Best Software for 2d Animation

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Nothing gives you the buzz of 2d animation software free download on pc! If you’re a beginner on 2d animation software free download, Filmmaking is an exciting job that offers financial rewards. Animation is an exciting discipline that involves combining drawings or other still imagery with time to create the illusion of movement. It is used for both entertainment and for commercial purposes, such as in TV advertisements or product openings.

Here are the best software for your 2d animations.

Autodesk Sketchbook

Autodesk Sketchbook dashboard example

Autodesk Sketchbook is a graphics solution that features precise drawing tools and maximized drawing space for your creative process. Its portability allows you to capture an inspiration anytime it strikes, wherever you are.

Pricing range: Autodesk Sketchbook is now free to use by individual artists. But enterprises must avail a license for $85/year.

Key Features of Autodesk Sketchbook

  1. It allows you to work on maximized workspace because the tools won’t show up until you need them.
  2. It can export your work to different formats including PSD while layers, groupings, blending, etc. The system carefully preserves the formats as well.
  3. It enables you to capture an image with your device’s camera and use it directly to your work.
  4. It has dozens of tools that allow for a more precise drawing and faster workflow. This includes ellipse guides, predictive stroke and radial symmetry.
  5. It gives off natural feeling when making illustrations thanks to its drawing engine that’s capable of handling a 100 mpx canvas.

GIMP

With only simple shapes like rectangles and triangles, you can come a long way. A successful indie game that utilizes minimalism is Thomas Was Alone. The game proofs that you don’t need to be good at art to make a game that a lot of players will enjoy. If you go for a style this simple almost all paint tools are sufficient. Gimp is free and open-source. By using simple art you focus on making the gameplay great. By incorporating a minimalist style and picking a good color scheme you can make a scene that is nice to look at but also fast to make. If you need help with finding a color scheme, sites like colormind can help you out by generating colors that are complementary to each other. By adding juice to your game like screen shake, particles, sound effects, and tweening your characters and game menus players don’t care that your game doesn’t have graphics on par with Crysis.

Pyxel Edit

For Super Blue Boy Planet I used Photoshop and Pixel Edit. Photoshop is great for doing almost everything but for pixel games and especially animations I rather use a dedicated sprite app. Photoshop does come with a frame to frame animator but to turn your animations into a sprite sheet you need customs scripts. Using a dedicated pixel art tool like Aseprite is also much cheaper than Photoshop or if you are using a Game Maker the built-in sprite editor has all the features you need.

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Qubicle

With this Voxel Editor, I made all the objects (the player, enemies, etc) that are visible in my game, Voxel Bot. Voxel-based models are just objects that consist of tiny blocks like Lego. Another way to see it is as pixel art as it was 3D. You start with a canvas and you just start placing cubes on cubes as if you are playing Minecraft. A very successful game that is made with Qubicle is Crossy Road. While I like this program there is another free alternative called MagicaVoxel. This free editor is open source and actively maintained so I recommend checking this one out for sure.

ProBuilder

This is a Unity specific plugin I use for all my 3D games. If you are already profound with Blender or other 3D programs you may stick with those but if you’re going for a simpler art style or just want to prototype levels then ProBuilder is great. For Cube Mission I was going for a world made out of cubes so I only needed the basic features of a 3D modeling tool. ProBuilder supports extruding, mirroring, vertex coloring, etc. to make all kinds of models. The thing I think is the best of all is that everything is in the editor so you don’t need to export your models from your 3D program to your Unity project.

Adobe Animate

In the past, it was called Adobe Flash but the program itself has not changed much except html5 export besides flash player exports. This program is widely used for thousands of flash games on the internet. You could make just the whole game including the code in Animate (coding in ActionScript) if you want to, but I only use the drawing tools. A pro of using vector over pixel art is that you can scale it as big as you want without seeing a degradation in quality. If you want to scale a pixel sprite you have to multiply everything by 2 or else you will see weird artifacts. For Tricky Cat, I went for a simple vector look and I used a very cheap drawing tablet to make everything. After exporting the cat png I used the Unity 2D animation package to rig the cat. Attaching the bones on different parts of the sprite. This is a very fast way of doing the walking and jump poses instead of frame by frame-based animations.

