For the most part, animation is not an expensive craft to pursue but it does come with some fairly pricey overheads when you’re first getting started out. If you’re in animation school, chances are you’ve got access to all of the equipment and software you could possibly need. But if you’re interested in kitting out your home setup with animation software, the price tag can quickly rack up.
Luckily, there are some free alternatives which are good enough to see you through the majority of animation projects you’ll undertake. Presenting… Pencil OS: Mac, Windows, Linux When it comes to free and open-source 2D animation programs, Pencil is by far the most well-rounded and comes with a surprising number of features given that it comes with no charge. Although it looks simple from the clean interface, it is packed with all the main tools you’ll find in some of the Pencil’s paid counterparts.
It supports both vector and bitmap images, multiple layers and has its own in-built illustration tools (so you can either import graphics or create them right there and then before animating them). Synfig Studios OS: Mac, Windows, Linux Right up there with Pencil, Synfig is very similar in design but arguably comes with a steeper learning curve; reason being, it throws in even more advanced features, and the results which can be achieved once you master them border on the professional level.
Stykz OS: Mac, Windows, Linux Given the above two open-source suites which offer an impressive level functionality, why are we featuring a simple stickman animation tool? Simply put, Stykz has got a lot of use for anyone who likes to draft things out before getting down to fully-fledged artwork and animating. It’s completely free with no strings attached, works on any platform and can produce fluid .
GIFs incredibly quickly (which will no doubt lead on to bigger things). One particularly neat feature is that it also integrates with Pivot, another node-based (and free) animation tool. CreaToon OS: Windows An entry-level animation program, CreaToon is cut-out based (all graphics are imported) that takes a lot of the headache out of creating cartoon-esque animation. While it isn’t quite as polished as some of the other names on this list, the real-time editing, auto in-frame filling and versatile file format support are real pulls.
Ajax Animator OS: Windows, Mac, iPad Not to be confused with the coding language, Ajax started life back in 2006 and was developed by a 6th grader as a replacement to Adobe’s expensive Flash MX. From such auspicious beginnings emerged a robust and fully functional animator that is well worth checking out despite its primitive look, especially if you’re an iPad user. Blender OS: Mac, Windows, Linux, FreeBSD If you’ve heard of Blender, that’s because it’s one of the most widely-used free animation softwares still in active development (even professional animators and video game developers turn to it from time to time).
Although it may take some time for beginners to get to grips with, those who manage to put even half the features Blender offers to use will be able to produce very impressive results. Bryce OS: Mac, Windows Although it’s not strictly an animation suite, free terrain generation software (of decent quality) is hard to come by. Bryce has really stepped up to the plate in this department – as a terragen, it’s both as simple and as elaborate as you need it to be depending on the scale of your project and works seamlessly with most other modeling software.
Incidentally, Bryce is developed by DAZ 3D, who are also responsible for: DAZ Studio OS: Mac, Windows This fantastic modeling and animation software wasn’t always free, but as of 2012, the professional version of DAZ is yours simply for signing up for a free registration account. The rendering engine is lightning fast, and the huge library of pre-created component content will have you creating in no time.
Clara.io OS: Browser-based Not only is Clara free, but it’s the only web-based one we can think of that is fully functional (and you don’t need any browser plugins to get it going). Not only does it feature a good system for polygonal modeling and skeletal/keyframe animation, but due to its 80,000+ user base there’s a strong community feel and plenty of people with which to chat shop. Know of any great free or open source animation software/tools which we’re missing? Do help the animation community out by leaving your suggestions in the comments below.
And, if you’re interested in learning more about 3D animation and visual effects, check out NYFA’s 3D Animation & VFX School to begin your journey. The Best Free / Open Source Animation Software by Zeke Comments commentsSee Also: Worcester County Animal Shelter
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Below I’ve compiled a list of as many 2d software programs as I could think of, from beginners to advanced, both free and paid, so there should be something for everyone. Some of them have free trial versions that you can use for 30 days to see what you think. Where possible I’ve added a link to those trials. If you know of any other 2d animation programs that I’ve not mentioned here, then please leave a comment in the guestbook at the bottom of the page and I’ll add it to the list.
