This week for a bit of fun we are posting a first selection of free tools and add-ons which are recommended and constantly used by the Glanton team. This is not an 'advertising feature' - we like and use this stuff all the time. It just has to be free, or at least have a free basic version to qualify.
SARAH SMITH recommends:
Pixie. Ever thought, "What's that colour? - I want it!" Pixie is a great little tool which has rather taken over from the old 'Colorpicker'. It gives you the hex, RGB, HTML, CMYK and HSV values of any colour you point at on your screen for instant copy & paste into your work. Pixie
and Pixelruler is, as its name suggests, a ruler for measuring pixels on your screen - "fantastic!" says Sarah. Load the ruler horizontally or vertically; line up the zero with the start of what you want to measure and point at the end and the ruler tells you how many pixels it is. Just like that. Pixelruler
IAN SAMPSON recommends:
"Discover Adobe® Kuler™ — the web-hosted application for generating colour themes that can inspire any project. No matter what you're creating, with Kuler you can experiment quickly with colour variations and browse thousands of themes from the Kuler community." So they say - and it is fascinating and extremely helpful. You can create colour swatches in two ways: start with a 'base' colour and then manipulate the others (above), or use an image which is central to your project and move the five selection points around until you have a swatch you like (below). Don't forget to save it! Away from the serious business of designing websites and producing elegant brochures, there are hours and hours of fun to be had. For example, work out a colour scheme for redecorating your house... Kuler
AMISHA JAY DALWADI recommends:
"Turn your photos & videos into pure amazing. Animoto automatically produces beautifully orchestrated, completely unique video pieces from your media. Free, fast and shockingly easy. And now we support video clips from your camera or phone!" That's their blah blah - and yes it is a lovely tool and great to play around with. Basically set a slide show of your photos to music. The simplest version (max about 30secs) is free. Below is one we made earlier -
JOHN ROYLE recommends:
Xtranormal 3d animations. An extraordinary tool which makes animated movies with your own script. Very easy to use, write the script, choose set & characters, and then drag and drop actions, camera angles, expressions into the script. Like Animoto, the basic version is free, but if you want more advanced stuff you must subscribe. The example below was made by John to play on the WebAdvantage® site.
TOM MUIR recommends:
Hyperwords is an add-on for Firefox. You can select any word on any web page (not quite true: doesn't work in form fields as far I can see) and choose from powerful commands, including: Reference; Search; Translation; Conversion; Email; Twitter; Facebook; Tag; Blog; & More. Set up how you want & very easy to use. I find the translation particularly useful - it puts the result straight back in the page where it came from - great for finding out exactly what my German friends are jabbering about in Facebook! Hyperwords