Thursday, March 23, 2017

Free Alternatives to Paid Tools for Media Creators (mostly on Windows)

While at work I use a full Adobe CC License for any creation needs, at my sole trader venture (Adventify), I can't afford that privilege, so I use free open source tools. - Interactive Mockups
For the creation of mockups I recommend trying Figma. It is free (for the moment at least), and it's similar to what you get out of the box from tools like Adobe XD / Sketch (minus plugins). And you won't need Invision (now limiting the amount of free projects) to share navigable designs.

For general media creation, here's a quick recap for things I've used in the development of previous games (like Sokos):

Inkscape - Vector Design
For vectorial design, Inkscape is a great, easy to use alternative to Illustrator. The biggest thing you might miss are artboards, (so you can design a multipage PDF from there, but you can join the pages afterwards).

Krita - Bitmap Editing
Although the most famous opensource bitmap editing tool continues to be Gimp, I never liked it enough. With Krita user interface I find things where I would expect them, even if it might still not be at par with the feature checklist, I believe Krita makes a better substitute for Photoshop

Synfig - 2D Animation
Although far from intuitive and not as complete as I'd like it to be, Synfig is the most decent 2D animation free tool I've found, and the best alternative to Flash/Animate or the now very popular ToonBoom or Anime Studio (also paid apps).

Audacity - Sound Editing
This is one that time made me change my mind on. When I first tried Audacity (back in college) this tools was really clunky, experience was faulty. Then a few years ago, I had to give it another go when creating sounds for my games, and turned out to have improved quite a bit since the last time I tried it. Multichannels work great now, and I don't find it buggy at all, so back to the traditions, like in the next example. Said that, I have to admit that for music composition, I did use Apple's GarageBand for soundtracks, and that performed quite well too, and it is free as long as you spend your bucks on a Mac.

Blender - 3D Design and Video?
On 3D editing, I stick to the traditional on the 3D design. Blender is way more advanced than most alternative software and I haven't even found anything matching it on Adobe.
Turns out it is also a decent tool for video editing when Movie Maker / iMovie are just not enough.

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