(Don’t know some of the technical terms here? Check out our glossary for a complete description)Quick links on this page: Professional / Advanced Level Software Although I’ve titled this section as “professional level software” it doesn’t mean that you have to be a professional to use them – it’s just that the programs here are capable of producing high level animation work for TV and Film and used by a number of professionals and studios every day.
So basically I’m saying don’t be put off if you’re not a pro yet…give one of these programs a shot and you won’t be disappointed, they have some amazing tools that will take your creativity to a whole new level. Toon Boom Harmony (Read our full review here) Toon Boom is the premier name in 2d animation software, whose products are used in companies like Disney, Nickelodeon, and Warner Bros.
So first on the list I have to put their Harmony software. It is the creme-de-la-creme, the Numero Uno, the Big Daddy, the “Boom Boom Shake Shake The Room” of 2d animation software. Ok, that may be a little over the top 😉 But seriously, Harmony is THE best and most powerful commercially available 2d animation program you will find. It does everything, from traditional drawn animation, to paperless workflow, Flash style cut-out animation, particle effects, 3d cameras, 2d/3d integration, amazing drawing tools and anything else you can imagine.
The only thing it doesn’t do is make you a cup of tea, but I understand they are looking to put that in the new version soon, he he! Of course, such awesomeness comes at a price and as such it has been one of the most expensive programs on the list for a long time. However, in April 2015 Toon Boom made a major announcement which finally makes the power of Harmony available to all artists and budgets ** New Pricing Structure in v12 ** In the April 2015 announcement Toon Boom said that from now on it would be focusing its efforts on Harmony and providing 3 different versions at different prices to meet the needs of every artist, whether a small freelancer or big established studio.
The new versions are called “Essentials“, “Advanced” and “Premium“, and there are a few different pricing models depending on your needs – monthly, annual, or perpetual. (Take a look at their full detailed pricing here) Essentials (closer to their former Toon Boom Studio software)$23 / month , $180 / year (equivalent to $15 / month) , $375 perpetual license Advanced (closer to their former Toon Boom Animate software)$58 / month , $456 / year (equivalent to $38 / month) , $975 perpetual license Premium (closer to their former Toon Boom Animate Pro software)$109 / month , $876 / year (equivalent to $73 / month) , $1,975 perpetual license As with most software, if you’re a student, teacher or academic institution you can get an educational version for a large discount.
As much as 84% off! A free 21-day trial demo can also be downloaded here (no credit card required): https://www.toonboom.com/products/harmony/try DigiCel FlipBook (Read our full review here) FlipBook is DigiCel’s flagship 2d animation software and a favourite among Disney and other high-level professional animators. It allows you to do traditional frame-by-frame drawn animation as you would normally do on a lightbox.
You can draw directly into the program or, if you prefer, do your drawings on paper first and then scan them in to do your clean up and ink and paint in FlipBook. There are a number of different versions that you can choose from depending on what you’re looking to do and your budget. There is FlipBook Lite, FlipBook Studio, FlipBook Pro, and FlipBook ProHD To see the differences between these check out the comparison chart on the Digicel website: http://www.
digicelinc.com/store.htm You can also download demo versions here: http://www.digicelinc.com/download/downloads.htm Usual price of the software is: FlipBook Lite: US$78FlipBook Studio: US$298FlipBook Pro: US$598FlipBook ProHD: US$798 Anime Studio Pro (now called “Moho”) (Read our full review here) EDITORIAL NOTE: As of August 2016 Smith Micro has re-branded their flagship Anime Studio software as “Moho”.
This is effectively Anime Studio Pro v12, and at first glance has some really excellent new features. Stay tuned for a full review of the new version coming soon! Anime Studio Pro v11 is a hugely popular and affordable 2d animation software designed for the Flash-style animator. You cannot do frame-by-frame drawn animation in this software, but its bone system and inbetweening functions are some of the best out there, especially for the price.
