Hi there! My names Eden, and I have just completed my first year at Escape Studios. Over the course of the year, I have discovered many apps/websites which have helped me streamline my productivity/life, and I’d like to share my top five with you!

1: UNiDAYS

The first app on this list is UNiDAYS. Whilst I’m sure many of you have heard of this app before, if you haven’t it is a must have for undergraduates! Essentially it offers thousands of student discounts on hundreds of retailers, like Nike, FootAsylum, and LG! For me personally, I always go to UNiDAYS to find discounts for ASOS, or when I’m ordering a takeaway off Uber eats. In addition to all of this, you can also sign into the app using your student email, and then it gives you a virtual student ID for in-store discounts so you don’t have to carry your lanyard everywhere!

2: Trainline

Because I’m from Essex, I’m constantly using the trains to visit home on the weekends. Trainline makes this experience super easy for me. It’s as simple as going onto the app and choosing destinations and time. After you’ve selected these, the app will then show you a list of all the available trains, with a helpful notation on the cheapest and fastest ones to take. The app also gives you a virtual barcode to scan in and out of the gates, which means no more worrying about losing paper tickets! Combining Trainline with a railcard (which many banks offer with a student bank account) makes this an affordable and easy way to travel.

3: MyFitnessPal

If you’re anything like me, then you might really struggle making sure you get enough to eat whilst you’re living by yourself for the first time. If this is the case, then I highly recommend MyFitnessPal. Essentially it allows you to set goals for yourself (for example putting on a certain amount of weight or building muscle) and then you can log your daily meals and make sure you hit your various carb, protein and fat goals. The app has thousands of calorie information stored for various products, so it’s as simple as scanning the barcode of an item to log it into the app. In addition to this, you can also create your own recipes on the app which you can then log into your daily goals. Making sure you eat enough food is super important at university, so having the ability to log how much food I’m getting and set goals for myself has been very helpful. As a disclaimer, if you are someone who struggles with eating disorders then this may not be the app for you. I personally only use it to make sure I’m getting enough to eat throughout the day!

4: PureRef

In my opinion, PureRef is a must have for any digital artist. It’s an application designed for your desktop, and it allows you to store your reference images in a separate window on-screen. This is particularly useful at decluttering your workspace, as you can change the size of your PureRef window at any point. It works like a digital mood board, so you can have as many images as you want in there, and you can even copy and paste into apps like Photoshop, so as soon as you need the reference in your piece you can have it! I’ve found it very helpful for when I’m doing photobashes, as I can easily gather my images on the internet and throw them into a PureRef window, then grab what I need when I need it rather than clicking through hundreds and hundreds of layers. I can’t tell you how much time and stress that has saved me!

5: Dimensions.com

The final app on this list is a website called Dimensions.com. I discovered this website back in sixth form, and it’s been an absolute god send for my 3D modelling. That does mean this last website isn’t as useful for every student (sorry 2D compositors!) but I do still recommend checking it out. Essentially its a constantly updated database full of accurate dimensions and references for hundreds and hundreds of objects/characters/creatures. It ranges from R2-D2 to IKEA furniture, and I use it all the time as reference. They even have a front, side and top view for everything on the website, which makes it super easy to use the images directly as reference in the 3D modelling program of your choice. Even if 3D modelling isn’t your forte, they are still excellent references for any artist, and I recommend using the website next time you are drawing!

Thus concludes my top five apps/websites for students list. Hopefully one or all of these are useful to you reading this right now, and help speed up/optimise your workflow and life - the same as they have done for me. Enjoy!

By Eden Anthony, second-year Game Art Student