Nowadays, people can easily access technology. Together with a basic knowledge of technology, an individual or organization can be more efficient and productive. For example, individuals and companies use technology for several reasons; some use it for business applications; others use it for graphic designing, video editing, and even game development. Here, we will tackle some free and open-source graphic software that you could use for free! How cost-efficient is that? Free and open-source software can help whether you are doing this for your project, doing freelance, or for your own business. Furthermore, professionals such as corporations, educators, and filmmakers used every software in the article to make their final product, whether digital art, commercial, branding, 2D or 3D animation.
GIMP or GNU Image Manipulation Program is open-source and free software for photo editing and graphics design. Also, it is a cross-platform that works with Windows, macOS, and Linux. Moreover, the software features many graphic design and image editing tools in an interface similar to Adobe Photoshop.
There are many ways to select colors, including palettes, color choosers, and an eyedropper tool to choose a stain on the canvas. The built-in color choosers include RGB/HSV scales, a water-color selector, a CMYK selector, a color-wheel selector, HTML color selection, Color blending, and the Gradient tool.
Selection tools follow a rectangular and circular selection tool, a free select tool, and a fuzzy select tool (magic wand). Moreover, advanced selection tools include selecting the color tool for selecting contiguous regions of color, the scissors select tool, the foreground select tool, and the path tool.
By using GIMP, you will discover numerous image editing tools that are helpful for your next project. For example, paintbrush, pencil, airbrush, eraser, and ink tools to create new or blended pixels.
Approximately 150 common effects and filters, including Drop Shadow, Blur, Noise Motion Blur, are all included in GIMP. Not only that, but GIMP can also be automated with scripting languages. Apart from that, you can script GIMP using Perl, Python (Python-Fu), or Tcl, using interpreters external to GIMP.
|Import and export||BMP, JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, HEIF, FLI, FLC, PSP, PDF, PS, XBM, XWD, Zsoft PCX, SVG files and ICO Windows icon files.|
|Import only||PDF and UFRaw|
|Export only||MNG, HTML, C and ASCII Art|
Krita is a great free, open-source vector graphics software that focuses majorly on digital illustration, animation, and paint. Apart from this, Krita is mainly used by comic book artists, graphic illustrators, concept artists, matte and texture artists in the VFX industry. In addition to this, the software features numerous standard and advanced features alongside innovative design templates for amateur and pro graphic designers.
One of Krita’s features is frame-by-frame raster animation. It has a timeline and frames to help you animate, a similar interface to adobe flash, and real-time animation playback controls.
You can easily make Vector graphics using Krita; it has tools like the path, selection, text, vector art, fills, and gradient.
Krita’s distinct paint attributes are Brushes, Drawing assistants, Selection tools, and Transformation Tools. Some of the brushes have graphic tablet support, nine brushes engine, modeled after real-life tools, highly adjustable. Aside from that, Krita has tools like the Rectangle, Eclipse, Freehand(lasso), Scale, Rotate, Free Position, and more.
To name a few of Krita’s various layers and mask tools are Layer Management, which can make multiple-level layer groups, select multiple layers, layer highlighting, and drag and drop layers.
Another element Krita has is a resource manager; it allows each brush or texture preset to be tagged by the user and be searched and be filtered as a group. Also, a user-made presets can be called a “bundle” and loaded as a whole.
The Krita software offers built-in filters and supports G’MIC filters. Some of these filters are levels, color adjustment curves, brightness/contrast curve, desaturate, invert, auto-contrast, gaussian blur, lens blur, and many others.
OpenGL canvas is used to speed up Krita’s performance so that the user can have a better framerate and response time. Additionally, it provides better quality when zooming, rotating, and mirroring. Moreover, it requires a graphic card with OpenGL support; Intel Ivy Bridge and above already have OpenGL support.
Import and exportKrita Document, OpenRaster Document, PSD image, PPM, PGM, PBM, PNG, GIF, JPEG-2000, JPEG, Windows BMP, XBM, XPM, TIFF, EXR, PDF, GIMP image, WebP, SCML, ICO, TGA, CSV, QML
Import onlyODG draw, Krita Flipbook, Adobe DNG, Camera RAW, PDF, SVG, XML, XCF.
