Free Cartoon Animation Software

February 28, 2008

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).

Pencil

Pencil Homepage | Download Pencil

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.

Synfig

Synfig Homepage | Download Synfig

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.

CreaToon

CreaToon Homepage | Download CreaToon

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.

Oh dear, so this has been my third late night trying to install synfig! Is there something I'm missing? I mean, am I SUPPOSED to download all these different things before I can use it or is there one giant .EXE which I can just download and run. At least on this attempt they had instructions on how to install it, but I got a third of the way through, and they started explaining it like I know exactly what they're talking about. I'm an Animator, not a computer technician! Did you have any problems putting it together Will? I'm annoyed I spent a part of my night installing god knows what, just to get lost in a river of computer babble.

Posted by Matthewb at 4:39 AM Mar 02, 2008

@Matthewb, hmm, that is distressing. I only have access to the Mac at the moment, so I'm unable to install the PC version at all. Were you able to figure it out?

Posted by Will at 3:21 PM Mar 04, 2008

No not at all, I mean it looks like such an interesting program to use, everytime I attempt to put it together I really get my hopes up and then end up dissapointed. So is it quite simple to install on mac? I'm keen to get it, one day hopefully. (Of course by then it will probably be shareware ;)

Posted by matthewb at 3:30 AM Mar 06, 2008

Sadly, they removed the Mac version for download altogether. Presumably the bugs in the program were really nasty. I'm not sure yet when the Mac version will return.

Posted by Will at 9:05 AM Mar 06, 2008

Nice post, Will. I downloaded Pencil & started playing with it, haven't animated anything yet, but so far I must say I love the drawing tools. Very basic for sure, but the pencil tool has a wonderfully natural & sketchy feel when used on bitmap layers. It has a different function on vector layers, more like the stroke tool in TBS. It only draws invisible lines in vector layers but in bitmap ones it's a regular pencil. The color palette is basic for sure, but you can add custom colors to it & also save & import custom palettes, which is nice. My ultimate test is to see how easily I can go from this to TBS. I'm gonna try a simple test animation with it tonight, but so far it's well worth the price! Have you tried it yet? I got the impression that the mac version had a few more features than the pc version.

Posted by kdog at 3:05 PM Mar 07, 2008

Well, I played with it a bit & it exports nicely as a series of PNG's into toonboom. Also exports to SWF stright from Pencil, but I think for all but the most basic of animations you'd want to bring it into TBS for camera moves & whatnot. Anyway, I have to say I'm thrilled with the drawing tools. As I said in my last comment the pencil tool feels really natural when drawing on a bitmap layer & it gives a nice sketchy look that I'm a big fan of. I did a short animation of an eye blinking, drawn with the pencil tool as a bitmap in Pencil, then imported the image sequence in to TBS & added color on a layer underneath the pencil. I think it came out looking really cool & I like the style a lot. I'm 100% sure I'll be doing more stuff like that in the near future. If you want to check it out I'll post it to my blog. Overall I'm pretty impressed with Pencil in the short time I've played with it.

Posted by kdog at 6:54 PM Mar 09, 2008

Very cool Pat. Thank you for posting about your trials with it. I will have to play with the Mac version some more and see if I can compare it to your experiences. Here's the direct link to your post about Pencil.

Posted by Will at 8:25 PM Mar 09, 2008

This list is probably missing Plastic Animation Paper (PAP). Definetely worth giving it a try. Although the full version comes with a hefty price tag, there's a home version that's free. I've seen some work done with it, and wow, impressive. It's basically a light table. Do your colouring and compositing elsewhere. :P http://www.plasticanimationpaper.dk/

Posted by Renato at 3:26 PM Jun 16, 2008

I have tried to install Creatoon but it does not work both with vista or Xp (I ahve used the unlock also)? Any thoughts?

Posted by Daniele at 6:29 PM Jun 28, 2008

@Daniele, I'm sorry, I only have a Mac to try these things on. Does the Creatoon FAQ page cover your issue?

Posted by Will at 6:58 PM Jun 30, 2008

No it does not help, the program does not run at all, it seems to be starting in the beginning but then it shuts down.

Posted by Daniele at 10:29 AM Jul 01, 2008

just downloaded creatoon and installed onto xp home sp2...once i ran the unlock it booted up okay..seems a bit buggy and fell over once already..still i'll have a play

Posted by cresshead at 10:44 AM Jul 20, 2008

I am interested in creating my own cartoon characters and am interested in the know how process of it can you help to provide some good hints on beginers software and professional software for creating carftoons and their animation with edting and mordern techniques many thks tony

Posted by tony at 5:43 AM Aug 22, 2008

I like this program

Posted by Leslie at 2:04 PM Sep 01, 2008

I like cartoons

Posted by john at 5:36 PM Sep 08, 2008

Im new in cartoon and will like to know more about cartoon making. so if any one can help me I will be very greatfull.

Posted by Jesse Attakora at 6:21 AM Sep 24, 2008

i,m really new in creating cartoons. and animatin so would love if u could help. thanks

Posted by chibase at 2:30 AM Oct 01, 2008

Surprised you haven't listed ARTOONIX which is an excellent piece of 2d animation software. It can be used free for as long as like but needs to be registered if you want a few advanced functions such as tweening. Many examples of Artoonix animations on the internet or in the galleries at the homepage. (The 'Featured' gallery is the one to look at). I've used it a lot for the last year. Also worth pointing out that Creatoon is now not only totally free but that there are a good set of detailed tutorials that can also be downloaded.

Posted by Alan Sturgess at 2:03 AM Oct 15, 2008

I've been playing with Creatoon for about a fortnight. It promises much, but after a steep learning curve I'm close to despair (the tutorials are for 2.5, NOT 3 and although they're good, they're not always accurate or relevant). On XPpro SPK2, it is very buggy. Worst of all, it won't output AVI (the rendering engine in Creatoon seems broken: it's not a codec issue as far as I can tell). Done all the usual tests+fixes, can get good PNGs but not AVIs. I'm trying to make square 425x425 animations, with lots of imported artwork, but few complex moves or alpha blends. It seems to dislike non 4:3 aspect ratios, which is no help to me! The AVI is a broken non-sync raster, with discernable images on it but incorrect color information and missing lines, and it starts mid-line rather than at the beginning. It looks like a collection of PAL/NTSC odd fields rather than frames. PNGs seem fine though. Did you know you can use Windows explorer as a flick-book animation? S.

Posted by simonm at 1:10 AM Oct 16, 2008

It's strange how many reports there are of CREATOON being buggy or unstable. I installed it on XP2 and it's been as stable as a rock. For anyone wanting to try it out, the learning curve IS a bit steep, but it's worth it. On Youtube, I posted a very quick run-through of some of the basics of making an animated character. Look for "CREATOON - basic intro to KEYFRAMES and the TIMELINE". Also, of course, Creatoon was used regularly for making animated series for TV and was originally sold as a quite expensive piece of kit ... so actual weaknesses within the software aren't all that likely. But I still can't explain why people are having so many problems. I've also found that rendering to AVI works well - although I tend to use the PNG option more often so that I can import animated extracts into Artoonix.

Posted by Alan Sturgess at 11:31 PM Oct 16, 2008

i'am a student of animation

Posted by wasay at 9:25 AM Oct 30, 2008

I've had the same problem creatoon and synfig, my operating system is windows vista so that may be why, but synfig doesn't download, and creatoon comes up and then shuts down...Any suggestions?

Posted by Gordon at 11:10 PM Nov 12, 2008

Hm... I'm not sure. I'm supposed to get my new computer tower Wednesday, five days away, and I'm really looking forward to Synfig. I'm just hoping it'll work. I've been trying to buy programs like Flash or Aftereffects, but they are outrageously expensive, and Synfig seems PRECISELY like what I want, so I'm just not sure. Has anyone had any luck downloading it?

Posted by Zovesta at 7:15 PM Nov 14, 2008

Synfig downloads do seem to be tricky at times, but actually installing the thing is a nightmare - definitely not a standard approach. I gave up after four total failures. However, I agree that it LOOKS as if it should be a great package. I've heard all sorts of stories from friends about Vista and how they can't get software to run on it, despite it having been fine on XP.

Posted by Alan at 2:47 AM Nov 20, 2008

I've finally figured out how to unlock CreaToon, and enjoy trying it out. But I can't figure out how to get a bitmap image (cartoon body, head, etc.) that stands alone without the white space around it. How do you do that? Is that the transparancy that the tutorials talk about? If I can figure out how to get the various parts of the "parent" and "child" to appear without the box of white around them, I can move forward. Can the finished cartoon be incorporated into a video? When I save what I've made it goes into a file that tells me I don't have permission to open. Also, where do you get the manual for CreaToon? Thanks in advance for your help. Bob

Posted by Bob Baird at 10:01 PM Dec 18, 2008

When I used to import images into Creatoon, I first used a program such as Irfanview (free) to convert them into the png format. This allowed me to specify the surrounding colours as transparent. WARNING - if your shapes contain white, don't use white as the surrounding colour. In fact, make sure the surround is a colour that doesn't feature inside the shapes. TIP - if you intend importing several shapes, store them in their own folder - you'll see why next: In Creatoon you can use the import function to highlight all the converted shapes at once if they're in the same folder, and import them in one go. It is then quite easy to link them together to animate your character(s) --- but be prepared to spend some time learning how to use keyframing so as to avoid some unexpected results. Be sure to view or download all the associated tutorials, resources and sample movies that can be found on the website - they're inavluable. As for the pdf manual, I can't recall where I found it. However, if you want to send me a message via my Youtube channel, we can exchange email addresses and I can send it to you. Find me via this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZMLzvaUaBg

Posted by Alan at 1:41 AM Dec 21, 2008

how the hell do you download this software???? there is a lot about it but you cant download it!!!

Posted by Tim at 9:46 PM Jan 24, 2009

hey dude.thanks for your tips.a wee question,when i import an image onto creatoon how do i make the background of this image transparent enabling me to move just my charachter and not full page.help would be much appreciated.thanks

Posted by stephen docherty at 12:40 AM Jan 25, 2009

TIM I can't explain the reason for your problem. I just ran a test and it downloads perfectly, as does the free, zipped program with which to unlock it. I assume you're starting at http://www.creatoon.com/ which is where I went. It's also important to grab all the samples and animated tutorials and resources if you want an easier start. I have the manual in pdf form if you can't find it. ---------------------------------------------- STEPHEN I think I covered all this in my earlier message. I use Irfanview. If you want me to make a simple tutorial using screenshots, I can do so and post it onto Youtube. Let me know by replying here.

