What Are The Best Free 2D Animation Software?

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Are you looking for the best free 2D animation software?

I have put together a collection of the best and easiest to use 2D animation software available for free.

If you are a beginner and want to be a professional animation maker, you will be interested in this review of the top 10 free 2D animation software options that may prove helpful to you.

With access to a 2D animation maker, you can create complex and interesting stories that will help you connect with your audience.

In this article, I’ll look at the best free 2D animation software for PC, Mac, and Android.

Are you ready? 

Ok, let’s dive in now!

What Is a 2D Animation?

Two-dimensional, 2D, animation is a blend of artistic techniques and patterns that create the vision of movement in a two-dimensional scene.

2D animation objects have only the properties of width and height. Through sequencing different sketches together over time, characters, backgrounds, objects, and effects look as if they are moving.

This is regularly performed for animated movies and television, but it is also noticed in video games, websites, mobile apps, and advertisements.

A 2D animation is simply the art of creating movement in a two-dimensional place. The notable features include characters, creatures, FX, and backgrounds.

What Are The Different Types Of 2D Animation?

  • Traditional 2d animation

Traditional animation is also known as hand-drawn animation or classical animation. It is an animation technique where all the frames used to create the illusion of motion are first drawn on paper and done by hand.

  • Modern 2d animation 

Modern 2d animations are created on computers. It makes the creation of characters, backgrounds, and animations much easier. 

How To Do a 2D Animation Video

They are either drawn by hand or created on computers. However, all the original 2D animations were done by hand, with animators drawing each block.

Once all the blocks are completed, the order is edited and screened at a certain speed. This speed creates the illusion of movement natural for the human eye.

Step 1: Create a dramatic video scenario

A video script lays the foundation of your video. So it should be breathtaking to yield positive results. You can either do it yourself or outsource this task to a skilled scriptwriter.

There are best practices for writing video scripts. Your scripts should have these crucial parts:

  • A hook: it is the first part of the video. This gives reasons to the viewers to convince them to watch until the end. It takes about 20 seconds.
  • The main message of the video: convey to them what you assured them in the hook
  • A call to action: tell your viewers the next course of action they should take.

Step 2: create a storyboard. What is a storyboard? A storyboard is a visual representation of how your video will unfold, shot by shot.

It has several squares with pictures depicting each shot, with words about what’s happening in the scene and what’s being said in the script during such a shot.

A storyboard will also help you optimally utilize the capital, identify errors, and decide punchlines in the video.

How To Create a Storyboard.

You can do it on paper, in a word processing program, or using specialized software.

Here’s how to go about creating a storyboard:

  • Create blank slides

Draw a series of squares on a piece of paper. There are many printable storyboard templates on Google) to help organize your frames.

Leave room to note down the accompanying text for each visual. You can also use word processing documents on the computer.

Sketch the scenes by hand or create them on a computer or even take photographs. Ensure that space is left for writing notes and lines from the script beneath each frame.

  • Add script

Beneath each picture, write the lines from the script that will be uttered in that scene and list down some words about what is happening.

  • Draft your story

Sketch how each scene will look visually. Provide sufficient visual detail to give an idea of what is happening, which characters are in the scene, and what the general framing will look like.

The script and notes will help fill in the rest of the details.

Step 3: animate.

Choose a template and the in-built tools in the software to do what you need. Pay particular attention to:

  • application of frames, keyframes, motion tweens, and shape tweens to loop different parts of the character to give it a realistic touch.
  • movie clip animation and the main timeline animation.

Step 4: add background music. Adding a piece of background music to make the video live. However, add the right piece of music.

Step 5: narration of a story. Last but not least narrate the story. Find a high-quality microphone to give a great finish to your animated video.

List Of Free 2D Animation Software

1. Pencil2D

Pencil2D is an animation, drawing, and painting application that lets you create traditional hand-drawn animations using both bitmap and vector.

This animation software runs on Windows, macOS, and Unix-like operating systems released under the GNU General Public License. 

This tool is tailor-made for artists trying to learn and master digital art. Pencil2D is also an easy-to-use platform for beginner artists with only basic requirements.

