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Linux Graphic Tools

Recap: at my presentation at the July 1998 NTLUG meeting, I gave demos of Blender, Moonlight Creator, POV-Ray, ImageMagick, Mesa, and Pryan.  All of these packages are available for free.  I've also included links to other free and non-free graphics tools for Linux.  This list is by no means complete.  Enjoy.

3D Modeling/Animation Systems (free)

  •  3Dom  - free 3D modeling package
  •  Blender  - free 3D design/animation package from  NeoGeo .
  •  GL-Space  - free Open GL-based 3D modeling package similar to TrueSpace.  Requires Open GL or Mesa.
  •  Midnight Modeler  - modeler and GUI interface to POV-Ray raytracer
  •  Mind's Eye  - free 3D modeling/animation package
  •  Moonlight Creator  - free 3D modeling package.  Exports a variety of formats, including POV-Ray and RenderMan.
  •  Pixcon/Anitroll  - free 3D render and animation system
  •  SCED  - free constraint-based modeling package
  •  Virtuoso  - free 3D modeling/animation package
3D Modeling/Animation Systems (shareware/commercial)
  •  AC3D  - shareware 3D modeling system ($40 registration)
  •  Amapi  - shareware 3D modeling system ($25 registration)
 3D Raytracing Systems (free)
  •  POV-Ray  - free 3D raytracer.   Well-established, fairly easy to use, and mostly bug-free.  Scene description language somewhat resembles C programming language.
  •  Panorama  - new free 3D object-oriented raytracer.  Looks very promising.  Scene description language somewhat resembles C++ programming language.  (Not compatible with POV-Ray, though.)
  •  Radiance  - free 3D radiosity raytacer, developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
  •  Rayshade  - free 3D raytracer developed at Stanford University.  Currently not in active development.
3D Raytracing Systems (shareware/commercial)
  •  Blue Moon Rendering Tools  - shareware RenderMan-compliant renderer.  NOTE: RenderMan is the rendering standard developed by Pixar.  Among other things, Pixar's PRMan commercial rendering package is the RenderMan-compliant package used to create the movie Toy Story.
  •  RIBit!  - commercial RenderMan-compliant renderer from Eidolon Research.  Free demo available.  Full version is somewhat expensive ($950).
3D Programming Libraries (free)
  •  Mesa  - free Open GL "workalike" developed at the University of Wisconsin.  Used to program 3D graphics in applications.
  •  GLUT  - free GL Utility Toolkit.  Easy to use.  Adds some basic GUI functionality to Open GL programs.  Not functional enough for complex Open GL-based applications, though.  NOTE: GLUT is already shipped with the Mesa source distribution.  If you download Mesa, you do not need to download GLUT as well.
  •  GLTT  - free GL TrueType library.  Allows rendering of TrueType fonts in 3D applications.
  •  GL4Java  - free Open GL bindings for the Java programming language.  Allows Open GL programming in Java.  Requires an Open GL implementation or similar, such as Mesa.
  •  Open GL Perl Module  - free Perl5 module for Open GL programming.  (Somewhat outdated?)
  •  Togl  - free Tk widget for rendering Open GL graphics.  From the author of Mesa.
  •  Pryan  - free Open Inventor "workalike" that won second prize in TrollTech's Qt programming contest.  Requires the Qt widget library.
3D Programming Libraries (shareware/commercial)
  •  Magician  - commercial Open GL bindings for Java.
  •  Metro Open GL  - commercial Open GL implementation from Metro Link.  Includes Metro-X server.  ($199)
  •  TGS Open Inventor  - commercial Open Inventor implementation from Template Graphics.
Paint/Image Manipulation Utilities (free)
  •  GIMP  - GNU Image Manipulation Program.  Excellent free graphics package similar to Adobe Photoshop.
  •  xpaint  - simple free paint program for X.
Image Display/Conversion Utilities (free)
  •  Image Magick  - excellent suite of free image display and conversion utilities.

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