There are a great range of open source tools out there for creating 2D and 3D graphics, to help you create stunning visuals for your website development or livening up your presentations.  Here are some of the most widely used tools.

Inkscape is an open source 2D drawing tool that helps you create graphic designs, from simple buttons and logos to full blown posters and web page designs. Inkscape is similar to Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw and gives you a vector based graphics tool that uses the W3C Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) format.  See my review of Inkscape Essential for web designers (or the slashdot review) and my Inkscape overview.

Blender is an amazing 3D modelling and animation tool that has seen a huge increase in adoption over the last few years.  Blender has been used to create some stunning short movies such as Sintel, Elephants Dream and the hilarious Big Buck Bunny.  Blender is also used to create many of the animations you see in advertising these days.  See my quick overview of Blender.

The GIMP is a very powerful image manipulation tool that allows you to tweak any image file format out there and has a wide range of filters you can use to create some amazing effects.  See my Gimp overview.

Scribus is a desktop publishing tool that can be used to make multi-page magazines or company brochures or any other documents that need professional layout tools.  See my Scribus overview.

If you are interested in really getting into these tools, Packt currently has a series of discounts and promotions on its selection of Open Source Graphic Applications and Library books. The Open Source Graphic Applications and Libraries Month will offer readers exclusive discounts of 20% and 30% off the cover price of selected Graphic print books until 5th May 2011.

The Open Source Graphic Applications and Libraries Month discounts refer to books written on software used for graphic design, multimedia development, specialized image development, general image editing, or modeling.

There are so many exciting Open Source projects for people who want to work with graphics, animation, or do some modeling. While some of them are easier to use than others, we’re committed to making it easy for anyone to use them, and unleash their creative potential. So far this year we’ve already published over 10 titles in this area, and we’ve got plenty more to come!” said Packt Open Source Publisher Doug Paterson.

To ensure you do not miss this fantastic offer, visit the special offer page now, where you can view the extensive list of books included in the offer and access an array of related articles that were written by authors.

For more information on the Open Source Graphic Applications and Libraries Month and the discounts being offered throughout April, please visit: www.packtpub.com/article/graphic-open-source

John Stevenson | @JR0cket | JR0cket.co.uk | JR0cket.com | LeanAgileMachine.com