Silver linings in the software cloud.

My short-lived return to Newgrounds wasn’t a total waste of time. I came across some useful freeware tools that will continue serving me long after the nightmare of getting blammed fades away.

JPEXS Free Flash Decompiler is one tool I found. I had long lost the source files for my Flash movies and only had the SWF files to work with, but the Decompiler makes it easy for me to extract the images and sounds I used when making my animations.

As part of the movie submission process, Newgrounds now requires that a thumbnail image of the movie be uploaded. I used the Decompiler to extract one of the movie frames to a PNG file, but I now needed to crop a small section of the frame file and save it as the thumbnail image for uploading. The Crop Board feature of FastStone Image Viewer makes this step very easy. I can specify the exact size of the cropped image I want and from there I just need to position the selection box over the section of the image to be cropped.

I’ve heard of FastStone’s Image Viewer before but this is the first time I’m really using it. I like its familiar Explorer-like interface for browsing the folder tree and being able to see thumbnails of my image files along the way. The image resizer feature came in handy for enlarging my Flash movie frames to make it easier to create the cropped image. I now like it so much that I’m dumping IrfanView and will use FastStone for my image viewing needs from now on.

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