Resources for Level Up


Level Up Your Creative Vision

Nobody knows your artistic spirit better than you do. But how do you develop your creative skills, and what tools do you use? Use these resources to learn more about taking your work to the next level—then bring your vision to life in Level Up at the Downtown Library.


LinkedIn Learning

For all-around, top-notch instruction from the pros, we recommend starting with LinkedIn Learning. One of the world's leading online video learning platforms, LinkedIn Learning offers hundreds of digital creativity lessons, and it's available to our cardholders free of charge.

Getting started is easy—just set up your LinkedIn Learning account through the library's subscription and start your creative journey.


Mobile Video Production Kits

Want to capture high-quality material for your creative project? Mobile Video Production Kits give you access to recording equipment to use with your smartphone anytime and anywhere. Kits include an adjustable tripod for stability, a lapel microphone for quality audio, and an adjustable light. Learn more about our Mobile Video Production Kit to check out or place on hold.

More Learning Resources

PC Building Guide for Beginners
At-Home Digital Creativity

Specialized digital creativity software available in Level Up is an invaluable part of your workflow, but, when the library is closed, what do you do when you don’t have access to it? Here is a list of some of our favorite alternatives to popular Level Up software that you can download and use at home, for free!

Photoshop Alternatives

Photopea Logof

Photopea is an online photo editor with many of the features you use for most of your Photoshop projects. Everything from making quick selections, to adjustment layers, text tools, and filters, Photopea will have the tools you need.

Online Tutorials

Krita Logo

Krita is a great alternative for the brush tools that you would use for digital painting and drawing in Photoshop. Features include a full suite of brush effects and adjustments to give you precise control and total creativity freedom.

Online Tutorials


Illustrator Alternatives

Inkscape Logo

Inkscape is a free and open-source vector graphics editor. This software can be used to create or edit vector graphics such as illustrations, diagrams, line arts, charts, logos, icons and complex paintings.

Online Tutorials


Premiere/iMovie Alternatives

Lightworks Logo

Lightworks is a non-linear editing system for editing and mastering digital video with an interface similar to iMovie. It offers the widest native format support available, quick export to video hosting such as Youtube and Vimeo, and tons of powerful, realtime effects with inbuilt presets.

Quickstart Guide

Shotcut Logo

Shotcut is a free and open-source cross-platform video editing application that supports hundreds of audio and video formats and codecs. Edit audio, video, and apply effects just like in Premiere.



AfterEffects Alternatives

Natron Logo

Natron is a node-based compositing software application. This software allows for a wide array of effects applications to your video projects. It can track objects, rotoscope, remove your greenscreen background, and more.


Davinci Resolve Logo

Davinci Resolve is a video editing, color correction, visual effects and audio post production tool. Whether you are looking to edit, color, or work with VFX this is a terrific tool to complete your project.



Logic/Pro Tools Alternatives

Audacity Logo

Audacity is an easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder. This app allows you to erase your mistakes, apply effects, and has plugin integration for virtual instruments.



LMMS can arrange samples, synthesize audio effects, read MIDI instruments, and can even track and sequence your music. A full-fledged digital audio work workstation free of cost.



3D Modeling Tools

Blender Logo

Blender is an endlessly robust solution for both 2d and 3d creations. If you are looking to model, animate, create or apply visual effects, sculpt, or simulate virtual environments this is the tool for you.


TinkerCAD Logo

TinkerCAD is an incredibly easy-to-use web-based 3d modeling tool. Use this to build, place, cut, and mold your vision for a 3d object into reality.



Game Design Software

Unity Logo

Unity is a cross-platform game design engine used by professionals to produce interactive experiences and videogames alike. Use this tool to produce the next Untitled Goose Game, Beatsaber, or Cuphead.


Twine Logo

Twine is an interactive storytelling application used to create self-contained adventures. Use it to tell a story with endless paths and uncounted endings. Excellent tool to create a choose your own adventure or visual novel.





NPR has this excellent beginners guide to getting started with creating your own podcast. This includes storytelling tips as well as useful hardware and software. For a deeper look at gear, or other info not covered here Transistor has an excellent guide as well.



Music Production

Songwriting/Music Theory/Sound

For manuals and tutorials on all of Level Up's audio tools, see our Audio Production Studios page

Video and Photography

Video & Photo Production, Green Screen

  • B&H Explora Nice blog from the iconic NYC equipment supplier, with articles, tips, and reviews
  • Video Copilot Tools and training for people who love motion design and visual effects
  • Working with a Green Screen in Premiere Pro CC [YouTube] Key out the green screen in your videos the Adobe way
  • Creative Cow A comprehensive digital video community with helpful information, tutorials, forums, and podcasts
  • iMovie Tutorials Help from Apple on everything from starting a new project to publishing on video sharing sites
  • Footage Crate A great site focusing on video special effects with tutorials and free effects bundles for After Effects
  • Tuts+ Video and Photo Great articles and tutorials on all things video and photography
  • Tuts+ 3D and Motion Graphics Helpful tutorials on 3D modeling and special effects

Free Stock Footage

About Copyright and Attribution

Most of these sites provide free high-quality images for use in personal and commercial projects—no strings attached. However, some of them require attribution to (i.e., crediting) the content's creator. In those cases, you must attach text giving credit to the image's creator (e.g., "Photo by Talia Jones") in your project. To avoid any legal issues, be sure to check for any restrictions before downloading or using any images.

  • Public Domain Review Vintage and modern high-quality images with no restrictions
  • Unsplash Beautiful, high-quality images
  • Superfamous Images* Artistic and beautiful images for download
  • Picjumbo More free stock images!
  • Pixabay Nice, searchable archive of high-quality, commercial grade images
  • IM Free* Great collection of images, icons, and templates for any use
  • Gratisography Artistic and whimsical high-quality pictures by artist Ryan McGuire; free of copyright restrictions
  • MorgueFile* Somewhat strange collection of images that may be just the thing you're looking for
  • Free Images* Another nice collection of free stock images
  • New Old Stock Really interesting collection of vintage photos from public archives and free of copyright restrictions
  • Picography Scroll-through gallery of evocative shots by professional photographers; perfect for designers
  • Pexels Many free-of-charge and royalty-free photos to choose from
  • Collection of stock video clips submitted by users
  • Free png images and clipart with transparent backgrounds for use in web design or video

*Attribution required for images from this resource.

For manuals and tutorials on all of Level Up's video tools, see our Video Production Studio page


For manuals and tutorials on Level Up's developer tools, see our Digital Creativity Workstations page

Website Design and Creation

App Design

  • Ionic Creator Simple drag-and-drop tool for creating an app
  • Sketch App Sources Large collection of free design resources like icons and UI kits for web and mobile design

Game Design

For manuals and tutorials on Level Up's developer tools, see our Digital Creativity Workstations page

Graphic Design, Digital Art, and Publishing

For manuals and tutorials on Level Up's developer tools, see our Digital Creativity Workstations page

Copyright and Intellectual Property Rights

Sharing Your Finished Project

You may have created your project in Level Up for your artistic career, your job, as a school project, or just to learn. Here's how to get your work seen, heard—and maybe even recognized as amazing!

  • Create a website to display your work.


Submissions welcomed and encouraged!

Remember: Level Up is always looking for finished projects to add to our digital gallery of amazing creations made by our community. Just let Staff know if you’ve got something for us.