Free Cartoon Animation Software
There are many cartoon animation programs available that offer free trial downloads. Here are three pieces of cartoon software that are completely open-source, which means they are free for you to use. Though they vary in complexity, ease of use and features you will likely find one that best suits your animation needs.
You can also find a complete list of cartoon animation programs here (free and not free).
Kudos to my friend Pat for pointing this one out. Pencil is an interesting application in that it allows for both vector and bitmap drawings. It's as if the drawing tools of Photoshop were combined with the powers of Flash. The application itself has been pared down to its most essential elements, meaning it's an excellent introductory animation software package.
The creators of Synfig have ambitious goals of their software being used to create feature film quality animation. After watching an impressive demo it looks like they're not far away from their goal. Synfig can create complicated lighting and camera effects, it's up to you, the animator, to use them properly.
As of this writing, there is no Mac version due to technical issues.
Another PC-only animation program, CreaToon uses a cut-out animation process, similar to Toon Boom. The application itself seems a bit less polished, but the ability to use bitmap images within the program is useful.
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Calico Monkey discusses animation programs, cartoon software and the art of making your own cartoons. Occasionally I release a new cartoon that has inadvertently made somebody chuckle. Such an outburst is purely accidental, I assure you. All animations were created with Toon Boom.
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