It is open-source software. This means that it can be edited to tailor to the needs of the user.

Top Features:

  • Minimal Design. Lightweight and easy to use so you can focus on animating and not what button to hit next.
  • Runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
  • Allows you to choose the rate of pace of animations.
  • Cross-Platform. Pencil2D is cross-platform and runs on Windows, macOS, Linux & FreeBSD.
  • Raster & Vector. Seamlessly switch between raster and vector workflows, allowing you to sketch, ink & paint on the go.

Pros:

  • It’s cheap.
  • User-friendly and intuitive user interface.
  • Plenty of help in terms of tutorials.
  • Established community to offer help.
  • Open Source & Free. Pencil2D is completely open source and free to use, even commercially.

Cons:

  • No 3D animation yet.
  • Need to use separate layers for every image.

2. OpenToonz

OpenToonz is software for the production of 2D animation. It is a free animation software program. 

It can be accessed online and can be used for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.

Since it is an open-source software tool, any developer can edit and modify its code to make it better and customize it to suit their needs.

The tool is perfect for developers and animation artists who are looking for a high level of customization.

It is ideal for small and medium businesses. It’s also ideal for creating education tutorials.

This software operates on Microsoft Windows 7 SP1/8.1/10 (64bit required) and macOS, macOS 10.14 (Mojave), or a later version

Top Features:

  • Has a host of keyboard shortcuts.
  • Compatible with TWAIN.
  • Offers countless animation effects.
  • Ability to change picture styles.
  • Open-source software.

Pros:

  • It’s free.
  • Endorsed by major animation studios. 
  • User-friendly, intuitive interface.
  • Includes operation manual.
  • Open-source software.

Cons:

  • Offers only 2D animations.
  • No automatic frame creation.
  • Requires huge RAM to operate.

3. Synfig Studio

Synfig Studio is a free open-source 2D Animation Software and character animation licensed under GNU GPL v3. It specializes in vector graphics solutions.

Signfig Studio operates on windows, Microsoft Windows 7 or above; OS X OS X 10.8 or above; Linux, Linux distro released in 2012 or later.

Synfig is ideal for creating cartoons for television, publicity campaigns, or marketing strategy. 

Top Features:

  • Stores files in XML file format.
  • Layers and filters. Synfig provides 50+ layers to create artwork and animation of any complexity. Choose from various layer types: geometric, gradients, filters, distortions, transformations, fractals and others.
  • Supports animated graphic formats such as GIF.
  • Bones. Full-featured bone system allows you to create cutout animation using bitmap images or control your vector artwork. Use an additional Skeleton Distortion layer to apply complex deformations to bitmap artwork.
  • High Dynamic Range Imaging.
  • Advanced controls. You can link parameters of various layers – directly or through mathematical expressions. This allows you to create advanced character puppets and other dynamic structures.
  • The pool of over 50 layers to create artwork and animation.
  • Vector tweening. Transforms any vector shape into another. Synfig gives you powerful tools for full control on your vector artwork. Simply set the key positions and inbetween frames will be calculated automatically.

Pros:

  • Free and open-source.
  • Free training to help understand the software.
  • Animation features.

Cons:

  • Not easy to use initially.
  • The user interface is not very easy to use.
  • Several reports of bugs.

4. Animaker

Animaker offers a host of services. These services range from helping users to create animated videos to using in-built videos and infographics.

This is a do-it-yourself 2d animation software as well as a video editor. It has a vertical video creator tool.

The in-built templates are enough for basic animation work, which includes educational tutorials and classroom teaching.

It is a cloud-based animation and video maker for GIF, short video, and live video editing.

Top Features:

  • 1000+ Templates available. Pick from 1000s of templates. 
  • Instant Resizing for social platforms.
  • Has a chrome extension.
  • Ability to edit and customize explainer videos at 4K.
  • Great video layouts.
  • Provision to upload videos to YouTube and Facebook.

Pros:

  • Ability to export video in full HD. 
  • Available in more than 50 languages.
  • Variety of audio features.

Cons:

  • The free version has no HD animation.
  • A lot of errors when uploading videos.
  • Difficulties in previewing.