There is also an automatic lip-syncing function, as well as 3D cameras and physics for simulations and effects. There are two versions of the program, Anime Studio Pro, and Anime Studio Debut. The Pro version is the whole kaboodle and designed for the pro or budding amateur. While the Debut version (which I talk about below) has a scaled down toolset and is more geared towards kids and beginning animators.
Video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-4ThgsX80c You can download a free trial demo here (although you WILL NEED A CREDIT CARD – so be careful because if you don’t cancel they will charge your card after the 30 day trial period ends): http://anime.smithmicro.com/trial-offer.html Prices are: Pro: US$299.99 ($199.99 if you take a 30-day trial first) Want to save money and buy an older version?Get Anime Studio Pro v10 here and save $200 + next day delivery CrazyTalk Animator 2 (Read our full review here) An interesting program from the makers Reallusion, CrazyTalk Animator 2 takes a slightly different approach to traditional 2d animation than you might be used to seeing.
Not only does it come with a large library of pre-made characters, designs and movements, but it also allows you to import 3d motions and add them onto your 2d characters. So, for example you could animate a character in a 3d program like Maya, or even get hold of some motion capture data, and then simply apply that to your 2d character in the CrazyTalk software, which produces some really interesting and quite unique results.
It also has some easy to use facial and lip-syncing tools. It’s a great program that anyone can pretty much pick up and use, and is particularly good for making promo videos or explainer / whiteboard videos. You can also do South Park style animation really easily in it too. It comes in 3 different versions depending on what you need: Pipeline – $299.95PRO – $179.95Standard – $49.95 You can download a trial version here Toon Boom Studio (Read our full review here) EDITORIAL NOTE: As of October 16th 2015 Toon Boom will be discontinuing their Toon Boom Studio software, and replacing it with their flagship Harmony program.
We recommend their Harmony Essentials version. To find out more, read our in-depth review of Harmony 12 here Back to Toon Boom again and their Studio software. This is by far their most popular program and is used by both professionals and amateurs alike, but is particularly popular and useful for the home user and hobbyist, and it’s reasonable price makes it a very accessible and all-round tool.
You can use it in a traditional way (drawing on paper first, then scanning your drawings into the software), or even to do Flash-style animations. The bones feature of the software means you can create a simple skeleton for your characters and move their body parts individually, instead of having to make new drawings every frame. You can download a demo here: https://www.toonboom.com/products/toon-boom-studio Usual price of the software is: US$249 Toon Boom Animate EDITORIAL NOTE: As of October 16th 2015 Toon Boom will be discontinuing their Toon Boom Animate software, and replacing it with their flagship Harmony program.
We recommend their Harmony Advanced version. To find out more, read our in-depth review of Harmony 12 hereThe Animate software from Toon Boom builds on their Studio program and is really the next level up, designed for professionals or those looking for the high-end tools and effects. It has really been designed and marketed as a serious competitor to Flash, since you do Flash-style animation but in a more intuitive way – and most animators who have used it say it is a much better animation tool than Flash from a purist’s point of view, since you can also do traditional style animation techniques as well, at which Flash is notoriously cumbersome.
The 3D and multi-plane camera effects make this a great piece of software, but the price may be prohibitive to some. You can download a demo here: https://www.toonboom.com/products/animate Usual price of the software is: US$699 Toon Boom Animate Pro EDITORIAL NOTE: As of October 16th 2015 Toon Boom will be discontinuing their Toon Boom Animate Pro software, and replacing it with their flagship Harmony program.
We recommend their Harmony Premium version. To find out more, read our in-depth review of Harmony 12 hereAs the name suggests Animate Pro is the super-high end professional version of the Animate software mentioned above. It does all that Animate can do as well as a number of other effects, more powerful cameras, compositing tools, as well as cinema size output, and 3D stereoscopic capabilities. This then is for the really serious professional or studio looking for specific tools.