Posted by Alan at 3:16 AM Jan 25, 2009

hey man.I used GIMP to turn image into png but its still not transparent when i import into creatoon.any other ideas dude? Having creatoon and not being able to use it is indeed quite the bummer.thanks man

Posted by stephen at 10:14 AM Jan 25, 2009

I had a look at GIMP some time ago, but I didn't find it very user-friendly. I can't remember how GIMP converts to png. Does it ask you to define which colour has to become transparent or is it just an automatic process? If so, that may be the root of the problem. Anyway, I use Irfanview and that has never failed me for making transparent images that can be imported into Creatoon. I have put together a short tutorial and demo to show what I do. It is now on Youtube at ... http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=oQxEUaO7pSo

Posted by Alan at 10:30 AM Jan 26, 2009

I have had a few issues with CreaToon, but it's worth overcoming these as few programs have the cut-out animation technique as their main priority (the ease of placing/moving pivot points is worth it alone). To run under Vista first install to an XP machine and apply the 'unlock'. Then transfer the whole install folder to the Vista system, find the .exe file, right click and select 'run as administrator'. Worked fine for me after this. Have also had issues in XP with the drawing portion of the screen being black or corrupted. Solved by turning Hardware Acceleration down to about one quarter (in Display Properties > Settings > Advanced > Troubleshoot). Not ideal, so if anyone else has a better fix please do tell :)

Posted by GeoffB at 5:40 PM Feb 03, 2009

UPDATE - My original tutorial for IMPORTING TRANSPARENT IMAGES INTO CREATOON had a small omission which was kindly pointed out by jsimpson. I've now uploaded a revised version to Youtube, so anyone who has problems with transparency and Creatoon might find it helpful. It will be at -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3BZmotTBHc

Posted by Alan at 3:01 AM Feb 10, 2009

Can I just throw in a reminder about ARTOONIX for anyone who wants a really good program for both traditional and experimental animation? The free version has no timebombs and is limited only in having access to a few high-end functions restricted. It's main weakness is that - unlike Creatoon - it only has one centre of rotation which cannot be locked in place, but beyond that it is well worth a look. Unusually, the sound functions are top class and you can easily animate to sound with 1:1 accuracy between soundtrack and visuals. Although I sometimes use Creatoon, I mostly use Artoonix and now have well over 100 animations, demos and tutorials uploaded to Youtube. If you want to check it out go to --- http://www.artoonix.com/en/index.html

Posted by Alan at 11:38 AM Feb 11, 2009

Creatoon is here --- http://www.creatoon.com/ --- also grab the tutorials and download all resources and don't forget the free unlock code.

Posted by Alan at 1:02 PM Feb 13, 2009

CREATOON EXAMPLES .... I have found several animations on Youtube for which Creatoon was used (sometimes alongside other software). Look at this user's channel if you are interested in this program --- http://www.youtube.com:80/user/caravaggio45

Posted by Alan at 11:46 AM Feb 18, 2009

ARTOONIX - If you want an idea of some of the things you can do with Artoonix, I have recently uploaded a sort of 'Showreel' to Youtube. It is a compilation of 12 new mini-movies which demonstrate most of the techniques that I've explored so far. I'm no great artist, so I manipulate a lot of clipart --- but as an introduction to the software, it might be of interest to some of you. Look here --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-za7ynUJog

Posted by Alan at 3:31 AM Feb 21, 2009

I need to find someone who can make my characters move and talk. I am working on a children's ministry and need help. I have the characters drawn. Don't know if I can give my email but rjeannie@earth-comm.com

Posted by Jeannie Myers at 7:22 AM Mar 13, 2009

rjeannie --- if you've already drawn your characters without having a specific animation program in mind, you might have a problem. If your bodyparts can be exported and then imported with transparency for any surrounding areas, you'll have to use software that will allow you to link them together using a pinning or bone system. Creatoon could do this, but it's tricky to learn. Anime Studio Pro could do it, but it's also tricky to understand bones. Express Animator could do it quite easily - but the developer is making such a hash of completing the program that I'd never advise anyone to use it. Artoonix has no way to link objects together so would be useless for you. There will be other programs - but those are just the ones I know of. If your characters are 3D --- you really will find it difficult, but I doubt if that's the case or you would have been working towards using a particular animation package. Other contributors may be able to suggest other software. Good luck.

Posted by Alan at 1:37 PM Mar 23, 2009

How often is this website monitored? We keep getting pointless messages like 'cool' and 'wat up yals'. Forums get enough of this daftness. Do we want it here?

Posted by Alan at 11:40 AM Apr 22, 2009

Thanks for all the tips and info guys. Just want to know what you guys think of Toon Boom Studio as a product? Is it worth getting it? Ease of use etc. etc. Thanks.

Posted by Vischal at 6:45 AM Apr 24, 2009

Vischal ... Toon Boom Studio is good but extremely expensive unless you have access to discount for educational use. You also have to pay up for the documentation. Current prices for TBS4.5 seem to be around £100 for educational use + around £30 for documentation whereas the main commercial product is closer to £300. However, I think you can buy the student version via Amazon. Not sure if that comes with documentation and not sure if you have to prove you're a student as part of any registration process - I suggest you check that out before buying. Hopefully other users will add their thoughts without those stupid 'Hey Bro, wassup?' type of message.

Posted by Alan at 8:26 AM Apr 24, 2009

Unfortunately your links lead straight to a series of googleads, which are no use to me as a teacher at all

Posted by sean at 4:53 AM Apr 27, 2009

Can't see any previous posts by 'Sean' - so what links are you talking about?

Posted by Alan at 10:59 AM Apr 27, 2009

GRR it say's to register CreaToon but i don't know how please help!

Posted by Confused at 10:25 PM Apr 27, 2009

Registering Creatoon is no problem. As well as downloading the installation file, you also need to download the free unlocking key. Just read and follow the instructions on the Creatoon homepage. Links for the installation file AND the unlocking code are on the same page. Download them both. http://www.creatoon.com/download.php Install Creatoon, then active the unlock code and that's it. Job done. No fee. No emails. No cost. No problem.

Posted by Alan at 11:41 PM Apr 27, 2009

Hi Alan, Thanks for the info. I've also spoken to someone who recommends Lightwave by NewTek. Has anyone used this product? Thanks.

Posted by Vischal at 1:44 AM Apr 28, 2009

Lightwave? I've never used it but have read reviews which rate it as excellent. However, it's way, way, WAY out of reach of my wallet. Last I heard, I think we're talking around £900. I've seen it credited on quite a few top class animations and animated shorts. It won't be as expensive as some of the gear they use in the top studios - but you'd be getting close. I hope you have a friendly bank manager.

Posted by Alan at 8:58 AM Apr 28, 2009

Toon Boom Studio is indeed a great product, but it's not the only product they offer. Flip Boom is worthy if you're new to animation, and Toon Boom Animate is professional animation software. Lightwave is very professional, and Alan is correct about it being price-of-a-small-car expensive. I'll do my best to keep the riff-raff random comments like "cool" out of here.

Posted by Will at 6:12 PM May 04, 2009

For anyone who wants to delve into the turbulent and deep waters of 3d machinima animation, one program to consider is MOVIESTORM. Just like the excellent midi sequencer 'Anvil Studio', the core of the program is free and fully functional without time limit or restriction. You can then choose whether or not to buy additional resources and packs - but you don't have to. A few words of warning though - (a) Your computer needs to have lots of free disc space and to be pretty modern - (b) You need Java installed to run it - (c) the download is in two stages and is HUGE, in fact it's massive. You begin with a 21mb download which checks your system, tells you of any problems and then prepares everything for the follow-up (and automatic) download of the core program. After downloading and installing this first part of the program, stay online and just let it do its thing as the core download starts automatically (this took over 3 hours on my Broadband 5.4mbps setup) - (d) You will then also need to download any updates which have become available since the last version of the core was released. BUT THERE IS GOOD NEWS - once you start the download everything is automatic. There are lots of Moviestorm demos, tutorials and movies on Youtube if you want to investigate further.

Posted by Alan at 11:09 PM May 04, 2009

Added note ... just checked the size of the Moviestorm folder on my hard drive after its installation. Currently it's 1246mb. And no, I haven't forgotten a decimal point!

Posted by Alan at 11:27 PM May 04, 2009

Thanks Alan and Will for the advice. I've just downloaded a full access 30 day trial version of Lightwave from their site. Besides being extremely expensive like you guys mentioned, it's extremely complicated! I am now looking for tutorials to get me going... looks quite daunting but also quite interesting as well...

Posted by Vischal at 7:01 AM May 06, 2009

'Kawn' when you say that you are 'studying cartoon software', do you mean that you are looking for some? The best advice I can offer is to go to the top of the page and scan down to see which programs are mentioned - how they work - what they can do - and to decide which ones might suit your needs best. That would be better than just listing them all again. I have also sent an email to the admin team for this forum suggesting free programs that could be listed at the top of the page. But remember - if you look only for freeware software, you won't have a big list of ones that are good. There are probably between 8 and 10 in all. After that you'll need to look at shareware and fully commercial software.

