Graphics Design Tools
Look here for links to graphic programs and utilities that you can use to create and enhance Web art.
Professional Image Editors (Over $150)
- Adobe Photoshop. The tool of choice for many professional graphic designers. $699 directly from Adobe. Windows and Macintosh.
- Corel Painter. Full-feature paint program. $349 direct. Windows and Macintosh.
- Canvas. Advanced photo editing and technical drawing software. $599 direct. Windows and Macintosh.
- CorelDraw Graphics Suite. Includes CorelDraw, Photo-Paint, PowerTrace, Website Creator, Capture, Connect, PhotoZoom, and ConceptShare. Large libraries of royalty-free clip art, photos, fonts, templates, frames, and patterns. $499 direct.
- QFX. Full-featured image editing, painting and composition program. $399 direct. Shareware version, QFX LE, also available for download.
- Xara Designer Pro. Full feature photo editing and illustration software. $299. Xara Photo and Graphic Designer $89.
Affordable Image Editors (Under $150)
- WebPainter by Totally Hip Software. A full-feature image editor. $89.95 to register. Windows and Macintosh.
- Pixel Image Editor. A full-feature image editor. $38 for beta version - final version will be $89. Macintosh, Linux, and Windows.
- Corel PaintShop Pro Ultimate. Full-feature photo-paint program that supports over 30 image formats, as well as Adobe Photoshop plug-ins, and lots of extra goodies. $99.99.
- Corel PaintShop Pro. Full-feature photo-paint program that supports over 30 image formats, as well as Adobe Photoshop plug-ins. $79.99.
- Corel PhotoImpact. Formerly Ulead. Full-feature image editing software with lots of goodies. Creates Java rollovers, buttons, bullets; GIF animations; backgrounds; 3D buttons; image maps; and more. Includes many paint and 3D effects. Rated 5 stars at Tucows. $69.99 (currently on sale for $29.99).
- Image Broadway by FileStream. Photo and image editor with a wide assortment of tools. Rated 5 stars at Tucows. $89.95.
- Twisted Brush by Pixarra. Traditional art tools that look and feel like the real thing, including paints, pastels, charcoal, pens, oils, etc. $99.
- PD Pro by Project Dogwaffle. $139.
- Xara Photo and Graphic Designer. Work with photos, illustrations, Web graphics. $89. Xara Design Pro $299.
Inexpensive Image Editors (Under $50)
- NeoPaint for Windows. A full-featured artist's studio that makes it easy to touch up photographs and create great looking graphics for desktop publishing, presentations and the Internet. Rated 5 stars at Tucows. $49.95 to register.
- ArtStudio Drawing Program. Allows you to draw & rub quickly and easily without having to think about mouse clicks and keystrokes. Rated 5 stars at Tucows. $29.95.
- Ultimate Paint. Full feature image editor. $34.95.
- Ability Photopaint. Similar to Adobe Photoshop in interface and functionality. Filters, brush and paint tools, selections, layers, image enhancement, and vector drawing. Now part of Ability Office Professional $44.99.
- QFX/LE. Shareware version of QFX. Does retouching, compositing, color correction, CMYK editing, but not drawing or painting. $49.00.
- Pixelmator. A full-feature image editor. $14.95.
- Compositor by Artly There Software. A full-feature image editor. $25.
Free Image Editors Editors
- Microsoft Expression Design 4 (free). Formerly part of Microsoft Expression Studio ($149), which is no longer available. Expression Design 4 "a tool for creative professionals and developers who want to build graphics for application user interfaces, the web, or any other medium." Fairly basic paint program. See also Expression Web 4, also free for download, under HTML Editors.
- Paint.net. Full-feature image and photo editing software, originally developed at Washington State University, under the tutelage of Microsoft.
- GrafxShop by Emryn International. Image and photo editing software. Drawing and painting tools, layers, effects, screen capture, slide show, and more. Free for personal use.
- GIMP for Windows. A Windows port of the Linux graphics editor, GIMP. Free (GNU Public License).
- imagoWEB by Fabrizio Pignotti (available from F2.org). Previously called Visua. Views and/or converts multiple image formats, including JPEG, GIF, BMP, DIB, RLE, WMF, and many more. Thumbnail viewer, Twain scanning interface, and screen capture. Also can apply image special effects, such as blur, oil paint, mosaic, page curl, wave, mirror, etc. Free.
- GIMP. GNU Image Manipulation Program for image authoring and photo retouching.
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Image Viewers, Managers, and Convertors
- PolyView by Polybytes. Multithreading graphics viewer, conversion, and printing utility. One of my favorite image utilities. $29.95.
- Graphic Workshop Professional by Alchemy Mindworks. Converts files from wide range of file formats, as well as reverse, rotate, flip, crop, and scale images, manipulate and adjust color, contrast, brightness, dithering, etc., reduce color depth, convert multiple files, acquire images from digital camera, and more. Can be run in batch mode. $44.99.
- ReaConverter. Batch image conversion and editing utility. Convert from over 400 image formats. Do single and batch image editing actions, including rotate, crop, resize, border, shadow, color/gamma correction, brightness/contrast, special effects, watermarking, Photoshop plug-ins. Three versions: Pro ($99.95), Standard ($49.95), and Lite ($24.95).
- CoffeeCup Free Viewer Plus. Image viewer that also converts, rotates, flips, crops, links, and slices images. Free.
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Misc. Graphics Utilities
- WebGraphics Optimizer by Plenio Software Solutions. Optimizes your web graphics to minimize their bandwidth consumption. $39 (Standard) and $99 (Pro).
- Nano Image Slicer. Slices larger images into smaller pieces, to speed downloading and facilitate creating wrap-around graphic front-ends. Free.
- TextureMagic by Artis Software. Transforms pictures into seamlessly tiling textures. $39.95 and $79.95 (Pro).
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3D Modelers and Ray Tracers
Want to create your own 3D bullets, buttons, and other objects. Check out these programs:
- POV-Ray. Without the most intuitive user interface and a bit difficult to learn, but a powerhouse once you've figured it out. Free. Windows, Macintosh, and Linux.
- Carrara by DAZ3D. Supports figure posing, modeling, landscapes, seascapes, skyscapes, animation, advanced rendering, and more. $149.95 and $549.95 (Pro). Macintosh and Windows. Also authors of Bryce, Carrara 3D Express, DAZ Studio, Hexagon, and Mimic software applications.
- Behemot Graphics Editor. A 3D image editor and ray tracer. Was originally RT Editor. Freeware. Click "Files" to download. RT Editor can still be downloaded here. Windows, Linux, and Macintosh (Classic).
- AC3D by Inivis. Create 3D objects, compose scenes, construct models, and more. $89.95. Windows, Linux, and Macintosh.
- Xara3D Maker. Makes the task of creating 3D text and graphic headings and animations simple and easy. Export Flash animations, screen savers, and more. $39.99.
- 3D Crafter by Amabilis. Real-time 3D modeling and animation tool. Free (standard), $34.95 (Plus), and $69.95 (Pro).
- Genesis 3D. A fully functional and free 3-D editor. Free. See also Advanced Genesis 3D.
- DX Studio. Create interactive 3D graphics and simulations. Free.
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GIF Animation Tools
- GIFBuilder. Free.
- GIFfun by Stone Design. Free. Scroll to the bottom of the Download page to download the GIFfun standalone application. Macintosh.
- Gif*gif*gif by Pedagoguery Software. $28. Macintosh (Classic).
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