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YouiDraw Drawing

YouiDraw dashboard example

YouiDraw Drawing is an online graphic design tool that only requires an internet connection to be accessed and used, from any device. This app offers basic design features together with some advanced functionalities. As a result, the tool is ideal for students and professionals alike.

Pricing Range: This is a free online drawing tool which, upon visiting the site, allows you to start working right away. No downloads or payment is necessary.

Key Features of YouiDraw Drawing

  1. It’s very easy to access and use. Just go to the site and then start designing right away.
  2. It provides a wide selection of usable designs for different types of work. This includes posters, t-shirts and gift cards.
  3. It has an interface design reminiscent of MS Paint and Photoshop. The difference being, it’s more comprehensive than the former and simpler than the latter.
  4. It provides a high-level of interoperability. That’s because it’s compatible with most devices and your work can be saved and loaded to any of them using your YouiDraw account.
  5. It displays tooltips for different aspects of the tool right from the get-go. Therefore, newbies will have an easier time using it.

PaintTool SAI

PaintTool SAI dashboard example

PaintTool SAI is a lightweight but high-quality painting tool that allows comfortable and enjoyable creation of digital art. It features a simple yet powerful UI which is easy to learn but is capable of performing complicated tasks that your work requires.

Pricing Range: PaintTool SAI has a 31 days trial period. After that, you must purchase a software license that costs $50 dollars to continue using the product.

Key Features of PaintTool SAI

  1. It offers full digitizer support. Thereby making it ideal to use on mobile devices and tablets.
  2. It enables the creation of very precise composition with its 16-bit ARGB channels.
  3. It has a rich color management tool that allows the creation and alteration of different types of color. This is accomplished by configuring various color facets, like saturation and illumination.
  4. It has an anti-aliased drawing feature that can minimize the instances of image distortion.
  5. It features data protection that prevents abnormal terminations like bugs.

Rebelle

rebelle dashboard

Rebelle is a paint software that allows the creation of realistic media artwork such as acrylic and watercolor. After a huge success with extraordinary watercolors, they are introducing state-of-the-art oils, another hyper-realistic wet medium in the digital painting world. Its dynamic impasto offers a great variety in appearance and new creative expressions for painters. Other wet and dry media have undertaken a great improvement and Rebelle 4 introduces the mixing of different media within one layer, new transparent watercolors, and natural RYB color mixing, which will significantly change the authentic appearance of any artwork.

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Pricing Range: Rebelle 4 is available for Windows and macOS for $89.99. It comes with an unconditional 30-day money-back guarantee as well as a 50% discount for existing Rebelle 3 users.

Synfig


First up we have Synfig, a program first released for free in 2005. This software is great because beginners can just hit the ground running.

It allows for both front-end and back-end design, meaning that you can design the actual content at the appearance level, not being constrained to just code behind the scenes.

Price: Free and open-source

Moderate Recommend

TubiTube


TupiTube is a software project focusing on the younger children’s market of animation. This is a much more casual program for animation. But sometimes, the more casual the better I say. It has great ease of access, with users being able to download it easily and get started making some videos.

Its versatility is great as well, as it can be seamlessly used between different platforms.

Its casualness may rub some more serious-minded animators the wrong way, and that’s why I’m lowering its score a bit. But if you have no idea what you’re doing at all, this software can’t steer you wrong.

Price: Free

Light Recommend

Pencil2D


This free program uses a great little design where it gets rid of all the complicated mumbo jumbo that might intimidate animation amateurs. Its simple design is simple yet serves a great purpose.

It’s a no-frills kind of experience, but one where even the most newbie animator can draw and create videos. Pencil2D also has a great cross-platform capability.

Price: Free

Moderate Recommend

Opentoonz


Opentoonz has a range of cool in-house effects that can be seamlessly used while making your animations. Opentoonz allows for extensive editing of the code, too. So, once you get good enough at animation, you can bend the toons to your whim! However, that could be difficult for some users.

Price: Free

Moderate Recommend

Conclusion

Having a good animation software is an essential thing for those who want to design their very own cartoon. You have certainly been there as well. The feeling when you watch those cartoon TV shows and you think to yourself how great it would be if I can just do a copycat version of that one myself. Well, you cannot just create your very own 2d cartoons with just a mere thought. It will all boil down to the right tool that will help you ease out the process of creating the cartoon.

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