Useful Software Gems

Hi, for “Generally used software”, I think this topic still has you covered:

I made this topic for “Hidden Gems” of software. Something you think has interesting functionalities, useful in certain situations, but is lesser known, and well, as I like to say, a collector’s item. Preferably free. I think I have found a few (correct me), and feel free to add on to the list with a reply. I’ll add on as I find more.

Hidden Interesting Gems:



  • FreeMind: A mind-mapping software for brainstorming and other connect-the-dots type activity. Written in Java apparently. It was useful for me when I wrote an essay about school.

  • RectFish: An image remapper for projecting images taken with ex: fisheye lenses. You can choose your camera model and lens to get it “right.” Could be used for wide-angle Blender renders!?

  • OpenHardwareMonitor: The hardware monitor detects chips and fans onboard your PC and shows statistics on demand. You can check mark a few stats and put them up in a neat upper-right corner of your monitor. You can output reports when needed. Logs keep track in a CSV file which for me takes up 53,000KB per month (Very hard to read).

  • PureRef: Of course. Drag’n’drop images from the internet onto a board to make a reference board! Output custom res ref board images and save ref boards for different projects. No need to tediously go to the image source and download it into a folder you’ll never find again! It’s so useful I had to include it.


  • Converseen: A batch image converter for your render uploading needs. Pretty solid, and I use it to convert my rendered png files into jpg, to upload them here on BA.

Similarly, if you want to find interesting indie games, I suggest checking out this YT channel.
This channel covers indie/retro-style/sandbox games, often lesser known:


Very nice!

1 Like

Instant Eyedropper tool.

Lightshot for screengrabs.

And x-mouse button control for my extra mouse button mapping.

Multi mon manager for my many monitors.


Aside from a few primary pipeline tools creating game assets already listed up-thread, I also make use of an extremely light utility bundle somewhat lurking on the periphery as well, namely:

  • Pureref - go anywhere reliable image viewer
  • Inkscape - specific texture generation/editing
  • Gimp - color/gamma correction, general image editing, simple post comp

What does inkspace have/do that you use it for texture generation?

Creating normal/bump maps for detailing game rez aircraft skins i.e rivets, warped surface imperfections…etc basically replicating a stressed aluminum paneling effect.

Anyway was initially inspired by Witold Jarworski and his incredible SBD Dauntless (US Navy dive bomber) WIP too further explore that workflow leveraging a vector program via purchasing his 4 volume “Virtual Aircraft” series then specifically homing in on vol 3 “Materials and Textures” for getting to grips with the technique.


Update: PureRef is now paid!?

Nah, just change the Custom Amount to 0


Oh ok thanks :face_with_peeking_eye: