Useful "outside" tools



a programmers editor. For those of you who haven’t given Vim a chance, it’s definitely worth the time you invest in learning it. Completely customizable to a level of insanity, full access to all of the tools necessary to build your own plugins and tools quickly and efficiently, and an awesome community that spans the entire globe.

And…As some icing on the cake. Here’s some tutorials!

I would skip the first video unless you feel the need to find derek wyatt a bit on the insane side. The rest give you, not only excellent direction, but also echo every key he presses so you can see exactly how little you have to do in the way of that.

  1. Gonna have to break my resolution ( of never wasting time tinkering with another editor )
    But the VIM in-depth tutorials look to good to pass on.
    Thanks! or perhaps Dam U! depending… :wink:

  2. Possibly, another useful outside tool: php tags supporting colored syntax.
    faster for dense and far sighted folk like mahself?
    php syntax similarity. straightforward to mel may be nice.

$myvar = 'Hello World!';
for ($i = 0; \$i < 10; \$i++)
    echo $myvar . "

  1. Additionally, another useful outside tool:Fast Picture codec
    Extending image formats for Windows Vista/7 Thumbnail views as well as
    it’s viewers ( integrated into system with windows new image framework )

    I think the Fast Picture codec has been mentioned here as a solution.
    As well as Ardfry’s Photoshop codec.
    I have had a very good experience with the FastPictureViewer codec.
    So far all 2.XX upgrades have been free.
    ( supposedly there will be a new update link for faster distribution. )
    Till the newest update I will stop poking them so much.

On the other hand poking them has also been very satisfying!
They are responsive and quickly address queries and have been very open to feedback in addition to their support.
(They appear to be very eager in improving their product
make it jump through hoops for the image/tech savvy game developer guru crowd.)

The codec creator: Axel Rietschin has shown an earnest interest in
what insight ( and needs ) game developers might have.
Kinda interested myself in what unsupported formats and/or features others have a need for.

either way…
Example correspondance with interest towards a Tech-Artists perspective:

I was surprised at first by the level of technicity, then I figured out it was more like a game developers and animators community – very technical indeed.
The codec pack indeed supports DDS, EXR, PNM and TGA, which may be useful so some, and work on XP 64, which I understand got somewhere popular in the Computer Graphics industry. I’d be interested in knowing what other formats would be useful for this crowd: I’m considering Radiance HDR and someone in the Sony Vegas team also suggested DPX. I’m willing to cover more of the CG industry formats in the future.
One thing I cannot really do, however, is create a new account and make my first post ever an ad for my products,
Edit Edit (author)

Although I have the free version which is no longer available…
I bought into version 2 and was lucky enough to git it @
the almost non-exsistant price of $5.98 :cool:
The price is about to go up again to $29.99.
Thankfully it’s still available fer $9.99!

4: Kind of a tool very useful if you have an Intellipoint driven Microsoft mouse:
The following being a registry hack…
Disclaimer: the following registry hack may or may not destroy yer system and
was created by a putz jes futzing around late @ night
MMB pan in Photoshop.
Till there is a universal object/viewport navigation standard ( dream on )
My tiny navigationally dyslexic brain is forced to stumble hopelessly
whenever switching between “custom-UI unfriendly” applications.
In my case MAYA and PHOTOSHOP:
With an Intellimouse Optical mouse THERE IS NO SPACE KEY remap.
( spacebar = Photoshop’s pan )
In intellipoint:Map for Photoshop:
Create a dummy reference keystroke map for the Middle Mouse Button by
assigning mmb to B.
you can then find the B key in regedit:
( might be a different number other than 4? Just find the number containing your “B” keystroke )
change the keystroke to: 20 (Hexadecimal)
change the keystroke text from B to: Space

Normally my thumb button is mapped to alt for Maya ( most Maya users as well? )
In which case the above hack doesn’t really result in a mouse remap that is
exactly the same between the two applications.

However, there actually is a way to exactly match the mouse button navigation
( As far as muscle memory is concerned ).
For Photoshop:
assign the thumb button to space instead of assigning it to MMB by using the same methods as before.
( ie. Assign a keystoke proxy in Intellipoint, then in regedit: find and change that assigned value for Space instead )
And then assigning the MMB to left click ( which is also not possible unless hacked in regedit )

is the same exact button and order as:

decided not to go this route as alt( Thumb Button ) functionality in Photoshop is just to important/slick
( alt = eye dropper and alt + rmb drag resize brush diameter )

Otherwise the hexadecimal code for left click to assign mmb is:

Obviously I can’t help but wonder if there is a better solution/ amazing mouse with extensive features. Or
does anyone jes have any advise for a new mouse.

