This page contains links to sites I have found useful. It's bit of an odd mix, I am just adding links as I go along at the moment but, I will put them into some sort of order later on.
Please Note I have no affiliation with any of these companies. If I sound as if I am promoting them it is purly because I like the products and want to see them grow and improve.
All information on this page is offered in good faith and is believed to be correct at time of publishing. If in doubt please follw link to software author and double check with them.
Cinema 4D by Maxon. I tried poser yeas ago, it was poser3 given away free with a mag, but it did not do what I wanted, Poser has, I hasten to add, come along, long way since then. Cinema4d 6CE was given away with a mag amonth or two later and I have never looked back.
C4D Cafe. Dedicated C4d forum. Lots of stuff, lots of people a million times better than me.
For those people who don't have Mocca and are not all that good with xpresso, the Collie Tools are worth a very close look
Baum Plugin: As fare as I know this is the only freeware tree making plugin for C4D. It was once shareware but became freeware mid 2009, so I suspect it will not have any more up-dates (hope I am wrong on that score). On the plus side: it seems very stable and I have never known it to mess-up C4D. It has some quite powerfull features, and can produce some quite good results with abit of time and effort. On the down side: some of the controls are confusing, some do not seem to do anything and some, to my mind, are in the wrong place.. I would still hate to be without it, so that says something. You will need to create an account before you can down load if from the forum, but that is no big deal.
Authors site http://www.klausfilm.de/
As aside note, if you have the Ivy grower plugin, that can make some quite nice trees as well, just set the growth controls so the ivy stems grow away and up from the polygon surface.
C4D is a bit week when it comes to poly crunching. There are many pay-for app's that will do a good job which you can find with an internet search. Of the freeware app's, they seem to be few and far between, I use Meshlab, it can do a good job but thier is somuch in it that finding the right tool can take quite abit of trial and error, thier is lots of help built in but the terms used are quite technical and beyond my understanding. But again I would not want to be without it.
Jlipsync. A java app' based on the old and nolonger available magpie freeware.
Twisted Brush: As an alternative to the usual paint programs Twisted Brush is worth a try, not just because thier's a free version, but because it is very good. Be warned it is nothing like Photoshop/Paint Shop it can do things they can only dream of!!! As a user of Paint Shop Pro for ten years I have found it hard to think in Twisted Brush terms but, the forum is one of the most active and friendly forums I have ever come across, full of good people willing to help and a moderator who takes a very personal approach. One other nice thing to note with Twisted Brush is that you are allowed to install it on two computers (though you are only allowed to one instance of TB at a time). This means that when one machine is tied-up doing a render or other heavey work, you can get on with making some textures in Twisted Brush on the other machine and then transfer them over later. I find this very useful as I do most of my work on my newest and most powerfull machine, using the older/slower one when the main one is tied-up.
Gimp: For anyone who has not tried Gimp or has not tried it in recent years, it is worth investing some time in. It has had a slow but steady development for many years and is now on a level par with the best of them It can also use Photoshop plugins which, together with it's own filters makes it a good option for making textures, in this respect I find it more powerfull than Paint Shop Pro and it is free.
Some unusual reference books. A bit pricey as one might expect for such books but do an internet serch for a good deal, I've seen them for half price and many come with CD's which means you can put the content straight on to your computer.
Steven Abbott's Knots3D.
If you like Celtic style knot work you'l realy like Steven's little program, it's not perfect but it's well worth the down load.
It does 2D and 3D knots, lots of user control and some unique features. I'd give it 8 out of 10!!
A very capable freeware word processor. It does have one or two things missing but nothing very important. Well worth a spin if you are short of cash and need a word processor.
Mura's Cloud 2.2 is a Photoshop plugin for making clouds (oddly enough) It can make other textures too and I use it quite alot to make base textures from which I make some of the textures I use in my animations. Down Load Here
Kali: If you like tessellations then Kali is worth a try, it is very basic and easy to use which, makes it rather limited in some respects. But I find that, sometimes I want to just get on with some thing and not get bogged-down woth complex work flows. Kali is one of those small app's that you can open quickly and do something with while you wait for a render to finish or some other app to 'do it's stuff'. Kali does not have any layers and having spoken to Jeff who wrote the program it is not likely to ever have them. There is a work around though that will give you three psedo layers. Simply draw each 'layer' in either Pure Red, Pure Green or Pure Blue. then when you import the image (via the clip board) into Photoshop/Paint Shop use the seperate RGB to 'split' the image into the three layers. Kali does not yet have any antialaising, however Twisted Brush does, and for Photoshop the freeware plugin Flat Median from Mehdi is quite useful if not exactly perfect for this job.
As a side note Twisted Brush can go some very good tessellations out of your images and textures, either ones made in TB or imported ones.
Mehdi Plugins: A range of useful freeware plugins. I find the Fur2, Flat Median and Fine Threshold invaluable!!
With Twished Brush and Kali you will be using the clip board alot if you want to move images into Photoshop/Paint shop for further processing. For that I use AtoZ Clip board. There are a lot of freeware clip boards on the internet most of them are very good I am sure, (I've only tried one or two ) but AtoZ does everything I need.
I have two computers at the moment, I did have three but one of them died after nine years of daily use ( they just don't make things to last these days, do they!) In order to keep files up to date on them both I use FreeFileSync which is available from the Sourceforge web site. Again I'm sure there are alot of other good app's about that would do the same job, some may well do it better but, this one suites me just fine!
While your on the sourceforge website have a good look around there are some other usefull app's there, Ink Scape being one of them.
Other peoples personal web sites. (I will add more to the list as I go along)