This is obviously reflected in the price. You can download a demo here: https://www.toonboom.com/products/animate-pro This software costs: US$1,199 Retas!Pro Retas!Pro by Celsys is a high-end 2d software which is most popular in Japan and used heavily in the Manga / Anime industry. It is mostly used by professional studios and as such is comprised of four separate modules which reflects the different departments: You can download a demo here: http://www.
celsys.co.jp/en/products/retas/download/demo/index.html Cost of the software is around: US$3,799 CTP Pro Crater Software’s CTP (Cartoon Television Program) is in my view a great piece of software that is not that well known, yet is fairly easy to get started with (we had a copy at University some years ago). This is a purely traditional animation software, meaning you’ll have to draw all the frames, on paper and then scanning them in, or directly into the software itself (it works best when done on paper first since the drawing tools are not as flexible as those on other softwares).
My biggest gripe with CTP Pro is that it hasn’t really developed over like the last 10 years, and is still pretty expensive, especially when compared to Digicel’s FlipBook or Toon Boom’s Animate. Plus, although they have now separated out the various modules and created “Satellite” versions which you can buy individually instead of opting for the whole package I still think they are a tad expensive.
In saying that though, if you can get a copy of CTP for a reasonable price I think you’ll enjoy it. You can download a demo here: http://www.cratersoftware.com/download.html?language=en CTP Pro HD version costs US$699 and is available here: http://www.cratersoftware.com/buy/?currency=USD CelAction 2D CelAction 2D is an animation software in the vein of Adobe Flash and Toon Boom Studio where you rig up a drawn character and animate its skeleton, rather than drawing individual frames.
However, where it differs from Toon Boom Studio is that it doesn’t have any drawing tools whatsoever (the company actually state this on their website as if it were a positive!). Frankly, I don’t see the point in a 2d software that has no drawing tools, since it requires you to buy another piece of software like Photoshop to draw your characters and other elements and then transfer to CelAction 2D.
Either way, if Flash animation is your thing this software does contain many effects and tools to make your like easier like IK (Inverse Kinematics) and lip-syncing tools, as well as a large number of effects and a variety of output options all the way up to cinema size. Geared towards professionals and studios, this is reflected in the price which, for the Studio version is based on a rental: Studio (all features included): $999 (rental only) Professional (cut-down version): $999 (full license purchase) http://www.
celaction.com/en/celaction2d/buy.htm There isn’t a downloadable demo available, however you can contact them for an evaluation kit here: http://www.celaction.com/en/celaction2d/demo.htm TVPaint Developed in France, TVPaint Animation is designed for the professional and hobbyist animator who wants to use the traditional techniques of hand drawn animation but with the added ability of using painterly effects.
The drawing and paint tools are really extensive and allow you to do all sorts of styles including watercolour, gouache, and felt-tip. It is however, very expensive, so really will only be used by pros or those who are willing to spend a lot of money on their hobby. (Something I didn’t realise was that TVPaint was originally the Aura software that used to be distributed by NewTek and familiar to old users of Lightwave – like myself).
The good thing with TVPaint is that it is split into two different editions – Professional and Standard, with different features and prices (check out their comparison chart here) http://static.tvpaint.com/products/comparison.pdf You can download a free demo version here: http://www.tvpaint.com/demo Prices are: Standard: US$639 Professional: US$1,500 Toonz UPDATE: As of March 26th 2016 Digital Video will be releasing a free open-source version of Toonz called OpenToonz (see our article here).
They will continue to develop and market Toonz Premium as their flagship product, and I will update when I know more about the new version Toonz from Digital Video in Italy is used by a number of professional studios the most famous of course being Studio Ghibli in Japan. There are really two different products – Toonz Harlequin and Toonz Bravo. Harlequin is the top-end and is designed for traditional and paperless workflows, whereas Bravo is paperless only, making it more ideal for the small professional or amateur.
I must say that I found it a little difficult to use when I had a go at it a few years back…much more complicated than a Toon Boom Harmony, CTP or FlipBook. However, that was nearly 10 years ago, so I’m sure much has changed since then. If anyone has used it please let me know in the comments below. In terms of prices, you have to request a quote from them, so I don’t how much it costs There also doesn’t seem to be a demo version to try out either, but maybe you can contact them to get a trial.
