software and tools

Ok here is a compilation of all the software and useful tools I’ve come across whilst writing. Some of them I’ve reviewed on here already, more coming soon. 

Got an idea? Well get planning! Here’s some useful outlining, brainstorming and mind- mapping software:

Just want to get writing? You want a word processor:

Making notes? Here you go:

Timelines giving you a headache? Try these:

Now perhaps you want to organise those notes. Got a lot of research? Character sheets? Images? Well here’s some tools to keep all that together:

Are you easily distracted? The following tools will keep you on track:

Even more productivity tools to help keep you focussed on your task:

So you’ve got something down? Need to edit? 

All done? Perhaps you’d like some e-publishing tools:

Turns out I’d forgotten about screenwriters, so here goes:

I’m feeling generous, have some more cool stuff:

ETA: After a request I’ve added screenplay software to the list.

A List of Alternatives to Photoshop for creating Pixel Art

Every now and then people ask me about good pixel art tools. Well, I love to use Photoshop for all my pixel stuff and I’ll surely stick to it since its extensive features.

But there are many free or fair-priced alternatives to find in the web and I would like to share a list of potentially useful programs in this posting. This list might be incomplete - it’s just intended to be a rough overview and consciously excludes mobile- and online-programs: otherwise the list would become too confusing.

Programs marked with a “recommended” are used by some artists who replied to a poll-like tweet recently or are often mentioned in forum entries.

If you think that there is an essential pixel art tool missing or you want to highlight a mentioned tool, please comment this posting and share your experiences.
Here we go!

Animated sprite editor & pixel art tool.
OS: Windows, Mac 
Price: Free Trial, Official Build $10/USD (incl. priority support)


Freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.
OS: Windows, Mac, Linux
Price: Free

GrafX2 is a bitmap paint program inspired by the Amiga programs ​Deluxe Paint and Brilliance. 
OS: Windows, Mac, Linux and others
Price: Free

Powerful tool for spriting and pixel art.
OS: Windows
Price: Free Trial, Full $19.5/USD

Krita is a KDE program for sketching and painting, offering an end-to-end solution for creating digital painting files from scratch by masters.
OS: Windows, Linux
Price: Free (Donate)

mtPaint is a painting program which Mark Tyler developed from scratch so he could easily create pixel art and manipulate digital photos.
OS: Windows, Linux
Price: Free

MyPaint is a fast and easy open-source graphics application for digital painters.
OS: Windows, Mac, Linux
Price: Free

Paint.NET is free image and photo editing software for PCs..
OS: Windows
Price: Free (Donate)


Pickle is a cross-platform pixel editor for creating game animations, repeating tiles and sprite sheets.
OS: Windows, Mac
Price: Free Trial, Full $24.99/USD

PikoPixel is a free application for drawing & editing pixel-art images.
OS: Mac
Price: Free


Pinta is a free, open source drawing/editing program modeled after Paint.NET.
OS: Windows, Mac, Linux
Price: Free

Pro Motion
Pro Motion is a drawing and animation software designed similar to the famous Amiga Deluxe Paint (DPaint).
OS: Windows

Price Free Trial, Full $88+/USD

Full-featured image editing app for the Mac
OS: Mac OS & iOS
Price: $29.99

Pixen is a pixel art editor designed for working with low-resolution raster art, such as those 8-bit sprites found in old-school video games.
OS: Mac
Price: $9.99

PXL (recommended)
Currently in development. Mac DPAINT-like.
OS: Mac, “eventually” Windows
Price: Free (current state)

Pyxel Edit
Pyxel Edit is a pixel art editor designed to make it fun and easy to make tilesets, levels and animations.
OS: Windows, Mac
Price: Free unsupported beta, Full $9/USD minimum

The intuitive 2D animation and object creation tool for video game makers.
OS: Windows, Mac, Linux
Price: Free Trial, Pro $25.00/USD

Useful/Related Links:

Pixelprospector : The Big List of Graphics Programs (Windows)

Gnomoria Topic : List of Pixel Art Programs by cyberphenaeri

RPG Maker Forum Topic : Software for making Pixel Art by Emzie

Reddit : what’s a good pixel art sprite design and animation editor?

Isoblox : An interesting isometric Pixel Art Tool for Windows

Thanks to @pixelartm, @davegrey, @JackSchaedler, @Ghoustibles, @HeikoKanzler, @TheIndieSloth, @Nascimpact, @Salva_Davila, @mattfox12, @parodyself, @oxyoxspring, @emptyfortress, @ChiefMigizi



Hello, writerly friends! It’s finally here— it’s time for me to talk about my favorite distraction-free writing software. There are many out there, but this one is in my opinion THE best of them all. PS: Did I mention it’s FREE?

➤ Have a writing question you’d like me to answer? Leave it in the comments, it may just make it into a video!

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Keep writing, the world needs your story~ ♥︎



Free professional-level open-source photogrammetry software helps build point cloud data and help create 3D models from a collection of photos:

There are other apps out there which have been available for awhile (such as Autodesk 123D Catch) but these require both an internet connection and is cloud-based. Here is a tutorial demonstrating how to create a model from video:

The software was developed in 2011 by ChangChang Wu (who now works for Google), and enthusiasts have been using it for a variety of projects (including independent drone cartography).

It’s worth sharing now as the possibilities and education from this software is potentially inspiring for many creative digital fields - last week I posted about some code that can display point cloud data in your browser, or how digital scanning is becoming prevalent in game development … should anyone have an interest in this field, there are free tools to start working with. Also, in the future, it would be no surprise to see more 3D photography available to everyone with a handheld device or even a VR viewer.

Jesse Spielman has put together a post on setting up a project, creating a workflow using this tool (and why it is preferable than 123D Catch) which you can read here

If you want to dive straight in, though, you can download VisualSFM for Windows, Mac and Linux from the project’s homepage here

apixelboy  asked:

I'm really new to making pixel arts and sprites. Are there any programs you recommend? I use paintnet right now because it allows layers and transparency, but trying to rotate or move parts is a pain because it'll blur them or cut them.

Most people use Photoshop since that is the most widespread and powerful drawing software in general. From generic raster programs, the free alternatives in descending order of popularity/useful features would be GIMP (which I use), Paint.NET and I guess Paint (the Windows one).

Pixel art specific software of various popularity includes GraphicsGale, AsepritePyxelEdit, Piskel, Sprite Something, Pro Motion … There’s probably more.

This is the slide I made a while ago to answer your question, but I hope to have a bigger, more detailed overview of all pixel art tools ready for Pixel Art Academy somewhere in the future.

Finally, if you decide to look into GIMP, this might come useful:


Sifted / DotSwarm

Short film by Dan Monaghan featuring a collage of buildings using 3D pointcloud data. It was put together using Dotswarm, recently released pointcloud animation software for OS X. The film is best seen in HD:

A film Directed by Dan Monaghan, VFX Software Developer Ben Torkington, Music Nick Buckton, Staring Mia Straka.  The images in this film are made up of Photogrammetry, 3d models made from photographs.

You can find out more about Dotswarm here
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Holy crap! I think this is the cheapest I’ve ever seen RPG Maker!

If you have a story to tell and you want to easily tell it in the form of a game, this is the way you do it! RPG Maker is a great way to get into making games and learning what works and what doesn’t when it comes to game story and pacing. This sale also includes lots of resources for making art and stuff, and RPG Maker has a vibrant community that contributes lots of other resources as well!

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