List software you use here

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List software you use here

#1 Post by number473 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:04 am

GIMP users bash photoshop here...
Just kidding. Rather than recommendations for image editing and drawing software, what I'm looking for is a simple statement of what software you use. It will also be good if you can include what sort of things you use it for, etc, so that others can get an idea of where it might be useful. Note good features that stand out. If the software you use is already on the list, add your voice of support and mention any other features that stand out to you. This is to a large degree for interest's sake but also:

- To create a list of useful software for use.
- Too see what people are using and what are the most common programmes (this is something interesting, at least to me)
- This is a side point, but I'm still trying to figure out why PS users hate switching to GIMP so much. Direct discussion of this is not what I'm interested in here because that seems to get into an agree-to-disagree, so we'll just skip that.
- Please refrain from 'X sucks, use Y' or other such comments. Instead go for 'X does not have feature A, but Y does, so I would recommend that.' Remember, the more exact you can be in your description, the more useful it is. It's all in the name of Science... or Art, or Profit (your preference).
- If you like the software you are using and it makes your work easier, then please praise it heartily! On the other hand, please keep criticism as civilised as possible because it can lead to others becoming defensive and then trying to justify their choice, etc, if you are not.

Ok, me first:
The two programs that I use are the GIMP and Inkscape. The former is for bitmap work and the latter for vector. I find GIMP's interface intuitive to use and I can get done what I need to get done in it. It does everything I need it to do, but I can't say there's a specific feature that stands out to me. I use it mostly for image editing, not for drawing.
Inkscape, once you get used to it (there are nice tutorials built in which gives you what you need to know, although all the regular features like bezier curves work as expected) it is simple and efficient to use. Calligraphy tool is nice. You can draw easily with it and the freehand tool even using the mouse. The XML editor gives precise control. I've used this for inking before (although it's slow with the mouse) and for diagrams etc. It's good for making ui elements for a game.
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Re: List software you use here

#2 Post by Samu-kun » Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:13 am

I don't use either Photoshop or GIMP, so I don't know what any of the fuss is about.

I use SAI for digital art work. I also use a Bamboo Fun Tablet, which is getting pretty old but it's still working fine and I don't have the money to upgrade. For filters/photo manipulation, I use Photoshop Elements.

For 3D rendering, I use Anim8or, because it's free.

I use Audacity for sound editing.

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Re: List software you use here

#3 Post by Jake » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:23 am

Samu-kun wrote:I don't use either Photoshop or GIMP, so I don't know what any of the fuss is about.
The 'fuss' is about the fact that most people who use other graphics packages, particularly with tablets, find the GIMP doesn't work the same way as other packages, as well as other packages or in some cases at all, while GIMP users are for some bizarre reason characteristically very defensive about it and tend to make grandiose claims about its abilities and improvements and recommend it to newbies despite the fact that it will quite possibly make them find transitioning to other software less easy.

Personally, I use the following:

For digital art:
- Photoshop Elements (4, I've seen no reason to upgrade) for sketching, scanning, processing etc., and for layout of things with lots of straight lines.
- Sai for straight painting.
- Sometimes Painter (9) for various one-off things.
- Sometimes OpenCanvas (4) for painting or sketching.
- OpenCanvas 1.1 for collaborative sketching/explaining visual things over the Internet.
- Illustrator 8 for vector stuff.

For writing:
- Notepad on Windows, TextEdit on Mac for notes and structural development.

For programming:
- SciTE for editing Ren'Py scripts.
- Visual Studio Express C# for programming things other than Ren'Py (at home, at least).
- I used to use a portable javascript-powered wiki for making notes about a game before I started the scripting, but eventually I found a few text files could realistically work just as well.

For source/version control/poor-man's backup:
- SVN for the server (on a Mac Mini I leave on all the time and is accessible over the internet).
- TortoiseSVN on Windows, SvnX on Mac (although the latter just 'cause it was the first one I came across that worked, if anyone has any suggestions I'm interested).