Posted by Alan at 8:34 AM May 06, 2009

People often ask about free or affordable animation software. Here is my own abridged list. I have not included URL’s because of the way text appears in this forum. Program names are in capitals and are not listed in any particular order within the sections. ARTOONIX is an animation program which allows you to draw frame-by-frame or to import and manipulate images in a range of formats. The program can be used unregistered forever but animations are then watermarked and you cannot access tweening. Registration is very affordable. CREATOON was a commercial program that was widely used by professional studios. It has now been released as freeware along with a small separate download that needs to be used to unlock the program once it has been installed and run. Creatoon is designed for cut-out style animation and not for drawn animation. PLASTIC ANIMATION PAPER (PAP) is a commercial program for the on-screen creation of traditional ‘cel’ type animation. There is a cut-down version that can be used free of charge. This has very limited functions. EASYTOON s is a simple animation program for creating monochrome movies in the gif format. Despite it’s simplicity and lack of colour, it uses the traditional ‘onion-skinning’ method for the drawing of frames. As such, It is an excellent tool for learning the techniques of animation. LIVESWIF is for the creation of FLASH movies. The software is free but is no longer being supported. PENCIL is an excellent free program of the traditional cel-style of animation. It is still being developed but is well worth considering. TWEENMAKER has a 'lite' freeware version and a pro version. As it's name suggests, it is a traditional animation tool built around the principle of in-betweening and onion-skinning. The 'lite' version offers the onion-skin element SYNFIG has a growing following and is described by the developers as ‘….a powerful, industrial-strength vector-based 2D animation software package, designed from the ground-up for producing feature-film quality animation with fewer people and resources….’ Be really careful to download all the files that are needed for installation and to then use them in the correct sequence. PIVOT is for the easy creation and animation of stick figures. It has been around for some time and despite it’s limitations, is very popular. SKELETON is best thought of as a slightly more realistic version of Pivot – although I don’t think it’s being used for animating stories. AIKIDO is designed to animate one or two robot-like characters as a way of modelling martial arts movements – but I found it to be VERY useful for creating and testing walk-cycles. Not all that quick, easy or intuitive to use at first but you can save your work as a movie or as a sequence of images. The free version can be hard to find. BENETON MOVIE GIF is more versatile and useable than most and makes for very easy on-screen drawing of separate images. Creations can also be downloaded in a range of formats – including a sequence of separate images. One word of warning – although it is available from many sites, most take you to a homepage which tries to entice you to follow unwanted commercial links. An older program of the same type is MOVIES 13 which has more limited capabilities but it easy to learn. TALES ANIMATOR is an abandoned project, but there are still one or two sites from which it can be downloaded. It was originally designed for use by children – hence its title. It used a unique script-based method for animation. MONKEYJAM is a digital pencil-test program. It is designed to let you capture images from a webcam, camcorder, or scanner and assemble them as separate frames of an animation. You can also import images and sound files already on your computer. Although it is designed for pencil and paper, MonkeyJam can also be used for StopMotion animation and has several features just for that. TAPPTOONS ANIMATION STUDIO is a free program which allows you to use captured and scanned images to create animation movies. There are no drawing options. In this respect, it is similar to ‘Monkeyjam’. IMAGEtoAVI also does a similar job to Monkeyjam, but seems to be more versatile, especially as regards adding a soundtrack. It makes it easy to assemble a set or sequence of saved images and to then specify frames-per-second before creating a movie or slideshow. It is available for test but is also VERY affordable as shareware. WINDOWS MOVIE MAKER Dear old Bill Gates’ offering for and is really for making home-movies, but as you can import images (2D or 3D), you can use transitions to assist in the post production of movies. . --------- As for fully commercial animation program, ANIME STUDIO PRO is one to look at, but TOON BOOM also offer a range of more affordable ‘introduction’ level programs such as ANIMATION-ISH. ---------- If 3D work is an area that interests you, here are a few ideas for starters. ANIM8OR is a free way to find all that out for yourself. It has been around for many years and is still being developed. It is totally free and is well supported with tutorials and a forum. It is mostly for the creation and rendering of 3D objects but it looks to be moving in the direction where 3D movies are becoming more possible. ALICE …. To quote from a FAQ – ‘…Alice is a modern programming environment designed to be a student's first exposure to object-oriented programming. It allows students to learn basic computer science while creating animated movies, simple video games, where students control the behavior of 3D objects and characters in a virtual world….’. Version 3 is due to be released, but via a bit of inside information, I don’t hold out too much hope for its success. GOOGLE SKETCHUP isn’t for animating stories, but for the easy creation of 3D models. These can be saved as movies (eg: ‘flying’ around a house or a figureThere is a good range of textures and examples to download – but remember that this software is NOT for animating storylines. TRUESPACE 3.2, TRUESPACE 7.6 and MAYA Personal Learning Edition 6.0.1 have all been released as freeware versions but are definitely for the advanced user, or for people with plenty of time to get to know them. BLENDER is rapidly growing in popularity as a 3D modeling and animation program, but also isn’t for absolute beginners unless they have a lot of time in which to learn it. Other free 3d modeling and animation software that might be worth checking out is OFX (Open FX), and K-3D.

Posted by Alan at 2:33 AM May 07, 2009

thanks for the post. Do you also know any free software for making panels? I draw cartoons, but find it painful in making and arranging panels digitally. Looking for something which can make me life easy.

Posted by nvedala at 2:48 AM May 08, 2009

Can't help with a panel creator - not an area I've ever explored, although I know that comic creation is a big interest for many people. Maybe there's a forum somewhere where you can find suggestions. However, I suspect that the type of thing you want will either be shareware or commercial.

Posted by Alan at 10:53 AM May 08, 2009

And thus more free animation software bites the dust ... If you have downloaded (or are thinking of downloading) Caligari's freeware release of Truespace 7.6 3D modelling and animation software, you need to know that the plug is being pulled by Microsoft. It can still be downloaded for awhile from the Caligari website (free registration). Resource videos also seem to be available as well - but if you were using version 3.2, pretty well every download site for resources has vanished and 3.2 is no longer avilable anywhere. (Or if it is, I haven't found it).

Posted by Alan at 5:42 AM May 21, 2009

i downloaded and installed synfig and it says i need libglib or something...

Posted by xav at 10:35 PM May 24, 2009

For Synfig (Windows) you need to download 4 separate files and install them in a precise order. I had the same problem described by 'xav' because I'd mistakenly downloaded the wrong 4 files from a set of about 6. After correcting the mistake, it installed and it ran - but personally I didn't like, it so after all that hassle, I deleted it! Synfig suits some people, but others find it a tad strange. It's all a case of what suits you. However, it IS pretty powerful.

Posted by Alan at 11:20 PM May 24, 2009

i really really want to be an articist when i grow up

Posted by Sierra at 9:31 AM May 26, 2009

Sierra - don't wait until then. Start now.

Posted by Alan at 10:48 AM May 26, 2009

I'd seen the messages about Creatoon. I'm having the same problem (still). It runs like normal, but then it shuts down after a few seconds. The pop-up (purple Creatoon background) tells me to register for Creatoon. The download file shouldn't be the problem, I'd used it before, just not on the new hard drive I have currently. The transfer file to a XP computer then transfer back solution should work if not for the fact that I don't have access to computers with XP. =( Is there any link to download file that's already unlocked?

Posted by Smith at 2:26 AM Jun 04, 2009

'Smith' - not quite sure what you're trying to do or what OS you have. If it's Vista, I think you might have REAL problems. I've heard lots of stories about Creatoon and masses of other software that runs away screaming on Vista. Creatoon works well on '98 and XP2, but you have to use the unlock key after installing the program - I'm pretty sure you can't just transfer a pre-registered copy (not that I've tried, so I may be wrong). I use XP2 and find the program to be 100% stable.

Posted by Alan at 7:55 AM Jun 04, 2009

Hey Alan, thanks for the reply. Yea, I'm using Vista. I was trying to use Creatoon, but it doesn't even allow me to click on anything before it shuts down. I'd done a check online and apparently there's no other solution than to transfer the file to a computer with XP first. I'll just work with other programs then. Thanks for the help again.

Posted by Smith at 11:37 PM Jun 04, 2009

I am looking for a free and simple program to create timelapse video from still images taken with camera and intervalometer. Typical video editing software only seems to allow images to be imported for times as low as 0.2s or thereabout which is too long and I would really like to produce the video at 25 or 30fps. Any suggestions?

Posted by Mike at 3:29 AM Jun 13, 2009

Mike - can't comment on the fps aspect because I've never done anything with stopmo, apart from a few experiments with Tales Animator. Have a look at MONKEYJAM or TAPPTOONS. They're both free and aimed at the type of animation you're interested in. I've no idea how flexible these are for fps settings.

Posted by Alan at 11:44 PM Jun 13, 2009

I was trying to use Creatoon, but it doesn't even allow me to click on anything before it shuts down.

Posted by maja at 12:13 PM Jun 15, 2009

Thanks Alan will have a look...fingers crossed!

Posted by Mike at 2:29 PM Jun 15, 2009

Maja - if you're using Vista, forget it. This is another example of how that ghastly system refuses to work with a piece of software (no wonder Microsoft are ditching it and aren't even going to release their 'traditional' service pack to patch all the glitches). Check further back in this forum for posts by 'Smith' who reported the same problem.

Posted by Alan at 11:10 PM Jun 15, 2009

okay this is my problem i got pencil but it isnt the kind of cartoon im used to using and i tryed creatoon and the synfig they dont work because the creatoon one just shuts off when i enter it and i did unlock it and the synfig one doesnt work and i did download the studio then i went to down load the one that just said synfig and it wouldnt let me please help o and i have a windows xp.

Posted by Michael at 8:26 AM Jun 17, 2009

Michael --- that's a very mixed up message, but it looks as if you have XP and haven't been able to run Creatoon or Synfig. I can only suggest that you've done something wrong. Creatoon runs very well in XP2 (but not in Vista). It may be that you lack a DLL, or have a corrupt one somewhere. I can't tell - but I have XP2 and Creatoon has never crashed or hung. Synfig can be VERY confusing to get up and running. You have to install four separate files in a very precise order. If you don't do that, it won't run. You CAN'T install the files in whatever order you like - you MUST follow what is prescribed. I did succeed in the end, but then found the interface very unattractive and not at all suited to my preferred ways of working, so I uninstalled it. Good luck - I hope you get something running soon, or that you find a program that suits you and which does run smoothly. There's a long post earlier on this page in which I list most of the good free animation software.

Posted by Alan at 4:28 PM Jun 23, 2009

Why is hash animation master consider the best animation software? Are there other compatible versions? Is it better than the curvy 3d?

Posted by SB at 10:41 AM Jul 01, 2009

Hey I am new to al this video animation stuff... I want to make like 2d cutout videos, I guess they're called vector animated videos or whatever. I wanna make those using my own artwork and drawings... For some funny little videos... Please could anyone with expertise on this email me at night_of44@ymail.com Any information would help!

Posted by Joseph at 9:05 PM Jul 06, 2009

Cut-out nd vector are two very different things .... unless you use vector graphics to draw your images separately. But vectors are usually used in animation AS part of the main process because you can change them and then 'tween' between them to create movement and change. CREATOON is free and is designed for purely cutout animation, but forget it if you have Vista. (See lots of previous posts on this page for other tips and information). There is other software listed in previous posts as well.

Posted by Alan at 11:44 PM Jul 06, 2009

It's a VERY BAD IDEA to give or respond to email addresses in posts. One or two people in this forum do that. You don't know who people are, so it's never worth the risk. If a message is typed here, any responses should be posted and then found here.

