Free 2D Animation & Cartoon Software

Making your own 2D animations can be fun and rewarding. Here are some great, free tools for animators, whether your a just starting or a seasoned pro. You can find lots of ideas and tutorials online to help you learn, just search “inkscape tutorials” in google (for example).

Inkscape

inkscape

Inkscape is a free vector image editor/creator similar to Adobe Illustrator. It is open source software, and will run on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Here are some things you can do with Inkscape:

  • Create logos and other artwork from scratch
  • Convert bitmap images to vector images
  • Draw artwork for use in animations, like cartoons
  • Quickly design website and interface mockups

Download Inkscape – View Tutorials

Pencil

pencil

Pencil is a free, easy to use, 2D cartoon animation and drawing program. It is open source, and works on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Here are some things you can do with Pencil:

  • Draw backgrounds, or import a background from an image file
  • Create multiple layers for characters or other animated objects
  • Draw each frame manually, or copy and paste the previous images (no ‘tween’ option)
  • Export your animation in .FLV format, or as individual images for each frame.
  • Add sound to your animation

Get Download, View Tutorials

 

Tupi

tupi

Tupi is a free, user friendly 2D cartoon animation and drawing program. It is open source, and currently runs on Linux only. Tupi can do everything that Pencil can do, plus these extra features:

  • Export animations in a variety of common video formats
  • ‘Tween’ objects from one area to another, without have to manually draw each frame
  • Works well with vector images

Get Download, View Tutorials

 

Scratch

scratch

Scratch is an educational tool produced by MIT and designed to teach kids programming skills. It can be used to create fun, basic animations. It is open source, and runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Here are a few things you can do with Scratch:

  • Create animations by drawing sprites and setting triggers that make the sprites move and change
  • Make interactive games by dragging and dropping commands to build your ‘code’
  • Share you creations via the web, with other Scratch users

Get Download, View Tutorials

 

Synfig Studio

synfig

Synfig Studio is an advanced 2D animation and drawing program. It is open source, and runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. It is a more complex program to use, and has a steep learning curve. Here are some things you can do using Synfig Studio:

  • Works well with vector images

Get Download, View Tutorials

 

See Also…

For creating backgrounds and characters for animations, see also Inkscape and Gimp.

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Posted in Animation, Open Source Software