Friday, February 15, 2008

Very cool and free graphics apps!

Friday February 15, 2008

Hola! It's the Friday before President's Day weekend and the topic for tonight is free software. I have a couple of new additions to my ever-expanding collection of graphics programs that deserve a bit of attention. The first half of tonight's double-feature is MakeHuman; A free (GPL) program for creating detailed 3D models of human figures. MakeHuman produces very high quality objects with an almost eerie level of realism. The controls are easy to use and you can adjust the parameters to make almost any male or female body type. The one deficit I could find with the program is that it doesn't include any means of adding hair or clothing to your carefully constructed human model. So MakeHuman is great for making a model of a nude, bald person. If you really need hair and clothing you might do well to buy the more widely-used Poser package. The other freebie software pick of the week is Bryce 5.5, a program I've been promoting here for some weeks now. Version 5.5 is just one step behind the current cutting edge (6.0) and while not quite as powerful, it's still a full-featured commercial release with all the bells and whistles intact. Bryce excels at creating landscapes, but has enough features and capabilities to do animations as well as realistic images. Huge kudos and thanks go out to DAZ Productions for releasing the last version of Bryce, when they could've simply dropped it and kept selling the latest. I can only hope that this practice becomes a trend in the industry.

The picture of the week was created using Project Dogwaffle
Click on the image for a full-sized view

The loops of the week are a group of blues drum parts

The web site of the week is a history of computer graphics and animation.

The PC game of the week is Dark Star One, a space trading game in the spirit of Elite.

Send your comments and feedback and I’ll read it all and respond to some of it.
Bye for now!

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