A little while ago I set myself the challenge to only use open-source tools for all my graphics work. The reasons for this were varied. Some tools that I’ve used in the past such as 3DS Max are simply way beyond my reach, while some others (Adobe’s Creative Cloud)–while not completely unaffordable– are still expensive and have numerous usability issues (over-riding Windows settings for someone with visual impairments being the most insulting). Plus I don’t like the endless Pay-To-Play syndrome where you’re treated as nothing but a cash-cow to be regularly “milked”.
The replacements I chose were Gimp for image processing and Blender for 3D Modelling/Rendering. I’ve been working on them over the last few weeks to try out their features, stability and overall functionality.
The best proof of any software is in the results you can achieve with them and here are a few examples I’ve been working on.
All the modelling was done in Blender and these are unretouched renders. After I got something I was happy with, I imported it into Gimp to do a little retouching and tweaking. I also added in some dummy titling as if making a cover. And here’s the end result:
This also acts as a teaser for one of my forthcoming stories that features the character depicted and there’s still more tweaking to come. All in all I’m very pleased with the results I’ve got so far. The learning curve can be steep at times, but I’ve enjoyed the challenge and you certainly can’t beat the price.