Their website is here: http://www.toonz.com/htm/products/prod.htm Adobe Animate CC (formerly known as Flash Pro) Well pretty much everyone has heard of Adobe’s Flash, which they have recently renamed as “Animate”. It is so famous in fact that the name “Flash” has become a style in itself after having really pioneered animation technology for the web. However, over the years other programs like some of those above (Toon Boom, Anime Studio, and CelAction 2D) have developed programs that are more animator-friendly and designed for film and tv output with more effective camera tools and effects, in some cases at a much lower price.
However, Animate is still THE web animator’s tool of choice and so I couldn’t leave it off this list You can download a free trial demo here: https://creative.adobe.com/products/download/animate?promoid=VY36K4SD&mv=other Price: Animate CC (formerly Flash Professional): US$19.99 per month (annual plan, paid monthly)US$29.99 per month (monthly plan, cancel any time)US$239.88 per year (annual plan, pre-paid) Adobe Character Animator Adobe’s newest addition to the animation family is their Character Animator software program.
One of its biggest features is the ability to do real-time animation based off of a live-action performance. So, with the use of a simple web cam you can track your own face and the software will automatically mimic your actions onto a character in real-time – including dialogue. This is pretty amazing for doing live broadcasts, school projects or business promos. The program comes with some template characters that you can use right out of the box or you can design your own in Photoshop or Illustrator, and then import them into the program.
It seems like it is still in the early stages of development, and as such cannot be purchased as a stand-alone software yet, but rather comes as part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud app. You can see more about the software and download a free trial demo of Adobe Creative Cloud here: http://www.adobe.com/products/character-animator.html Price: Character Animator: US$49.99 per month (annual plan, paid monthly – this is the price for Adobe’s Creative Cloud app which includes the Character Animator software) Autodesk SketchBook Pro At first glance, perhaps a slightly controversial one to add to the list is Autodesk’s SketchBook Pro.
“Isn’t that just for drawing and painting?” I hear you say. Well, the reason I’ve added it is that the recently released version 7 now has a FlipBook tool which is pretty darn cool, especially when you combine it with the software’s already existing drawing and painting tools. I was really impressed with this and at such a low price I think it has definitely earned a solid place on this list.
Basically, imagine Photoshop with a proper animation timeline for a fraction of the price and you’ll be getting close! Find out more about SketchBook Pro 7 here: https://www.sketchbook.com/desktop Price: US$65 Open-Source / Free 2d Software Pretty much as the name suggests, these animation programs are completely free to download and use – no licenses or purchase necessary. Usually “open-source” means they rely on volunteers and the community to provide updates, improvements, bug fixes etc.
As such, if you have a problem with them it may not be easy to get a fix or find a solution, but in most cases this is irrelevant since most of the programs are fairly stable and have a reasonably large user-base. Tupí: 2D Magic Formerly known as KTooN, Tupí is one of the most versatile open-source 2d animation software programs out there and lets you do traditional frame-by-frame drawn animation, or cut-out flash style with tweening.
I think they’ve done a fantastic job on their interface design and have managed to use the screen space really effectively by incorporating tabs to switch between design and player modes, which I found quite innovative and a smart solution to the usual problem of having to have multiple windows open. This makes it very easy to use on even a small laptop or tablet. The brushes are versatile with great line quality and the software can output in HD format.
The user base is currently around 10,000 worldwide and growing. There are versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. Download the version you need from here: http://www.maefloresta.com/portal/downloads Price : FREE Pencil Being Open Source, the Pencil software is completely free to download and use. It’s geared towards traditional drawn animation where each frame is created from scratch – so there are no “tweening” tools like you find in Toon Boom Animate or Flash.
The interface is very clear and easy to use particularly if used any type of paint program in the past like Photoshop. There are Windows, Mac and Linux versions available and don’t require any registration. You can download a version here: http://www.pencil-animation.org/index.php?id=Download Price : FREE Plastic Animation Paper Plastic Animation Paper, or PAP for short, is a free to download animation software that has a really impressive toolset.
