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this selection of links is not meant to exhaustively cover the wide field of available programs and projects used by people to create computer generated graphics rather then a lean and lucid overview of programs I work with.

I tried to order them according to their main purpose eventhough I know that some of these programs could fit to more then one category.

The Gimp is one of the most powerfull bitmap programs. Once you get used to the multi-windowed user interface, it offers you a eloquent and extensible tool for nearly every facette of bitmap manipulation.

Inkscape, a 2D-vector program based on and build around the Scalable Vector Graphic (SVG) format.

Wings3D; a subdivision modeler based on the winged-edge concept. Easy to learn program with a steep learning curve. It is written in completely in Erlang, a Concurrent Functional Programming Language created by Ericsson.

Blender is a complete modeling and animation suite and it's for free. If you once get used to all it's features (meaning that you know how to find a certain feature) and the unconventional GUI you'll find it quite handy.

SharpConstruct. This program uses a completely different modeling approach. Imagine a chunk of clay, and then start kneading and moulding the wanted model. Highly recommended is a tablet as input device.

PoVRay - my favorite raytracer. Opposed to other renderers and raytracers which break down all geometry to a bunch of polygons it allows to render mathematical correct surfaces. Its flexible yet powerfull Scene Description Language (SDL) makes it possible to create and/or alter objects at runtime.

D. El Tom (2006)