OpenToonz is the most powerful 2D animation software freely available to the public by offering more than what industry-standard software like Adobe Flash or Toon Boom Studio can ever offer, its users would realize that they actually do not need to pay to get the professional hand drawn look.
OpenToonz boasts all the capabilities of a professional 2D animation software, with surprising openness and extensibility. Our toon pipeline is very similar in approach with classical studio pipelines(such as Disney). Our graph interface is consistent and allows easy creation of complex scenes. Our artist-friendly tools and workflow will bring you back to your childhood memories.
Originally named as the “Toonz” and initialized in 1993 as a proprietary software, this program became open source in 2016 and licensed under the BSD license. It was hence named “OpenToonz“.
You’ll find all the basic features in any 2D animation software available in OpenToonz as well; painting tools, frames manipulation, tweeing, motion capture and simulation support.
However, what makes OpenToonz special is a set of addons/plugins that can be installed to the program, such as Effects SDK which can employ deep machine learning to synthesize the effects of two images to produce a fusion image of them or even automatically add some effects according to your needs. And GTS which is a scanning tool that allows you to scan an image and control/copy its properties instantly.
Finally there’s a plugin called Kumoworks which allows you easily to create clouds in various shapes.
Unfortunately, one of the cons of OpenToonz is that it does not provide binaries for Linux distributions, but just for Windows and macOS. You can, however, build the binaries yourself from the source code and expect it to work on Linux.
SketchBook is a 2D animation application that enables you to animate your ideas with minimal effort. It offers more than 140 brushes to design your art. This program allows you to add unlimited layers that can be blend together.
- Enables you to draw basic shapes like circle, rectangle, triangle, etc.
- You can adjust the rules as per your desire.
- Allows you to fill color into your artwork.
- It enables you to import or export the layer as PSD (Photoshop Document).
With minimal design and easy to understand interface, Pencil2D is one of the best animation software for beginners. It is an easy to use, open source and free 2d animation software. Pencil2D community is always updating the software by releasing new updates and fixing any errors or bugs. As a free to download application, it is released under the GNU General Public License, and has many tutorials available online as well as resources and documentations. Like OpenToonz, Pencil2D is also compatible with multiple operating systems including Windows, Mac OS, Linux and FreeBSD. Following are some standout features of Pencil2D:
- Open source and free
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Edit images and create image tracing
- Provides seamless rendering, and editing for videos
TubiTube Desk doesn’t focus on being a professional 2D animation program, but instead, it’s targeting children, hobbyists and amateurs.
Its user interface is quite simple, and the program itself only offers the basic features of any 2D animation program, such as the painting/drawing tools, support for importing vector/image files in many formats from other programs, support for rendering the output work in AVI, MPEG and SWF formats, and manual tweeing, scaling, rotation and opacity.
The program is released under the GPL license, and can be downloaded along its source code from SourceForge. It works on Windows, macOS and Linux.
Animaker is an online 2D animation tool that provides numerous animated characters, icons, properties, BGs, maps, and charts. It is one of the best 2D animation software that helps you to create an ideal video for your organization, presentation, freelancing projects, as well as personal projects.
- You can create animated videos in 6 unique video styles like 2D, handcraft, whiteboard, infographics, 2.5 D, and typography.
- Beginners can make videos and use them as both animation and animated presentations.
- It is one of the best free 2D animation software that has 200 sound effects to choose.
- This tool provides 100 background music tracks.
- It enables you to record direct voice recordings.
- Animaker allows the team to collaborate.
- You can export video in full HD quality.
K-3D is an intuitive animation software which both new users and professionals will find easy to navigate and use. It is a completely free and one of the best 3d animation software that is released under the GNU public license, and is written completely in C++ keeping in mind that it can be used on multiple platforms. As a 3D animation and modelling application, K-3D is quite powerful while providing versatile and basic animation features. Not only can you use this free 3d modeling software on a Windows operating system, but K-3D is compatible with Mac OS, FreeBSD, Linux/GNU, and other platforms as well. K-3D isn’t only versatile but extremely flexible as it allows users to create complex workflows combining different animation models, mirroring different sides, or applying changes to the entire workflow and watch as all the changes are applied automatically. Following are some standout features of K-3D:
- Has many interactive tutorials and macros available
- Allows playback animation at any time during the modelling
- Provides many viewing angles that let you pan, tilt, zoom in or out
- Rendering is pretty powerful for K-3D
- Create 2D compositions instead of 3D animation
OpenToonz Morevna Edition
OpenToons Morevna Edition is actually a fork of the previous OpenToons program, but with some additional features and differences. Many of those features do not appear back in the official OpenToons program, and also not all the features in the main OpenToons do appear in the Morevna Edition. But in general, both of them do have the same basic features and user interface.
Additionally, the Morevna Edition provides builds for most of the major Linux distributions, as well as Appimage, Snap and Flatpak formats.
It took a lot of research, but we’ll finally be able to let you in on our 2d software recommendation. It’s definitely not perfect, and it’s not supportive at all, but it does have its benefits—so if you’re willing to put in the time to learn the ins and outs of the program, it can work for you.