Free online tools that facilitate creative production. Main focus on typical freelance production such as writing, illustration and presentation, but there’s also a bit of fun.
- Visuwords™ is a visual dictionary that can help you to find word synonyms and grasp associations between words and concepts. Key in the word you wish to replace, and a word diagram ‘reminiscent of a neural net’ will branch out from it and show you your word’s meaning and associations with other words.
- Yarny is a beautifully neat and simple online text editor with handy functional features.
- Google Drive is a free online office package that lets you create, share, store and collaborate with many types of standard documents (Word, Excel, Power Point, Pdf, drawings, polls et.c).
- MorgueFile is a photo archive for photos retired from commercial stock libraries, now free to use and adapt.
MorgueFile contains free high resolution digital stock photographs and reference images for either corporate or public use. The purpose of the site is to provide free image reference material for illustrators, comic book artist, designers, teachers and all creative pursuits.The majority of the illustrations on this blog are derived from Morguefile photos… and it has been great fun to play with great high res photos for derivative work. Thank you, Morguefile!Anyone can add their own photos to Morguefile to help expand the archives.
- CC Search – Search Creative Commons. Search engine that allows to search in free-to-use items across a range of platforms such as Flickr, Google Images, YouTube, SoundCloud and so on.
- OpenClipArt.org offers Creative Commons licensed clip art for free download. Many of them are quite excellent. Some of the elements in the header image of this blog are from OpenClipArt.org.
- WP Clipart offers copyright free clipart for download to schoolkids and everybody else. In addition to being copy right free, it is also ‘free from inappropriate images’ (if that is a problem).
- Showeet: free creative Power Point and Impress templates, charts, diagrams and maps for business presentations.
A bit of fun: audio creation and sharing
- SoundCloud is a social cloud for sharing sound recordings across various social media platforms.
- Garageband is a user friendly music composition software application that sits inside any Mac computer as a default. It has a limited range of instruments & loops in the default version; but many more can be downloaded for free.Garageband allows you to create your own music even if you don’t have an instrument. You can do that by combining pre-fabricated loops visually in for example 8 of the tracks. Loops are tones, rhythms & bits of melodies that serve as building blocks which can be combined and altered in a virtually indefinite number of ways.
Below recording is a 100% artificial music loop collage composed in Garageband’s visual editor:
However, if you do have an electrical instrument then you can connect it to Garageband via a midi-USB interface and play any instrument in the application – guitars, pianos, drums, basses, flutes, percussion and even dinosaur moans – on your own instrument. There are hundreds of instruments and loops. You record one track at the time while you replay tracks you have already recorded if you like, so you can jam with yourself camouflaged as different instruments.
Below recording is composed with a combination of Garageband loops and digital piano – the 4 -5 tracks of nylon string guitars are played on piano (Turn up the volume to max in your headphones, it is recorded fairly low):
‘History of the evolution of life on Earth’. The crash symbolises the dinosaurs being wiped out.
You can cut, paste and copy music sections; edit, add and move individual nodes. Each instrument can be customised beyond recognition and you can always keep melodies and replace the instruments. Key, speed and other factors can be changed at any time. The music can be exported in various quality formats or burned onto CD.
You may loose your job, starve and forget to sleep while you enjoy jamming with yourself & the Garageband loops on your digital piano disguised as five nylon string guitars and a bass. Garageband is highly addictive and should really be classified as an electronic drug.