Tools I use most often:
I'm an Apple computer user, but most of the computer software I use is available for both Mac and PC.
If you can afford the very best tools, buy them, of course!
Most of my life, I've worked as a musician... Need I say more? I've learned to maximize the tools I could afford, and combine functions from various applications, when I couldn't do things "the expensive way". So, you'll note that this is NOT an expensive list of tools. For example I do all my web site creation in "TextEdit", a simple Mac word processor, and do multiple-page editing with another Mac app., "TextWrangler". Other Mac apps noted below, ("Garage Band", for example) which used to be considered "add-ons", are now quite powerful.
Concept formation and planning:
- Brain, combined with pencil and paper
2D graphics and post processing of 3D images:
- Primary 2D processing: Adobe PhotoShop and Illustrator
Actually, today, most things I need to do can be done in the lighter "Photoshop Elements".
- Cropping, reformatting, compression: "Graphic Converter" or "Preview" (Mac)
- I use several easily-accessible "widgets", such as color pickers, built-in screen capture utilities, etc..
3D Modeling and Animation:
- Today, I'm VERY happy to be using "MODO" 3D software, by Luxology.
Assembly of animation "clips" into larger sequences:
- Some of this can be done right in MODO (or your 3D software)
- Apple QuickTime Pro, iMovie, iDVD, Keynote, etc..
- Master recording and editing on a Tascam 2488 mkII digital workstation
- Clip combination in simple apps like Apple QuickTime Pro, Keynote, and Garage Band
- Still (film) photography: Nikon 35mm film camera and lenses
(Obviously, a flatbed and/or negative/slide scanner is sometimes required too.)
- Still (digital) photography and basic video: 12 megapixel digital camera