For audio:
- Audacity for editing wave files.
- Garageband for doing the things Garageband does.
- WinAmp for playing music while I'm doing things under any of the other headings.
- Skype for talking to people over the Internet (sometimes also at the same time as things under the other headings).
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Re: List software you use here

#4 Post by Deji » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:07 am

I use SAI for sketching, coloring and painting.
I use Photoshop (currently CS4) for scanning, color tweaking/photo filtering, adding textures and text to things that need it and to create files with layer comps ( <3 ).

Lately, I have Photoshop open in one display an SAI in the other. In photoshop I have my references open and when I ned to tweak color on whatever I'm doing in SAI, I save as PSD, open in Photoshop, tweak it, save it again and open it back on SAI.

I don't use Photoshop for drawing/painting because I found SAI was easier to use and now I can't live without the brush and water tools. Also lines look better when freehanded in SAI than when freehanded on Photoshop, I'm not sure why. Also SAI's vector layer/tool is lovely for doing linearts. I like SAI's magic wand/selection tool better than Photoshop's, as well.

I've tried Painter a couple of times, but it's just confusing with its bazillion brushes and other tools. I rather keep things simple.
I got Painter Sketch Pad bundled with my tablet, and I tried it only once. I can say it's really cool for sketching things, but I still can't integrate yet another program on my workflow (actually, I still have problems using the express keys on my tablet instead of the keyboard shortcuts I've used for years >>; ).
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Re: List software you use here

#5 Post by Voight-Kampff » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:34 am

Art-wise, I used to use Manga Studio EX a lot for line art. It has tons of vector tools and the ability to alter ease-in and ease-out transitions for lines, conversion from rasterized to vectorized lines, thickening/thinning tools, etc.

However, since I've just started using a Wacom Cintiq, the amount of control it provides is so great, I find myself just using an old copy of Photoshop 6. I suppose I would like more pen options, but they aren't entirely necessary. The pressure sensitivity and tilt detection on the Cintiq make up for the lack of different pen tips in PS.

I don't do a lot of coloring, so PS 6 suffices for me in that regard as well.

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Re: List software you use here

#6 Post by AllegroDiRossi » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:03 am

I work on a Macbook Pro with OS 10.6.2 installed, so many of my apps are mac-specific.

- - -

Since the Adobe Design Suite was a required purchase for my degree, I almost exclusively use Adobe products for most design projects. It's not anything about them specifically, its just more economical for me to use what I have and what I've learned from my classes than to branch out into other apps with their own price tags and learning curves that I don't want to be bothered with. I have CS4.

Photoshop - Image editing, digital painting, etc.
Illustrator - logos and vector art (I'm really not nearly as experienced in Illustrator as I am in Photoshop, but I've also been using Photoshop for years longer than Illustrator, so it may just be out of my own laziness that I don't utilize it more.)
Dreamweaver - HTML and CSS coding. (I'm still learning CSS, DX)
InDesign - Document design is much easier for me in InDesign than it is in Photoshop, and I learned Photoshop first.
Acrobat - I love and appreciate the versatility of PDFs much more in college than I ever did in high school.

I don't have any experience in Fireworks or Flash yet.

- - -

For story brainstorming and writing, I use a few various programs for different things.

DEVONthink - a Mac scrapbooking app that allows me to set up a wiki-like encyclopedia of all my story concepts. I can have pages for stories, characters and other ideas neatly organized into subfolders and arranged however I like it without it being an eyesore in my Documents file.
Microsoft Word - Years of habit die hard, even with alternatives such as iWork Pages and others. Most of the actual writing I do is done in Word because I enjoy the greater control of formatting without worrying about layout like I do with Pages.
WriteRoom - A nice little app for blocking out all distractions when writing. Basically simulates a typewriter with a blank screen and text down the center. Used in conjunction with Focus Booster.
Focus Booster - An Adobe Air app that shows an onscreen countdown timer (displays even over the fullscreen of WriteRoom). This app helps me focus and continually write for any amount of time I need to within 45 minutes.

