A useful Tools thread has been going on in facebook group. It would be good to have a stickied thread so here are a few tools that have been mentioned and some that I use.
Mystic Thumbs *, it generates thumbnails for all image types in Windows Explorer, including DDS and PSDs with transparencies and runs on all Windows versions including 64 bit. The latest version is now a paid software, it used to be freeware before. However, the last freeware version is pretty stable and good enough to be used in a production. The freeware version can be found here:
Filter Forge * is a photoshop plugin that allows you to quickly create filters and texture effects though its simple node based editor.
NDO2 * An amazing normal mapping/occlusion mapping program that works with photoshop to generate Maps with real time previews and the ability to sculpt normals with photoshop brushes and make real time changes to already made normal maps.
PixPlant 2 PixPlant 2 is a smart 3D texturing tool that creates high quality normal, displacement, specular maps and seamless textures from plain photos.
Texturepacker Tool to quickly pack images into sprite sheets
Strumpy Shader Editor Strumpy is a node based editor for creating shaders in Unity. Its currently still in open Beta and breaks down for more complicated effects but works well for texture effects such as basic math.
Photoshop internal tools
Contact Sheet II
Useful for assembling flipbooks/Atlases/spritesheets in photoshop You pick a file full of images, set the sheet resolution (you have do the math ahead), then tell it how many columns and rows you need.
Note: It was moved to the optional installs in CS4 and up, so you will need to install it for your disc or the Adobe site. Bridge does offer a similar feature
Creates a tiling procedural cloud texture, great for adding variance to effects. I find it works great when used with other filters. ie... If you use Difference clouds with it then adjust the levels you get a lighting energy like effect, or if you use glowing edges you get ghostly smoke wisps, and dust & Scratches gives you a smooth blob look that's great for distortion.
Allows you to quickly distort textures using brush strokes. great for redirecting flow or adding turbulence to textures.
I will keep adding tools from the facebook thread. Feel free to add any tools that you use, as well as common tools you use within larger packages such as 3ds, maya, or photoshop.
Because some of these tool I have heard about from facebook group or other sources the * is for tools I personally use in my workflow.