Posted by Simon at 12:25 AM Jul 08, 2009

For anyone using Artoonix - v1.9 has now been released with a lot of tweaks and improvements, many of which only become active in the registered version .... which is just as it should be with a shareware program which is very affordable anyway. The unregistered version (with some tweaks being active) can still be used free for as long as you wish.

Posted by Alan at 3:16 AM Aug 31, 2009

I've a computer with latest Xp but not vista, can somebody assist on how to get started. maybe the necessary software i need to install into my computer, Michael please

Posted by Njanga at 2:38 AM Oct 08, 2009

Njanga - there's no way to answer your question because you give no idea about what type of animation you want to try (2d ... stop-mo ... 3D ... cut-out ... Flash ... what?) Elsewhere on this page there are lists of suggested free or affordable programs, but you don't say whether you want free, shareware or commercial - and if the latter, whether your budget is low, medium or high. The best advice is to decide what style you want to develop and ten search the internet.

Posted by Alan at 10:21 AM Oct 08, 2009

I use a very simple program to make cartoon animation ..its called ikitmovie Might be worth check out to use a cartoon animation software

Posted by Zorg at 1:39 AM Oct 13, 2009

iKitmovie is for stop-motion animation only. It looks good but at around $50 is moderately expensive considering that there are several excellent freeware stopmo programs out there. However, it might be worth looking at and you can download a free trial if you visit the official website.

Posted by Alan at 7:30 AM Oct 13, 2009

I agree with Matthewb, thats exactly what I did. I was up all night downloading the biggest files ever and it says something about a missing dll file. I re-installed it several times and it was the same thing each time!

Posted by Anonymous at 2:50 PM Oct 16, 2009

...and Pencil, it freezes all the time and you can only make a little bit a frames at a time. I NEED A FREE 2D ANIMATION SOFTWARE THAT LETS ME DRAW LIKE THE PAINT PROGRAM ON MY COMPUTER BUT ANIMATED ONES!!!!!!

Posted by Anonymous at 2:53 PM Oct 16, 2009

Synfig is notoriously tricky to install. You MUST follow the instructions EXACTLY when installing all FOUR elements in the precise order that’s described on the download page. Get that wrong and nothing works. It took me several goes before it worked, but I then found the program so strange that I then uninstalled it! If it suits you – fine, but be prepared for weirdness, complexity and a tricky user interface. Pencil is OK, but needs a lot more work before it’s anywhere near finished and fully usable. As with Creatoon, some users report that it freezes. I haven’t had that problem, but unless you are happy with the hand-drawn cel approach, it can quickly become pretty frustrating to use. Many people do like it, however, so it can’t be THAT bad. As for your comment, justin makasa, there’s no alternative other than research and practice ….. find either a good website (there are several FULL of useful tutorials), or find a good book or a good training course. No-one can do it for you.

Posted by Alan at 8:14 AM Oct 17, 2009

I am looking into software to introduce kids into the magical stop-motion art. Used to use pro-studio equipment, but now I have to purchase the lot myself... Found Monkeyjam: tried it but it kept inserting numerous black frames into the sheet! So I found the following programs: AnimatorHD and StopMotion Pro. Both cost around 50 buck per license, but how do they compare in real life?

Posted by Thunderman at 8:19 AM Nov 02, 2009

Thunderman - have never used the programs you mention. Maybe someone else in the forum has? Have you looked at Tapptoons? It can also be used for stop-mo as well as line testing. Website --- http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/tapptoons/index.htm

Posted by Alan at 9:32 AM Nov 02, 2009

Anyone who wants a copy of the beta version of Tales Animator 3 (freeware) can find messages about it in the Artoonix forum (Off topic) or look on Youtube for a movie called 'Tales Animator beta v 3 combined with Artoonix '

Posted by Jimbo at 12:51 AM Nov 13, 2009

Anyone wanting to download almost all the resources for Tales Animator (was always freeware)as well as installation files for version 2 and the beta of version 3 can find out more here (but be sure to also read the info notes) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPpLTXc6SLY

Posted by Alan at 10:06 AM Nov 14, 2009

Hey just wanted to say thanks! I've been through the whole art school thing and never once stepped up and tried animation (BIG MISTAKE! Given rockstar sprouted from where i was) Anyway finding a nice wee site like this has given me at least a stepping stone to start playing on. I was wondering and I appreciate you probably get this question alot, in your opinion what's the best full priced prog for 2d animation? I've been looking at some of the things people have made in Pencil and as excited as I am it seems to have a kinda unpolished look to it. I don't wanna sound rude towards the vids i've seen on youtube OR the nice folk who made the actual program but I'm wonder if its due to the animator or the program? Any thought? Once again thanks, I really like the site!

Posted by Deviant Dog at 10:02 PM Nov 22, 2009

Deviant Dog - this page looks at Free Cartoon Animation Software, so you're not likely to find much info about a 'full priced prog for 2d animation'. If it really is 'full-priced' that you want, then you need to have a deep wallet and look at programs such as ToonBoom or maybe PAP (Plastic Animation Paper'), or Flash. These will cost you many hundreds of pounds or dollars - and probably thousands if you go for the truly high end stuff ... which is why this forum won't be of any help I'm afraid. You mention 'Pencil' but that certainly won't suit the needs of anyone who is looking for fully professional software, nor will any of the other programs mentioned here. Pencil is very glitchy anyway. The programs mentioned here are pretty well all freeware or can be used free with a few restrictions. None can be regarded as being of professional quality with the possible exception of Anime Studio Pro - but there isn't much here about that as it isn't freeware. It does have its own excellent forum, however. You're best advised to go to one of the many forums dedicated to professional animation where professional animators can point you in the direction of software that may suit your needs. (On the other hand, of course, if you're already animating at the level which calls for such software, you probably already have access to the name(s) of programs that will suit your needs.) Good luck.

Posted by Alan at 12:13 AM Nov 23, 2009

Can I just ask how often this forum is monitored? We get a lot of gibberish messages which only seem to be taken out every few weeks.

Posted by Alan at 12:17 AM Nov 23, 2009

I agree with Alan, but this isn't really a forum. It just looks like a message board which nobody really monitors and there is no way to be told when a reply is posted.

Posted by Paul at 12:56 AM Nov 25, 2009

You're both right, Alan and Paul. I do my best to keep up with monitoring the comments, but sometimes I only get to it once every few weeks.

Posted by Will at 11:28 PM Dec 01, 2009

Anyone who uses or wants to try ARTOONIX please note that v1.10 has just been released with blur, sharpen, shadow and shading functions added, plus a much broader application of 'Image Actions'. The program is free with just a few functions held in reserve for those who choose to register. There are a lot of examples of Artoonix animations on Youtube.

Posted by aLAN at 12:33 AM Dec 11, 2009

Anyone who uses PIVOT weill almost certainly also know about the program STYKZ which works with the same kind of stick figure but which offers a lot more control and flexibility. The latest version (called 'Candidate 4') has just been released and should soon be followed by the release of the first official 'Version 1'. If you haven't yet tried Stykz and if you like this kind of animation, I can strongly recommend it. It runs on Windows and Mac and will eventually also run on Linux. Find it here (freeware) --- http://www.stykz.net/Home.html

Posted by Alan at 10:30 AM Dec 24, 2009

this was made with free software "carrara6pro" from macworld http://www.youtube.com/user/wornlimTV#p/u/6/mYqSY5QfU3Q

Posted by cetmac at 11:48 AM Dec 25, 2009

carrara6pro is a close relative to Daz3D and is featured on the same homepage. To get the full version of either program you have to pay a fair bit of money. If you're interested in the program look here for a lot of excellent and detailed tutorials --- http://www.vtc.com/products/Carrara-6-Pro-Tutorials.htm

Posted by Alan at 1:35 PM Dec 25, 2009

Stykz has been updated again and the website now contains a very interesting explanation of all the features and functions that are planned for the future. There is also a very active and interesting forum. I'm not a massive fan of stick-figure animation, but this free program is becoming more and more appealing. You can export animations in a variety of movie or image formats and I recently experimented successfully with two Stykz animations imported as sequences of png images into Artoonix. I strongly recommend that you check it out.

Posted by Alan at 3:59 AM Jan 05, 2010

I'm trying to find software that is really close to Flash without actually getting the free trial, since I've used it before and I know it well enough to make a decent animation quickly.I've used pencil before, it was great for a cartoonist like me, but no matter what I did, I couldn't export a video, I could only export a series of bitmaps, and even then it wouldn't work well for me. are either of the other two like flash? Or if anything easy to figure out how to work? I would like to post the animations I make on YouTube. btw I'm a Windows Vista user, that might help...

Posted by Sarah at 10:17 PM Jan 09, 2010

Sarah --- 'I'm a Windows Vista user, that might help'. Probably not, several animation programs that I've tried transferring from XP fail completely in Vista. Thank heavens MS have dropped it and have now moved on to Windows 7 which does seem to accept a lot of software that fails on Vista. There aren't many alternatives to Flash and of those that I know, none have been completely developed. The most interesting one seems to have been abandoned.

Posted by Simon at 4:38 AM Jan 10, 2010

Am leaving this forum - I'm tired of checking for any genuine queries, only to find gibberish or pointless messages such as 'no fighting and blood'. 'Bye.

Posted by Alan at 1:42 PM Jan 19, 2010

Hi, I am planning for movie, i have stroy and created complete story board. Creating a complete animated movie is a big challenge, i do not have that much money or i can spend some time. Can make a movie all by myself and still i can get the Disney quality movie? If yes, what are all the things that need to complete my project. Thanks Kumar

Posted by Kumar at 4:19 AM Feb 25, 2010

Disney quality? I don't think so, not unless you have a HUGE amount of money to spend and a MASSIVE amount of skill and experience. You don't say whether you mean Disney 2D or 3D.

Posted by Onionskinner at 11:54 AM Feb 25, 2010

The animation program 'Express Animator' is officially dead. If you already own it, be aware that there can be SERIOUS problems reinstalling it and if you've changed your computer then forget it; the program only ever worked on the computer for which it was downloaded.

Posted by Stykzman at 7:05 AM Mar 01, 2010

If anyone is using CREATOON, there is a channel on Youtube which has several good tutorials. (There are also tutorials for at least one other program as well). Just search for 'CartoonLearning' (one word). There is an associated website, so just put www dot in front of CartoonLearning and follow with dot com.

