Thursday, February 28, 2008

The sustainable graphics toolchain


Every day I'm a bit more overwhelmed at the abundance of graphics tools that are waiting to line up and take their place in my graphics toolchain. I now have more graphics software installed on my computers than I believe I ever had, and every single title has some unique purpose.

The most exciting part of this is the fact that I get to choose the tools I use - that's one of the advantages to owning a business.

I decided early on that I wanted to use sustainable, open source software for my business, whenever possible. First, many of my clients are very sustainability-minded and they know the danger of using "proprietary," "temporary," and "short-term" solutions. Using sustainable software makes sense to them - I like how they think. Second, why would anybody running a business tie himself to proprietary software, unless it was absolutely unavoidable? I'm lucky enough to be able to use sustainable software most of the time without running into trouble. When the city I live in commissioned the 3D model you see above (the example you see has had a complete texture overhaul, but the model's the same), did they know it was made with sustainable software? No. Do they care? Doubt it. But I am happy that there's no license that will ever lapse and lock up that artwork on my hard drive, keeping me from improving on it. There's no chance that the software developer will abandon the software that made the artwork, keeping it locked up, out of distribution, and unsupported.

My final reason for being picky about the software is the most fun: I get to be as involved as I like in the software development process. Looking at the image above, there is one HUGE feature used in its creation that I had suggested to the software developer. He implemented the feature, I created the artwork, and now I feel really glad I got involved in the software development process (as small as my role may be). I've even had people send me re-compiled, upgraded versions of the software when they noticed I asked for a specific feature that I couldn't do without on a big project. Impossible to do with proprietary software.

Posted by Picasa

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts