Whether you have a small animation project, or a large one slated for completion, the issue of open source software for animation will likely play a role in it. Open source software for animation has many benefits to offer compared to most proprietary options. This includes affordability, customizability, speed, and collaboration capabilities with other arts organizations.
People these days are going crazy over animation. This may sound surprising, but it’s true. Open source software for animation has been in use for a long time. In fact, it is widely recognized as one of the most efficient and innovative solutions when it comes to professional workflow.
Opentoonz is one of the best free animation software for beginners. It helps coming animators to create beautiful 2D animations and sketches. It also provides many other plugins for to apply different effects such as SDK that allow animators to completely alter animations, tweak color, distortion and more. It is open source and free to download used for both small projects and commercial films. Opentoonz is also compatible with different operating systems including Windows and Mac OS, system requirements are mentioned below. Following are some standout features of OpenToonz:
- Create animations with multiple effects
- Allows you to change the incident light on your animations
- Create a wavy distortion animation for a more detailed 2D animation
- It allows you to create new function to meet the on-site demands of any commercial project
Having the right tools to improve and enhance your digital animation workflow can make a huge difference in the quality and quantity of visuals you can create. As an open source digital painting app, Krita has a modern and easy to use interface that provides the necessary tools, effects, color management scheme, and more to control different factors while designing a sketch. Krita is an open source and free painting program that lets artists create 2D animations whether they are just starting out their careers or are professional animators. Following are some standout features of Krita:
- Open source & free
- Krita provides drawing assistants
- Onion skinning
- Provides animators and digital painters with more than 100 brushes to choose from
- Built-in vector tools
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
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
Synfig is an open source animation software that uses a “tweenless” animation system to speed up the animation process. It provides a combined front-end and back-end application to design and render animations, whether on the same computer or not. As a top animation software, Synfig studio relies on less resources and plugins to create high quality animations by offering popular effects such as simulating soft shading using curved gradients. This not only saves time, but reduces the effort an animator has to put in by adding shading in every frame. Similarly, as an open source application, Synfig provides two binary builds for animators that wish for more control, stability or the latest features. This free 2D animation software is compatible with Windows, Linux and Mac OS, and requires at least 2GB RAM or more, as well as, a Dual Core CPU at 2 GHZ or more. Following are some standout features of Synfig:
- Provides animators full control of designing and rendering artwork
- Apply real time effects in layers or groups of layers
- Provides a full bone system whereby animators can create cutout animations
- Powerful and advanced controls
- Time effective alternative to manual tweening
Open source software is free to use and can be modified by anyone. It’s been a boon to the animation industry, as anyone can use it for free.
In this article, we’ve covered top 5 of the best free animation apps. All of them have their own advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the best one depends upon your skillset and requirements. If you already went through this tutorial, you should be able to choose the best suited one for you.