5. K-3D 

K-3D (2D as well) is a modeling software. It’s easy to learn and use. It is software for designers and artists and is compatible with both Mac and Windows.

K-3D is Free Software. The source code is licensed using the GNU General Public License. K-3D is written in C++ with platform independence in mind. 

As a result, K-3D can be built on GNU/Linux, MacOS X, FreeBSD, Microsoft Windows, and other platforms.

This is entirely free of charge and anyone can use it as long as there is an internet connection.

It combines flexible plugins with a visualization pipeline architecture, making K-3D a versatile and powerful tool for artists.

It is best suited for professional artists, web designers, and animation specialists who create films, and toys.

Key Features:

  • Makes multiple combinations of your choice.
  • Undo/Redo system.
  • Ability to provide motion-picture quality animation.
  • Can work with flexible plugins to provide you with numerous solutions. 

Pros:

  • User-friendly and easy to use interface.
  • Offer users both 2D and 3D animations.
  • Free software and can be used for commercial and non-commercial purposes.
  • Easy to create, understand, and decipher complex workflows.

Cons:

  • No good tutorials on how to animate and use the software.
  • Difficult for beginners to use because of the right guidance.

6. Blender

Blender is a free and open-source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline – modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, video editing, and 2D animation pipeline.

It is suitable for animating films, 3D printed models, motion graphics, and cinematographic visual effects.

Blender is ideal for beginner animators. It can also be used to create games. It is suitable for individuals and small studios whose requirements are not demanding. 

It also operates well for those with Apple iPhone and Android devices, people with OSX, or those using integrations with Cinema 4D, Moho, Stop Motion Studio, Flipbook, or Crazytalk Animator.

Key Features:

  • Efficient in-built video editor.
  • Ability to perform modeling.
  • The pool of tools to perform retopology.
  • Creates renders using high-end production path tracers.
  • Robust simulation. 
  • Creates both 2D and 3D animations.
  • Full N-Gon support.
  • Edge slide, inset, grid and bridge fill, and more.
  • Advanced sculpting tools and brushes.
  • Multi-resolution and Dynamic subdivision.
  • 3D painting with textured brushes and masking.
  • Python scripting for custom tools and add-ons.

Pros:

  • Easy to use interface.
  • Highly customizable.
  • Integration with other tools.
  • Compatible with Windows, Linux, and macOS.
  • Great free videos to help you learn how to use the software.

Cons:

  • Now easy to use.

7. TupiTube

TupiTube is also known as Tupi 2D is a free and open-source 2D animation software for children, teenagers, and amateur artists. 

It is available for Windows, Mac OS X, Unix-like operating systems, and Android. You can install the app on your Android smartphone or iOS.

 Top Features Of TupiTube:

  • Beginner-friendly and easy-to-use interface.
  • Free downloadable app for android and iOS devices.
  • Several tutorials to help learn how to use the software.

Pros:

  • The Library panel allows for the organization and reuse of imported media assets.
  • Basic support for tweening of positions, colors, rotation, scale, and opacity has been added to recent releases.
  • Finished animations can be exported to various file formats that include – Ogg Theora, AVI, MPEG, SWF. Or as a sequence of images in PNG, JPEG, and SVG format.
  • Support for basic tools for vector illustration that includes rectangles, ellipses, lines, and polygons. 
  • Paths can also be created using the pen or pencil tool. 
  • The paint bucket tool can be used to fill bounded areas of vector objects.
  • Raster images, also known as Bitmap can be imported and used as either static backgrounds or animated assets.

Cons:

  • The software is focused more on usability for children, teenagers, and amateur artists.

8. Animation Paper

Animation Paper supports Wacom pen, has touch-screen support, and has intuitive in-built shortcuts for zooming, rotating, and toggling between the draw and erase modes.

It is available for both Windows and Mac. PAP 4.0 is always free. But this earlier product is for Windows only. The software layout is simple packed with features for traditional animation. 

But you’ll have to get in while the getting is good as it is currently in its alpha state and will remain free throughout both the alpha and beta state releases.

