Still missing your old Picasa software? The new digiKam 6.0 has just been released. It’s polished and free ‘open source’ software for handling, searching and previewing your entire picture library. 6.0 now supports video files, and major cloud services including Pinterest (though 500px is sadly missing). It also has the usual features that one expects these days, such as face detection, ‘visual similarity’ sorting, tags, etc. It’s new to me, but it looks and work fine. I see thumbnails and quick-preview for Photoshop .PSD files. The nice dark user interface is found under Settings | Themes.
While it’s obviously aimed at the “show me a ton of metadata” guys, working in fields such as wedding and magazine photography, there seems no reason why it can’t be a useful way to view and sort your 3D renders and animations. Be warned however, that this isn’t Picasa and and the initial set up of ‘albums’ is way harder than it needs to be. But it’s genuinely free.
Regrettably there’s no real perfect mid-ground in this sort of free software. There’s ‘ugly but freeware’ like Faststone and XnView, or pro-feature overkill slickness in software like digiKam (similar to Photo Supreme, incidentally, if you need a paid option). The free IrfanView would be an absolutely perfect mid-ground software for this, but it lacks just one vital feature — folder bookmarking. Of course, there’s always Picasa itself, and though it may have been abandoned by Google it’s still free and still works fine in Windows. It has movie and Photoshop .PSD support, and can launch a picture in IrfanView with a right-click on its thumbnail.