Saturday, June 18, 2005

Come Look at Graphic Editors with me...

I live on a vanship pilot's salary so I can't afford the latest versions of Photoshop or Illustrator. That means I must scratch around for freebees, shareware and open source handouts to keep competitive in the races. So with that in mind, let's turn our attention to the field of graphic editing software and look a a few of my favorites.

Starting simple, one should have some basic image thumbnailers and editors in your toolbox. First there is the venerable IrfanView. It has an "old-school" interface, but is fast and dependable. Like my late grandpa's 1950 lock-pick set, it ain't pretty but will open just about anything you face. Next we have the FastStone Image Viewer. This thing has a slick "new-school" XP style interface. It can handle thumbnailing images and do some standard image manipulations as well. Did I mention it was FAST???!!!

Kicking it up another notch, there is the ImageWalker application. It is very similar to FastStone, but if you dig into the filter options, you can find a tool called the FilterFactory. (Check out more about FilterFactory.) You can apply tons of filters to your pictures and tweak many of them. Wow! Lots of fun and some are pretty bizzare!

Now we are getting into the big guns. On the horizon, Microsoft is offering a BETA version of it's application called Acrylic. Jury seems really mixed on this one right now. I'm taking a wait and see attitude. For vector editing, I stand by Inkscape. It is awesome application. I already hear at least one of you out there shouting GIMP. It is similar to Photoshop, but different enough to be confusing to those of us who have used Photoshop while still keeping the Adobe lawyers away. Finally, check out Wow! It also has a slick XP style interface. However, it does depends on MS.NET software.

Finally, let's not forget about that good old standby Microsoft Paint. Yeah, it seems like something you would only let your child play with, but check out this link (take your time to take it all in!) to see what it is capable of in the hands of a master (and someone who has way too much free time on their hands).

I have to make one more mention, while not a graphic editor, take a detour and check out the web-editor called Nvu. It is really easy to use. I know very little about web-page work, but some of the other pilots I fly with who use FrontPage say this is really great. In fact, you can download the app, install it to your pc, then copy the program folder to you USB drive and run it directly from there, even if you uninstall the app from your hard-drive. (More on this vanship pilot's trick using other software and storage media in an upcoming post...)

Today's Kawaii-Bonus Link!!!! Cute Tiny Houses! Now, I might be able to afford one of these on a vanship pilot's salary!

See you in the skies!

I'm dumping pictures at the bottom of this post that don't link well in IE to the original sites.

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