- - -

For music creation, I'll admit that I really don't have that much experience in this area. I only really use one app, but I've just picked up a second so I'll see how that one works.

GarageBand - Great for generating simple music from loops that can be arranged for simple melodies that range through a wide variety of styles. Haven't used it for more original creation though, as I lack musical peripherals.
SimpleChord - Literally got it for free yesterday, haven't been able to try it out at all yet. Supposed to be used for simple chord progressions and composition. Will see how it works next week when I have time.

- - -

For other more general things

iTunes - Music for practically anything. I really enjoy having music playing when I work on something. It helps to set the mood if I'm writing, or fills the silence if I'm working on something graphical.
Fresh and Overflow - Quick-launching has never been easier with Fresh and Overflow. Fresh lists all my new and recently edited documents in an attractive and simple app loadable from the dock. Great for when a temporary file gets saved somewhere and I can't track it down or when I don't want to dig through my file hierarchy to open the notes from last weeks lectures. Overflow is very similar, but instead of documents, it corrals my apps together in a quick-launch drawer that also appears on my dock.
Fluid SSB - I have Fluid-generated SSB's for most of the google services I use, including Mail, Calendar, Documents, Reader and Wave. I don't really use SSB's for other sites tho.
iChat and Skype - I'm not really an IM kind of guy, but when the need arises ichat is the app I go to. With AIM integration, audio and video chat, and screen sharing capabilities, I don't really seek out any alternatives. For the few instances where I need something else, I have Skype, although I can't say I've used it in nearly a year.
MacJournal - I sporadically have the desire to write a journal so that I can look back on the enjoyable experiences I've accumulated, but I also tend to forget about journals after I've started writing in them for a certain amount of time. MacJournal allows me to collect those entries into one place and password protect them as well.
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Re: List software you use here

#7 Post by RayRayTea » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:24 am

Windows XP here, using:

Directory Opus for managing files - it's just excellent. The reason why it's hard to say what exactly makes it so fantastic is because it has so many great features it's impossible to single any one out. Some of my favorites are probably the way it handles going to the parent directory by doubleclicking in the empty space (sounds trivial but it's very very useful), how it treats various workspaces and how customizable it is.

Chrome, Opera for Internet. Chrome has just about everything I need but I got the impression it really trashes my laptop's hard disk and this is not good. Opera is very powerful and has tons of interesting features (Opera Unite, for example) but it's probably a bit of an overkill for my needs.

BitwiseIM, Skype for communication.

Photoshop for high resolution graphics, Pro Motion for low res / animations and Illustrator for vectors.

Audacity for quick editing of the files and SFXR for making placeholder sound effects.

Ren'Py for visual novels and Games Factory and IG Maker for other types of games.

Camtasia 3 for video capturing (it's a bit old, but I got it for free on a coverdisk when I accidentally got a copy of Computer Arts).

SketchUp for 3d, I used this a lot while working on projects for DS (setting the basic layout of the stages and such). It's very nice and clean and follows the workflow of sketching on paper so I felt right at home from the start, unlike with other 3d software.

Notepad++ for plain txt files.

Some software I have installed but don't really use:
Winamp: I handle all my audio archives through Directory Opus nowadays so this one doesn't get much use except for occasionally listening to music while working (which is a bad habit come to think of it).
ACDSee: got it for free with my tablet. Again, Directory Opus replaced this one too.
Unity3d: no time to check it out properly, grabbed it when it got the indie version but for now it's just sitting here.
Open Office: had to install it to open some doc files at the time, but I don't really use it.
InDesign: used it a lot while I was working in advertising but not so much anymore.
Adventure Game Studio: on one occasion I wanted to make a heart warming game for a friend and since it was meant to be a point and click adventure I used this. Haven't updated it for a few years.
Twine: nice concept and all but for some reason the screen flickers when I start it so I'm not using it. (This one is probably the least known from the bunch, basically it's a tool for writing branching stories.)
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Re: List software you use here

#8 Post by prezzey » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:12 pm

Most of what I use has already been mentioned save for this one...