Once it’s out of beta, you’ll have to cough up $79 if you want to upgrade to the final version. But you don’t have to upgrade, as you’ll still have access to the alpha or beta versions. 

Top Features:

  • Superfast responsiveness – while drawing, while flipping, while everything.
  • High-quality lines – no degradation when transformed or resolution is changed.
  • Small to large format frames.
  • Real-time smooth rotation and zooming of the view.
  • Light table, onion skinning – advanced and customizable.
  • X-Sheet – easy, yet powerful timing and reuse also scribbled notes and sound wave display.
  • Layers; each layer color-coded black, blue, red, green, or custom.
  • Lasso easily repositions or rotates drawings or parts of drawings.
  • Clean up stabilized lines.
  • Paint; efficient coloring and post paint changes.
  • Many alternative ways of flipping; keys, wheel, return flip.
  • Customizable Toolbar and Speed Dial for reaching favorite functions with a flick.
  • Real-time full-frame reference on 2nd monitor.
  • Import video or frame-stacks for rotoscoping.
  • Export mp4, mov, or frame-stacks as png, SVG – including alpha and X-Sheet timing data.
  • For Windows PC, Mac OS, and Linux; Android & iPad Pro with Pencil planned.

Pros:

  • Great for traditional, hand-drawn animation; intuitive interface.

Cons

  • Slow-release schedule.

9. Krita

Krita is a professional free and open source painting program. It is made by artists that want to see affordable art tools for everyone.

Krita is a raster graphics editor designed primarily for digital painting and 2D animation. It runs on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and Chrome OS.

It’s good software for both beginners and advanced artists. It has an intuitive user interface made for digital artists. Krita also has a drawing tablet and touch screen support.

Krista has a programming feature involving scripting using the ever-popular programming language Python.

Top Features:

  • Multiple-level layer groups.
  • Drag-and-drop layers layer groups.
  • Layer highlighting.

Pros

  • Strong open-source community; good for painting.
  • Available for free across all platforms including Linux.
  • Attach any docker to any side of the main window, or detach to float free.
  • Buttons to collapse/expand each docker panel.
  • Better framerate and response time: pen actions can be reflected without delay.
  • Better-quality, fast and continuous zooming, panning, rotation, wrap-around, and mirroring.

Cons

  • Random crashing.
  • Requires a GPU with OpenGL 3.0 support for the optimal experience. In the case of Intel HD Graphics, that means Ivy Bridge and above.

10. PowToon

In February 2013, Powtoon introduced a free account option allowing users to create animated videos that can be exported to YouTube. The free videos include the Powtoon branding.

Powtoon is a web-based animation software that allows users to create animated presentations by manipulating pre-made objects, imported images, provided music, and user-created voice-overs. 

Powtoon makes use of an Apache Flex engine to generate an XML file that can be played in the Powtoon online viewer, exported to YouTube, or downloaded as an MP4 file.

It is also available on the Google Chrome Store and has an application on Edmodo.com.

Some of the popular Powtoon integrations are HubSpot, Google Sites, Google Drive, Panopto, YouTube, Facebook, and SlideShare.

PowToon is a free little browser gem. It allows you to move scenery around, props, and move your characters.

It’s primarily used by businesses to spice up their boring old meetings. 

Top Features:

  • Integration with other tools.
  • Open-source software.
  • Exports videos to YouTube.

Pros:

  • Used free of charge.
  • Available on Google Chrome store.
  • Generates XML file.

Cones:

  • Can’t be used offline.

What Are The Best Free 2D Animation Software For Beginners?

1. Autodesk Maya

Autodesk Maya is a 3D animation software ideal for character creation, modeling, simulation, motion graphics, and more.

It runs on Windows, Mac OS, Linux. It’s software Disney uses to create their animations. It has an easy-to-use interface. Thus anyone can use it, beginners and advanced artists.

Autodesk Maya is the industry standard. It’s been used to create animation for movies.  

Do you want to try Autodesk Maya?

They offer a free trial.

After a free trial, pricing begins at $122 per month – for a three-year license. Although monthly plans are also available. 