PAP used to be a paid animation program but for the last few years has been made available as a free download – Windows ONLY – no Mac version…sorry! 🙁 It allows you to do classic style drawn animation right in the program itself – no need to scan any drawings. In my opinion the best aspect of the software is it’s wonderful line and brush tools that really give you the creative freedom to do sketchy style animation or go further and clean it up if you want.
Unfortunately the interface does look a bit dated, but the good news is that the creators are now hard at work on an updated replacement called simply “Animation Paper”. However, this will be a paid program when it is finally released. You can find out more about it here: http://animationpaper.com/ Or download the old version of Plastic Animation Paper here (along with tutorials): http://animationpaper.
com/old-pap-free-download/ Price: FREE Synfig Synfig is a vector-based, free and open source animation program that is ideal for those looking to Flash-style animation rather than traditional frame-by-frame drawn animation. While its interface is not hugely complicated, it will certainly take a little longer to master than PAP or Pencil, but then again the features are closer to Flash so naturally it has a steeper learning curve.
If you’ve used Flash before you’ll find this very similar and an easy crossover. Thankfully there is a fairly large online community using Synfig, and so there are a ton of tutorials, YouTube videos and various forum posts if you ever get stuck or need help. At the end of the day, it is a pretty amazing piece of software when you consider that it is 100% free. Available for Windows, Linux, Mac.
You can also access the source code if you know how to program. You can download the latest version here: http://www.synfig.org/cms/en/download/stable Price: FREE OpenToonz Coming soon. Will be released on Saturday 26th March 2016. Updates to follow after release. Price: FREE Kids / Beginner Level Programs As you may have noticed from the professional software above, the interfaces, menus and tools can be pretty complicated in a 2d program.
So, thankfully, a number of companies now produce kid-friendly versions of their software making it much easier for young beginners to take their first animated steps without wasting time on a steep learning curve. For our recommendations, take a look at the top animation software programs for kids here Below are the best 2d animation programs out there that are specifically designed for kids and teenagers.
Anime Studio Debut (Read our full review here) Anime Studio Debut is the kid brother of the professional level Anime Studio Pro I listed above. As such it has a similar interface but has been slightly pared down to make life a bit easier for beginners – although I would still contend that it has a steeper learning curve than something like a Flip Boom All Star or Animation-ish. Like its big brother, this is a software tool designed for Flash-style animation, where you have a rigged character held together with “bones” that you move around and set keyframes with (South Park style) – almost like cut-out animation, but with a much larger digital toolset.
As such, if you’re looking to do traditional drawn animation then this is not the software for you, as the drawing tools are pretty much non-existent. You can buy the Anime Studio Debut software here: http://anime.smithmicro.com/buy.html Price: $49.99 Hue Animation Studio (Read our full review here) Now, before you say it, yes I know that Hue Animation Studio is really a stop motion software. However, i think it is much more than that.
Because it comes with its own camera and capture software you can actually use it to do traditional drawn animation as well as stop motion. Besides I felt it had to be a part of this list as I think it is one of the best pieces of kit available to get kids of pretty much any age interested in animation and the film making process. The camera is plug and play, and the software is a doddle to install and use, therefore I recommend it highly.
You can buy the Hue Animation Studio kit here: Buy Hue Animation Studio RRP Price: $79.95 Animation-ish (Read our full review here) Animation-ish, from Fable Vision, is the brainchild of artist / illustrator Peter Reynolds. Designed to be the most “arty” of animation programs, it contains 3 separate modules, Wiggledoodle-ish, Flipbook-ish, and Advanced-ish, with varying features designed to help anyone from small children to intermediates get started drawing and animating.
The simple interface makes things a doddle and removes the steep learning curve associated with more advanced programs, making it an ideal place for small children to take their first animated steps. They can literally open the software and start…it’s that simple. The main drawback of the program is that you can’t import any sound files, making lip-sync or dialogue animation difficult. You have to export your animation first as a movie and then add the sound in a 3rd party editing program.
