Adobe Illustrator – a great way to produce your own art

Creating computer wallpaper takes a special touch and a trained hand.  However, even the trained need a helping hand. This is one of the reasons whyI really like tooks like Adobe Illustrator CS5. It’s a multiplatform graphics editing tool, and its totally awesome.

With Adobe Illustrator, you can design vector graphics with precision and power. You can draw accurately in perspective, create variable-width strokes, paint with lifelike brushes, and let your creative juices flow.  You can create distinctive designs with precise shape-building tools, fluid and painterly brushes, and advanced path controls. You’ll have full control of variable-width strokes, arrowheads, dashes, and art brush scaling along a path.

You can use perspective grids to draw shapes and scenes in accurate 1-, 2-, or 3-point linear perspective, creating the look of realistic depth and distance.  You can paint with vectors that resemble real-world brush strokes; and can achieve the expressiveness of natural media with the scalability of a vector graphic tool.

You can also interact with gradients directly on your objects and control the transparency of individual colors in them as well as in gradient meshes. Adobe Illustrator lets you blend and morph one shape into another to create smooth shading, complex contours, and basic animations. Its Blob Brush allows you to sketch with a brush that generates a single clean vector shape, even when strokes overlap. You can draw naturally, using this unique tool together with the Eraser and Smooth tools.

Read full Review | Download Adobe Illustrator

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IcoFX 2 the all-in-one solution for icon creation

IcoFX is a cursor editor, an all-in-one solution for icon creation, extraction and editing. It is designed to work with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Macintosh icons supporting transparency. A very useful tool for creating your own icons from the scratch.

IcoFX became very popular from the beginning due to its freeware distribution, but the project remain silent for a few years. Now the Romanian developer decided to launch version 2.0, which is definitely an improved version of its predecessor but has its own price. And I’m talking about $59. In case you want to try it out, you can download for free a trial version which runs only 15 times before going into the demo mode with the save option disabled.

At a first glance, IcoFX 2.0 comes with a new interface that brings in front the most usable tools and brushes. A new insertion is definitely the magic wand and the fact that you can now create layer based images. It allows you to rearrange, blend layers and change their opacity. All these thanks to the own proprietary IFX format.

Previous IcoFX versions were rich in features due to free modules such as AniFX (which was able to create animated cursors). But with the new version of IcoFX, these separate modules have disappeared and all their content has been brought altogether in a single interface. Question is, do we want to pay for a slightly improved version, or we go back to the latest free version which has enough features already?

download IcoFX 2.0 (trial) | download IcoFX 1.6.4 (free)

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