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Free Animation Software

Animation programs come in very different forms, from 3D modeling programs like Maya or 3D max to 2D animation software for special effects or graphic design like Adode After Effects to cartoon animation software like Toon Boom.

It really depends on what you want to achieve when choosing between all these different kinds of software available.

Most professional animation software is quite complicated and takes time to get used to the interface. Luckily lots of training courses are available and thousands of tutorials are to be found on the internet and YouTube.

But you don’t need to be a genius to create simple animations. If you are used to working with some kind of video editing program, you’ll be making your own animations in no time. Even when you are just a beginner, don’t give up to fast, practice makes perfect and don’t hesitate to Google for help 🙂

Below listed some free animation software for creating your own animated movies or 3D models.

Check out my selection:

Pencil

Pencil is an animation/drawing software for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. It lets you create traditional hand-drawn animation (cartoon) using both bitmap and vector graphics. Pencil is free and open source.

DAZ Studio

DAZ Studio is the perfect tool to design unique digital art and animations using virtual people, animals, props, vehicles, accessories, environments and more. Simply select your subject and/or setting, arrange accessories, setup lighting, and begin creating beautiful artwork. Windows download.

Mac version can be downloaded HERE

Bryce (Personal Learning Edition)

Bryce Personal Learning Edition is a 3D landscaping and animation tool. With Bryce 7 you can add unbelievable realism with Image Based Lighting, true instancing, improved skies and clouds, and even particle emitters. Plus, the totally redesigned bridge to DAZ Studio allows for seamless integration of the entire DAZ 3D content library into any Bryce scene. Windows download.

Mac version can be downloaded HERE

Blender

Blender is the first and only fully integrated 3D graphics creation suite allowing modeling, animation, rendering, post-production, realtime interactive 3D and game creation and playback with cross-platform compatibility. This software is open-source and licensed. For Windows Linux and MAC.

Synfig

Synfig is an impressive animation program that is currently only available for Windows. It does a great job of creating camera and lighting effects. Synfig is well on its way towards establishing itself as solid software, not bad for a free animation program.

Google SketchUp

Google SketchUp gives you the ability to easily create your own 3D models. With an easy-to-use interface and a wide swath of Help features, it’s the perfect tool for beginner and intermediate designers alike. Both for Windows and MAC

CreaToon

CreaToon is only available for Windows. It uses a limited animation style, kind of like Toon Boom in that regard. Of particular interest is the ability to use bitmap images inside the animation program itself. The application could use a bit of polish, but it’s free so we’ll let such issues pass.

Don’t forget to post your reaction if you tried any of these listed above. Much appreciated!

    Comment Section

    4 thoughts on “Free Animation Software


    By Marco on 14 March 2012

    Thanks for the info Rebekka. I’ve downloaded some of your suggestions and I’m already fired up to get started.



    By John on 22 July 2013

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    By Julia Lee on 13 February 2017

    Very nice and informative article. Free softwares are not bad, but you can’t compare them to softwares like Painter, Manga Studio, etc. Some say they are pricey, but for Painter for example, you can find here http://www.painterartist.com/en/pages/coupons/ some discounts and get it for a much lower price

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