Free Creative Resources

When I got into artistic pursuits as a teen, a lot of software was expensive. Since then, many solutions are now free. I dedicate this page to sharing those free resources to fledgeling artists who don’t have much money to work with.

LinuxMint: I run Linux on my laptop since it’s a lighter operating system that runs well on aging hardware. While Ubuntu continues to be the primary flavor of Linux, I like the XFCE version of Mint because it’s geared toward slower hardware. Mint comes with everything a writer would need, right out the gates when installation is complete. 

LibreOffice: Paying for an office suite in the 21st century is an utter waste of money if you use it for basic features.  Beware that more advanced features may not play well when opening documents on software made by the “big kids” on the block like Microsoft Office or iWork. It’s a bonus that LibreOffice works on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. There’s also an experimental version for Android being developed by another team. 

Google Docs: Another free office solution. While not as robust as the above suites, it has the advantage of being online so you can access your documents on any device and any operating system.

Trelby: Trelby is a free solution for writing screenplays for Windows and Linux. It hasn’t been updated since 2012, but I doubt the syntax of screenplays has evolved much since then. Folks running a newer version of Linux will need to download a recompiled version here.

InfraRecorder: If you want something more full-featured than your operating system’s built-in disc burning tools and don’t want to shell out the money for the resource hog that is Nero, then InfraRecorder is the ticket. 

GIMP: I LOVE Photoshop, but I understand it’s expensive. GIMP is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux and can do most of what Photoshop can do.

Unity: When I was a wee lad, Adobe Animate (formerly Adobe and Macromedia Flash) was the best tool for making web games and cartoons, but with HTML5 in full effect and Flash’s end-of-life coming soon, Unity has moved to the forefront. I love the freemium plans where you can learn it for free, but if you’re making substantial money or want to ditch the opening watermarks, you have the option of paying.

Blender: Blender can be used for 3D modeling, animation, video editing, and game design. Even some big movie studios have made use of Blender. 

Truespace: While not as feature-rich as Blender for 3D, I do find it easier to use. Truespace has not been updated since 2009, so I ONLY recommend dabbling in this program if you’re strictly a hobbyist. 

Handbrake: This is the free go-to for compressing or changing formats of video and audio files. Available for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. 

Speedfan: Speedfan is a handy applet that allows you to check your computer temperature and manually crank up your fan speeds. When performing intensive activities, a cooler computer can squeeze out a little extra performance. 

Prime95: In layman’s terms, this applet forces your computer to calculate an overwhelming number of prime numbers to test it. If you overclock, this is vital to run in order to make sure your setup is stable. If you’re getting errors, lower your speeds. It’s also nice to run Speedfan alongside it if you’ve just installed a processor to make sure your cooling setup is optimal.