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  • Writer's pictureMissingInArt

Affordable Digital Drawing for beginners: TOP 5 FREE ANIMATION APPS

Updated: Jan 25, 2022

"This post might include affiliate links, cause I need to pay my bills."

Animation is fun and cool but the programs necessary for it, are not so much. The ones that are the most famous and animation-friendly are usually pricy and have quite the learning curve.

When it comes to animation there is a difference between 2D animation and 3D animation. The apps we’ll be going through here are mostly 2D-based and they allow you to import or draw your own assets. For the 3D your best bet is Blender.

When it comes to these apps we’ll be looking into some criteria and if they fit into it.

  1. Are we able to draw directly in the program

  2. Can we import sound

  3. Does it have a symbol library of some sort

  4. Does it have a timeline that allows us to move objects freely

  5. Has to be completely free

Not all of the apps have all the 5 criteria, but they are pretty close.

1. Krita

The first one on the list is Krita and this is solely because I love Krita. I use it for illustration, pattern design, gif design, and animation. Krita is an open-source program, it is available for Win, Mac, and Linux. When it comes to animation portion of it, the layout of the frames needs a bit of a learning curve but once you figure it out it’s easy. You can draw with all the brushes available. You can’t use vectors and there is no assets library, but overall, it’s an awesome program for animating.

2. Pencil 2D

It is an easy-to-use app. It allows you to do raster animations as well as vector animations. The downside would be it has limited drawing tools but the timeline and overall look of it is simple and easy to comprehend. It is an open-source program available for Mac, Win, and Linux. It is a little leggy on Mac though.

3. Opentoonz

This animation app has an easy user experience. The brush selection is awesome, you can use vectors as well. Some things have different names, so you need a bit of a learning curve to get used to it. The timeline as well is in a peculiar place, vertical left, which needs a bit of adapting from the user but nothing too drastic. It is available for Mac and Win.

4. Sinfig Studio

Can do almost everything you can do with Adobe animate. There is a learning curve to it. The workflow is with vectors which are nice but there is no library, and you can’t draw in it directly. So, it is best to make your own assets with another program and use them here.

5. Animation Paper

It’s easy to understand and get to know. The tools are basic and easy to use. The layers work great, you can get that smooth transition from frame to frame. The app was made by an animator and it’s still in its developing stages. It has a raster drawing style, no vectors. There is an option of copying a portion of a drawing in a frame and duplicate it. There is no library and at the moment it is available only for Win. But it’s still free and it allows you to animate.

There are some other apps and programs that allow you to animate as well but these 5 are the ones that are completely free and easy to comprehend and learn. They also have lots of tutorials online where you can see what each app is capable of and how you can do the same.



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