Top Five Free Windows Utilities for Motion Designers

September 27, 2016

Whether you are new to Windows or an experienced user, you can always use new tools to make your day-to-day work easier. In this video, I break down my Top Five Free Windows Utilities for Motion Designers.

So many Mac users are making the switch to Windows to take advantage of GPU renderers, that I thought I’d share some of my favorite little tools to help make their transition easier.

Please add your favorite Windows utilities in the comments below! Sharing is caring.

Links to the Top Five:


Tutorial Focus:  

  • Thanks for sharing these.

  • You have to try Post Haste :

    I use it with every new project. It makes a project folder based on a template, Fully custom or pre made. Its great for handing off an entire project, all the files will be in the proper place. My project archive has never been so organized.

  • Chad. I just moved from Mac to PC (4x GTX 1080) and this hit the nail on the head. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Total commander – oldschool, 2 window file manager, Foxit reader – fast, lite replace for adobe acrobat

  • Hello Chad,
    What about . This soft is amazing for referencing images, I use it for story and moodboard.. it’s free

    • Was going to mention this one as well. Absolutely love PureRef for laying out inspiration boards and organizing image assets when putting together case-studies. Great free tool.

  • Thanks for the tips! Like many, slowly moving away from Mac. 🙂

    I love Rainmeter, but I notice its quite the resource hog, ver 3.0 anyway, FWIW.

  • Bulk Rename Utility
    Much more complex, advanced yet still easy to use if you get used to it.
    I used it on some havey projects where files trees were crazy.

  • Very nice. Cheers.

  • some useful stuff in there chad. im a longtime windows user but always look for new things that will make my workflow a little better. ill add a couple of recommendation of my own for my 2 most essential utilities: – this little app really put the file dialog on steroids…with favorites, inline file search and much more. keeps me from loosing my brains each time i want to open a file and manually dig for drives and folders

    second one is Directory opus which is a super deep fully fledged file explorer replacement that i cant do without…not free but worth every penny IMO

  • hi Chad Ashley how are you ?

    i have question

    what i buy octane render or redshift ?

    big thanks.

    • That question depends on a few things.

      1. what sort of work do you do?
      2. How experienced are you in lighting/rendering?
      3. What is your hardware situation?

      • 1. what sort of work do you do ?

        i do some product visualization videos and animation short film

        2. How experienced are you in lighting/rendering ?

        i am excellent but not professional

        3. What is your hardware situation ?

        i7 4770k / gtx 980 ti / 16 ram

        thank you Chad Ashley

        • For you, I recommend Octane. Hopefully, their farm system will be up and running soon so you can offload to that. Redshift may be a better solution in a year, but right now it’s still in development and too early to tell. I am curious though why you want to go GPU? Are you planning on getting more cards?

          • yes i think GPU render work station faster and cheaper than CPU work station

            that my reason to go with GPU render

            I will buy gtx 1080 soon

          • Cool, just remember with a single GPU card, you won’t be quite as fast as many of the videos you see showing off Octane and the likes. I hope it works out for you!

          • Hey there Chad, i would like to ask if i were to purchase octane renderer what would be the graphics card to get or system set up ? Currently i am running i7 6700k Nvdia 970 16gb ram.

            Thanks in advance !

          • Hey Keith, there are so many ways to set up a GPU rendering workstation. It all depends on your budget. You can easily spend up to $15 if you really wanted to. You don’t need to go that big, but I definitely recommend a system with more than one GPU at the very least. I got my system from AVA Direct and love it. There are also companies that sell complete systems built for GPU rendering (media workstations, Boxx Workstations). If you are not savvy enough to build your own, that may be your best option. I didn’t trust myself to build a PC from scratch which is why I went with AVA Direct. Hope this helps!

          • Hi Chad! What about an Arnold computer? what kind of setup you would recommend? I would like to buy a new pc. Thank you very much for your work!

  • I really enjoy JPGView ( as my default image viewer. Coming from OS X this is the closest to quickview for the usual image formats. It doesn’t support more advanced formats like hdr or exr, but its good for really quickly looking at jpgs, pngs and the like. Also its lightning fast compared to the horrible Windows Image Viewer – you can actually preview image sequences with it, its that fast, by just using arrow keys left and right.

    Thanks for all the other tools, they are awesome!

  • The ring light reflection is like a second set of eyes looking around, ha.

  • Here is a list of tools I use quite a lot on my pc set. They are in no particular order:
    Clover, brings tabs into the explorer:
    Seer enables quick preview of images, videos,…:
    Stickies brings digital sticky notes to the desktop:
    Picturenaut for 32 bit images:
    FastPictureViewerCodecPack to bring thumbnails for psds, exrs ect to the explorer:
    Dual Monitor Tools when working with 2 screens:
    Better Desktop Tool when you need more desktops on Win7:
    Scratch Play an alternative to DJV

    Hope you find some of those useful.

    • What is dual monitor good for? Sounds interesting. Especially since I use 2 screens. Not much about info on the website.

  • PLEASE PLEASE Recommended top five gaming laptops with gtx 1060 1070 1080 cards. I can’t find laptop with better monitor than a macbook with geforce card.

  • Thanks Chad!
    I love your videos! Keep em coming this one was sweet !

    ps More Octane please !

  • Just moved onto a PC after years of mac use, these tips are brilliant – particularly DJV, please post more as you come across them!

  • quicklook is a great alternative to the quick view function on mac, check it out very handy

  • Your simplicity of presentation is motivating for learning. Please keep it up for your teeming followers

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