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Top Free Animation Software Tool In 2023

Animated videos will keep thrilling users from across the world as we endear naturally to them. Let's look at some stats behind the use of videos whether for pleasure or marketing. We will see how important videos have become to our daily lives.


For instance, over one billion hours go into the daily watching of videos on YouTube, which has 95 percent of internet users. Then you might also look at the effect of using videos on landing pages. Google places more value on such pages and considers it 53 times over pages without videos. And there is a 300 percent increase in the rate of video conversions compared to other forms of content. All these highlight the impact of videos on a personal and business scale.



Animation tool


There is no denying that there are several ways of creating videos today but one that stands out is the use of animated videos. Color appeals to the eyes and sends lasting impressions to the brain. And this is one reason why animated videos keep appealing to us every single time.


Because of the profound effect of animations, one cannot just do with it. Whether you are an advertiser, social media influencer, small business owner, creative, or you want to entertain family and friends, then you must have considered making animations.


To create amazing animations, you need to use the very best tools. But, being on a budget might be a constraint on creating the best-animated videos. Your search is now over as this article analyzes the top free animation software in 2023. Here is all you need to know to create outstanding animations.


What you should know about animation software


Animation software is the software you need to create and design motion graphics. These motion graphics exist in single frames which are later combined to produce every animation out there be it games, cartoons, dramatizations, or movies.


General Animation Software features


Aside from the features peculiar to the individual software, we will consider, some general features of the top animation software include:


  • They share a somewhat similar layout with Mac and Windows Apps.

  • Free-form design tools, paintbrushes, geometric shapes, and whatever other basic animation tools a creator would need.

  • Virtual layering, which allows you to move objects at will, either behind or ahead of other objects.

  • An empty field behind your animation stage. You can liken this space to your workspace where you can toss things until you find the right spot for them.

  • A general on-screen timeline that gives you control over when any action in your animation takes place. This timeline is usually organized by frame number.

  • Scrubbing (scrolling across frames in the timeline), which helps you get to view your animation in motion.

  • Selection tool - The selector tool allows you to create duplicate content on the screen.

What differentiates animation software from traditional video editing software?


Animation software

Here are what makes animation software stand out from traditional video editing tools;

  1. Animation software provides computerized versions of tools that were used in traditional animation along with some new tools. As an animator, you get to use these tools to design characters, the animation stage, and the background. After adding other elements, you arrange everything you have designed into frames. These frames are later compiled to give a motion-picture animation.

  2. Although you have to input commands before the software carries actions out, animation software saves you some stress. For example, all math functions are programmable into the software as algorithms.

  3. Unlike in traditional animation where you have to erase or start frames over to make changes, animation software allows you to make instantaneous modifications to frames. Also, the cut, copy and paste features of the digital age have made duplicating and rearranging parts of characters/objects much easier than in traditional animation.

  4. You can modify and resize objects by clicking on points, lines, or the Bezier curve. You can do this not only for objects but also entire frames to create loop motions and reposition a scene.

  5. With onion skinning (also known as Ghosting), you get to see every object relative to other objects around it. You also see what the object looks like in its current frame and as it transitions to the next frames.

  6. Animation software handles in-between interpolation unlike in traditional animation where this had to be done manually.

  7. More room for creativity and versatility as you have a wide range of colors that may not be physically present.

The top free Animation Software in 2023 you should know


This software specializes in polygonal modeling. Simply put, it focuses on using geometric polygons to represent the surface of objects. With several plugins that are all flexible, K-3D has proved itself to be suitable for use by artists and designers. This free animation software is user-friendly, intuitive, and easy to adapt to for beginners. It is compatible with Windows and Mac. K-3D is especially good at designing pieces of jewelry, toys, creating documentaries, and many more.


K-3D Animation

Features


  • Aside from its flexibility, it is equipped with a visualization pipeline that is node-based.

  • An undo/redo feature that is advanced and highly responsive.

  • By combining plugins, you can produce an object-oriented, robust plugin design.

  • Render engines that allow you to create high-quality motion-picture animations from scratch.

  • Workflows that are both parametric and procedural.


Pros

  • Whatever modification you make at the beginning of any workflow is seen throughout the workflow.

  • This software is applicable in both non-commercial and commercial settings.

  • All workflows, including complex ones, are easy to understand, decipher, and create new ones.