Posted by Onionskinner at 10:37 AM Mar 02, 2010

i tried pencil and really wanted it to work but it was WAY buggy on my XP machine. the controls were fumbly and i really couldnt get anything done. next?

Posted by cory at 9:43 AM Apr 17, 2010

Pencil isn't worth bothering with and its development seems to have come to a standstill. I was recently lucky enough to be given a link for a 'free' file-shared and unrestricted version of ToonBoom which really does work. I've been using it now for 2 months. However, as it can't be classed as freeware, there's no way I'm able to pass on the details. 'Pencil' does have a very smooth drawing tool and excellent onion-skinning, but it's so unreliable that I'd never recommend it. One possibility, if you don't mind working with just monochrome, is EASYTOON.

Posted by Onionskinner at 6:06 AM Apr 18, 2010

David - there is no software to send. This page isn't a portal for downloads. You have to search for the software yourself but the notes and comments here will be enough to point you in the right direction.

Posted by Onionskinner at 1:39 AM Apr 21, 2010

If you like STICKFIGURE animation and want to explore a free program that lets you work with TWEENING and KEYFRAMES and which also has an unusual simulation of 3D, look for TISFAT (This Is Stick Figure Animation Theatre). There's no real website but there is a download site and a forum.

Posted by Thomas Painter at 11:40 PM May 11, 2010

I recently found a 'free' version of ToonBoom and went in search of some good tutorials. I found an AMAZING sequence uploaded as part of the LEARNING TRACK blog and website. Although focused upon ToonBoom, there are many tutorials which might be of general interest for anyone who wants to explore animation techniques. The headings for the tutorials are as follows: Introduction and Fundamental Concepts 01) It's Elemental - Part 1 02) It's Elemental - Part 2 03) A Good Place to Start - Part 1 04) A Good Place to Start - Part 2 05) Jumping Into Animation - Part 1 06) Jumping Into Animation - Part 2 07) Toon Boom Fundamentals - The Basics Part 1 08) Toon Boom Fundamentals - The Basics Part 2 Key Framed Animation 09) Key Framed Animation - Part 1 10) Key Framed Animation - Part 2 11) Key Framed Animation - Part 3 12) Key Framed Animation - Part 4 13) Key Framed Animation - Part 5 14) Keyframing the Bouncing Ball Cut-Out Animation Series 1 15) Introduction To Photo Cut-Out Animation Part 1 16) Introduction To Photo Cut-Out Animation Part 2 17) Introduction To Photo Cut-Out Animation Part 3 Series 2 18) Animating Cut-Out Characters - Part 1 19) Animating Cut-Out Characters - Part 2 20) Animating Cut-Out Characters - Part 3 Series 3 21) Building a Cut-Out Character in Toon Boom 22) Rigging a Cut-Out Character in Toon Boom 23) Animating a Cut-Out Character in Toon Boom Useful Techniques and Tips 24) Miscellaneous TBS Usage Tips 25) More TBS User Tips and Tricks 26) Perspectives and Counters Some Additional TBS User Tips 27) Using Pegs as Timeline Track Folders 28) A Text Scrolling Technique In Perspective 29) Creating A Custom Color Palette 30) Creating Multiple Shots in a Single Scene 31) Drop Shadow Technique 32) Thumbnail Planning Technique 33) Using A Subtractive Animation Technique To find the site, search for www animationcraft blogspot com and then click on 'Learning Track'.

Posted by McClusky at 8:17 AM Jun 02, 2010

Synfig is really annoying and the tutorial is even more confusing...

Posted by james zack at 10:46 AM Jun 03, 2010

Agree - Synfig is a nightmare to install unless you follow the 4-stage process ABSOLUTELY EXACTLY. The interface is unpleasant and I've seen hardly any evidence of well-developed animations which have been made with it. The project is a laudable one, but until and unless the installation and interface problems are sorted out, I don't think it will be successful.

Posted by Onionskinner at 11:05 PM Jun 03, 2010

Is the Artoonix forum dead? Nobody is posting into it and it's been silent for weeks. No signs of any program updates for over 6 months. Anybody know anything?

Posted by McClusky at 10:14 AM Jun 14, 2010

If you want to install and run CREATOON on Windows 7, this is the way to make it work ... go to: CONTROL PANEL --- SYSTEMS AND SECURITY --- FIND AND FIX PROBLEMS --- PROGRAMS --- RUN PROGRAMS MADE FOR EARLIER VERSIONS OF WINDOWS. Whether or not this also works for VISTA I don't know. (I got this tip from a new friend in America who found the colution).

Posted by McClusky at 10:12 AM Jun 22, 2010

I looked at artoonix like it mentioned in this place but the forum is silly. Thousands of members but theyre allmost all spammies. Some try to sell you bad things. I use pivot now. That forum is good.

Posted by Pivotman at 2:36 PM Jun 22, 2010

I found this a blurb at download.com that might explain the installation problems: http://download.cnet.com/Synfig-Studio/3000-2186_4-10655202.html?tag=mncol Basically, you have to install four different packages, presumably in a certain order.

Posted by Rick at 7:57 PM Jun 24, 2010

Rick is right about Synfig. It's something that's been mentioned elsewhere on this page. To install Synfig you have to download FOUR elements and then install them in PRECISELY the right order. Whether or not you then like Synfig is a different matter - the interface is messy and it's not easy to learn or control, but it IS powerful.

Posted by Synfigure at 11:23 PM Jun 24, 2010

Have heard on the grapevine from a friend in the business that Artoonix is to be abandoned. I don't know if this means it will stop being downloadable, but the free version is worth getting now just in case it vanishes.

Posted by Cel_by_cel at 2:41 AM Jun 28, 2010

Search Youtube for 'ARTOONIX - IS IT DEAD?' the sound is irritating but the moving text is interesting. Maybe this associates with my other post wonderng if Artoonix is about to be abandoned. Not sure, but until something happens on the Artoonix website or forum, things look bad.

Posted by Cel_by_cel at 11:31 AM Jun 28, 2010

Just checked the Artoonix forum. There's a spam message from June 24th that's not been cleared out yet and the administrators used to be VERY quick to do that. Looks like they've given up. I've done some more checking and the signs are definitely that the project is being wound down or abandoned - so grab the free version while you can. If Artoonix goes the way of other similar programs, it may soon disappear.

Posted by Cel_by_cel at 5:34 AM Jul 02, 2010

I had problems downloading synfig on vista at first but then I ran it as administrator,no problem.My favorite is pencil easy and simple to use.But I could not find a way to playback on anything but pencil so its gone.Synfig was too complicated so its gone.Drawing in paint.net and exporting it to Beneton was slow but worked.Beneton was giving my pc problems so its gone.I guess its back to magicmarkers and flip pages.

Posted by oliver starkweather at 8:17 PM Jul 07, 2010

starkweather ... go through posts on this page. You obviously prefer cel-style animation. There are other options apart from the ones you list.

Posted by onionskinner at 10:42 PM Jul 07, 2010

hiram ... WHAT program? There are LOTS of programs for just DRAWING anime characters (eg: for comics). There are lots programs for ANIMATING characters which can be anime-style or whatever style you prefer. You need to be more specific if you want a definitive answer.

Posted by Anime_User at 10:52 AM Jul 18, 2010

SYNFIG has now been released as an all-in-one installer. This means you no longer have to download the 4 associated packages which had to be installed in a specific sequence before installing Synfig itself. The new upgrade is synfigstudio-0.62.01 and when installed, just look for SYNFIGSTUDIO in the BIN subfolder. This icon can then be copied to your desktop. (There isn't as yet a specific Synfig icon, so you can always choose your own using the usual 'Properties/Change icon' function).

Posted by SYNFIG_man at 4:09 AM Jul 21, 2010

I have a 9 year old son and i think he would really enjoy cartooning. What would be a good software for beginners?

Posted by Cleofus20 at 11:43 AM Jul 23, 2010

Cleofus20 ... if you're looking for free programs that are easy to use and useful for basic (or even moderately complex) animations, have a look for these: ARTOONIX (The free version runs forever without timebombs but there is a nag screen. Lots of examples on the internet) --- EASYTOON (Only black and white, but versatile) --- PIVOT (classic stick-figure animation, but trickier if you want to use backgrounds. Lots of examples on the internet) --- STYKZ (Similar to Pivot but more versatile. New version due to be released soon) --- Beyond these you get into the territory of software that is harder to use, although there are several free programs available. Look back in this thread of Calico Monkey for lists.

Posted by Onionskinner at 12:34 AM Jul 24, 2010

Interesting development for ARTOONIX users --- on the homepage, there is now a way (using 'My Account') for owners of the registered version to transfer their registration as a gift to someone else. This will result in them giving up their own registration and access to future upgrades, but for anyone who's not going to use future releases of the program, it's a useful idea. Click on my 'Onionskinner' name below to go straight to the Artoonix homepage.Look for the message top right of the screen. There has also apparently been a discussion of the development in the Feedback section of the open Artoonix forum.

Posted by Onionskinner at 1:30 PM Aug 02, 2010

Hello, I've been reading through and searching for answers without much success. I am looking for a programme that will allow me to imitate this kind of cut-out paper stop-motion digitally: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXuCVrEyZl8 As it is bloody hard doing it over a lightbox in a small dark room. Besides the point though, I've downloaded Creatoon, and have got it up and running. Except that the viewing screen remains black and I can do nothing with it. I thought this might be a problem with the scale of the images I was uploading, but am not entirely convinced, they are only 300 DPI. So I was wondering as to whether I am doing something wrong. I am working on Windows 7, but don't think this is the problem. Though I'll try it on my old XP too. Um but any solutions to this, or any recommended software which will allow me to emulate a simular kind of articulation? Thankyou- Aliiak

Posted by Aliiak at 3:47 AM Aug 06, 2010

Playing around still. The images are definetly on the viewer, as at times there are flashes of them, and I can right click to select them whilst they are on screen. It is just constantly black and changing the settings does not work, such as the scene prefrences, and gradient. Am I doing something totally wrong?