2. Adobe Character Animator

Adobe Character Animator allows beginners to create animations fast. It is perfect for beginners, even those with very little animation experience.

it’s best used for animations that are mostly dialogue, as there is limited functionality to create action and physical movement. This software runs on Windows and Mac OS. 

You use your performance to animate a character in real-time. So whatever you do with your face – your character does. There’s a provision for adding other movements, and hand gestures. 

3. Toon Boom Harmony

Toon Boom Harmony is a 2D animation software. It is used for frame-by-frame animation or rig animation. It offers unique and robust tools for scanning and cleaning up your drawings. 

This software is ideal for beginners and advanced artists. It runs on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.

As an animator, you can choose among the three different levels of the software, which each offers different features and prices. The most basic package starts at $25 per month.

4. Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D is a 3D animation software that’s ideal for animators at every level, from beginner to pro. 

This software is used to create and texture 3D objects, and then light, animate, and render them out for final use.

Cinema 4D can also be used for modeling, lighting, texturing, visual effects, and more. It has an easy-to-use interface and customizable layout to fit your needs and preferences. 

This software runs on Windows, and Mac OS. It can be used either by beginners or advanced artists. Their annual subscription starts at about $60 per month.

5. Adobe Animate

Adobe Animate 2D animation software can help you to create basic vector characters and easily animate them. It is used to create traditional cartoons.

With this software, you can animate using various techniques, including hand-drawn, frame-by-frame animation, and puppet animation.

This software runs on Windows, and Mac OS. Its user friendly and so ideal for use by anyone, beginners and advanced artists alike.

Free 2D Rigging Software

What Is Animation Rigging Software?

Animation rigging software is also called character rigging software. This is a digital program that can turn a static image or 3D model into an alive and vivid character. 

These characters can do the actions and perform certain kinds of motion just as all the other living things in this world. 

The cartoon characters that appear in the cartoon movie are the accomplishments of rigging animation software.

List Of Free 2D Rigging Software

1. Cartoon Animator 4

Cartoon Animator 4 is animation rigging software for all levels of users. The software enables you to create custom 2D characters with its powerful bone rigging tool. 

You can easily make any static image move by applying different motion templates provided in the library.

2. Mango Animate Character Animation Maker

Mango Animate Character Animation Maker is 2d animation rigging software that can transform a static image into a vivid 2D character who acts like a human. 

This effect is achieved by importing the image into the software, adding the virtual skeleton to the body, and adjusting the motion according to the anticipated action. 

Whether you are a beginner or a professional, you can easily make an energetic figure utilizing the rigging animation software.  

3. Synfig Studio

Synfig Studio is a 2D rigging animation software that has advanced control of the characters by using a bong system and complex deformations. It also enables advanced controls for creating character puppets and other dynamic structures.

4. Rhinoceros 3D

Rhinoceros 3D is an awesome 2D or 3D animation rigging software that has a wide range of applications including computer-aided design(CAD), 3D printing, product design, and industrial design as well as multimedia and graphics.

5. OpenToonz

OpenToonz is a free and open-source rigging animation software that provides animators all the necessary tools for 2D animation.

As it is open-source, it lets developers and expert animators customize the software to suit their requirements.

Free Online 2D Animation Software

  1. Biteable

Get your audience to stick around. Make your animated video fun with colorful characters. Piece them together in creative ways to tell different stories related to your brand.

It’s simple to craft clever animated marketing videos and product promos with our online animated video editor.

Captivate your viewers with lively animated scenes. You’ll probably even have people asking how the heck you did it (trust us, it wouldn’t be the first time).

The Biteable online video maker allows you to choose your own colors and upload your own music (but also has a library of pre-picked color combinations and songs if that’s what you need).

Send your views through the roof with gorgeous animation you made yourself. Use the Biteable online animation software to create jaw-dropping content for your social channels, site, and product pages.

How to make video animation with Biteable

  1. Log into Biteable on your phone or desktop
  2. Log in or sign up.
  3. Pick a template or start from scratch
  4. Use the Biteable video maker to choose scenes, then add your own text, pictures, and music
  5. Save and upload to your social media channels for your followers to see

2. Animaker

A platform for beginners, non-designers & professionals to create Animation and live-action videos for every moment of our life. Create eye-popping animation videos in just a few clicks.

