There are millions of artists who are grateful for free animation software. These pieces of software are not only free but they’re often very powerful. For professionals it might not mean much, since they’ve been playing around with top of the line software that is priced at a very high price. But for struggling artists, beginners, hobbyist and other people who are curious about drawing, free software is more than enough and can be a life-saver. The internet and open-source communities are the ones should be credited for these pieces of free animation software.
If you’re one of the people in the categories we mentioned above, it’ll be worth your time to read the article.
4 Best Free Animation Software Most Popular For Beginners
PAP 4.0 is probably one of the best free 2D hand-drawn animation software you can get And this is also best animation software for beginners . It’s created by animators who love their craft as part of their indie project.
PAP 4.0 is simple and light-weight. It’s a traditional light-table animation, complete with onion skinning, layers, light setup, and blue and red pens for your planning and drafting phases for poses and scenes.
The software itself is very easy to learn and navigate. It looks very simple but it contains many features for traditional animation. For beginners, we recommend you to read their official tutorials on their website.
Besides the tutorial, you should also memorize the icons and what they do, it’s easy to see those icons since they’re well placed and designed in a nice minimalist window around the workspace. Soon enough, you will find that you can do many things with PAP 4.0.
PAP 4.0 supports pressure-sensitive Wacom pen and you can use it along-side many shortcuts available to make your work easier and quicker than ever before.
For professionals, you can use PAP 4.0 for planning or as a draft with their animation. PAP 4.0 can replace line tests, scanners, and cameras. It’s also useful for teachers and students of animation. PAP 4.0 can be used for practically anyone, it’s lightweight, free and won’t use much resource of your computer.
Creatoon is another simple free animation software. You can create a 2D animation with cut-out style and add special effects to them.
The UI looks old but that’s also because they’re trying to make it look user-friendly and easy to learn or remember. It’s pretty much straightforward but you can’t customize the layout.
Creating 2D animation with Creatoon can be really fun and makes you forget that it’s in fact very difficult. Creatoon is specifically designed for beginners who are looking to get into 2D animations. Creatoon can design 2D animations very quickly without any fuss. You simply need to gradually gather selected parts of the animation and repeat the parts completely. You can add effects after that.
You can use handmade painting or image and use it as an animation, Creatoon supports BMP, TGA, JPG, PNG, and TIFF. And there are features like, automatic inbetweening, real-time previewing editing and combine bitmaps with vector graphics.
Creatoon does a good job at motivating you to practice or make animations. It’s lightweight so you can run it on any machine. And the process of creating animations and see the end-result is fast too. Just open it whenever you feel the urge to make some animations. Read Also: 8 Free Typing Programs
Toon Boom Animate Pro 3 is an Emmy award-winning software. The company has been around for more than 25 years. They are one of the best companies in creating 2D animation software. They made Toon Boom Animate Pro 3 for students, freelancers, artist, and professionals.
The software itself is not easy to use, there are so many things to learn just from navigating the UI. The better you get at using the software, the better you will also get at making animations.
Just be prepared, the learning curve is steeper compared to other free animation software. If you feel like you’re hitting a wall, don’t lose your hope, it is difficult for everyone especially beginners and students. You’re not the only one having difficulties.
Once you get the hang of it, you’ll appreciate how powerful Toon Boom Pro 3 is. You can achieve frame-by-frame animation with rich features, complete with pressure-sensitive pencil, texture brushes, onion skinning, and a feature known as Bone Deform, among many other features.
Toon Boom Animate Pro 3 is capable of making traditional to modern animations. The animations will look natural, flexible and fluid depending on how you want to make them. It’s pretty much an all-in-one software that can save cost and time of animating process.
The variety of different animations you can make is exciting and amazing. Anyone who want to be a professional animator should try this software. You need a decent hardware to run it though, as it is quiet resource hungry. It’s understandable as professional also using it for their works.
You can try their 21-day free trials, to try it for yourself before buying it. You have nothing to lose and maybe you can convince yourself or your company to get the paid version.
Blender is both famous and controversial tool on the internet. It’s a powerful and free 3D animator software for experts, scientists, video game fans or developers, studio artists and other kind of professionals everywhere.
It’s an open-source software that has been around and developed for many years and has become a very sophisticated software. Many people believe that nothing else out there can compete with Blender.
Previously, there was Source Film Maker or SFM sitting on top of the 3D animation software list and Blender has dethroned it. Not only 3D animations, Blender can also be used for 2D animations. Or you can combine both 2D and 3D and fully animate them.
That being said, the learning curve will be steep. The UI can be unintuitive and confusing, there are so many features and commands to learn. The software can be paired with many sophisticated and state-of-the-art equipment, so it’s definitely not a toy.
For beginners, you should try to get your hands on it as soon and often as you can while reading tutorials created by the community. The community is thriving and will answer your questions. This includes many professionals in the animation industry.
For a more advanced user, Blender can be customized using Python. From the interface, layout, colors, size and fonts all can be customized. The community also has hundreds of add-ons that you can use for free.
Many big companies like Epic Games, Ubisoft, many Japanese anime studio and many others have backed and supported Blender. For anyone who are looking to get in the industry as a 3D animator, Blender should be your main weapon and investment for your success.
So, what so controversial about it? Well, Blender is also very popular in adult movie industry. When you’re looking around to get information or help about Blender, you might stumble upon a few adult movie animators. Just be careful when browsing on the internet in your workplace.
Blender supports all major platforms and OSes and offer tools for modeling, video operations after conversion, lighting and much more. Blender will work much smoother if you have support for OpenGL. It’s impressive that Blender is among other free animation software.