Animation involves the manipulation of still images to appear as moving images are used extensively in short films, special effects, video games and other media that are fanatical to displaying the moving images.While the traditional animation involved the painting by hand on transparent sheets like cells that were later exhibited in the films, present-day animation has moved to CGI or Computer Generated Imagery.
Small companies and individual freelance artists can now produce a professional grade featured films, arts, and games, all from their home computers using animation software. Thanks to the increased availability of CGI software and computer network speeds that have contributed to creating class-leading animations.
Moreover, independent video games (indie games ) are on the high rise and the close association of animation industry with gaming industry has only given rise to immense demand on CGI software. The software like CGI helps the small term animators in generating these indie games that are created by small teams without significant financial support.
Computer animations can be a 3D computer animation or 2D animation. If you are planning to create animation by yourself, you may be looking for proper animation software. Earlier we have seen a free Pencil animation and cartoon software for Windows, that is a good tool for beginners who are planning to learn animation. In this post now I am going to discuss some of the best free 2D and 3D animation software for Windows 10/8/7.
Free Animation Software for Windows PC
As we all know, commercial applications like Adobe Flash comes with loads of features folded together. Most of the features available are never used by anyone – and may not even know that they even exist. So I’d recommend using these applications if you are a beginner – just to get a brief overview of the animation.
Free 2D Animation Software
1] Plastic Animation Paper
Plastic Animation Paper(PAP) is a powerful software animation package for hand-drawn animation. It is efficient and offers a super responsive interface that is extremely easy for the real-time workflow. PAP provides an easy interface taking all the advantages of the computer thus helping the traditional animators to draw completely on the computer. In this way, users can save a major chunk of time. Additionally, the Plastic Animation Paper will also let users save the finished projects in various formats like PNG, AVI, GIF, and others.
The software is useful for everyone be it professional animator or even an independent team; it offers an easy interface to create animation from the home system. The software is available for free download on Mac OS X, iOS, and Windows PC. Download it here.
Stykz is a freeware tool for generating 2D animations. It is available for free download for Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows. The software offers an easy and powerful interface that aids in generating animations all from your home desktop. Stykz is a frame based software that allows you to customize on individual frames and also lets you alter the previous frames using Onionskins. The Stykz is a tool that will assist in sketching the characters and the landscape before actually moving on the next steps. The interface is user-friendly and also intuitive at its best.The software allows you to save the files in .stl format which is compatible with other animation tools as well. Download it here.
Pencil2D is a freeware animation software that offers a user-friendly interface to generate the 2D animation. It is an open source tool that can be used in Linux, Mac OS, and Windows. It is basically a Pencil application created by Pascal Naidon that uses bitmap/ vector drawing interface. While it offers fewer features compared to other tools, this is extensively used if you want to generate 2D drawings in a comprehensive manner. The software uses Vector and bitmap graphics to represent the images in computer graphics. Download it here.
4] Victorian Giotto
Giotto comes packed with more than 50 great animated effects that can be applied to both shapes and text, without any coding at all! Play with Flash effects through the effect editor, and see the amazing animations immediately on the screen. It is a light-weight application having an interface similar to Adobe Flash. Giotto requires no coding or any animation script to make effects and can be used to make attractive effects to your website by integrating flash effects. Download Victorian Giotto here.
Read: Create interesting 2D animations with OpenToonz, a free animation software.
Free 3D Animation Software
1] Aurora 3D Animation Maker
Aurora 3D Animation maker is free animation software that offers templates to add graphics assets to create animations. This tool is for everyone be it a professional filmmaker or an individual and provides high-end templates to develop animations. The software offers extensive preloaded effects and features that can be used to create complex animation and also a simple presentation. Auro lets users add their own logo and watermark to the images.Aurora 3D Animation Maker is also used for creating 3D video titles and texts as well. Additionally, features like duration and the playback rate helps Users to make cool animations. Other captivating effects include fireworks, flames, and movements like bounce and twist.Moreover, the software also supports a ton of file formats including GIF. Download it here.
Blender has a relatively small installation size and runs on several popular computing platforms. It has a large feature collection providing high-level tools for 3D modeling, Animation, Effects and much more. Its features include basic non-linear video/audio editing. Blender’s animations system supports a variety of techniques and tasks, allowing the creation of complex animations.
It is good for 3D animation and post-processing tool which offers a plethora of features. It is excellent for learners and also experienced animators and offers real-time 3D/game creation, 3Dwrapping, Edge rendering and collision simulation. The software is an open source tool that lets users make changes and even add new features. It is available for free download here.
TIP: Take a loot at Express Animate too.
Unlike other animation tools, Clara.IO is a cloud-based fully functional animation software. The software runs directly in your browser without any downloads and configuration setup. The software offers free plans for 3D enthusiasts and offers polygonal modeling along with the skeletal animation. The tool is available in different browsers including Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari. Clara.IO permits editing by multiple users through simultaneous collaboration and versioning. It offers easy sharing, VRay cloud rendering, modern interface and offers a user-friendly multiplatform. Additionally, The tool also allows users to export and import files from other formats like Blender, Babylons, STL, FBX and more. Download it here.
Anim8or is a lightweight portable application for 3D animation. Anim8or is very simple to install and run. It is composed of a single executable file that can be put anywhere on your disk.
Anim8or’s interface is separated into four sections, each with its own toolset:
- Object editor
- Figure editor
- Sequence editor
- Scene editor.
Anim8or is completely open-source and can be downloaded as a zip file here.
If you want to recommend any other freeware animation maker, please share in the comments.
Read next: Pencil Animation and Cartoon Software for Windows.