iModeller is a handy application for modeling organic shapes.
If you make your living producing digital still images or video, Studio Artist is well worth your consideration.
Version 3 offers many improvements and important additions, such as the ability to perform simple edits within a composition. Combustion has high-end features like vector-based painting, pro-level particle effects, and smooth integration of 2-D and 3-D compositing (features derived from Discreet’s high-end video-compositing apps such as Inferno, Flint, and Flame). But the program still has its weak points; its performance is uneven and it’s difficult to learn.
For the graphics user who doesn't have a tablet, the $200 Graphire3 6x8, the latest update to Wacom's consumer line of tablets, is too good a deal to pass up. Bundled with Adobe Photoshop Elements 1.0 (for Mac OS 9) and Corel Painter Classic (for Mac OS X), it is a sturdy graphics workstation right out of the box.
Though Illustrator CS doesn't pack a lot of new drawing tools, Adobe's extensive reworking of the program's text tools makes this upgrade a typographic dream. Add a smattering of new illustration tools and an improved printing interface, and you've got a valuable upgrade.
Articles by Ben Long