Free (or almost) Tools for Digital Signage

Digital signage takes a certain level of work and care so that everything goes off without a hitch. A number of the tools used to construct and maintain a digital signage network can be a little pricey, but we’ve found quite a few software tools & services out there that are free (or relatively inexpensive) that can benefit digital signage operators, big and small.

Slowly but surely, we’ll be publishing reviews on our favorite inexpensive tools. Here’s our initial list of tools, which we’ll be adding to as we encounter more:

  • GIMP: Image manipulation and compositing for PC, Mac & Linux
  • Inkscape: Software Vector Graphics creator and editor
  • DrawBerry: Mac OSX vector editor
  • Pixelmator: Mac OsX image editor
  • Audacity: Sound editor/recorder
  • Aviary: A full suite of creative RIA’s, including image manipulation and vector editing
    • Phoenix: Image Editor
    • Raven: Vector Editor
    • Peacock: Visual Laboratory…a modular image FSUpper
    • Toucan: Color Palette Editor
  • Xara: Low cost graphics software
  • Blender: Open source 3D application
  • Swift 3D:  Make 3D SWF’s
  • PhotoShop Express: Stripped down Photoshop RIA
  • VirtualDub: Simple video (AVI) editing
  • Toufee: RIA for creating Flash
  • Sumopaint: RIA image editor
  • Splashup!: Another RIA image editor
  • LogMeIn Free: Remote control
  • AVS: Video converter
  • Yammer: A Twitter clone but more “closed”, targeted to companies that want to modernize their corporate communications…why not use the feed in your digital signage?
  • Bluff Titler DX9: An inexpensive Windows app that uses DirectX to generate preset 3D text effects, backgrounds and other 3D animation.
  • Pixlr: Yet another online image editing program…so many of these! Who will win the war?
  • Adobe Kuler: An AIR app that until recently was online only used to explore and share color schemes. Great for inspiration or finding matching colors.
  • Seashore: An open source image editor for Mac OS X with Cocoa framework that enables the use of gradients, textures, text anti-aliasing, brush strokes, and other essential and basic image editing needs.
  • Daz3D: A free, feature rich 3D figure design and 3D animation tool that enables anyone to create stunning digital imagery.