Freeware Software for Web Designers



Image editing

GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages. It has many capabilities and can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc. GIMP is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted.


FastStone Image Viewer is a fast, stable, user-friendly image browser, converter and editor. It has a nice array of features that include image viewing, management, comparison, red-eye removal, emailing, resizing, cropping and color adjustments. Other features include a high quality magnifier and a musical slideshow with 150+ transitional effects, as well as lossless JPEG transitions, drop shadow effects, image annotation, scanner support, histogram and much more. It supports all major graphic formats (BMP, JPEG, JPEG 2000, animated GIF, PNG, PCX, TIFF, WMF, ICO and TGA) and popular digital camera RAW formats (CRW, CR2, NEF, PEF, RAF, MRW, ORF, SRF and DNG).

FastStone Photo Resizer is an image converter / resizer intended to enable users to convert, rename, resize, crop, rotate, change color depth, add text and watermarks to images in a quick and easy batch mode. Drag and Drop mouse operation is well supported. Features: convert and rename images in batch mode, convert to JPEG, TIFF, BMP, PNG, GIF, rename images with sequential number, support folder/non-folder structure. Load and save settings, mouse wheel support, and more.

IrfanView is a very fast, small, compact and innovative freeware (for non-commercial use) graphic viewer for Windows 9x/ME/NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista. IrfanView is trying to create new and/or interesting features in its own way, unlike some other graphic viewers, whose whole “creativity” is based on feature cloning, stealing of ideas and whole dialogs from ACDSee and/or IrfanView. Some Irfan View features: multi language support, thumbnail/preview option, paint option – to draw lines, circles, arrows, straighten image etc, toolbar skins option, slideshow (save slideshow as EXE/SCR or burn it to CD), support for Adobe Photoshop filters, and more.

Magnifier is simple and easy to use, always handy for when you need to see all the details. Magnifier has the following features: no popup adverts or spyware, it really is free , it is perfect for visually impared or those with partial sight. It features resizable magnification area, auto-hide window edges allowing increased magnification area, overlay grid for quick alignment, image capture with 10 second delay, you can choose to follow mouse or magnify as you move.

Picasa is a free software download from Google that helps you to locate and organise all the photos on your computer, edit and add effects to your photos with a few simple clicks, share your photos with others through email, prints and on the web.

Paint.NET is free image and photo editing software for computers that run Windows. It features an intuitive and innovative user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools. An active and growing online community provides friendly help, tutorials, and plugins.

Easy Thumbnails is a popular free utility for creating accurate thumbnail images and scaled-down/up copies from a wide range of popular picture formats. An elegant interface makes it a snap to find your images and select them for processing individually, in groups, or in whole folders, using a simple file selector and built-in image viewer. You can use slider controls to rotate images and adjust their contrast, brightness, sharpness and quality, and check out the results with the built-in viewer.

Free Icon Editor program for editing and creating icons, cursors and animated cursors – using common editing tools and effects. Features: attractive and easy-to-use interface. Import from .bmp, .jpg, .gif, or .wmf files. Create and edit icons and cursors in various color depths ( 2, 16, 256 and true color). Select from a number of preset sizes (16, 24, 32, 48, 64) or define a custom size. Create cursors with free hotspots. Create and view animated cursors. Multi-language interface. Fully compatible with Windows 95/98/ME NT4/2000/XP and Windows Vista.

ImageDiff – allows you to compare two images side by side, and see a difference mask showing you the exact pixels that have changed. Features include: Compare images of different formats, including JPG, GIF, BMP, and TIF, PNG. Compare images of different proportions and imageDiff will scale and calculate the difference automatically.

Illustration

Inkscape is an Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. Inkscape supports many advanced SVG features (markers, clones, alpha blending, etc.) and great care is taken in designing a streamlined interface. It is very easy to edit nodes, perform complex path operations, trace bitmaps and much more.

SPRAY vector generator -is intended to produce helper objects for vector illustration software like Xara X, Corel Draw, Adobe photoshop. You generate huge number of circles with random position, fill, outline color; random paths, grids, and rays. You can place generated objects thru clipboard at your favorite illustration app. Developed for Xara X but also works with Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator.

SmoothDraw NX is an easy yet powerful freehand drawing tool. It’s a limited yet free version of SmoothDraw. It produces the most smooth and expressive stroke through your tablet. It also smoothes mouse input for who don’t have a tablet. A quantity of tools are provided for the tasks from basic drawing to image retouching.

ParticleDraw is a novel windows drawing program powered by a state of the art general system simulation engine. The brushes are dynamic systems of particles with interesting behaviours, which you can completely customise. Each brush is intricately tuneable with many underlying physical parameters and one can construct arbitrary systems of particles and use these as brushes.

