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Emily LakdawallaJune 7, 2012

Watch the recording of my Google+ Science Hour with guest Dan Durda

On Wednesday, June 6 I hosted the Cosmoquest Weekly Science Hour, with guest Dan Durda of the Southwest Research Institute. Here's the recording, and below it, the promised list of software. Dan studies asteroids & meteorites, impact mitigation, and searches for Vulcanoids. He is also a space artist.

Thanks to Dan for the following software list ("a" list, he says, not "the" list; there are surely lots of other tools!):

Some of the software tools I'm using, roughly in order of my reliance on them:

I misspoke in our discussion and said "World Vue" - I was distracted, thinking about Vue at the same time. Anyway, that's much of the software I use. The pen tablet I mentioned is the Wacom Cintiq (I have both the 12WX and the 24HD models).

Now, all of these products can be a bit on the pricey side (!). Here's a list of some free/cheap options that folks can start with to get a sense of how this digital stuff works:

Before doing ANY of this, though, my first advice, if not already schooled in the basics, is to spend some time learning the good 'ole traditional basics of color and composition! Go look at what other artists do and how they do it and practice/learn/practice/learn...

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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