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Linux Magazine: Make Linux your palette with these essential tools for the Web artist

Jun 04, 2000, 13:05 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael J. Hammel)

"By now we're all familiar with the GIMP, Linux's first real killer app for the desktop. But aside from this one high-profile success story, Linux graphics tools are still pretty much in their infancy. There is a lot of very interesting software out there, however. We are starting to see ports of high-end commercial products such as Side Effects' Houdini, a 3D-modeling tool used by the big-name special-effects houses in Hollywood. Tools like this are driving graphic-card hardware vendors to work on drivers for Linux. And as the 3D-card vendors go, so to go the rest of the graphics-market vendors."

"The world of Linux graphics is moving fast, and the desktop user is right in the middle of it all. Let's take a look, then, at what artists can do with Linux today, and what they should be able to do in the near future with 2D Linux tools, which are more plentiful and easier to use than their 3D counterparts."

"Digital artists tend to start their work in one of two ways: by drawing or painting an initial version on paper, or by using photography. In either case, the initial image has to get into the computer by scanning. Linux uses a generic interface called SANE (as in Scanner Access Now Easy). SANE also has limited support for a few other devices like Kodak digital cameras and the Connectix QuickCam. SANE is a package of tools that includes back-end device drivers and front-end user tools, both command-line and graphically oriented versions. Most artists will work with xscanimage, the graphical interface to SANE that works well as a GIMP plug-in. However, you can also set up scanners to work with SANE as a network-accessible device as well as access those devices, either locally or across the network, using command-line tools."

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