Hopefully in addition to being long winded some of this is at least usefull to someone.


The IDE that I am using for my Python Tools.
Free, and easy to setup.

And another one that I find invaluable when doing documentation for your tools. Often you need screen captures and this one is the best that I found and it is free.
Cropper is a screen capture utility written in C#. It makes it fast and easy to grab parts of your screen. Use it to easily crop out sections of vector graphic files such as Fireworks without having to flatten the files or open in a new editor. Use it to easily capture parts of a web site, including text and images. It’s also great for writing documentation that needs images of your application or web site. " <-- From their home page


I see that most of the items in this thread are more on the desktop utility side, but noticed that some entries include sequencing software. So I wanted to share a program that I’ve used a lot over the years:

Wax: a free video editor

Although I have started familiarizing myself with Premiere and After Effects… I think that Wax is actually a very good alternative that has a wide range of free filters and easy-to-use keyframe controls. There is even network rendering!

Anyway, this is a really cool video editor for anyone who doesn’t need to use the standard apps or is on a tight budget.


We have multi-monitor systems (as most people do nowadays), but different users keep their 3d software on different monitors. In many cases window positions are saved and can be off screen for the next user (damn you 3dsmax and the Schematic View!).

Anywho – this little program allows you to snap any offscreen windows into view. Great for providing artists with the power to solve the offscreen problem on their own quickly.

SheepDog is a free utility for repositioning off-screen windows.

What can SheepDog do for me?
SheepDog is useful whenever you have an application or window that you can’t access because it is located off your visible screen.


Everything.exe - this has always been a godsend :slight_smile:

It indexes everything on all your connected drives in under a minute (Depending on your system spec)

After that it provides instant search results for all files on your computer,

really really useful for finding things quickly and a million times better than the native windows search!


Bit left field, but ffmpeg. Made a batch to drop movie files onto and it chomps through and spits out screengrabs every n seconds in short order.

Very useful for grabbing tons of very broad reference imagery for projects from cinema, for one thing!


[QUOTE=wallasaurus;11792]Bit left field, but ffmpeg. Made a batch to drop movie files onto and it chomps through and spits out screengrabs every n seconds in short order.

Very useful for grabbing tons of very broad reference imagery for projects from cinema, for one thing![/QUOTE]

We use ffmpeg to stitch together timelapse shots too, works great!


One that I dont think has been mentioned is
Tree Comp. I think Beyond Compare does the same thing though.

Handy for synching up 2 folders with sub-folders.


For lightweight project management I use Tom’s Planner which is an intuitive and simple Gantt chart webapp.

I noticed a few mentioned Notepad++ so I’ll share a tip:

If you hold “alt” while mouse-dragging or “shift”-navigating, you can select blocks of text vertically. Once selected you can also edit multiple lines of text vertically at the same time.

I can’t speak about vim or emacs but out of every other text editor I’ve ever used I’ve never seen this feature. In certain circumstances it trumps find/replace or macros.

[Edit: I just followed the link to Sublime Text and I see it has multiple selections as well. Sounds more powerful.]


I do all my video tutorials in CamStudio it’s a great Open source alternative to Camtasia.


I was going to mention Camtasia here but a free version sounds more useful.

So many people these days underestimate the usefulness of having a well organised quick launch.


Something similar was mentioned earlier, but this is a light, fairly useful application that remembers your clipboard.


I would like to recommend Mystic Thumbs, it generates thumbnails for all image types in Windows Explorer, including DDS and PSDs with transparencies and runs on all Windows versions - including x64. The latest version is now a paid software, it used to be freeware before. However, the last freeware version is still pretty stable and good enough to be used in a production environment. The last freeware version can be found here:


Windows Grep - search and replace tool for windows is pretty cool

and bulk rename utility is pretty useful for bulk renaming image sq’s


I use ScreenFlow for recording my video
its good for mac user, you can upload your video to youtube or vimeo on one click n its faster then normal upload


Need to send someone some code? Try this:

It’s like the tinyUrl of code



It’s basically an online notepad/list where you can write down ideas and organize your notes into lists. I constantly have a tab with workflowy up, and every single idea I get I write down. Whether it’s an improvement of a tool or something I have to do after work.


I’ve been pretty high on workflowy also. its simple and effective


It’s basically an online notepad/list where you can write down ideas and organize your notes into lists. I constantly have a tab with workflowy up, and every single idea I get I write down. Whether it’s an improvement of a tool or something I have to do after work.[/QUOTE]


I’ve got to say I love the pace and convenience of Primary Folders. Thanks for that heads standing on that a single.


Strong Folders are extremely interesting. Use to try is “Direct Folders”.
Cheers very inside you who introduces.