Posted by Aliiak at 4:36 PM Aug 06, 2010

Aliak --- Have tried a response but the page won't accept it

Posted by Onionskinner at 8:41 AM Aug 08, 2010

Aliak - you could try to PM me via Youtube. Look for one of my Creatoon uploads. Try this title --- CREATOON - basic intro to KEYFRAMES and the TIMELINE

Posted by Onionskinner at 8:43 AM Aug 08, 2010

OK - I know this isn't 2d, but if you want to investigate a superb free 3d cartoon-style animation program search for MUVIZU. There are masses of examples and sets of tutorials on Youtube. The program is still under development, but is being very well cupported. There is also a very active forum. http://www.muvizu.com/Landing.aspx

Posted by Muvizu_man at 2:11 AM Aug 09, 2010

kj --- download what? Muvizu? Go to the website, register (free) and download it (freeware). Simple. The next update will be released in a few weeks. Click on my name to go to the website.

Posted by Muvizu_man at 10:16 AM Aug 23, 2010

Latest version of Muvizu and also a wholly new website design are due to be available as from Septmber 1st. Muvizu is totally free and is stunningly easy to use to make cartoon-style 3d animations ... just be prepared for a massive download, and be online for the first time you use it so that it accesses all the characters and elements. After that you can use it offline if you prefer.

Posted by Muvizu_Man at 12:29 PM Aug 31, 2010

Forgot to say, the new Muvizu homepage has a new URL - http://www.muvizu.com/

Posted by Muvizu_Man at 10:58 AM Sep 01, 2010

Dude, you say a whole lot to end up saying nothing at all. I just want a friggin animation D/L like disney animation studio from the 90's or just something simple yet ingenious... surely you can guide me to that. I am an animator, and I want free crap... it's all over the net and you geeks hog it all like it's gold or something. And when I find something decent, it's loaded with keyloggers and trojans. Give me something direct and to the point and stop dancing. Or do you even have any idea what the heck you're talking about at all???? C'mon man. I'm on your side. Give me something I can use.

Posted by Rob the Wormfarmer at 6:34 PM Sep 03, 2010

@Rob, Toon Boom is your likely best bet then, the first one on the list. Which products have trojans?

Posted by Will at 3:01 PM Sep 04, 2010

Will - ignore Rob's stupid message. Read it and you see that it's almost gibberish in places. He can't even write so that it makes sense. NONE of the software listed above is loaded with anything malicious. The fact that Rob doesn't name anything shows that he has no interest in helping - he just wants to spread false rumours. You mention Toon Boom v4.5 which has several URL's provided in Youtube. Several don't work because they're simply uploaded working copies which don't register properly, but they're not associated with Trojans etc. (One URL does work and the program WILL install without problems, but it's illegal to do so). For me, the best free animation software has ALL been listed in different parts of this web-page and it's just a case of what type of animation you prefer which will determine which program you opt for. Just ignore the idiots who clearly have no idea what they're talking about.

Posted by Muvizu_Man at 11:18 PM Sep 04, 2010

i have heard that Artoonix has definitely been abandoned by its development team. The program can still be downloaded and works free, but i'm not sure if the registration payment still gets you sent the code for full version. does anyone else know?

Posted by Nicholas at 8:31 AM Sep 20, 2010

It does, after all, look as if Artoonix IS still being developed. Version 1.11 has just been released although, to be honest, the changes and upgrades don't really address the main funadamental weaknesses of the program. BUT - for beginners, it is still an excellent program to try, and as so many of its functions are accessible in the free version, it should not be ignored. In 1.11 the opportunity to import frames from other projects opens the door to some interesting ideas but oh - OH!!! - if only the developers could attack the REAL weaknesses with the program => the problem of just having one point of rotation that cannot be locked into position + the need for more points of rotation if cut-and-paste animation is to be a workable idea + the crude drawing tools that remain hard to control when drawing curves + the crude way in which tweening works with the non-vector graphics. With the increasing number of animation programs now being released, you do have to ask if Artoonix is in danger of missing the boat. But, as said before, it IS worth taking a look at it if you have not already done so.

Posted by ArtoonixUser at 1:53 PM Sep 26, 2010

I am new to synfig studio, and have downloaded the latest edition. Whenever I try to import image to the synfig studio, ( created with pencil in Png format or if it is a jpg image,) I try going to the CARET MENU, Click> FILE> IMPORT, but it states: DOCUMENT NOT WELL FORMED. I do not know what it means and how to correct it. Well this being a necessary step in making a CUT OUT animation, Please, can anybody help me out by solving my problem?

Posted by Samier at 5:59 AM Oct 02, 2010

Synfig is notoriously tricky - I'm impressed that you managed to install it (although doesn't the latest version include a complete installer instead of the ghastly system where 4 installs had to be made in sequence?). You best bet for a query probably isn't this 'forum'. I'd suggest that you register with the official SYNFIG PROJECT FORUM or Google to find one of the main animation forums such as ANIMATION CORNER or ANIMATION FORUM. Logically, the Synfig Project Forum needs to be your first stop. I've tried Synfig and found the interface appalingly confusing.

Posted by ArtoonixUser at 6:54 AM Oct 02, 2010

my 12 year old is interested in animation. we attempted to download "pencil." downloads fine, but when we try to run it we get the message that "mingwm10" cannot be found. however, the requested item is listed as one of the downloaded component files in our documents. we have windows xp--anyone else have a similar problem with it or suggestions as to fixing?

Posted by dawne at 10:41 PM Oct 06, 2010

Can't help with mingwm10 but can advise you that although Pencil looks good and should work on XP (I tried it without problems), the program has a reputation for instability. It is also an ongoing project for its developers so isn't yet finished. A lot depends upon what style of animation interests your son, but I'd guess that it's the cel-by-cel style. (ie: drawing every frame by hand rather, say, than using vector graphics and tweening). There ARE freeware alternatives which would allow him to experiment. One would be to use any drawing program (even MSPaint) to create sets of images and then a program such as MONKEYJAM to import them and create an animation. This can be heavy on HD storage space, of course. If monochrome animation interests him, then EASYTOON is brilliant. If he wants colour and more complex functions, the freeware version of ARTOONIX is unbeatable (Lots of references to it elsewhere on this page). If he likes stickfigure styles, then PIVOT or STYKZ are the ones to look at. They're very limited in what they do, and the majority of users seem to create endless and repetitive fight animations, but they can teach a lot about timing. The one program I advise that you DON'T look at is SYNFIG as that program seems to cause endless problems for beginners. One final tip is to search YouTube for each program that I've suggested to see how popular they are and to see examples of what people have done with them. Good luck.

Posted by ArtoonixUser at 11:31 PM Oct 06, 2010

Right on schedule, the November update the the fantastic free animation program MUVIZU has been released. Well worth checking out.

Posted by Muvizu_Man at 12:26 AM Nov 19, 2010

does anyone know any good cartoon animating programes that are free? im 11 so i cant buy any . thanks

Posted by Connor at 12:01 PM Nov 27, 2010

Connor - if that's a serious question, just read through the posts on this page. THAT'S what this whole section is about. There's no point in constantly repeating everything. There is everything listed here about good freeware animation programs - there is 2d, 3d, stickfigure, stop-motion .... everything. Just read the posts and follow the suggestions to find something that suits you.

Posted by Muvizu_Man at 2:35 AM Dec 01, 2010

Not sure of Artoonix has been shut down and gone offline or if the site has been hacked and wrecked. Either way, each time I tried to log in to the forum recently there's nothing there. The whole website seems to have vanished. If you want this software, there will probably be mirror sites if you search - but can't say if the registration process would still work.

Posted by Jonathon at 7:05 AM Dec 02, 2010

The Artoonix website is back online so all is OK.

Posted by Jonathon at 8:23 AM Dec 02, 2010

Although only free for a 2 week trial, it's worth noting that the previously abandoned program 'Express Animator' has now been re-released after re-coding and some elements of re-design as AWESOME ANIMATOR. If you registered this before and still have details of your code, you can contact the developer via the website for the new registration code. This program uses bones, pivots, tweening and vector graphics and is quite easy to learn.

Posted by Lippo at 12:07 AM Dec 04, 2010

For anyone who remembers and misses TALES ANIMATOR, you might be interested to know that the project has finally been finished as TALES ANIMATOR 3.01 and is available for download if you want to search for it. A web-based (online use only) version is currently under development. All resources (characters, backgrounds and foregrounds) for TA2 and TA3.01 are still available, but only from a previous user. Search Youtube for the following upload to start tracking them down ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxV8LQ10B_0

Posted by Montezuma at 4:49 AM Dec 18, 2010

Following on from my comment about Tales Animator v.3.01 - the online development (WEB CARTOON MAKER) is progressing well. Like TA, this program is also script-based and uses a language derived from C++. At the time of writing this, the latest demo shows that the animation style is significantly more versatile than that used with Tales Animator. Search the internet or Youtube for WEB CARTOON MAKER and you'll find it. The online version is free but eventually the standalone version will be shareware or fully commercial. That standalone version is in the final stages of development and testing.

Posted by Montezuma at 11:47 PM Jan 02, 2011

An updated demo of Web Cartoon Maker has now been uploaded together with snippets which show how the text-script works. As I mentioned before, the online version is free and the downloadable demo of the standalone version is also free but you need to use the website to compile your code. Click my name to link to the website.

Posted by Montezuma at 3:26 AM Jan 07, 2011

I've used pencil. It's REALLY bad! I can't save it as any file that any photo viewer can use! It's saved without an extension, so AVG AntiVirus allways thinks it's a virus too! Why didn't they make it save as .doodle or something?

Posted by Clancy J.C. at 11:50 AM Jan 09, 2011

Roohullah - I can't believe that your messages about getting Muvizu are genuine ---> You visit the website and you download the free program. That's it. There isn't anything else. It's free and all you have to do is to make sure that your computer is powerful enough to run it. Read the information on the website. I have no idea why you want someone to give you a zipped file.

Posted by Muvizu_Man at 11:33 AM Jan 11, 2011

Clancy J.C. - why would you expect to be able to use 'Pencil' and save the file as an image for a photo viewer to be able to display??? The program does have weaknesses, but after all, it IS an 2D animation program, not a drawing program. Your comment is very odd.

Posted by Pencillator at 11:37 AM Jan 11, 2011

New demo for the re-released TALES ANIMATOR v.3.01 now uploaded to Youtube. Click my name to link to the upload that I found.

Posted by TaleTeller at 3:27 AM Jan 21, 2011

I've been searching google for hours and hours, but i can't find a no-download version of pivot stickfigure animation! is there one?

Posted by Ol Master at 4:04 AM Jan 28, 2011

Connor, I Know one! It's called "Pivot Stickfigure Animation", but my dad is paranoid about PC viruses and thinks it has spyware in it, but it doesnt. The toolbar it gives is a stickfigure monitor so you can publish your videos. Dont be fooled.

