Last updated: November 16, 2022

1) OpenToonz

OpenToonz’s Website

OpenToonz is a free 2D animation software from Japan. It is designed for Windows and MacOs and can be installed and used on them.

OpenToonz is suitable for both beginners and advanced users from the private or commercial sector. Films, series or short clips can be created with this program. Films such as “Princess Mononoke” produced by Toshi Suzuki already use this animation software.

OpenToonz is an open source program, so anyone who uses the software can modify and adapt the source code. The website also offers a manual in English, which makes it easier to use.

Product Advantage:

  1. All features are free, no paid content
  2. OpenSource Software
  3. Some animation tools are very advanced

Product Disadvantage:

  1. The user interface is not self-explanatory
  2. Steep learning curve
  3. Only 2D animation

2) Synfig Studio

Synfig Studio’s Website

Synfig Studio is a free 2D animation software for the operating systems Linux, MacOs and Windows. This software is suitable for beginners and experts and offers good features with vector tweening and additional skeleton distortion. You can add over 50 layers to increase the complexity of your project. In addition, you have the option of using distortions, transformations or geometric gradients. 

Layer There are two versions available for download, the first has been tested and is stable. The second version has experimental features. With Synfig you can choose between these two versions. This animation software is open source, so the source code can be modified at will.

Product Advantage:

  1. Video training in English, German, Russian and French
  2. Supports vector
  3. MacOs Linux and Windows

Product Disadvantage:

  1. Only 2D animation 
  2. Steep learning curve
  3. The software may crash

3) Blender

Blender’s Website

Blender is 3D animation software that is excellent for animation, texturing and rigging. The software is open source, which means that the source code can be modified by anyone at will. Blender is particularly suitable for experienced animators, but can also be learned by beginners through tutorials. If necessary, the user interface can be adapted and customized to your own needs. Inside this software is a good drawing tool that supports 2D and 3D drawings. It also supports VR rendering and a real-time viewport preview. The software can be installed and run on Windows Linux and MacOs.

Product Advantage:

  1. Open Source
  2. 3D animations
  3. Customizable user interfaces

Product Disadvantage:

  1. Difficult to learn
  2. 2D functions limited
  3. File takes up a lot of disk space on the PC

4) Pencil2D Animation

Pencil2D Animation’s Website

Pencil2D Animation is a completely free animation software that supports 2D animation. You can upload and animate hand-drawn or GIFs in this tool. You can easily switch between raster and vector workflows, giving you flexibility. In addition, it is an open source file, which means that the source code can be modified by anyone. 

The minimal user interface is easy to understand and enables good results quickly with little effort. The software can be installed on Windows, MacOS, Linux and FreeBSD and requires little storage space.

Product Advantage:

  1. Requires little storage space
  2. User-friendly interface
  3. Templates are available

Product Disadvantage:

  1. Incompatible with smartphones
  2. No 3D animations
  3. Few tools for drawing and painting

5) PixTeller

PixTeller’s Website

PixTeller is an animation software that only supports animation in frame by frame mode. This program is therefore ideal for simple short animations, since both the user interface is easy to use and the frame by frame mode is very simple. 

At PixTeller you have the ability to design posters, animated GIFs, logos, banners, invitations, flyers, animated logos, videos and more. Your file can be downloaded in video or GIF format. On the website itself, you will already find video tutorials to help you get started. PixTeller provides many templates, animations, photos and shapes that can be customized and customized.

Product Advantage:

  1. Many templates available
  2. Easy operation
  3. Frame by frame animation

Product Disadvantage:

  1. Creating animations takes a long time
  2. The free version is limited
  3. The animation techniques are a bit dated

6) K-3D

K-3D’s Website

K-3D is animation software that is free to download. It is characterized by its 3D modelling function and animation function and is therefore very versatile. The surface of objects is represented as a polygon. The software also has a simple user interface, making it suitable for both beginners and professionals. K-3D is open source software, so the source code is freely accessible and can be freely edited by anyone. This software can be installed on the operating systems Windows and MacOs.

Product Advantage:

  1. Advanced undo/redo system
  2. Simple user interface
  3. Excellent for designers and artists

Product Disadvantage:

  1. No direct tutorials from the developer
  2. Older version, which can still be recommended
  3. No more updates

7) Animation Paper

Animation Paper’s Website

Animation Paper is a 2D animation software that is still in the testing phase. The download is available for free on MacOS, Linux and Windows. Mobile versions for Android and the iPad Pro are planned, but not yet published. 

The animation software Animation Paper is a drawing program with frame by frame animation possibility. The user interface design is simple and easy for beginners to get started. Also, this software offers a fast working process through a responsive interface. The software is constantly updated and always offers a new, improved version.

Product Advantage:

  1. Free alpha version
  2. Clean design
  3. Very suitable for beginners

Product Disadvantage:

  1. Full licence must be purchased for a fee
  2. Only 2D animations
  3. The alpha version might still contain bugs

8) SketchBook

SketchBook’s Website

Sketchbook is a partly free animation software. The mobile versions for Android and Apple products are free, and the desktop visions are chargeable. However, older versions are still available online and can be downloaded free of charge. 

The SketchBook app has a very good drawing interface with many tools so that you can create your animations as you like. Various features such as symmetry support and shape recognition can assist in the creation of drawings. You will find additional features that you can download to expand your tools. There are many guides and tutorials for beginners as well as for professionals.

Product Advantage:

  1. Desktop version for Windows and MacOs and mobile versions from the App Store and the Google Play Store
  2. Very good introductory program
  3. Supports the Apple Pencil and the stylus pen

Product Disadvantage:

  1. Pencil and hand cannot be distinguished
  2. Desktop version crashes frequently
  3. The apps are free, the desktop version costs

9) Stykz

Stykz’s Website

Skykz is a simple free 2D animation software that allows you to animate stick figures. The download is available for the operating systems Windows and MacOS. It is a frame by frame animation software that allows you to edit individual frames. So, you can customize and modify your own animation, or import it from Pivot StickFigure Animation if you’ve already used that software. You can import the characters you want to animate or create them yourself in the software. For stick figure animated video, this simple software is a good choice.

Product Advantage:

  1. User interface is very clear and beginner-friendly
  2. Frame by frame animations
  3. Supports the storage format STL

Product Disadvantage:

  1. Few functional options
  2. Only 2D animations
  3. Limited to animating simple stick figures

10) Renderforest

Renderforest’s Website

Renderforest is 2D animation software that allows you to create websites, videos, logos, mockups and designs. It is suitable for both private and commercial use in companies. The simple user interface makes it easy to get started and intuitive to understand. 

If you have any questions or difficulties, there are tutorials and guides that make it easier to get started and solve problems directly. Much of the content is available for free, but some must be purchased via an update to a subscription. This software is therefore also suitable for beginners who are not yet familiar with the subject.

Product Advantage:

  1. Simple user interface
  2. Good templates
  3. Over 50000 pre-built artwork files

Product Disadvantage:

  1. Watermark on the free version
  2. No 3D animations
  3. Limited content on the free version

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