Here is a list of resources you can use to find all kinds of great tools for editing and creating high-end content. The important thing is that most of these are not only free, but royalty and rights free. For more information on what I mean, read the section titled, “The difference between Free, Royalty-Free, Commercial Use and all that stuff.”
If you are familiar with sites like istockphoto.com that offer a huge variety of graphics and images for purchase, then you will be pleased to know that there are a few Free resources out there that offer images for download as well.
Stock X-Change – Royalty Free Images: This is a great free resource that you can use to search and download some pretty high quality and high resolution images (make sure you click on the free images not the ones for purchase). You do need to sign up for a user account, which takes a few seconds and then you have unlimited access to the site. They offer graphics, photos, illustrations and more. Each image has its own individual rights that you can easily view, and its worth it to check it out. (Note: the logo you see above was created using an image found at this site).
Qbrushes – Images, Clip art, and Brushes: Commercial use Vector Graphics, clip art, brushes and more. This site has tons of really nice, high quality stuff that can be used commercially and is Free! Some of the files cannot be opened with out some type of software like Adobe Illustrator, but others can be used in Photoshop or any image manipulating program. I love the brushes they have here and enjoy creating lots of brilliant and impressive backgrounds with them. Eventually I will have some tutorials up here, including one on how to create cool stuff with brushes so check back!
MAYANG’s FREE TEXTURES: Absolutely love this site, and use it often. Tons of textures and backgrounds all categorized and easy to find. Stuff like grass, bricks, concrete, dirt, trees, clouds, cloth, gravel and tons more
Image * After – Images, Graphics and Textures Free for any purpose: This site has tons of photos, background and more all free for personal and commercial use. You don’t even need to sign up.
FREE SOUND EFFECTS
Here are a few of my favorite resources for free sound effects. Make sure you are aware of the rights for each of the sounds you download.
FREE SOFTWARE PROGRAMS:
Here are a few programs you can download for free and use to create and edit media.
GIMP This is modeled after photoshop and has many of the same features. Great for creating higher quality graphics and text for videos
Windows Movie Maker – Video Editing Software
iMovie – Video editing for Mac
Whether you’re creating video or graphics, you should always consider what font your using. Choose something that is eye catching and appealing to look at but also make sure it fits the style of your project. I don’t know about you, but I feel very limited by the standard, default fonts included in most software and computers. So here are a few sources for impressive tasty fonts.
When you first download a font from one of these sites, it will most likely be some sort of compressed or zipped file. Go ahead and unpack it. After you download a font, I have found that it is helpful to transfer it to your desktop first, and then drop it into the fonts folder. (On a PC your fonts folder is usually located in the control panel. The next time you open a program that uses fonts, it should be listed there and available for use.
Font Squirrel – over 500 fonts all free for commercial use I have used a lot of the fonts here, and even though they don’t offer nearly as many fonts as the other sites, I like having a resource for commercial use fonts.
DaFont – Tons of Free Fonts. Rights vary per font Not all free for commercial use – which is fine as long as you are not making a profit on your work. What is great about this site is that when you browse the fonts, it lists the individual rights for use next to each one. Most of the creators just ask for a credit, or an email if you use their font.
1001 Free Fonts – Free! Rights vary per font Another great site for downloading fonts, but be sure to read the rights and licensing for each font.