We have come a long way since the days of Steamboat Willie in the animation industry. It was the first animation film to be released with sound. Through free 2D animation software, animations have developed into pure art.
Before 2D animation software, cartoons were created by people through their hands or by running cells against various scenes at a rapid pace.
2D animation software has entirely changed the game for animations in a way no one could have predicted. We could see the example of “Toy Story,” the first-ever animated feature-length film made by computer, from Pixar.
Top 9 Free 2D Animation Software in 2020
2D animation software has also generated interest in kids to learn about animations and how they can create. Hence, I am going to list down 9 best free 2D animation software to learn from:-
Animaker is cloud-based animation software. Its based on a freemium model. Animaker allows users to have a free account. It is a little bit less technical than other animation software, but it is user-friendly.
It is more for a content maker audience as it contains various types of animations, including infographics, motion typography, and 2D cartoons.
The major pros of using this software are-:
- It contains an extensive collection of animated pre-created templates and characters.
- Whiteboard video creation option.
- Drag and drop style of editing.
- It contains an infographic creator.
2. Plastic Animation Paper
It depends heavily on the concept of drawing by pencil. It is the original version of the animation paper. The most preferred for beginners as its user interface is user-friendly and straightforward as it offers tutorials on how to use it.
Its built for easy and quick use with excellent resolution. A user could do anything with his drawings and using this software; drawings get transformed into something next level. It allows the user to work at their own pace making the learning easy and fun.
The major pros of using this software are-:
- Fundamental drawing tools
- It contains layering.
3. Adobe Flash
A vintage 2D animation software found in almost every computer. It is, in fact, the most popular and favorite animation software for children. Kids can easily use it as its tutorial can be found anywhere.
It already consists of a vast community and supports many bandwidth requirements. It can also be used to create advanced level animations using its wide range of features, but I would prefer you to use a new and more unique 2-D animation software as adobe flash has been already extensively used by people around the globe.\
The major pros of this software are-:
- It integrates well.
- It Promotes interactivity.
It is a quick and user-friendly 3D rendering software with huge animation capabilities. This helps in allowing users to convert a simple model into a terrific and stunning visual within seconds. It is based on a free model.
The major pros of this software are -:
- HDRI Lighting.
- Dynamic texture mapping to depict real-world landmarks.
- Focused caustics to ensure objects are adequately lighted.
5. Pow Toon
This animation is entirely based on the web. This animation software is aimed at making short videos and presentations. Users upload their content or choose from its library of free content. Animators usually customize the existing templates to make sure that they fit their needs.
The major pros of using this are-
- Standard resolution of the video.
- Aspect ratios and sizes.
This open and free source graphic software had been released in 2005, but stably on February 16, 2019, at the repository of github.com/synfig. Its programming language is C++, and available operating systems are Linux, Mac, OSX, Windows.
It is licensed under GPL. It is started as an animation platform for Voria Studios. The developer designed it to produce “feature-film quality animation with fewer people and resources.” The abilities of application are:
- It can use for soft shading within an area using curved gradients.
- This has a variety of real-time effects which can apply to layers or group of layers.
- It can link any related data from one object to another.
It is a 2D animation software that is a project developed and maintained by Columbian start-up MacFloresta. Gustav Gonzalez develops it. This application written in C++/Qt, stably released on March 5, 2019, at the repository of github.com/xtingray/tupitube.desk.
It works on any operating system like Unix-like, Windows, Mac, OSX. This start-up aim was to encourage youngsters in Latin America towards the development of the animation industry and creates digital artists. The features are:
- It can import or make use of static backgrounds or animated assets of raster images.
- It can do tweening of positions, colors, rotation, scale, shear, and opacity of the image layer.
- Its library panel permits the organization and reuse of imported media assets.
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This 2D application had released in 2006 but stably on May 31, 2019, at the repository of github.com/pencil2d/pencil. Pascal Naidon and Patrick Corrivari are written and developed by Mathew Chang in C++.
It works in Unix-like, Windows, OSX operating system. It permits the XML, SVG vector, PNG, BMP, GIF, etc. format files. Its original name was a pencil.
It was used for cartoon projects in 2013, and after that continues, with the updates adding features, deleting CR. The goal of updates was to fix the bugs of the application. The features of the application are:
- It is used for making cartoons with traditional techniques.
- It is used for managing vector and bitmap drawing.
This 2D animation software had released on March 26, 2016, but stably on January 29, 2019, at the repository of github.com/opentoonz.
It is written in C++/Qt by Dwango and operated in systems like Linux, Mac, windows. It is currently developed and marketed by Digital Video S.p.A. Studio Ghibli and Rough Draft Studios have used it. It has been used for video games and films and TV.
At last, I would like to conclude that the option to choose a good free 2D animation software depends upon the user and what the user intends to do with that software.
If the user is a beginner, then he should go for a 2D animation software, which is for beginners, and if the user knows something in the field of animation, then he should go fo an open-source animation software.
The user should choose that software, which would help him to reach his end goal effectively. One should also read reviews about the software before using that software. I would suggest using 1 or 2 2D animation software to expand your horizons before finalizing one.