RM Skill: Undisclosed
- Visual Art Software/Tools -
Drawing and Digital Editing Tools
GIMP An open source program that is similar to Photoshop. Often referred to as the "free Photoshop".
OpenCanvas 1.1 OC is a painter style program that also allows for network connection to paint WITH friends.
($) OpenCanvas Inexpensive compared to photoshop but with very nice painter capabilities. Works best with a wacom tablet though. Cost is about 70 USD for the "plus" version and only 52 USD for the regular version. (About the same to buy XP.)
SketchBook Pro 15-day Trial Version. Paint and drawing software. Works fast, very accurate, and easy to use. Licensing costs 100 USD.
CG Model and Animation Tools
blender3D An open source 3D modeling program. It also has a game engine...sort of.
TrueSpace 7.6 Calagari's flagship 3D modeling and animation tool is now free. Also they provide roughly 3 gigabytes worth of tutorial videos free of charge also. Great tool for anyone who is into CG and wants to make cutscenes using movie scripts.
AnimPixels 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. There's a lot of isometric pixel art resources that you can download from the site.
Anim8tor 3D modelling and rendering program for beginners.
General GFX Design Adobe Photoshop Photoshop is the backbone of the graphics community. Photographers call it the "Devils Camera" because you can pretty much do anything with it (given you have the skill). PS is what most of the graphic artists use for the majority of their work. If you are looking to start graphic designing, learn this program first.
The Gimp The Gimp is often known as a secondary Photoshop, or the free version of Photoshop. Although not as advanced, The Gimp offers much of the same things, without the price. Definitely a prize product!
Paint Tool SAI PaintTool SAI is high-quality and lightweight painting software, fully digitizer support, amazing anti-aliased paintings, providing easy and stable operation, this software makes digital art more enjoyable and comfortable.
3D Landscaping e-on Vue Vue is the current leader in landscape generation. It has the combined attributes of Terragen and Bryce, plus much more. It's a little tougher to learn than Terragen or Bryce, but it's well worth the time to learn. It has great animation skills, and doesn't require any plug-ins to export the terrain to pretty much any other 3D program. This is very useful when modelling landscapes in other programs. It also has modelling capabilities, and is often used to model such things as castle landscapes.
Corel Bryce Bryce is another 3D Landscape rendering program, but it is not a great one. The renders take maybe 5 to 10 times longer than that of Terragen, and barely come out half as realistic. A perk of Bryce's (that Terragen does not have) is that it can be used for abstracts as well. It also has many things like bushes, and other landscape items, that Terragen does not offer.
Terragen Terragen is an amazing landscape rendering program. It is quite easy to use, and produces completely photo-realistic renders. One of the best perks about this program is that it has many plug-ins (even plug-ins that allow you to import Terragen landscapes into many other programs). For beautiful landscapes, this is a must-have. Best of all, IT'S FREE! (For non-commercial use.)
3D Modelling Maxon Cinema 4D Cinema 4D is definitely the most user-friendly, 3D-rendering program that is used by the graphics community. It can create abstract, or even professional, models with ease (compared to other programs). Its renders come out nice and smooth. This is a must for aspiring graphic artists.
Discreet 3D Studio Max 3D Studio Max is not as user-friendly as other 3D-rendering programs, but it is definitely the most powerful. Its MANY rendering options put other programs' renders to shame. If you're looking for the best in 3D capabilities, this is your program.
Alias Maya Maya is a very powerful 3D modelling program. This program is used widely in the gaming industry. If you have ever played Final Fantasy X, and above, you have seen the great work this program can do. This program is not as user-friendly as Cinema 4D, but it is definitely easier than 3D Studio Max. So, if you would like great quality, with a moderate challenge, here is your program.
NewTek Lightwave 3D I have used Lightwave many times, and I must say it is the master of 3D modelling and special effects. It has very advanced settings for such things as bump maps, and materials, giving your scenes the realism they need. This program is the REAL DEAL. Beginners beware, this one will take some time for you to get the hang of.
Curious Labs Poser Poser is the ultimate in fast and efficient character design. This program is specifically meant for character design and animation. The characters you create in this program can easily be exported into other 3D modelling programs; to be integrated into your scenes. If you want realistic characters, and fast, this is what you need.
Fractals Apophysis Apophysis is a fractal generation program. You can program your own scripts for it as well. Apophysis is a great program to use for texturing your art. Best of all, it's FREE!
