5 Open Source And Freeware Apps for Graphic Production

Following on from the previous post – What is The Open Source –, here are some of the best graphic production programs as open source and completely freeware on the web for vector graphics, 2D and 3D illustration, for creating logos, flyers, brochures, stationary, templates, presentations, modeling, multimedia projects, object editing and so much more.


Professional Interactive 3D with TouchDesigner

TOUCH DESIGNER (free version) is the most complete tool for creating interactive 3D art, visualizations, prototypes and interfaces for Windows systems and Mac OS. As a revolutionary software platform for graphic production, it allows artists and designers to connect with their media in an open and free environment. Perfect for interactive multimedia projects using audio, video, 3D, inputs, internet and database information, DMX lighting, environmental sensors, and more. TouchDesigner provides a high-performance environment for mixing these elements in an infinitely customizable way.

Among its features are design modular, sliders, buttons, text fields, containers, 3D objects with full customization of appearance and logic, new Panel Anchors allow proportional, stretchable control panels, custom parameters, ready-to-use UI gadgets, self control panels built using simply drag-n-drop and many more.

Full documentation (English only) and video tutorials are provided for all user levels (beginner, intermediate and advanced), as well as a discussion forum and blog where interesting projects illustrating the program’s capabilities are made available.



Free Graphic Production with Inkscape

INKSCAPE is a versatile and lightweight free vector graphics editor for graphic production with capabilities similar to Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw or Xara Designer, using the standard W3C SVG format, supporting various effects and filters, as well as complex tracing, through a simple, user-friendly interface.

Among other features are fine object creation including pencil tools, Bézier curves, calligraphy tools, shape tools, text tools, embedded bitmaps and clones; object manipulation including layers, grouping objects, z-order operations, transformations and alignments; fill and stroke including all fill, colors, strokes and path markers; operations on paths with node editing, convertions, Boolean operations, bitmap tracing and more; text support tools and options like text in shape, on path and multi-line; rendering including fullt anti-aliased display, fill shape following stroke, alpha transparency and more; perfectly compliant SVG format file generation and editing, live watching and editing the document tree in the XML editor, PNG, OpenDocument Drawing, DXF, sk1, PDF, EPS and PostScript export formats and more, command line options for export and conversions and so much more.

Available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, Inkscape has multi language interface.

The Inkscape website provides several tutorials (in English), both in documentation and video. To get a feel for what you can do with Inkscape, visit the online Community gallery and get in touch with artists, professional and amateur, who use the program.

Then download, install and try it to believe it! 🙂


blender graphic production

Design and animate in 3D without spending a cent

BLENDER, a spectacular program for 3D design, with models, scenes, textures and animations, used by professionals. Besides running on 32 and 64-bit Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris and Irix platforms, Blender features a powerful rendering engine, Cycles, that offers stunning ultra-realistic GPU and CPU rendering, real time preview, HDR support, the ability to connect with external software and and whose latest version 3.0 claims to be faster than ever.

Providing a super rendering with high-end production path tracer, extensive modeling toolset, powerful sculpting tools, digital production pipeline, VFX, industry/standards libraries and powerful simulation tools, video editor, extensive Python API for scripting and customization, fully customizable interface, Blender is being used for award-winning shorts and feature films. Check out the resources page and observe the potential of this program in the examples provided.

Blender also has tutorials in English in its latest version 3.0 and in other languages in older versions.

If you don’t know it yet, download, install, try it and become a fan :)!



FreeCad – Parametric Modeling Totally Free

FreeCAD is a generic parametric 3D CAD modeller, a completely free alternative to the expensive and complex AutoCAD from Autodesk.

FreeCAD is primarily targeted at mechanical engineering and product development, but is also suited to the field of architecture, computer simulation for product and design analysis and improvement and other engineering problems, 3D printing, useful in areas much broader than its current focus.

Due to its free and open source nature, in modelling architecture, users can extend its possibilities by adding various free plugins or using the Python programming language without modifying the base system.

FreeCAD offers tools to produce, export and edit solid, full-accuracy models, features an advanced geometry engine based on Open CASCADE Technology and among a myriad of other features FreeCAD allows you to import and export models and many other types of data, as well as file formats such as STEP, IGES, OBJ, STL, DWG, DXF, SVG, SHP, STL, DAE, IFC or OFF, NASTRAN, VRML, OpenSCAD CSG and many more, in addition to FreeCAD’s native FCStd file format.

FreeCAD is also completely cross-platform, currently running perfectly on Windows, Linux/Unix and Mac OSX systems, with many document and video tutorials.


graphic production scribus

Desktop Publishing with Scribus

SCRIBUS is a powerful graphic production desktop publishing program with a truly professional touch, featuring tools such as CMYK color system, color separations, ICC management, and versatile PDF conversion, on Windows, Linux, BSD UNIX, Solaris, OpenIndiana, GNU/Hurd, Mac OS X, OS/2 Warp 4, and eComStation platforms.

Scribus is distributed under the General Public License (with some exceptions), which makes it free and legal for use in any environment, including commercial and governmental organizations. The license also allows anyone to modify the publicly available source code without having to ask for permission.

Professionals and hobbyists alike have produced high-quality publications with Scribus, which is why the list of success stories with this program continues to grow steadily.

PDF files produced with Scribus are RIP-ready. Scribus PDFs have been tested frequently on state-of-the-art equipment and low-cost printers. Scribus was the first software to support several new generations of Adobe PDF specifications well ahead of commercial software.

You can find a lot of documentation, tutorials and articles about any aspect of DTP in several languages on the Scribus Wiki. Just download and try it out! 🙂


Find references and more knowledge in Learning Links

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