You can buy the Animation-ish software here (enter the exclusive coupon code ANIMATE on the checkout page for an instant 20% discount) : http://shop.fablevisionlearning.com/animationish/fa/shop.detail/productID/2543/ Price: $59 Flip Boom Cartoon (Read our full review here) EDITORIAL NOTE: As of October 16th 2015 Toon Boom have discontinued their Flip Boom Cartoon software. We recommend you take a look at some of the other kids programs on this list.
Flip Boom Cartoon from Toon Boom is a great little software program designed for young children who are complete beginners to animation. The very simple interface is a really trimmed down version of their higher end software like Studio and Animate, so while it’s easy to navigate it’s also a good starting point that your children can build on later if they want to tackle the more difficult software later down the road.
It’s an all-in-one program where you can draw, colour and animate your drawings as well as recording your own voices or sound effects to add on. This means you won’t need to buy another program for them to finish their cartoons – they can do it all in this software and then even upload it to YouTube or Facebook if they want. You can buy Flip Boom Cartoon here: https://www.toonboom.com/products/flip-boom-cartoon Price: $39 Flip Boom All Star (Read our full review and video walk-through here) EDITORIAL NOTE: As of October 16th 2015 Toon Boom have discontinued their Flip Boom All Star software.
We recommend you take a look at some of the other kids programs on this list. The Flip Boom All Star software from Toon Boom is hugely popular among kids and teenagers. Its classy, well-laid out interface means your little one won’t get scared off by complicate menus and tools. It is ideal for beginners as it has a number of preset templates and sound effects, along with an “Auto-Animate” feature which your child will be able to produce their first cartoon in no time.
Although Toon Boom market is the next level up from Flip Boom Cartoon, I personally think it is a better idea to start with this one as it has more features than Flip Boom Cartoon and not is that much more complicated to learn. You can buy the Flip Boom All Star software here: https://www.toonboom.com/products/flip-boom-all-star Price: $59 The TAB Kids The TAB Kids is a colourful little software produced by the makers of the high end Toonz software I’ve listed above in the professional section.
TAB Kids prides itself on its easy to use interface, and it certainly is. Very colourful, with no menus or commands, all the functions are represented by visual icons and buttons which means everything is easy to find and understand quickly. It has great drawing and movement tools, layer capabilities (up to 4), and simple export tools making it easy to save out your movies or upload them to the web.
Kids will definitely find this software visually appealing and fun to use. You can buy The TAB Kids software for Windows or Mac here: http://www.the-tab.com/htm/store/store_online_kids.htm Price: $40 + shipping for the boxed edition, or $40 for digital download. Whiteboard / Doodle / Explainer Video Animation Software “Whiteboard”, “doodle”, or explainer video animation software refers to programs that are specifically designed to produce the presentation or marketing videos that are hugely popular these days.
Up to now producing these videos was an expensive process, usually involving very talented artists and advertising agencies. But with the software programs below you can easily produce a video in minutes, whether for a business presentation, website, or school project. Many of these programs even have their own content markets, meaning you can join and start producing your own designs and content that you sell to other users.
This can be a great way to get started with some commercial work or to start your own freelancing career. VideoScribe (Read our full review here) VideoScribe is a great little whiteboard animation software program from British company Sparkol. It is very easy to use and comes with access to an online image gallery where you can use other people’s images in your own work. The VideoScribe program also comes with an additional add-on called “Tawe”, which basically lets you turn any image or photo into a simple presentation by letting you zoom, rotate and animate across the image and add a voiceover.
The VideoScribe software is definitely one of the easiest and most user-friendly programs out there, perfect for all levels, from businesses and marketers, to school projects. It significantly reduces the cost of producing animated videos, and the program itself is very competitively priced with various options, from monthly subscriptions to one-off payments. For budding artists and entrepreneurs, the program can even be used to produce videos for other businesses and people who are willing to pay for your services, which is a really exciting opportunity.