1 bit = a "1" or "0" ( 4 bits = 1 nibble (a "semioctet" or a "quartet") 8 bits = 1 Byte ( 1024 Bytes = 1 KiloByte (KB) 1024 KiloBytes = 1 MegaByte (MB) 1024 MegaBytes = 1 GigaByte (GB) 1024 GigaBytes = 1 TeraByte (TB) (More information on Wikipedia.)
Common Prefixes: - kilo, meaning 1,000. (one thousand) 10^3 (Kilometer, 1,000 meters) - mega, meaning 1,000,000. (one million) 10^6 (Megawatt, 1,000,000 watts) - giga, meaning 1,000,000,000 (one billion) 10^9 (Gigawatt, 1,000,000,000 watts) - tera, meaning 1,000,000,000,000 (one trillion) 10^12
The smallest amount of transfer is one bit. It holds the value of a "1", or a "0". (Binary coding.) Eight of these ones and zeros are called a byte. Why eight? The earliest computers could only send 8 bits at a time, it was only natural to start writing code in sets of 8 bits. This came to be called a byte. A bit is represented with a lower-case "b", whereas a byte is represented with an upper-case "b" (. So Kb is kilobits, and KB is kilobytes. A kilobyte is eight times larger than a kilobit. A simple "1" or "0", times eight of these ones and zeros put together is a byte. The string of code: 10010101 is exactly one byte. So a small GIF image, about 4 KB has about 4,000 lines of 8 ones and zeros. Since there are 8 per line, that's over (4,000 x 8) 32,000 ones and zeros just for a single GIF image.
How many bytes are in a kilobyte (KB)? One may think it's 1000 bytes, but its really 1024. Why is this so? It turns out that our early computer engineers, who dealt with the tiniest amounts of storage, noticed that 2^10 (1024) was very close to 10^3 (1000); so based on the prefix kilo, for 1000, they created the KB. (You may have heard of kilometers (Km) which is 1000 meters). So in actuality, one KB is really 1024 bytes, not 1000. It's a small difference, but it adds up over a while. The MB, or megabyte, mega meaning one million. Seems logical that one mega (million) byte would be 1,000,000 (one million) bytes. It's not however. One megabyte is 1024 x 1024 bytes. 1024 kilobytes is called one Megabyte. So one kilobyte is actually 1024 bytes, and 1024 of those is (1024 x 1024) 1048576 bytes. In short, one Megabyte is really 1,048,576 bytes. There is a difference of about 48 KB, which is a decent amount. If you have a calculator, you will notice that there is actually a 47KB difference. There is a difference of 48,576 bytes, divided by 1024, and you get the amount of real kilobytes... 47.4375 All of this really comes into play when you deal with Gigabytes, or roughly one billion bytes. One real Gigabyte is actually 1024 bytes x 1024 bytes x 1024 bytes...1,073,741,824. However, most people like to simplify this by simply saying that one Gigabyte is only 1,000,000,000 (one billion) bytes; which makes sense because the prefix Giga means one billion.
Abstract A random, sharp, and usually crisp type of style. Usually involves some amorphous shapes in the background. This is generally the easiest style of signatures.
Animation The term for something that moves on its own.
Avatar/Avy A small image, usually square and no larger than 120x120 pixels. On the AdventureQuest forums, they can be no larger than 95x95 pixels and cannot exceed 10KB.
Background The area 'behind' anything that is happening in front. The opposite to the Foreground of an image. There are many types of backgrounds that range in popularity. These include Cinema 4D, Brushed, and vector backgrounds. Brushed backgrounds used to be very popular, but now they are generally thought to be novice.
Banner An image mainly larger than 500 by 100 pixels.
Blending Options A mini screen in which you can select options such as bevel/emboss-inner shadow-drop shadow-outer glow-pattern overlay-gradient overlay etc. (for a specific layer).
Blur A tool used to "blur" sections of an image. This can increase depth when used in strategic areas. Blurring may also make things hard to view, so it is mainly used on the background, to bring forward to foreground. This makes it more catching to the eye.
Border A line that encompasses the main image of a signature. The most common size is 1 pixel, with the most common colour being black.
Brush (Brushes) A brush like the default hard/soft brushes that are used to make a texture or effect generally used as a background, may or may not be combined with filters.
Brushing Using a brush in a pattern to make a certain background, some may hold down the left mouse button and drag across a canvas, or click in different places.
Burn Tool Use and brush this over a section of a render, or the whole render itself. whatever you want and it'll darken down the spot use a clicking motion.