Posted by olibob at 4:17 AM Jan 28, 2011

Something odd about the two recent messages posted for Pivot - the original post mentions no name and yet the 'reply' does give a name (maybe both posts by the same person?). Either way - there's a lot of rubbish talked about Pivot and viruses. The program itself is clean - it's dodgey websites that cause problems ... and for why someone would run a computer without a virus scanner anyway is just plain stupid and incomprehensible, especially when superb software such as AVG offer excellent free versions of their full software.

Posted by Pivotationer at 2:47 AM Jan 29, 2011

As I mentioned once before -> although AWESOME ANIMATOR is only free for a 10 day trial (it's a revised version of the now defunct Express Animator), it is fascinating to use for the import of motion capture files (bvh). If you click my name, you'll be taken to the site where you can download whole sets of these. They can then be imported into Awesome Animator. If you want to view them first, you can download a free program called BVHPlay (link on the page). If you want to play around with them there is a well known (and misleadingly named) program called BVHACKER --> in reality it's just a free program for editing and testing bvh files. To find it try this link: http://davedub.co.uk/

Posted by Lippo at 11:59 AM Jan 29, 2011

I tried CreaToon download for free but it doesn't work.

Posted by Sayuri at 1:53 AM Feb 11, 2011

Sayuri - yes it does. Creatoon has no problems, although if you have Vista any root cause is with that rubbish operating system (no wonder Microsoft have dumped it). Some users HAVE reported difficulty using Creatoon with Vista, but they ARE solvable. If you have XP there are absolutely no problems, so the problem is with you. Your installation process must be wrong (I run Creatoon on XP). I assume, of course that you downloaded and used the registration key in the correct way. If you have Windows 7 then you need to use the built-in procedure for running older software ... that is part of '7' and just needs to be used. To understand that, click on my name.

Posted by Cut-Out man at 3:12 AM Feb 11, 2011

Thanks Will, and to all the contributors, including past ones like Alan. I was searching for cartooning software but had not defined my needs. The postings above have really helped in my sorting out my thoughts. Having retired from prison education, I've started writing educational teaching resources and wanted to illustrate it. Further, I had the outline idea of animating the character/s to make educational mini-movies. I use Win XP. I've downloaded Pencil (no problem) but can't work out how to draw a straight line, or select and re-shape a circle or oval with it. I'd hate to have to revert to Paint to do stills, but is that the best way? With animation, I think I'll try Muvizu and/or Easytoon. Will re-visit this site, it was an interesting and informative read! Thanks again! Ken, Isle of Wight, UK

Posted by Ken at 3:26 PM Feb 16, 2011

Ken - Going by your outline idea of what you want to do, MUVIZU won't fit the bill as there are no drawing functions at all. BUT - if you want to animate scenarios, then it could be ideal as its resource bank is growing incredibly fast and it is free. Just look at all the demos on youtube or in the gallery on the program's homepage. My computer is way too old and weak to be able to do more than very simple stuff but for those with powerful machines, there's almost no limit. Also check the forum out - it's excellent. Not to put too fine a point on it, PENCIL is crap at the moment - full of potential but capable of doing very little. There are very few examples on youtube, which should tell you a lot considering how long it's been out. EASYTOON may well do what you need if basic cel-by-cell monochrome animations suit your needs. I don't know if it is still being developed but there is at least one forum for it called 'The Easytoon Place'. I don't know how good or active it is. ARTOONIX would do everything you describe, even the free unregistered version. It's tweening system is good for moving shapes and objects and even deforming them - but it has some nasty wrinkles which causes blurring and ghosting. However, they're easy to avoid and it is definitely worth looking at. I have over 200 uploads on youtube. Let us know how you get on, or upload an example of any experiments to youtube and post its URL here. Good luck.

Posted by Alan at 12:41 AM Feb 17, 2011

Be aware that IllusionMage (the software that you eventually get to if you click on 'best animation software') is NOT free once the trial is over and is actually an advertisement for software and a course. You have to scroll down a massive screen of promo material to get to the info. The cost seems reasonable if it is a one-time, all-in-one offer, but check to make sure you're not signing up to something with hidden subscription fees. Also - it's 3D animation and not 2D wehich is the main focus of this forum. If you want true free 3D, look at MUVIZU which has a cartoonish style but absolutely no hidden costs.

Posted by Matthew Warwick at 1:01 AM Feb 22, 2011

Just to say that I've added a few URL links to the info notes for my Youtube upload 'TALES ANIMATOR IS BACK'. These link to a few of the movies I originally made with this simple but surprisingly versatile free animation program. Tales Animator isn't to everyone's taste, but it's great fun to work with and makes a very pleasant change from all the usual cel-by-cel or object-tweening animation software that's out there.

Posted by Alan at 3:05 AM Mar 03, 2011

does anyone know if artoonix is still bein developed? the forum has been dead for months and none seem to be using it. i dont want to risk registring it if its not going to go further.

Posted by Eric Moreau at 3:51 AM Mar 11, 2011

Blender and Anim8or are good (but complex) but are NOT for 2D animation.

Posted by Marcus at 10:25 AM Mar 27, 2011

'Best animation software' has done this before ... this is NOT a link to free software but to a COMMERCIAL program. It has nothing to do with 2D animation and nothing to do with free software.

Posted by Alan at 3:20 AM Apr 20, 2011

To follow on from the previous message - if you really do want FREE and EASY TO USE 3d animation, look for MUVIZU. Otherwise check previous posts on this page for genuine FREE or really affordable 2d animation. My name this time links to different Youtube upload of a demo made with ARTOONIX which can be paid for and registered (cheap) but can also be used free forever with a few limitations on functions plus a watermark

Posted by Alan at 3:25 AM Apr 20, 2011

Hey guys! Good news! A wonderfull flash animation tool called Vectorian Giotto recently was released for free! Just go and get it: http://vectorian.com/giotto/

Posted by Oleg at 3:23 AM Apr 29, 2011

Mmmm - Giotto DOES look interesting. Click my name for a Youtube demo that I found (no sound unfortunately). Could well be worth checking out.

Posted by Alan at 1:48 PM Apr 29, 2011

An animation program that (for me) has always looked as if it SHOULD be ideal and yet isn't, is STICKMAN by CUTPUTPRO. It isn't free but there is a 30 day free trial and the cost of registering is only $9.99 The name 'Stickman' is also a bit misleading as characters don't have to be made just with sticks. Version 5.6 Beta has just been released with a new drawing tool. Whether this can be used to create your own characters with limbs that can be linked, I'm not sure and as yet there is no documentation but there are a few rambling demos on Youtube. It may be that the drawing tool provides functions similar to those in 'Pencil'. However, this is a program that might well appeal to many people and since it's first release it has been downloaded well over a million times (which makes it a bit puzzling why there isn't much evidence of it on Youtube apart from uploads by the developer). For my tastes, the program isn't all that intuitive but this isn't to say that you won't like it if you want to make simple, child-oriented animations. As a natural succesor to, say, 'Tales Animator', it could and should be very successful ..... but will that be so? Click my name to go to the download page and the main website.

Posted by Alan at 9:49 AM May 03, 2011

Go animate is another good one. Its free.

Posted by ANON at 4:24 PM May 15, 2011

Anon is right - 'Go animate' is free and easy to use .... but only online. Definitely worth looking at, thought

Posted by Alan at 12:06 PM May 18, 2011

Everytime i download pencil it says a files missing and this is the 4th time this week

Posted by Erin at 6:05 AM Jul 31, 2011

Erin - Pencil is notoriously problematic for many users and doesn't seem to have been updated or upgraded for well over a year, but the problem you describe isn't one I've heard of very often. Pencil isn't anything like as good as it seems to be and very few people seem to get on with it too far, but good luck anyway if you eventually manage to get it running.

Posted by Alan at 3:52 AM Aug 03, 2011

Anyone know of any software that works with Vista?

Posted by PieFlavour! at 1:05 AM Aug 10, 2011

For those of you who like STICK FIGURE animation and who would like MORE CONTROL and MORE OPTIONS than Pivot, have a look at STYKZ. It's totally free. Version 1.0 has finally been released. One word of advice, though - keep clear of the forum, there are some really negative members who love to trash and insult new users who don't produce work that they consider to be worthwhile. A few deeply unpleasant people ruin the whole forum, but the software is excellent and VERY VERSATILE. Click on the URL that I have used for this message and you go straight to the STYKZ HOMEPAGE.

Posted by Bronwyn at 2:28 AM Sep 11, 2011

Hey Will, its great to see people championing open source animation projects like Pencil. I've coded an online open source Flipbook editing tool and player here http://www.joshwedlake.com/flipbook/menu.php Its completely free to use, has a traditional style dope sheet (which noone else seems to implement), and you can download the frames as png files when you're done, or print flipbook size images directly from your browser. Its intended for fun or to learn animation, rather than for serious projects. I too love the bitmap style of Pencil, versus the hard vector look of flash, so that's what I've implemented online. All the best, Josh Wedlake

Posted by Josh Wedlake at 8:39 PM Sep 19, 2011

Plastic Animation Paper PAP 4.0 is now free @ http://www.plasticanimationpaper.dk/ It's lacking online video tutorials @ youtube, if you find this program useful and you are able to grasp it's functionality. Please give back and post useful tutorials for beginners like me! Thanks and enjoy, animate your world!

Posted by blah at 5:09 AM Sep 21, 2011

Thanks for the update on Plastic Animation paper 4.0 being released as freeware. This is an infinitely better program than Pencil and it's STABLE!!!!. There are a host of tutorials and notes available on the old website so just follow the links on the download page which you can access by clicking on the URL that I've associated with my name. I used the demo of PAP when it was still a commercial product and was very impressed with it. There IS a definite and moderately steep learning curve, so don't expect to grab it and use it proficiently in a matter of moments. You'll have to work at it and experiment - but it IS worth the effort. Well done to the developers who, like those who developed CREATOON, have seen the sense of releasing an early version of their work as freeware. Would that others were as farsighted and innovative. Oh yes' and if you type 'Plastic Animation Paper 4.0' into the Youtube search window you'll find lots of examples and tests.

Posted by Alan at 5:27 AM Sep 22, 2011

For anyone who has downloaded and installed and then tried PLASTIC ANIMATION PAPER 4.0 (freeware), you might be wondering how to use it. Click on my name to be taken to the wesbite area where you will find a library of tutorials.