Inkscape is a free and open-source powerful vector design tool for illustrators and web designers. Similarly, it includes professional quality cross-platform graphics tools that can create illustrations, icons, logos, diagrams, maps, and web graphics. Even more, it supports the most advanced features that enable graphic designers to use alpha blending, performs import native Adobe Illustrator Files, path operations, trace bitmaps, edits notes, clone objects, and more.
Several of Inkscape’s creation tools are pencil, pen, calligraphy, rectangle, eclipse, star/polygons, spirals, text, and clones.
Inkscape’s manipulation tool includes transformation tools, Z-order operations, grouping objects, layers, and alignment and distribution commands.
Node editing, converting to the path, boolean operations, path simplification, and bitmap tracing are some Inkscape’s operations in path functions
|Import and export||PDF, EPS, PS|
|Import only||AI, CDR, VSD, PDF, SVGZ, JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, CGM, EPS, PS, SK1, sketch, FIG|
|Export only||PDF, EPS, PS, FXG, HPGL, HTML5, TeX, SIF, XAML|
Blender is one of the best free and open-source 3D graphics tools. Addtionally, it’s supported on all operating systems and can be effectively employed in designing 3D and 2D animated movies, interactive 3D software, and visual effects. Apart from this, Blender boasts extensive features software that aids graphic designers in performing photorealistic rendering, game creation, sculpting using various composites, brushes, and fast rigging.
Blender’s comprehensive array of modeling tools create, transform, sculpt, and edit your models a breeze. Some of Blender’s modeling tools include Keyboard shortcuts for a fast workflow, N-Gon support, Edge slide, collapse and dissolve, Grid and Bridge fill, Python scripting for custom tools and add-ons.
A large community of enthusiasts and developers of Blender comes loaded with a vast array of extensions. Some of the existing extensions include Generators for trees, terrain, ivy and clouds, Fracture Objects, 3D Printing Toolbox, Rigify meta-rigging system, Import, and Export format support for AfterEffects, DirectX, Unreal Game Engine, and more.
This graphic design software provides digital sculpting tools and the power and flexibility required in several digital production pipeline stages, such as character design and exploration or environment design.
Moreover, this program allows the support for animations. Some of Blender’s animator features include Grease Pencil Character animation pose editor, Non-Linear Animation (NLA) for independent movements, Forward or inverse kinematics for fast poses, Sound synchronization.
Drawing directly in a 3D viewport is one best feature of Blender. Some of the features include Combine 2D with 3D right in the viewport, Full Animation Support with Onion Skinning, Layers & Colors for Stroke and Fill, Sculpt brush strokes & Parent to 3D objects.
Whether you need rain, fire, smoke, fluid, cloth, or full-on destruction, Blender delivers great-looking results.
One of Blender’s key features is a built-in video editor that allows you to use essential functions like video cuts and splicing and more complicated tasks like video masking or color grading.
FontForge is a free and open-source font editing software. It supports a broad range of font formats and is ideal for creating smooth, personalized open-type, true-type, and postscript font designs. Also, you can create your font or modify any existing font.
Some of the tools are Bézier curves, standard curves, point, zoom, the freehand tool, pen tool, spiro, knife, ruler, transform tool, etc.
There are three main layers on FontForge, the Guide layer, the Background layer, and the Foreground layer. Guide layers are used to insert guides (such as x-height or cap-height guides). On the other hand, Foreground layers and background layers are used for drawing. However, only the topmost foreground layer will be rendered into your final font.
|Import and export||SFD, TTF, TTC, OTF, PostScript Type 1, TeX Bitmap Fonts, X11 OTB, Bitmap, BDF, FON, FNT, WOFF, SVG, UFO|
|Import only||SFD, TTF, TTC, OTF, PostScript Type 1, TeX Bitmap Fonts, X11 OTB, Bitmap, BDF, FON, FNT, WOFF, SVG, UFO|
|Export only||SFD, TTF, TTC, OTF, PostScript Type 1, TeX Bitmap Fonts, X11 OTB, Bitmap, BDF, FON, FNT, WOFF, SVG, UFO|
With the rise of technological development, designers and professionals need trade tools to excel in the already competitive market. Although some premium and subscription-based graphic design software offer a commendable array of features, most are incredibly costly to the average user. On the other hand, Free and Open-Source visual design tools enable users to enjoy similar functionalities to their expensive counterparts. With the right combination of free, open-source options, graphic designers can revel in top-of-the-line software functionalities without breaking their wallets.