Image and Animation Editors
- Pixlr image editor : This full-featured and free web-based image editor is similar to Adobe's Photoshop and those of you who have worked with that program will feel very comfortable. This tool includes layers, filters, editing, and all of the basic tools you need to create good graphics. After you finish editing, you can save the work file to use later and you can save the final product in a number of different formats, including PhotoShop's PSD format.
- Picnik image editor: Picnik allows users to make easy basic edits to photos. While not as rich in features as Pixlr (filters and advanced features require paid version), this is a good web-based option for basic editing (resizing, cropping, auto-fix, etc.).
- Pencil animation software: This free open source software (for MAC, Windows, and Linux) allows you to create animations and has a similar interface to Adobe's Flash. Anyone who has worked with Flash will find this easy to use. It includes a timeline, drawing and color tools, and other common options.
- Blender 3D content creation suite: Create 3D models and animations with this free open source suite (Windows, MAC, Linux, Solaris, Irix). This software is capable of creating complex interactive animations.
- Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 as an image editor: If you have MS PowerPoint 2010, you already have a fairly powerful image editing tool. Check out some of the new image editing features in PowerPoint 2010.
Free Screenshot Tools
Do you need to take a screenshot of a window or part of a window for use in your instruction? There are several tools available that allow you to do this and some enable editing (cropping, text, pointers, etc.).
- How to take screenshots with Office 2010: Learn how to use MS PowerPoint or Word 2010 to take a screen shot and directly insert it into a document or slide. You can also right-click on the image in your document and select "Save as Picture" to save the graphic as a file on your computer. You might check out some of PowerPoint's new image editing features to work with your screenshot.
- Use your computer's built in tools: take-a-screenshot.org: Learn how to make a basic screenshot using utilities in Windows, MAC, iPhone/iPad and others. Instructions are very easy to follow and include video demonstrations.
- Snagit 30-day Free Trial: Snagit is a popular screenshot tool that has more features than most people will use, but if you would like to explore the possibilities, download a free trial version.
- Archive.org includes images, movies, sounds and animations in the public domain.
- FreePixel offers a good selection of free images for personal or commercial use.
- Microsoft Images offers a growing repository of free clipart, icons and photos.
- NOAA Photo Library includes a large collection of free photos from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
- psdGraphics is a great site for people who work with PhotoShop or other progams that allow editing of PSD files (such as Pixlr.com). Here, you will find a large repository of PSD files that can be edited and saved into various formats.
- U.S. Government Photos and Images allows you to search for U.S. photos and images by category, department and by keyword. Many are in the public domain and may be used without permission, but make sure to read any disclaimers.