Quality animation is about voicing your own videos with cartoon characters of your choice. To the budding animators, this can be a real achievement and a great step towards achieving career goals. Even so, pricing for most of the top-quality animation software can be a real hindrance for newbies.
For that and other reasons, we have sampled a list of some of the best free animation software for beginners free downloads. Compare their features and other details so as to get what suits your particular animation needs.
List of Top 10 free 2D & 3D animation softwares online
10.Plastic Animation Paper (PAP 4.0)
Link To: animationpaper.com/
The Plastic Animation Paper is compatible with Windows OS. It is basically an Indie project that is driven by very passionate individuals. PAP 4.0 is a perfect reminder of traditional light cable animation. It is packed with layers, onion skinning and light set up options. You also have a set of blue and red pens for the easy drafting of scenes and poses before animation. If you are so in love with traditional animation, you can try the application layout. This option is packed with cool features, all tailored to particular animation types. For newbies with no clue on how and where to start their journey into the fun world of animation, PAP 4.0 provides you with an online tutorial and guide. Find all the tips and techniques on how to make the most out of PAP 4.0.
The Plastic Animation Paper is feature-packed and beginners might require a little bit more time to fully understand how it actually works. If you finally do, you will come to appreciate the power that comes with the numerous small icons lined-up all around the workspace. It has inbuilt intuitive shortcuts that make operations like zooming, rotating, toggling very simple. It also has a pressure sensitive Wacom pen for all your pre-animation sketches. You also have the erase mode option and other tools to help you along as you explore the details of animation.
The general design of this free animation software for beginners makes it ideal for learners and teachers too. About its loading time, this software is fairly lightweight and loads super fast. You do not have to worry about it overworking your computer and racking havoc in the processor.
9. Synfig Studio
Link To: synfig.org/
This is a feature-packed animation application that is a freeware. As a novice animator, you need something that is portable and supported by your mobile handset or tablet. The Synfig Studio is just that application. It comes with drawing and shape tools that come in handy when editing and designing images and videos for animation. In addition, this freeware has key-frames and onion skinning tools. It also comes with a set of other advanced features that are good for learning and exploration. If you want to do some bitmap and vector animation, this software won’t disappoint.
For a smooth animation workflow, the Synfig Studio automatically attaches key-frames. You do not have to do that manually, as is the case with other free animation applications. It works best with pressure sensitive tablets and smartphones. This makes it the beginner's favorite on-the-go animation software. It supports Gradient Routes feature for quality shading of drawings. This feature also allows for manipulation of vector lines so that you get clear-cut image edges. Synfig Studio also comes with a list of integrated drawing blend methods, onion skinning feature, and grids. This free animation software is packed with many features and has a very simple user interface, ideal for beginners.
8. The Pencil 2D
Link To: pencil2d.org/
The Pencil 2D is a very powerful animation software. It comes with absolutely no price tag, making it a beginner’s favorite. It has some very classic features that make it suited for bitmap as well as vector animation. It has a pencil, pen and brush features that give all your compositions a unique twist of color.
Its general layout is minimalistic and intuitive making it simple and easy to understand, the perfect animator for newbies. It comes with a very friendly user interface that is rich in features. It has layers and also features a key-frame manipulation system for easy control and image handling during animation.
It has the onion skinning feature, colors, workspace toolbar, and a pressure sensitivity feature. All these make your animation process simple and easy. It also has an uncluttered Pencil 2D timeline for easy addition of extra frames on different layers. If you want to work quickly and minimize fuss while animating, the Pencil 2D has the option of changing frame rates.
Link To: ccm.net/
The Creatoon is specially designed and packed with features that are suited for 2D animation. It is simple and intuitive, with some advanced features that support the combination of vector graphics and bitmaps. If you want a tool that lets you preview all changes made and keep track of new adjustments in real time while animating, try the Creatoon.
It comes with a straightforward and simple user interface that is good for the novice as well as expert users. The general layout and design make its menus and panels easy to manipulate and rearrange for an even easier workflow. Because it has many features and tools that make a beginner’s favorite software.
This tool supports element segregation. This allows you to regulate brush movements and also improve the sketch tool’s precision. It also supports automatic in-betweening for intermediate frame creation between animated images. Creatoon works best in a system with the following specs.
6. Toon Boom Animate Pro 3
Link To: toonboom.com/
The Toon Boom Animate Pro 3 comes with a classic user interface. This is an Emmy-award winning animation software that is good for both beginners and professional users. Its interface is packed with very powerful features that make the whole process of animation fun and easy. Newbies may require a little more time to acquaint themselves with the different features of Toon Boom Animate Pro.