I use ArtRage for sketching, it has a free demo but I bought the full version after trying the demo. It's available for Windows and Macs, but 2.5 runs under Linux using Wine very smoothly. I haven't tried getting 3.0 to work under Linux yet, but I've been meaning to. (I only have Linux on my tablet PC, it came with Windows but that was a disaster.)

It has great natural media emulation, an uncluttered interface (O HAI PAINTER :mrgreen: ), and layered PSD export... so basically everything I need for sketching. If you like the Painter brushes but think Painter is a big mess, you might want to try ArtRage.
Twine: nice concept and all but for some reason the screen flickers when I start it so I'm not using it. (This one is probably the least known from the bunch, basically it's a tool for writing branching stories.)
I had the same issue when I tried it out... I have a little idea for interactive fiction which would be ideally suited for implementation using Twine (it doesn't need a parser), but when I tried the Windows GUI the flicker was really annoying. I might try the Python CLI version, but this project is pretty low on my priority queue right now.

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Re: List software you use here

#9 Post by MaiMai » Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:56 pm

When I draw, I use SAI for lineart and coloring simply because it runs faster, but it does help that I love the blending tools. I use Photoshop 7 for adjustments, special effects, and text. I haven't used any other programs other than those two for CGing.

For writing, I use Notepad and Microsoft Word. I don't feel the need to download any other writing tools, these work fine for me.
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Re: List software you use here

#10 Post by tigerkidde » Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:36 pm

SciTE for VN scripting.

Adobe Photoshop CS2 for sketching, coloring, backgrounds, etc - knowledge still building. When I noticed some features weren't in the Elements that came with my tablet and working with CS2 at an older job, I thought that CS2 would be worth the investment.

Gimp and Inkscape at work, although lacking ability in both, only when work calls for it. The Gimp interface was initially intimidating to me since I had been working with CS2 for so many years that I've restricted its use due to licensing with CS2. Haven't tried using it with the tablet, but now that I'm using Sketchbook,

WordPerfect 9 for planning, dialogue (written in SciTE ready format), autosave (Word has it too), less footprint on system and for backup saves, but most of all, it was extremely affordable when I found it. Migrated to within the last year for being a free alternative that supports WordPerfect file formats and still makes one of my multiple master fonts look more to my liking than Word 2003. Waiting for Word 2007 and/or Word 2010 to fix the insertion point vanishing some PostScript fonts before migrating (because I like Word 2007's outline view, but the 2010 beta interface better than 2007 (because I don't like zooming into 127% to workaround this issue).

Inspiration 8 for brainstorming.

Adobe Acrobat 7, USED to use more at work, haven't created anything lately that warrants the functionality of this program outside of work. Can see myself using it to compile multiple separate files as one with a table of contents that links to different parts of the document and be ready to go on many computers without worrying if someone has Word or not.

AutoDesk Sketchbook Express, since it was one of the offers that came with this drawing tablet and liking the low resource cost on an aging laptop, a concise interface, quicker sketches (for me anyway, vs Photoshop sketching - again, more of a resource thing on an aging laptop), looking into Sketchbook Pro as I'm really liking Express and it's significantly less expensive than trying to get a new Photoshop license.

IrfanView, free, for quick image viewing across a myriad of image formats, sometimes resizing, sometimes cropping.

SONAR for music composition, but... I think for what I'm using it for, Cakewalk Home Studio 2004 was probably more than sufficient.