InsightPoint – creates sophisticated illustration and layout for Web and print. When it comes to spell out and share your ideas, in text and in graphics as well, InsightPoint is the fastest and easiest way to get you there. Built on top of XML technologies, comprehensive object-oriented vector design tools, trivial learning curve, and smooth drawing experience.

Flash

Flash Slideshow Maker is a Flash album creator to make animated photo slide show with SWF file as the output format. It transforms your digital photo collection to Macromedia Flash file format ( SWF ). Flash Slideshow Maker is the ideal tool for create slide show widget for your website quickly and easily. With ANVSOFT Flash Slideshow Maker, you can easily turn a folder full of still images into a stunning Flash slide show presentation with background music and special transition effects. Key Features: its friendly user interface enables you to create amazing slide shows out of your digital photos with quick and simple steps. No Flash knowledge or programming skills are required. Lots of built-in transition effects and prepared Flash templates can definitely add sweet to your entertainment. Flash Slideshow Maker integrates more than fifty cool Flash template, so you can make a stunning Flash in minutes with a few clicks. Flash Slideshow Maker support embedded the photo and background music to create a single FLASH file. It also support to generate XML-driven slideshow.

Sothink SWF Catcher for IE – is a free and useful extension to Internet Explorer that enables you to save multiple Flash based charts, presentations, e-cards, games and Flash movies in it at one time. The small size allows it embedding in IE by just adding a new button. With only few clicks you can store your favorite Flashes easily. Key features: very easy to use, plug-in for Firefox, small size, fast launch, save multiple Flash files at one time.

FontRenamer is a tool, that renames truetype font files (*.ttf) to the real name of the typefaces. Simply select a folder of font files and click the Rename button. The program will display a list of the original file name and the renamed name and also offer an option to undo the operation. It doesn’t require runtimes, installation, doesn’t write to the registry, doesn’t modify files outside of its own directories.

Authoring Tools

Project Dogwaffle Free is affordable paint software for the PC with built-in, user-defined, animated & fractal particle brushes. A companion to your 2D+3D web authoring or animation tools, or as your first step into virtual art and matte painting with mouse or tablet, it is here for you to paint, sketch, animate and paint.

Terragen is a scenery generator, created with the goal of generating photorealistic landscape images and animations. It is available for Windows and the Mac OS. At this stage in its development, Terragen is free for personal, noncommercial use. Extremely easy to use layout, along with realistic default settings, allows the creation of good-looking scenes within seconds of starting the program. Two terrains can be combined together to produce a new terrain, using a number of different methods such as ‘highest’, ‘lowest’, height addition and subtraction, to extend the usefulness of the terrain generation system.

AmitySource Userbar Generator is an easy-to-use program for generating unique and attractive userbars. With it you can create nice-looking userbar within five minutes and without any technical or artistical knowledge. It has everything you need for creating personal userbars: you can choose colors, special effect, pattern, a glow effect, an overlay image for your composition. AmitySource Userbar Generator allows to save the created userbar in different popular formats.

uMark Lite – allows you to add a text or image watermark to your digital photos. You can choose from 9 pre-defined watermark placements, set a custom font, size, and color, as well as opacity level. The freeware version can batch process up to 50 images in a single run. The watermarked images are saved in a new folder, so your originals remain unchanged. 50 images at a go, adds uMark Lite watermark.

Animation

Synfig Studio is a vector based 2D animation program. It is designed to be capable of producing feature-film quality animation. It eliminates the need for tweening, preventing the need to hand-draw each frame. Synfig Studio features spatial and temporal resolution independence, high dynamic range images, and a flexible plugin system.

TouchArt Sampler – is a great way to learn the art and skills of performing live visuals and VJing. TouchPlayer and 21 interactive 2D and 3D animations (synths) are included in this sampler. Touch lets you manipulate visuals in real-time, giving you control of various parameters like lighting, color, textures, motion, video playback, and composing. Play some audio and you can sync visuals to the BPM.

AnimPixels is an animated movie software specialized in Isometric Pixel Art. Use your own movie components, or download them from the web, to create a original pixelized animated movie.

UnFREEz is a high-speed Windows application that will take any number of images, saved as separate GIF files, and create a single animated GIF from those images. UnFREEz is freeware, which means you may use it forever without paying a cent or feeling the slightest bit guilty. UnFREEz is incredibly tiny, meaning you don’t have to spend forever downloading an extremely bloated piece of software. It is so easy to use. Just drag and drop some GIF files from Explorer, set the frame delay time, and hit Make Animated GIF. UnFREEz will take care of the rest, including automatic interlacing and transparency detection. So download UnFREEz now and try it out for yourself! If you like it, keep it; it’s free! This program is written in non-MFC Win32 C++, and should not need any additional files to run.

