All the animators amongst us know that animation requires lots of time, money, and patience. It can feel like a tedious process, and it surely is, but these days, even newbies can quickly get the hang of things with online tutorials. To make it easier for you, we can take one of the constraints out of the equation – money. In this article, we will refer to 8 of the best free animation software and who it suits best to help you get started with your journey.
Advertising has completely changed in the past decade and now has brought Video Editing and Animation into the picture. Companies these days are investing in talents in animation to produce videos as part of their Ad campaigns. Animations make ads interesting and engaging, hence being perfect for the age of social media. Thanks to the increase in technological accessibility, nowadays, it is very easy for any novice to have a fighting chance in the animation industry as free animation software emerges. Good animation software finds uses in business campaigns for educational resource websites.
Here is our collection of 8 Best Free Animation Software for 2020:
Blender is a free, open-source, 3D animation software. It is a favorite of professional animators as it is one of the most powerful software in this list of 8 best free animation software. It has object tracking and enables you to pan, tilt, rotate, and zoom into your 3D object. Blender does not have a novice-friendly approach, but online tutorials are easily available. This software is perfect for creating realistic animations. Since it is free, we would advise you to try it once you commit to its paid plans.
PowToon is web-based software for animation that allows for the easy creation of interactive and eye-catching videos and presentations too. It is web-based, hence allows for easier access across your devices. PowToon is excellent making simple videos, preliminary idea pitches, and short ads, and its library for various characters and scenes also make it quite appealing.
It already has social media applications in mind, and hence videos made can be easily shared with Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube, and SlideShare. The free plan is not as feature-rich as free users have only 100 MB of storage available to them. Also, HD videos have a time limitation of 3 minutes, and the videos made are watermarked with the PowToon brand. If these downsides do not interfere with your requirements, then PowToon is the one from this list of 8 best free animation software.
Animaker has the most user-friendly tools and UI in this list of 8 best free animation software, and that too for a good reason as this software is predominantly of the drag-and-drop variety. It looks familiar at first, and that is most probably because of its resemblance to PowerPoint or Google Slides. Another plus point of this software is that you can use it to make a range of videos as it has specified modules on types of videos you can make, ranging from advertising to explanatory videos.
It also has a huge library of characters and templates that you can use to spice up your content. You can also add cartoon faces and move them to add some human element. The paid version, of course, has more features packed into it, and the free plan grants you only 2 minutes of video. Business plans, on the other hand, can grant you up to 30 minutes of video.
Pencil2D is meant for traditional animators and enthusiasts. As the name suggests, here, you can make 2D drawings and can see them come to life. This software allows you to make hand-drawn animation from scratch. You can use it on macOS, Linux, and Windows and remains open sourced and it is completely free. You can also use it for commercial or personal use and doesn’t have paid plans.
For businesses to make use of this software, it is better to put someone who has had traditional animation experience on the front seat as this requires someone with art orientation. For people in animation, the interface is very simple and straightforward and doesn’t require much prerequisite knowledge on the software.
#5 Synfig Studio
Synfig Studio is also an open-sourced, free software that has a timeline-based user interface. It is also, like Pencil 2D, more oriented towards a more traditional animation audience. It, therefore, is not as user-friendly as our other picks in this list of 8 best free animation software, but online tutorials regarding animation can be very easily found.
Again, like the previous software, Pencil2D, this software also would reap you commercial benefits only if someone with the background in animation has hold of it. It also has an outlook similar to PowerPoint. There are also no templates or libraries, and therefore you have to make everything from scratch, which also leads to it being time-consuming.
OpenToonz is also a 2D animation software, open-sourced and free. More accustomed users can modify the software and tailor it to their needs and intended usage. The UI is pretty basic and straightforward, you can also customize it make more complex animations. It is a mid-level software as both professionals and novices; both would like it to their tastes. It also comes with a paid version called Toonz.
#7 Plastic Animation Paper
Plastic Animation Paper or PAP is a go-to animation software for animators. It is a 2D animation software that allows you to switch through the digital and analog versions of your animation. It is quite intuitive and pretty easy-to-use if you already have a background in animation.
This is one of the software in our list of 8 best free animation software that is not newbie-friendly. But if you have a passion for animation and are going to pursue it professionally, you should take online courses to learn PAP. There comes a paid version too with a newer UI and is more feature-packed. Hand-drawing artists can use any of the versions of Plastic Animation Paper.
This software is completely free and will remain so, most probably. K-3D is a 3D animation platform that offers a digital platform with a useful set of tools that include plugins too. It uses pipeline architecture, which enhances its usability. This software allows you to create different combinations, and the UI is no-nonsense and straightforward.
It will enable 3D models and is perfect for animating logos and texts. As said before, it uses pipeline architecture because of which you can modify your work in the beginning and can see changes automatically appear in the end-product.
Creatoon one is looking for a simple interface to carry out complex problems is the software that a young animator can look forward to having in his or her grasp. This is a free animation software for amateurs looking to be professionals.
The un-customizable interface may look like a drawback to some, but it is not the case as the arrangement is perfect to see the progression of the project at hand. Special effects are one of the most important features in this software, and the most important part being the auto-save feature, working every five minutes so that the forgetful mind of an artist is not the baggage on a creative mind.
Stykz is totally free of cost and does not require any additional licenses. It runs on Windows as well as macOS. It is the first multi-platform stick figure animation software. Stykz is a frame-based software that allows you to work on individual frames.
Also, Stykz has two amazing features viz., Autosaving, and Auto backup. If you want your work to be saved without you doing the work, you can on the auto-saving feature. Many time it happens that you want the previous version of your animation, Stykz creates as many as backups you want.
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In the end, whichever software you choose, it comes down to the needs or purpose you are going to use. All of the software in our list of 8 best free animation software have different functionalities and can do some specific thing the best. Since all of these are free software, you can take them out for a spin and then choose one to your liking. If you need hand-drawn animation but digitally, Pencil2D and PAP would be our best bet. For quick, easy, and novice-friendly software PowToon or Animaker is your software. For professional-grade, detailed animations, Blender would be perfect for you.