Posted by Alan at 4:36 PM Sep 22, 2011

Yet another link for PLASTIC ANIMATION PAPER: Click my name to go to the website area which described PAP 4.0 and it's prime functions and features.

Posted by Alan at 4:41 PM Sep 22, 2011

Final comment for the moment about PLASTIC ANIMATION PAPER: There's no telling how long all the tutorials and resources will remain online, so I have printed the whole Tutorial webpage (11 complete lessons, all on the one page). There are two zip files available from the same page. (See right hand column). To be safe, I suggest you copy, print and save everything you think you'll need just in case ..... But to be fair, the CREATOON people have left all their resources online for years, so hopefully the people behind PAP will do the same. (And for anyone who thinks I should have said '12 lessons' ... look at Lesson 10)

Posted by Alan at 5:00 PM Sep 22, 2011

I'm using win7 how can i register creatoon?, 'cause the unlock program doesn't unlock the program.

Posted by Ramon at 11:46 PM Oct 12, 2011

Ramon - You don't have to register Creatoon at all, no matter what OS you're using. You DO have to download and apply the free unlock registration key which is also on the website. (Click my name to go to the page). Your problem, if there is one, will be to make sure that Creatoon runs with Windows 7. (Like many older programs, Vista wouldn't touch it, but '7' is more stable in that respect). Your best bet might well be to use the option within '7' to run older programs that DO work with XP. The process is as follows ... CONTROL PANEL > SYSTEMS AND SECURITY > FIND AND FIX PROBLEMS > PROGRAMS - Run Programs made for Earlier Versions of Windows. Hope that works for you. When I used to use Creatoon, it ran perfectly happily with XP2.

Posted by Alan at 6:34 PM Oct 14, 2011

Alan, the only way I could use Creatoon "normally" with win7 is when there was no drivers for graphic adapter installed in my system. And Creatoon works normally but slower. If somebody very need to use Creatoon with windows 7 - just delete (madness!) native drivers of graphic card. Another ways don't help :(

Posted by Oleg at 2:03 AM Oct 17, 2011

Not sure what Oleg's message actually means or suggests - certainly DO NOT DELETE ANY GRAPHICS DRIVERS. I don't use Windows 7 at the moment, but I've been in touch with two friends who do and they both tested Creatoon without problems. However, it IS old software and there won't be any upgrades or support for anyone who runs into difficulties. Programs such as MUVIZU may be a better bet.

Posted by alan at 6:59 PM Oct 17, 2011

Due to the above, I think that the problem is the drivers. DirectX is not working properly and the entire work area is black. The same thing happens on my netbook. Creatoon also normally displays the contents of the work area during a 256-color mode. If someone else has solved the problem of the program, accomplish your goal.

Posted by Oleg at 6:03 AM Oct 19, 2011

The message from 'brand new dell laptops' needs to be deleted. It is overtly advertising a product and a company.

Posted by Alan at 2:26 AM Oct 20, 2011

@Alan, you're correct, just got to that one. Rock on.

Posted by Will at 7:50 AM Oct 21, 2011

Creatoon on windows 7 runs...after you install it, right click the icon,hit properties, change compatability mode to xp service pack 2...then run the unlock file...after it is unlocked simply right click the icon,properties,compataiity can now can be unchecked to revert back to 7...just needs to be xp2 to unlock....wala

Posted by Steve at 6:31 AM Oct 25, 2011

why are people telling people to delete or change drivers...? are ya kidding me...If anythig doesnt run on win 7...simply change compatability mode of the program or game to windows XPsp2...Ramo was on the right track ,but you dont want to affect the entire system...right click anything and you can change comatability mode of it...creatoon can be changed back to win 7 after the unlock is done...some programs you will find can only run in XPsp2 compatability and have to stay that way...by the time programs catch up with win 7, we will have win 10...

Posted by Steve at 6:46 AM Oct 25, 2011

Apart from the stupid messages from people who have nothing better to do than type gibberish, two of the recent posts point to so-called 'cheap OEM software' websites ... only worth following if you really do want to import malware or end up being scammed. Another post points to a website that's not suitable fo very young children. Is there no way to monitor or filter out these numpties?

Posted by Alan at 3:18 AM Nov 09, 2011

This is not really relevant to 2D animation, but might be of interest to anyone who wants to move on to 3D ... IF they are prepared to work at it and not assume they can master the skills and techniques in an afternoon ---- Unfortunately, it is probably a general rule that something that is brilliant is also something that has to be worked for or worked at with lots of time, diligence and patience ----- The truly amazing 3D animation program BLENDER is a long way along the continuum of programs that can be used to create amazing movies. Nowadays it is probably comparable with Maya, but unlike that program, Blender is 100% free and Open Source. If you aspire to moving towards 3D animation - give this example a try. It will blow your socks off ----- youtube.com/watch?v=eRsGyueVLvQ ----- But if you ever decide to try Blender, and if you are new to 3D modelling and animation, expect to take a year or two to get anywhere near proficient with it. If you want a quick overview and intro - try this extract from a magazine ----- www.cise.ufl.edu/~fishwick/blender/pcplus-blendermasterclass1.pdf ----- The main Blender website has masses of info as well as the download section ----- www.blender.org/ ----- Good luck if you decide to try - but be prepared for some heavy thinking and hundreds of hours of hard work !!!

Posted by Wireframe Alan at 9:09 PM Dec 05, 2011

I totally agree about BLENDER.There is no quick way to master the blender,so prepare your selves for months of pouring over your p.cs.It has to be the premier program with top tutorials and well worth a financial contribition.

Posted by john beaton at 6:14 PM Dec 06, 2011

John Beaton is right to re-emphasise my point about it needing you to commit to months and maybe even years of work to master Blender --- but if you do, then fully professional 3D animations will become possible. Before that stage, much more simple and basic animations will be less complex to make and would allow you to showcase your skills as a storyteller and your understanding of timing, camera angles, editing, character creation and soundtracking etc. If you want a more immediate but far less personalised approach, look at MUVIZU. That FREE program does all the underlying work for you, but that characters may just be a bit too cartoonish to appeal for long. But if storytelling is your aim - then it's an excellent option ... IF you have a powerful enough computer! (Check the specs on the website to see what I mean).

Posted by Wireframe Alan at 6:00 AM Dec 07, 2011

Thanks a lot for all your comments, specially to Alan who takes his time to explain each program in his post.

Posted by Jorge at 6:40 AM Dec 11, 2011

Thanks Jorge - I'm glad you appreciate and have found some of my comments useful. You wouldn't belief the grief I get from idiots who post abusive messages when I've posted demos or examples made with some of the free software featured in previous posts to this webpage. Usually I find that the people who do that have never uploaded anything themselves, they just like being negative and insulting. That's why for all my uploads, I never allow comments through unless I approve them. Thanks again.

Posted by Alan (aka Wireframe Alan at 10:56 PM Dec 12, 2011

can anyone tell me a good software for animating because i have looked so many sites and im trying too look for a FREE decent software im lost becuase every time i download one i alwys get lost and dont know what to do so if anyone can help and recommend i would be so thankful!!!!!

Posted by Ed at 2:13 PM Dec 21, 2011

Er - Ed - are you sure you've browsed this part of the website? The ONLY thing it's about is free or very affordable animation software. If you can't find what you want here, the odds are it doesn't exist. About the only topic not covered in depth is that of free ONLINE animation programs, but they're easy enough to find. Also not sure what you mean by '..every time i download one i always get lost and dont know what to do..'. That doesn't sound like you have any problems with finding software- just using it. This website isn't the place for tutorials, it's text-only with no facility to show examples or screenshots. Your best option is to find a program you're pretty sure you'd like to be able to use and to then look for an associated forum or help files or tutorials on Youtube. If none of those can be found, then look for a different program and try again.

Posted by Alan at 5:00 PM Dec 21, 2011

I have a mac and i was wondering any good programs for mac. Creatoon is for PC, i don't like pencil, and synfig will not run on Mac like it should (when i try to run it it says "installation failed"). Please respond with help or other software. Thanks Mr. Stick-Animation

Posted by Mr. Stick-Animation at 10:42 AM Dec 30, 2011

Mac animation software?? Mmmm - tricky - I'm assuming you're looking for free stuff? You mention Synfig - even if you got it to run, you'd probably find it a brute to use, but keep on trying, just in case. I guess you know about Stykz which is like Pivot with more muscle. I agree about Pencil - it looks to be a dead project and never got close to its potential and is as buggy as hell. There are trial versions of Mac-friendly shareware but all you can do is trawl the internet, I'm afraid. In this area, the PC does seem to come out well on top when it comes to free and shareware animation software.

Posted by PCnot MAC at 4:17 PM Dec 30, 2011

Message from http://dailybooth.com/str needs to be removed. It links to a pharmacy website - very dubious.

Posted by Alan at 1:00 AM Jan 07, 2012

creatoon doesn't work at all on xp sp3. editor panel screwed up.

Posted by ALDOLO at 7:00 PM Jan 07, 2012

ALDOLO - I have a fully updated XP (same as yours) and Creatoon works perfectly. I don't think it works in Vista but can be made to run in Windows 7 by using the inbuilt option to run software that works with XP. A couple of my friends recently bought new machines running '7' and both use Creatoon with it.

Posted by Alan at 12:40 AM Jan 08, 2012

Those who have Windows 7 (I have 64 bit version) but were unable to get the program to unlock (Program installs fine, but unlock.exe says 'Please run CreaToon First' - even after it has been run once already, but closes after about 10 seconds with 'Please register...' on splash screen), first, follow the tip above for changing the program compatibility settings (or right-click on the install exe, select properties->compatibility->Windows XP SP3), but THEN also select 'Run this program as an administrator'. That did the trick for me. Hope this helps someone. Russell

Posted by Russell at 9:16 AM Jan 10, 2012

Whoops, forgot to point out that you would run the 'Unlock.exe' program as an administrator, not the CreaToon install program. (Although it probably wouldn't hurt anything if you did.) Russell

Posted by Russell at 9:18 AM Jan 10, 2012

Hi guys! I found a decision of Creatoon black screen trouble here: http://www.cartoonlearning.com/forum/interpolation-19/quick-question/?wap2 It works with my nVidia GeForce too as and with ATI video chipset. I'm happy!

Posted by Oleg at 3:27 AM Jan 17, 2012

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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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