PureRef is a Must-Use Reference Image Tool for All Creatives
by Chad Ashley
Keep your reference images and project notes in your sight at all times with PureRef. No more tabbing between windows and programs.
Once in a while, a productivity tool comes along and changes the way I work. Now to be clear, I think of a good coffee cup as a productivity tool, so that should give a bit of insight into my obsession with honing in my toolset. When a tool can drastically improve your work or your life, I feel compelled to tell people about it. So this is me yelling from the rooftop about my latest obsession, PureRef.
PureRef is a straightforward utility app for Windows, Mac, and Linux with a very simple premise. Keep your reference images in view at all times. The app places your references in a window that stay on top of all your active programs and tools.
All day I bounce back and forth between my DCC (digital content creation) apps to random reference bookmarks or folders on my machine. Sometimes even dragging images into the Cinema 4D picture viewer just to keep them in sight.
With PureRef, you can create a new canvas and drag as many images onto its infinite canvas as you’d like. The best part is that you can tell PureRef to stay on top of all your open applications and windows. While you’re working, you can dial in your look while having all your reference imagery sitting right next to your preview render (IPR).
The ability to save canvases means you can start keeping multiple PureRef projects to suit your current needs. It’s a huge time saver. I also love how you can quickly zoom, resize, and re-arrange your images anytime you’d like, saving the changes for the next time you need instant inspiration.
This tool improved the look of my work on first use. I was able to take 20 minutes assembling reference imagery, and during my look-dev process, I was able to hit the look I was after in minutes. You can even add notes to yourself within the PureRef canvas.
Having reference imagery sitting an inch away from your IPR is something I will no longer be able to live without. You will see a lot of it in the future in my tutorials. So do yourself a favor, find an excellent sturdy coffee cup and go download PureRef right now.
About PureRef and Download
PureRef allows you to drag-and-drop files from your machine, or directly from browsers. You can also edit photos in your canvas to meet your needs, including rotation, scale, crop, opacity, and more. You can also customize the canvas and keyboard shortcuts to speed things up.
- Windows 7+
- Mac OS X 10.9+
- Linux Ubuntu 14.04+
- Supported Image Formats
- BMP, DDS, GIF, ICNS, ICO, JPEG, JP2, MNG, PBM, PGM, PNG, PNM, PPM, PSD, TIFF, WEBP, XBM, XPM, TGA(TrueVision 2.0)
PureRef is a name your own price download, and you can get it here. It’s well worth throwing them a few dollars if you can.