I’ve wanted the ability to create some basic animation for a project I have in mind. It isn’t revolutionary, more fun, I just would really like to be able to do some animated images, etc. The closest I could describe it is somewhere between a comic book and a comic strip. Perhaps adding a third area for a meme where this would sit between all three points or at the centre of a tri-part Venn diagram. 🙂 And since I recently upgraded my home computer for a COVID world, I’m good to go!
I’ve had it on my mind for awhile. Way back when Jacob was in kindergarten, one of his teachers was married to a professional animator. I thought, “What a perfect person to ask!” If someone wanted to do basic animation at home, wasn’t a drawing superstar
couldn’t draw at all, and wanted to use potentially stock characters to create some simple animated posters for example, or potentially at some point, some short animated videos in 2D, what would be a good beginner software to play with? He didn’t have a suggestion.
Which seems weird to me. If you ask photographers what to use for their processing or file management, they’ll tell you “experts use…” and “beginners use…” or “there are some free ones like …”. Ask coders, stats, business, writers, etc. a similar question, and you get a full litany. They often have VERY definite views about software options to work in. To the point where it’s like confronting a bear suddenly…back away slowly, don’t show fear, don’t run.
But I don’t see that with animators. I’ve even asked in Reddit channels, and got no take-up. If you ask a more specific question like “what can I do on a tablet”, they’ll tell you apps, but not ones that say what you can do for x or y. Not universally, of course, but often enough that I feel like I’m asking something weird, like “If I wanted to go to the moon, which car would I buy?”.
To be honest, I’m basically looking for the animation equivalent of clip art. A step up, a little more complicated, but I’m not talking advanced animation. And so, because I want to work on this in the new year, I’m doing a deeper search for animation software. Heck, maybe even something on sale for Black Friday weekend. Let’s see what I find.
41 programs to try
If that sounds like a lot of programs to try, well, it is. But I’m not against learning as I go and trying things out.
- Adobe Character Animator
- Adobe Flash
- After Effects
- Animate CC (Formerly Flash)
- Aurora 3D Animation Maker
- Autodesk Maya
- Bryce 3D
- Character Animator
- Cinema 4D
- Crazy Talk Animator 3 / Cartoon Animator 4
- DAZ 3D
- DigiCel FlipBook (note that the free version includes watermark)
- DP Animation Maker
- Plastic Animation Paper (PAP)
- Stop Motion Studio
- Synfig Studio
- Toon Boom Animate Pro 3
- Toon Boom Harmony
- Toontastic 3D
- Toonz Premium
Let’s see how I do.