To see some of the inspiring work produced by the VideoScribe software click here:http://www.videoscribe.co/scribes You can access a free 7-day trial here:VideoScribe Free Trial Price options: £96 per year (equivalent of £8 per month)£18 per month£398 one-off perpetual licence Easy Sketch Pro 3 (Read our full review here) Easy Sketch Pro is the cheapest whiteboard software on the market but don’t let that fool you, as it has great functionality and is extremely popular among marketers and schools, with over 55,000 users and growing.
Very easy to use and with a simple one-off purchase it is very cost efficient and means you can be up and animating in minutes. Watch their demo video here: http://www.easysketchpro.com/ Price: Starter: $39Business: $69Business Pro: $99 GoAnimate (Read our full review here) GoAnimate is one of the first and most established of all the whiteboard animation software programs available. It is highly popular among business clients and has access to a large content library.
The downside is that it is the most expensive program on the list. You have to pay for the use of the software which gives you a commercial license, however you then need to pay an additional $79 “rights transfer” fee if you want to sell a video you make to a third-party. In saying this though, the upside is that the subscription charges are extremely flexible and allow you to choose from 1-month, 3-months and 1-year subscriptions, which is great for freelancers who may need the software sporadically and don’t want the ongoing expense.
You can download a free demo version here: http://tracking.goanimate.com/SH7W Price: GoPublish: $39 per month or $299 per yearGoPremium: $79 per month or $599 per yearGoTeam: $159 per month or $999 per year Moovly (Read our full review here) Moovly is an online browser-based whiteboard animation software, which means it is ideal for collaborative projects in teams or for folks who use multiple devices and what to always have their work synced.
Depending on the subscription you opt for, you will have access to a large content library and varied templates in different styles, along with the ability to upload your own videos, images and pre-prepared content. There are a few pricing options to suit all budgets from an unlimited version, to businesses, and educational users. You can sign up for a free 30-day trial here and get started right away: https://www.
moovly.com/ Price: Moovly Unlimited: $5 per monthMoovly Business: $300 per year (Educational versions are available at a 50% discount) RawShorts (Read our full review here) RawShorts is a fairly new explainer video program that is web-based, working solely in the cloud, so no software download is necessary, and is a cheaper alternative to GoAnimate.They have a large selection of free templates that you can use and edit, as well as giving you access to designers and voice over artists if you have a specific project in mind.
There are a few different pricing options to suit every budget, with a choice of monthly subscriptions or pay-per-export if you’d prefer not to have the rolling subscription. You can sign up for a free account and get started here: https://www.rawshorts.com/ Price: — Pay-per-export —Free: $0$8 per export pack of 3 exports = $60$12 per export pack of 10 exports = $120$20 per export pack of 25 exports = $200 — Subscription —Free: $0Premium: $49 per month cancel any timeAgency: $39 per month billed annually = $468 per year PowToon (Read our full review here) PowToon is an animated explainer video software that is purely web-based and has been around for about 5 years or so, making it a very established and popular player in the field.
There is a huge selection of templates, animations and designs available, as well as access to top designers and artists if you need something bespoke. There are a 4 different pricing options meaning there is something for everyone. There’s even the free option where you can try it out and see how it works, the only restriction being that all of your videos will have a watermark on them. You can sign up for a free account and get started here: https://www.
powtoon.com/ Price: Free: $0Pro: $19 per monthBusiness: $59 per monthTeam: $46 per month bulk licenses Explaindio (Read our full review here) Explaindio is an animated explainer video software that is only a few years old and has been extremely popular among marketers and schools. It claims to allow users to create animated explainer videos in as little as 3 minutes. Of course, if you want something unique, it will take a bit longer than that, but there is a huge library of templates and designs that will allow even complete beginners to get up and running as quickly as possible.
There are 2 different pricing options and both are extremely reasonable, in fact they are among the best value on the market, as they are outright purchases and don’t require an ongoing monthly subscription. You can watch their intro video on how to create an animated video in 3 minutes or less here…: https://www.ExplaindioVideoCreator.com/ Price: Personal: $59 unlimited licenseProfessional: $69 unlimited license