The Trending Tools of 2021

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Tools are a critical aspect of any designers' arsenal. The importance of obtaining the right pen, pencil, tablet and software cannot be understated. These are also among the most subjective and personal aspects of design since what might fit one may not suit another. Hence, the process of landing on the right software, the right brand of pencils and pens, can be a strenuous, albeit enjoyable, task. This task requires much experimentation and a spirit of adventure since this entails one to venture out their comfort zone and try something new. Often, once we've found software that we are comfortable with, we stop venturing out and trying new things. The beautiful part of living in this digital age is that new things never stop rolling out. Therefore, we must keep track of new software that rolls out and experiment with them once in a while. To make this daunting task a little easier, here is a list of a few software expected to reign 2021. Give them a chance; they might even surprise you.

01 Substance

Substance is software released by Adobe for all the 3D enthusiast out there. This suite offers a variety of software required for object texturing and material authoring for any 3D project, addressing designers, stock creators, and illustrators' needs. However, this software lies outside of Adobe Creative Cloud and is found to be lucrative by beginners and students. Here is a list of software that comes within the suite:

  1. Substance Painter: A software that comes with integrated bakers, smart masks that can adapt to any shape and materials which can adjust to any object to show realistic wear and tear.
  2. Substance Alchemist: This software renders finishing touches on materials with new tools and system to make the final product look realistic.
  3. Substance Designer: A software used to render tileable, dynamic and modular textures, which can be used to create a base material library. These materials can be used in other Substance software.
  4. Substance Source: This is a library containing physically based materials and assets to enhance texturing, material-making and 3D art.

02 Aero

Another Adobe creation helps one create an immersive and interactive AR experience with no coding or prior 3D design experience.

03 Fresco

Fresco is a free sketching app exclusively built for Apple Pencil and iPad. This is assumed to be Adobe's response to the immensely popular, procreate which was all the rage in 2020. However, unlike Procreate, Fresco does not offer a one-time purchase, though it offers a free starter plan and upgradation to use a premium version.

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