If you’ve read the About the Author page on this site, you’ll know I have a lot of interests, especially when it comes to the arts. I try to use what I can to create the things that I want, and today there are so many resources. Everything on this site I created myself and mostly for free, except for the music on the trailer video (music just isn’t my strong suit). So I’m going to talk about what I’ve been using, or thinking of using.
As much as I’ve tried to distance myself from Microsoft since becoming a Graphic Designer (Microsoft Office is some of the worst designed software out there), I still use Microsoft Word for writing. It’s not pretty, but it does the job (doesn’t hurt that my University gave me a free copy). For my 900+ page book, it can handle it, even if it takes some time to load up all the pages. If you have this program and don’t want to get another one, you might as well use it. Otherwise there are things like Google docs, Open Office, and other cheaper or free versions.
At first I didn’t really get this, so it just lingered on my computer. But then I installed it on my *cough* computer at work *cough* and my cell phone, and I’ve found it’s really useful to have a place to make or reference notes wherever I go. I may or may not have written full scenes at work and then transferred them to the master document at home.
I actually haven’t used this. But I hear it’s good. And only $50, compared to the hundreds you can waste on Word. You can be the judge.
This works a bit like Evernote, but with files. I can access my files wherever I am, which is useful. I don’t even have to have it installed, just go to the website.
As far as making art goes, Photoshop is a great all around program. It can also be expensive. I wouldn’t use it if I weren’t a graphic designer who bought it for school. As far as design and layout go, Illustrator and InDesign are a lot better. There are free or cheap versions of a lot of these programs, like Gimp instead of Photoshop, so you aren’t necessarily limited by money.
If you like to draw, get a drawing tablet for digital drawings. It is easier than scanning drawings in, and works well with Photoshop. Wacom is the most well known, but you could probably find cheaper knockoff versions as well.
Blender is a free, open source 3D tool. You can use it for modeling, animation, and even video game logic. It can do so many things, for free…but it’s hard to use. Really hard, especially if you’ve never played in 3D before. I used it to create my video, as well as the stills, but it took me a long time just to get comfortable in my little corner, and there’s still a lot I don’t know.
This is a free program to create a human model for Blender and other 3D programs. Some call it cheating, I just care about the end result. Your people might look a little generic, and clothing options are limited, so you’ll want to have some modeling skills to modify it afterward, but it does help.
I used this to combine all the videos, since it was part of the Adobe suite. There are other programs as well, especially for basic editing.
I used to use Windows…until I was introduced to Mac. It makes Windows, especially the older versions, feel clunky in comparison. The only downsides are the costs and lack of some software, especially computer games. But that will help you be more productive in the long run, anyway.