Canvas The working space where you create your digital image.
Cinema 4D A program (made by Maxon) that is used to create and animate 3D models within the program. It's tools range from distorting to lighting, and is a powerful tool in modern day signature making.
Cinema 4D Render A Cinema 4D render is a 3D model that is created within Cinema 4D. This usually has realistic lighting and a complex or smooth body. These are often used in signatures to create effects and lights. There are many types of Cinema 4D (C4D) renders. These include: -Vector Renders (Not with outstanding detail, more blotchy colours, so to speak. Has a vector-style realism.) -Line/Wireframe Renders (Usually white with all the lines black, with no detail at all except for the use of line.) -Effect Renders (These are mainly used on blending modes to create an effect of light or bright lines.) -Normal Renders (The main Cinema 4D renders described in the first part of the main description.)
Clone Stamp Good for removing text. to use hold alt, click where you want you start the copy then drag to the place you want to use it. Unpress alt and start a brushing motion.
Colour A substance, such as a dye, pigment, or paint, that imparts a hue.
Composition The result of combining multiple elements together to create a unified whole. Used in Digital Arts when artists are referring to how your image was put together, and how it "goes" together as a whole.
Concept The concept of a piece of artwork is the general idea, thought, or theme.
Contrast The use of opposing elements, such as colours, forms, or lines, in proximity to produce an intensified effect in a work of art.
Copy To copy a section of the image or text, for later use. You can "Paste" the same section back in. Right-click then select "Copy", or "Ctrl+C"; this will allow you to copy the selected image or text.
Crop To "clip out" a selected portion of an image.
Cut Similar to "Crop", but it also copies the section of the image/text.
Depth The extent, measurement, or dimension downward, backward, or inward--provides a sence of verisimilitude in the sig (is used to give the appearance of reality).
De-Saturation To "De-saturate" is to remove the colour from an image, making it Black and White. Opposite: See "Saturation".
Dimensions The length of an image on the x or y axis. The length of the image horizontally is usually mentioned first.
Dodge Tool Use and brush this over a section of a render, or the whole render itself. Whatever you want and it'll lighten up the spot. Use a clicking motion.
Effects The Jasc/Corel Paintshop Pro equivalent of Filters. Available under the Effects and Adjust tabs.
Filter An effect that changes/distorts a layer or image without the use of a brush, vector, or font. Can be found in the "Filters" tab.
Flow An effect in which the signature blends to a point of giving the appearance of motion.
Focal Point The part of an image that your eyes first notice, or is the most prominent part of the artwork. Minimalistic styles are mainly the style that uses it. Chaotic styles usually do not have a focal point. This is also where people would (or should, in your opinion) look when they first glance at the image.
Font The style of text being used.
GIF A save file-type, save a PSD file as a GIF when incorporating animation. This file-type is best used for web images as there are only 256 distinct colours in a .gif file at maximum. It has high file compression.
GIMP A free photo-editing program.
GimpTalk A common forum used to discuss GIMP tutorials, tips and tricks.
Gradient Efficient in in the use of vectors and minimalism sigs. can give depth, create abstract, give a metal effect, create a shine, can also be used as a simple background.
Grunge A messy, gritty, hard looking style of graphics, and widely used in the Graphics world. Slightly more difficult to master, this is still a fairly simply style. There are two kinds of Grunge style as are about to be explained. :Hard- A style of grunge that is messy, contrasted, and dark. This will make your signature have that heavy, junk-yard feeling. :Soft- This is a grunge style that is usually made up of a rusty, gritty sort of look, but not too dark, contrasted, or messy. Easier to use than Hard Grunge.
Imageshack File Uploading Site commonly used to upload pictures and digital art. Can be found here.
JPE/G A save file-type, second bets quality save. Higher file compression. use save @ 10, not 12. there is no quality difference other than 12 making your file size bigger.
KB (KiloBytes) The unit used to measure the file size of an image.
Layer A layer is a picture, render, or other type of file that can be manipulated separately from the rest of the digital art you are working with.
Lens Flare Found in Photoshop under (Filter > render). LF creates the effect of looking into a bright source of light (e.g. the sun). When not blatantly used, it can be useful.
LP Large Piece, an artwork that exceeds the typical size limits of signatures(max is usually something like 500x200) and avatars (max~100x100).
Magic Eraser Same use a magic wand. Click on a colour to erase it.