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Re: List software you use here

#11 Post by majes » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:54 pm

So far for VN creation I've used Google Wave to collaborate with my writer and he uses it to make notes and what not so others can easily make edits. I also use FruityLoops for music creation stuffs. As for image editing, I haven't really done much and my artist does his art by hand and scans it in so I can't really answer that. What I have used so far is GIMP, but only because I could find tutorials for the things I wanted to do that were written for GIMP.

As for other software I use, it boils down to Microsoft Office, Google Chrome, and nearly every major Bethesda game ever. :lol:

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Re: List software you use here

#12 Post by LVUER » Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:23 am

Flash MX: for drawing, coloring, animating, and anything else related to art. Can't live without it... for now at least.
MS Word 2007: for typing any ideas pop in my mind, and also to write scenario.
Notepad: when too lazy to open MS Word.
SciTE: to type RenPy programming, since it's bundled along with RenPy download.

Windows XP: Very very important since without this, I can't use any other software I wrote here... and I can't stand Vista (though I use it in my job).
ACDSee: to browse and looking at pictures, read manga, converting pictures type.
Adobe Reader: to open and read all those e-books.
WinZip: to unzip and zip many files. Essential.
Media Player Classic and FLV Player: to view all my video files. Without them, I can't see all my videos and I'll get depressed in no time. So it's one of my main source of entertainment.
Windows Media Player: to hear all my MP3 files. Rarely use it though, since I don't hear MP3 music much. I guess I'll switch to Winamp anytime soon.

RenPy: to make VN game. Still messing with this one since I usually only concerned with the art department.
Game Maker 8: to make non-VN game, still messing up with this one too. At least until I get IG Maker in my hand.

MS Excel 2007: another essential tool, but this one is important for my teaching job
MS Power Point 2007: This is a good and easy software to make those presentation. It's still faster than using Flash or RenPy, in case anyone wondering.
MS Paint: when editing pictures that will be used in quizzes for my students

Ahhh... I guess that's almost all software that I use in my laptop.
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Re: List software you use here

#13 Post by Wintermoon » Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:23 am

Foxit Reader, because Acrobat Reader sucks.
Subversion, for backing up my projects.
Python, for whenever I need to automate a common task.
JWPce, for the built-in Japanese-to-English dictionary.
VirtualBox, for running Linux on my Windows PC.

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Re: List software you use here

#14 Post by chronoluminaire » Thu Mar 18, 2010 7:41 am

GIMP for interactive image editing, because it's the most capable free piece of graphics software I know of (and I'm not an actual artist so I don't need to buy a commercial graphics program, and I try to avoid pirated software).
Graphics Magick for batch / scripted image editing.

Total Commander (Windows Mobile) for writing initial Ren'Py scripts, because I write script on my PDA and Total Commander's built-in text editor has an actual save command, unlike most (?!) Windows Mobile text programs.
Crimson Editor for editing Ren'Py script on my PC. It's average as text editors go - I think Notepad++ is probably better, but Crimson's passable enough that I never quite get around to switching.
Cygwin utilities like grep and sed for batch text editing.

Audacity for audio editing. I used to use another whose name I forget, but Audacity's much, much quicker.

Ren'Py for game writing, obviously. (Also Javascript from time to time.)

MS Word at work (my company provide it) and Open Office Writer at home for producing PDFs and doing basic text+image layout / poor-man's-DTP.
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Re: List software you use here

#15 Post by pinkmouse » Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:35 am

Samu-kun wrote:I don't use either Photoshop or GIMP, so I don't know what any of the fuss is about.

I use SAI for digital art work. I also use a Bamboo Fun Tablet, which is getting pretty old but it's still working fine and I don't have the money to upgrade. For filters/photo manipulation, I use Photoshop Elements.

For 3D rendering, I use Anim8or, because it's free.

I use Audacity for sound editing.
I couldn't get Anim8or to work on Windows7 (even using XP compatibility.) The troubleshooter just reported it as "incompatible".

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