It has a rich cut-out rigging feature that makes the Toon Boom Animation Pro 3 good for frame-by-frame animation. It also comes with a pressure-sensitive pencil for all your animation sketches. In addition to that, this animation software has other cools features like texture brushes, Bone Deform, onion skinning tool among others.
The Bone Deform is a new feature that helps with improving movements while animating. It does this by deforming bones for your cut-out figures. This software also works very well on smartphones and tablets. It has features and tools that work just like vector applications, thus making it very easy to manipulate lines and image figures. It has touch-sensitive shortcuts for zooming and canvas rotation while you work on your new animation project.
It is worth noting that the Toon Boom Animate Pro 3 is a relatively heavyweight animator that requires substantial CPU memory and RAM for its smooth operation. Otherwise, it is a good software for both novice and pro users.
Link To: stykz.net/
The Stykz is ideally designed for easy vector manipulation. It works well for 2D animation as well as some basic 3D animation. It has some very cool spec and tools that make it a good animation planning tool. It works across different operating systems; Windows, Linux, MacOSX and many more.
The Stykz free animation software also supports .stk file formats among other file types. This platform lets you work with frames and also has an onion skinning feature for easy video and image animation.
This open-source animation software is free and very easy to set up and use. It is absolutely free and has no hidden costs or permissions. In addition to its multiplatform compatibility, it also works well with the Pivot StickFigure Animator. If you've ever used the Pivot animation tool, you'll be right at home with the Stykz software. It imports pivot 2 and pivot 3 Beta.stk files from the Pivot StickFigure Animator platform.
Because the Stykz platform is purely frame-based, you have the option of working on individual frames of your animation for a quality result. The frame-based system renders better animations as compared to other animations platforms.
4. Bryce 7 Pro
Link To: bryce-7-pro-free/
For beginners who want to explore and learn more about animation, the Bryce 7 Pro is a good platform. This free tool lets you manipulate a library of 3D objects with ease, just like a pro. Bryce 7 Pro dates back to the early 2000s. It has since, evolved into one of the best animation platforms for manipulating your images and other animation objects. It comes with enhanced features that will give you the best animation experience. It has an improved light lab feature that helps you improve lighting effects while animating. It also has particle emitters for improved video quality.
Bryce is designed to allow novice users to create and render quality animations. It combines an innovative interface with very powerful tools and features for enhanced ease of use. It is compatible with most operating systems; Linux, Windows, MacOS, etc. It also has the onion skinning feature, bone-deforming tool, among others. Bryce 7 pro also supports automatic in-betweening, a feature that involves generation of intermediate frames between images.
3. Aurora 3D Animation Maker
Link To: softonic.com/
The Aurora 3D Animation Maker is one of the best free animation software for beginners. It works best for text animation, though it also comes with features for image and video animation. Among other stunning features, the Aurora 3D Animation Maker lets you add effects like fireworks, flames and even snow to images, texts, and videos. Unlike most other free animation software for beginners, this one lets you convert your animations to videos, GIF or even flash formats.
The Aurora 3D Animation tool is very easy to use. It lets you choose from among its many project templates to begin your animation project. You also have access to a library of 200+ pre-made 3D elements to make your project even better.
Link To: blender.org/
Blender is an open-source 3D animation software that is loaded with very cool features. It can be used by beginners and expert animators alike. Because of the design of its interface and loads of tools and features, beginners might fight it a little confusing at the beginning. Over time, though, they will come to appreciate its power and capabilities.
There is a learning curve involved; beginners may find the application a little unintuitive and it could take them some time to understand all its features and capabilities. It comes with post-animation video tools for finalizing and enhancing the quality of your videos. It also has modeling and lighting tools that are very essential during animation. This free animation software supports different operating systems; Linux, Windows, MacOS, and many more. It works best in platforms with inbuilt OpenGL. Blender comes with Cycles, a powerful path-tracer engine that guarantees natural and realistic image rendering. This feature supports VR rendering, CPU & GPU rendering as well as Real-time viewport preview.
Link To: clara.io/
Clara.io is a cloud-based free animation software that requires absolutely no plugins for its operations. This freeware supports polygonal modeling as well as stick-figure animation. In addition to a range of mesh instruments, Clara.io also has sub-object editing tools, subdivision surface modeling features, adjustable lighting, and many other classic features. For all pressing queries and concerns, this free animation software has a forum and community platform where you can share with friends and colleague who are always ready and willing to assist.
This software provides a platform for making complex 3D models and stunning photorealistic renderings. You also get to share them without the need to install any application programs. It is also suited for editing your web game contents. It works best for Babylon.JS, Three.JS, and other gaming software.
In order to get the best animation software, one ought to make a number of considerations. This review has made your work even simpler. After careful analysis and evaluation of the market, we managed to sample a list of some of the best free animation software for beginners. All that you are left to do is to make comparisons between the different software in order to get what suits you best.