I use several tools to create my mods and models, its a realatively short list, and most of theese programs are free. If a certain program isn't free I will attempt to find an opensource or freeware alternative to present.
This is a basic 3D modeler and texturing utility. It supports simple texture mapping and 3D modeling. This program has a free trial period for (30) days and cost around $30 USD to purchase. MS3D Ascii is the native model format for S3D and as such is supported completely.
A small modeler that is similar to MilkShape, it is free. If you use this program you will still have to convert models to MS3D Ascii format. I have had little experience with it, but have seen it used many times.
Download here: http://wings3d.com/
Google's sketchup pro is my favored modeling tool, it has a free trial and demo for curious users to try. The pro version I use costs. Though its quite useful for 3D modeling of buildings, tanks, and airplanes. The neat thing about this program is the fact you can actually draw what you see in 3 Dimensions quite similar to sketching.
One of the strongest digital editing suites available to me. I paid quite a penny to own this program. ($2900 USD). This Program is essential to my design process and it is the tool I am most familiar with. I dont expect anyone to buy this program simply to mod.
One of the strongest free digital editing suites available to anyone. I dont have alot of experience with it, but there are many great online resources for it.Gimp is open source and supports several advanced features for many users.
Download Here: http://www.gimp.org/
Every version of windows comes bundled with this basic design software. Its handy to use when creating weapon icons for Scorched 3D and can be used as an on the fly image converter.
Simple and easy image resizer/color adaptation. Its quick handy, and best of all FREE!
Download here: http://www.faststone.org/
My main text editor. We use a text editor to create xml and txt files which the engine will read. Its small, portable, fast and has several useful features which will help in spotting errors and fixing them. This program is also Free!
Download here: http://www.contexteditor.org/
A secondary text Editor I use to organize code snippets. You have to register with Microsoft to use this product free.
A particle generator I use for explosions and emitter effects. This isnt a necessary, its just nice to have. Its not free.
A visual terrain generator that I use to create landscapes. Its great for heightmap work, and it even lets you splice pictures into the landscape! You have to register with Eon Software to use this product free of charge.
A free program I use to record,edit, and splice sounds and music. There are abundant tutorials available for its use on the web. It is very simple to use and I have yet to find a function it does not fufill adequately.
Download here: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/