Marquee A dotted line selection tool. Each shape of tool creates a differently shaped, selected area.
Mask A special layer that goes on above another layer, or can be "joined" with another layer. Alters the lighting/colour/contrast of an image in a non-intrusive way.
MB MegaByte A larger version of a kilobyte, this one is 1024 KB.
Microsoft (MS) GIF Animator A Microsoft program designed to animate GIF files. MS GIF Animator will create an animation from pre-created frames and will not create all the frames of the animation itself.
Minimalistic A very simple, smooth style.
Monochrome Only a single shade of colour. (Without variety.)
Negative Space Where the tag has been deliberately left empty (boring with no effects) for effect. Negative space is also a place where you don't want people looking, this also brings out the focal point.
Nova Line Large white lines outlined with blue. Extends from the end of the image to the centre of the image.
Opacity Synonymous to transparency. The more opaque something is, the more visible it is.
Paste Mostly used with "Copy". This allows you to "Paste" to copied section of a picture back in. Right click -> Paste or Control + V will paste the previously copied text or image.
Pattern A decorative design, as for wallpaper, china, or textile fabrics, etc.
Pen Tool A tool efficient in rendering and vectoring.
Photobucket File uploading site used to upload pictures and videos. Does not always have correct file size. Needs registration.
Photoshop An art program just like GIMP and PSP. It is currently the best art program and is fairly expensive. A trial can be downloaded at adobe's website.
Picture A setting. Includes a render and supporting objects.
Pixels The tiny little units that make up any digital image. Pixels are each transparent but can be filled with colour to produce an image when they are grouped together. Pixels can be square, hexagonal, octagonal, or cross-shaped depending on your program's settings.
PNG A save file-type, BEST quality out of any other image save file-type. Use for transparencies (Note: GIF can be used for transparencies as well).
PS [Abbreviation] "Photoshop".
PSD A file type used by Photoshop. Usually so you can save layers separately.
PSP [Abbreviation] "Paint Shop Pro" Also can be referred to as "Jasc. Paint Shop Pro."
PSP (or .pspimage) A save file for Paint Shop Pro allowing you to show all the layers unmerged in PSP. Similar to that of a PSD file used by Adobe Photoshop.
Raster Layer In Jasc/Corel Paintshop Pro, a raster layer is a layer of the image that functions on a pixel by pixel basis. Is more common in the creation of signature images.
Rasterize To convert any kind of layer (Mask, gradient, font, etc.) into a normal layer.
Render From 3D modelling, a render is a product of applying lighting and other effects to a model to create a "completed" image, often used to show what the model will look like in-game. In signature work, the term has come to describe an image removed from the background it is set upon. Also used to name a Cinema 4D image commonly used in tags or large pieces. A verb form of this word is to remove an image from it's background.
Rendering The act of generating the render.
Resolution The size of your image or screen given by width x height (e.g. 500x100) in pixels unless specified.
Saturation The multiple colours of an image. Decreasing the saturation down to 0 (for example; in Photoshop with it's Hue/Saturation adjustment layer) will make the image black and white. Making it too saturated will make it catching to the eye, but not very pleasing aesthetically. Opposite: See "De-Saturation".
Save Standard way of keeping your work. Control + S is the common short-cut for this.
Save for Web A different version of the standard Saving, used in Photoshop and ImageReady CS+. This allows you to save as .jpg, .gif, and both .png files. (8 and 24). With this you may also alter the quality and some other options when saving your image.
Scanline Effect A simple pixel pattern applied to a signature. Most likely, these scanlines with consist of 3 styles. :Style 1- Dots. :Style 2- Diagonal Lines. :Style 3- Gridlines.
Sepia Tone Usually the de-saturation of an image, or making all other colours one shade of a colour, giving it a certain feeling.
Please feel free to contribute links (with descriptions, preferably) by replying to this topic. The OP will be updated as necessary. =] Also, if you find a dead link or mistake in this post, please report it - thanks!
Love the new setup you guys have created! Took me by surprise since it came about so abruptly but it really is a great addition to organize everything! Awesome job!
I Support these Projects~
...If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails....
RM Skill: Undisclosed
Thanks very much, it's great to hear compliments every so often.
We're working pretty hard behind the scenes to continue making this place better - hopefully by the time it is finished, everyone will agree on that.
Anyway, that's not what this topic is about, so I'll stop talking now and let you guys enjoy the resources (and hopefully there were no mistakes or dead links left in there - I tried to catch the dead ones, lol).