CGI – free software

Free Options for Computer Generated Imagery:

3D software

Blender 3D opensource – powerful but not easy. Official tutorials.
You can access some free tutorials at:
or this workbook from

Daz 3D free figure posing and animation, similar to commercial Poser


Texture Haven provides some great free Creative Commons textures in up to 4k resolution.

Texture Ninja

Image Manipulation and 2D Paint Software

GiMP Image Manipulation – the open source Photoshop rival.

Krita and its manual – free ‘natural media’ tools similar to Coral Paint or Clip Studio Paint (formerly Manga Studio).

Game Engines

Unity personal edition is free to create 2D and 3D games for mobile, VR, desktop, console, Web, and TV. Used for Assassin’s Creed: Identity, and Deus Ex: The Fall.
Unity was used for Adam 2, one of a series of short films by District 9 director Neill Blomkamp’s Oats Studios. (find them on Steam)

Unreal Engine 4 is free until you make $3000, then 5% royalty on games and applications (no royalty for film projects, simulation, and visualization). Used for Final Fantasy VII Remake and Tekken 7.

Phaser is an open source HTML5 game engine.

Programming is a great free way to learn to program. C# is used by Unity game engine, Python by Blender and Krita.