3D Modeling & CAD

Bryce – is known for creating photo-realistic 3D landscapes and featuring a shallow learning curve for beginners. Start out building or importing a landscape as impressive as the Grand Canyon. Populate it with buildings, people or any other object you create or from the extensive DAZ 3D library. The Light Lab provides you robust control over your sunsets, moonlight nights or high-noon ambiance.

LOOXIS Faceworx -is a free Software which creates a 3D head out of two standard 2D photos.You need two well illuminated pictures; one from the front (mugshot style) and one from the side. The software demands some skills in placing reference points and marking the contours of the face; mouth, nose, ears and eyes. The final 3D portrait can be saved and exported in the well known OBJ format.

Blender – is the open-source software for 3D modeling, animation, rendering, post-production, interactive creation and playback. It is available for all major operating systems under the GNU General Public License.

Google SketchUp – is a free, easy-to-learn 3D-modeling program with a few simple tools to let you create 3D models of houses, sheds, decks, home additions, woodworking projects, and even space ships. You can add details, textures, and glass to your models, and design with dimensional accuracy. You can place your finished models in Google Earth, share them with others by posting them to the 3D Warehouse, or print hard copies.

3D Canvas – is a real-time 3D modeling and animation tool that incorporates an intuitive drag-and-drop approach to 3D modeling. Complex models can be constructed from simple 3D primitives, or created using 3D Canvas’ Object Building Tools. Modeling tools are provided to deform, sculpt, and paint 3D objects.

3D Box Shot Maker – is an easy and FREE tool to virtually design quality box shot as your software box cover. It is important to present a professional boxshot to attract your potential customers to take a closer look at your products. An impressive box shot will make your software outstanding, and easily defeat your competitors at the start.

Useful tools

Digital Image Tool – was created specifically to batch process images quickly, applying flexible resizing methods, rotation, cropping, scaling, watermarking, renaming and more. As a multimedia designer Digital Image Tool has come in very handy?..we made it originally for use in-house but decided to put a little more effort into the program and release it for free to the public.

JR Screen Ruler – is an easy to use, small screen ruler that you can use to measure distances on your screen. It supports pixels, centimeters, picas and inches and can be adjusted in length to fit your screen.

Quick HTML Color Picker -is a freeware color picker application designed for Windows OS. With Quick HTML Color Picker, you can easily pick any color from the screen. You can preview the color, use mouse or keyboard to select the color you wanted, and get the color in RGB and HTML format.

LS Screen Capture – captures your desktop in several handy ways. Capture the entire desktop screen, the entire desktop work area, capture using your mouse by creating a rectangle, capture an entire window, the entire window work area, capture any active window with key stroke (Ctrl + F2).

ScreenHunter is a free screen-capture tool for you to easily take screenshots. ScreenHunter can capture a full screen, an active window, the client window, or a rectangular area. It automatically saves captures in BMP or JPEG format, so you don?t have to stop each time you capture, and you can capture as many as you like. It also can save captures to the Clipboard to be copied to other programs, such as Motion Studio and Word. ScreenHunter has a selectable hot-key capture (F1 to F10) and delayed capture, and uses virtually no system resources on standby. ScreenHunter freeware version has no expiration date and can be distributed free of charge.

8 Comments so far »

  1. Cliff said

    am January 8 2008 @ 4:36 pm

    This is one of the more comprehensive lists I’ve seen, I plan on showing it to some people around the office. The title might have been more appropriately “Web Graphics Designers” though, as there really doesn’t seem to be anything related to coding of any sort 🙂

    I definitely found a few things on here I had no idea existed, and that still look worthwhile, which is rare for me to find on most of these lists. My only qualm with some of them is that they are not licensed for commercial use, making them useless to a professional web designer, only to someone doing it in their spare time for personal projects. Irfanview falls under that category, although it’s hard to find where it says such.

  2. Troy said

    am January 8 2008 @ 5:45 pm

    My favorite on this list in Paint.NET. You can do some powerful things with it, especially with the large library of plugins. The coummunity is very helpful and the forums are a great resource.

    Everybody talks about GIMP, but personally, I’ve never really gotten into it.

  3. COOL! said

    am January 8 2008 @ 7:42 pm

    AWESOME!!! i use most of these programs, and they rock
    javascript:alert(“AWESOME!”)

  4. Braintrove.com said

    am January 8 2008 @ 7:44 pm

    Great list! Thanks for compiling and sharing it with us! Found a few new ones in your list! Thanks!

  5. Dave said

    am January 8 2008 @ 9:56 pm

    Bryce isn’t free.

  6. Rocky said

    am January 9 2008 @ 1:25 am

    Flash Slideshow Maker is very cool, but it is not free, it’s $50!

  7. shabo said

    am January 9 2008 @ 12:06 pm

    Xara Xtreme is free for Linux

  8. Aidan said

    am January 9 2008 @ 10:34 pm

    Some great program suggestions there, I will definitely be trying a fair few of those!

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