r27wpkjJx2A
    I can render fixed cameras fine but matinee seems to ignore the camera I keyframe in it and render through something else, not solved that yet

  • DBuchterDBuchter Posts: 59
    edited December 1969

    head wax said:
    never one not to flog a dead horse - and oldie buit goodie too
    http://www.dualheights.se/caustics

    caustics generator to use as gels on your lights

    That doesn't look free. On top of that, it is PC only.

  • DUDUDUDU Posts: 1,752
    edited December 1969

    dbuchter said:
    head wax said:
    never one not to flog a dead horse - and oldie buit goodie too
    http://www.dualheights.se/caustics

    caustics generator to use as gels on your lights

    That doesn't look free. On top of that, it is PC only.

    I have it since several years and it was free in this time, now...35 euros ! :ohh:
    You can do that better in AE.

  • head waxhead wax Posts: 5,614
    edited December 1969

    dbuchter said:
    head wax said:
    never one not to flog a dead horse - and oldie buit goodie too
    http://www.dualheights.se/caustics

    caustics generator to use as gels on your lights

    That doesn't look free. On top of that, it is PC only.

    Sorry, was free when I looked, and when I downloaded it. As for PC, ah well, some people run pcs.

  • MythmakerMythmaker Posts: 606
    edited December 1969


    Unity does not export as obj or FBX like Unreal.
    But the prop assets themselves are FBX
    Been playing with an Unreal set I bought in Carrara, iClone and DAZ too.

    Wendy, I have the same set of tools. How do you see Unreal, as in, how it adds to small medium scene with character animations? Is it faster, more fun to set up scenes in Unreal environment?

    My biggest thing is dynamic cloth and hair (and that's why I follow your cool videos). And instancing/arraying.

  • DADA_universeDADA_universe Posts: 336
    edited December 1969

    head wax said:
    Note to self: *stop filling the freebie thread with Unity / Unreal stuff and find the right thread for that kind of conversation*.

    Ha ha, don't worry! Great info thankyou :)


    :coolsmile:

  • MythmakerMythmaker Posts: 606
    edited March 2015

    What I'm aiming at is to be able to use Unreal Engine for architectural visualizations and as an unbiased renderer for some of my 3d work and maybe some interactive web stuff. Not very keen on games, but, who knows?

    Note to self: *stop filling the freebie thread with Unity / Unreal stuff and find the right thread for that kind of conversation*.

    Oh no don't stop talking about this. This thread is very right for this kind of conversation! :)

    I have mental block with node-based shader system so seeing Blueprint gives me instant brain fog lol.

    What is nice about Unreal for archviz is the feeling of the environment. Floating platform on the sea, realtime light and shadow update, making windows and doors on the fly. So intuitive...

    Post edited by Mythmaker on
  • head waxhead wax Posts: 5,614
    edited December 1969
  • MiloMilo Posts: 459
    edited December 1969

    head wax said:

    Is this the right link for a CrazyBump alternative, What I got was a link to some nice planet textures.

  • head waxhead wax Posts: 5,614
    edited December 1969

    sorry Milo, dont know how that got in my clipboard! Blame it on the ipad ;)\

    no I was really tired when I posted it sorry....

    https://sites.google.com/site/ccdsurgeon/download

    a little about it

    http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?317041-Insane-Bump-2-0-overhauled-Crazy-bump-alternative

    I havent tried it but thought it mnight be good for someone

  • MiloMilo Posts: 459
    edited December 1969

    head wax said:
    sorry Milo, dont know how that got in my clipboard! Blame it on the ipad ;)\

    no I was really tired when I posted it sorry....

    https://sites.google.com/site/ccdsurgeon/download

    a little about it

    http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?317041-Insane-Bump-2-0-overhauled-Crazy-bump-alternative

    I havent tried it but thought it mnight be good for someone

    Hehehe I know what you mean, look slick I will have to check it out, thanks!

  • DADA_universeDADA_universe Posts: 336
    edited December 1969

    Not software this time, but related all the same. Free access to Introduction to Unity 5 Tutorials at Digital Tutors. Available till 7th of May so you need to find the 4hrs+ to watch it fairly quickly if you want to take advantage, I recommend it because unlike the Youtube videos I tried out the first time, this one is a lot more helpful and you start to 'get it' almost immediately, after this, I'm sure the youtube videos will make a lot more sense. Why am I back to learning Unity after swearing by Unreal Engine from my own analysis? It's a sob story, but I'll make it brief, I taking course for which knowledge of Unity is sort of a prerequisite, since that's what everybody uses. Now what that means is that I will have to learn Unity AND Unreal Engine, just because I like it. I'm in a mess, I feel like my brain might attempt to go on exile in protest if I keep this up. Pls don't laugh. Have a great weekend.

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,220
    edited December 1969

    I've used the InsanBump plugin in GIMP and it really is great - looks like that link head wax posted may be a standalone?

  • head waxhead wax Posts: 5,614
    edited December 1969

    Hya Roy, not sure, but I think so ;)

  • makmamakma Posts: 39
    edited December 1969

    NUKE for free non-commercial:

    http://www.thefoundry.co.uk/products/nuke/non-commercial/

    May I have additional 24 hours a day for learnig all that hot apps?!

    Marek

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,494
    edited December 1969

    Surely!
    As long as it's not mine, you take! :ahhh:

  • makmamakma Posts: 39
    edited December 1969

    You have tons of shaders in the browser but still missing something special? Try free collection of Pixar textures ready for your PBR exercises:

    https://community.renderman.pixar.com/article/114/library-pixar-one-twenty-eight.html

    BTW: free non-commercial edition of Clarisse all in one - layout, rendering, compositing solution - for anyone who have enough time to explore rendering and compositing alternatives available for learning purposes:

    http://www.isotropix.com/index.php?to=products&productid=1&view=trynow

    Greetings,

    Marek

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,494
    edited December 1969

    Nice finds, Makma! Thanks for the news!

  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,055
    edited December 1969

    Hi All :)

    I just noticed that the Filter Forge web site has a discount (One day left) at 80% OFF

    www.filterforge.com

    I know it's not FREE, but that's a massive discount on probably the best filter creation tool on the market
    whether you're making 2Dimage filters, or fabrics or patterns or any 3D texture maps,.
    create and export Normal maps, Diffuse, Spec, Bump etc... and seamless tiling.

    Whether you have Photoshop or not, (it's a Photoshop Plug-in, and a Stand Alone Application)

    hope it helps someone

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