It is so simple that even a child can use it. Yet it’s a super-powerful character builder with billions of unique characters.

Simply pick from 1000s of templates! No matter what occasion, you can create your videos in just 5 mins!

There are six core types of videos you can make with Animaker: 

  • 2D
  • Infographics
  • Handcraft
  • Whiteboard
  • 2.5D
  • Typography

3. Motionden

Motionden is a cloud-based 2D animation software tool that allows you to create full-blown studio-quality video animations without the hassles they’re known to come with. Create breathtaking 2D animations in an instant.

How does it work?

  • Choose your favorite 2D animation template.

Choose from a collection of beautifully made animated video templates. There are hundreds of fresh and frequently updated video templates to choose from.

  • Customize the template.

Insert your personal photos, videos, customize the text, change the colors and even upload custom music.

With MotionDen’s simple & powerful video animation software, the possibilities are endless!

  • Download your video in any format.

Immediately you finish applying changes, the video maker will begin generating your video for you.

Free 2D  Cartoon Animation Software

  • Animiz

Free cartoon animation software

The simplest animation software for making cartoon videos that can be shared on websites, email, and social channels. It is the best free video-making tool for digital marketers, designers, and teachers

5 Steps To Create An Animated Cartoon Video With Animiz

Step 1: Get an Animiz account as the beginning of making a cartoon animation video.

Step 2: Create an empty Animiz project for free or start from an empty project.

Step 3: Customize your cartoon animation video with multimedia and animation.

Step 4: Embellish the video with engaging subtitles and recording.

Step 5: Publish it as an animation video or GIF and share it around.

2D Animation Software For Android Free Download

1. Animation Creator Hd Free

Animation Creator is a simple and powerful drawing tool that is limited only by your imagination! 

Download from iTunes.

2. Animation Studio by Sean Brakefield

Animation Studio by Sean Brakefield creates animations on android. This program can export animation in AVI, FLV (Flash), MP4 (QuickTime), or WMV (Windows Media Player) formats.

3. LookSee Animator looksee

LookSee Animator looksee app allows you to transfer pictures from the camera in an animated video. 

To delete the material, the application can be configured to grip frames on proximity detector, movement, or sound.

4. Animation Studio by miSoft

Animation Studio by miSoft allows you to create a unique mobile animation. You can produce cartoons, different characters, add music, and sound dubbing voice. 

This is a good application for an amateur, as well as for those who are interested in animation.

5. GifBoom

GifBoom has a simple interface, which can be handled by any user. This app allows you to create animated GIF images directly from your device’s camera. Use the camera in any way, and then convert to GIF format.

Create content in seconds and share it with your friends through social networks, email, or MMS. It will edit your videos and photos and save them in GIF format.

6. iStopMotion 3

This software is used by professionals and amateurs to create stop-motion animation. 

It has a virtual platform that allows you to place objects on a pre-recorded background with the addition of video tips, support for HD video cameras, and much more.

Free 2D Animation Software Windows And Mac

1. Animation Paper

Animation Paper is one of the best animation software that offers a variety of 2D animations for multiple uses. 

It is compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac. This software is useful for pro-animators, film-makers, students, and game developers.

It has a free version called ‘Plastic Animation Paper.’ Nevertheless, the paid version costs $79 per month.

Top Features:

  • Offers a free version
  • Customizable toolbar
  • Offers smooth real-time rotation and zooming
  • Efficiency in coloring
  • play video scenes in sequence to check continuity

Pros:

  • Lightweight, simple, and efficient
  • Intuitive and user-friendly interface
  • Imports video animations or frame stacks easily
  • Ease of rotation, repositioning and scaling drawings

Cons:

  • There is no 3D animation
  • The free version has limited functionalities

The Best 2D Free Animation Software Summary

Using 2D free animation software to create a video is easier when you have the right software available.

You already have a script and storyboard in mind, but now you can realize your vision in complex and unique ways. So pick the right software. 

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