Cons

  • There are no in-depth tutorials on how to fully understand the functions of the software making it somewhat difficult for individuals who have no experience using the software.

 

This free software deals in creating 2D animation and is compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac. It is both intuitive and user-friendly. Pencil 2D can be described as the software for traditional animators trying to move on par with digital arts. You can create leisure animations or animations to boost your business using Pencil 2D.


Pencil 2D Animation

Features

  • A timeline feature with which you can settle on the pace at which your animation will move.

  • Vector and Raster (workflow switches) allow you to speed up and streamline operations.

  • Image-audio importation and support of various export formats.

  • Pressure sensitivity, light effects, and distortion.

  • Onion skinning feature which allows you to view multiple frames at once.

  • Toolbar customization.


Pros

  • It is accompanied by well-detailed tutorials that help beginners get through their first-time use almost hassle-free.

  • The software's minimal design allows animators to focus on the project at hand.

  • You receive regular and constant updates and news concerning the software.

  • It grants you access to an open community of fellow animation designers where you can discuss problems with one another and brainstorm ideas.


Cons

  • It is strictly 2D animation software.

  • The import-export features need to be developed.

  • Every image you add must be on a separate layer.

 

This animation software is free and compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux. Experiencing a 35% increase, the number of visitors received by Blender went from 2 million to 23 million. If you are a pro animation creator looking for something well-detailed and of course, free. You should try Blender out.


Blender Animation

Features

As a comprehensive animation tool, Blender boasts of several features;

  • Modeling and sculpting tools with which you can edit models and structure however you want.

  • Rendering: The Cycles rendering engine based on ray-traces is efficient in production. Freestyle is a rendering engine that is non-photorealistic and is edge & line-based. These rendering engines and the live feedback make editing easier.

  • Rigging & Animation: Here, you have tools such as NLA (Non-Linear Animation). For the independent movement of characters. Others include the character/object pose editor and IK inverse/forward kinematics, enhancing fast poses alongside motion-sound synchronization tools.

  • Grease Pencil: With this feature, you can draw 3D and merge 2D-3D animation.

  • Simulation: You can add a load of effects to make your animation look as real as you want using MantaFlow and Bullet. Effects like fog, fire, smoke, rain, and so on.

  • VFX: At post-production, you can still change your animation. Changes like object/camera motion tracking, and compositing, among others.

  • Pipeline: This allows you to choose from a list of export-import options.

  • Video Editor: An inbuilt video editor which functions in video masking, splicing, cut, and color grading.

  • Its game engine is very useful in drawing and creating games.


Pros

  • It comes with tutorials for beginners to get familiar with how to use the software.

  • Its interface is intuitive, user-friendly, and highly customizable.

  • Blender's features for bone rigging and animation are so good that they have become a fan favorite.

  • The pipeline tool has integration with multiple tools including Alembic and Collada.


Cons

  • It might be difficult for beginners to use on their first try.

  • Its learning curve is steep.

 

Open Toonz, originally launched in 2006, is another animation software that comes at no cost. It operates on Mac, Windows, and Linux. Open Toonz is especially good for academic tutorials as it aims to create a bridge between academics and animations. It is equally useful in small & medium-sized businesses.


Opentoonz Animation

Features

  • It creates seamless and efficient cutout animations.

  • In-built effects like rain, smoke, blur, warp, sparkles, snow, incident lighting, and others.

  • Compatibility with four scanning types namely colored, black & white, and binarization.

  • Provides FX schematics.

  • GTS scanner that helps with sequence scanning.

  • Onion skinning.

  • You can make vectors out of drawings on paper using the scan & clean-up feature.

  • For more convenience, there is a range of available keyboard shortcuts.

  • Change in picture style and wavy distortions.

  • It is compatible with the animation program interface, TWAIN.

Pros

  • As software with an open-source, it gives room for customization right from the source.

  • It has a trust seal and endorsement from Studio Ghibli, a major animation studio.

  • The manual that it comes with is available in both Japanese and English.

Cons

  • For seamless operations, you need a large RAM size on whatever device you are using.

  • It is strictly for 2D animations.

  • There is no option for automatic frame creation and frame animation.


Tips to choosing an animation software in 2023


You are on a budget and you have a series of free animation software to choose from. Such a position of indecision is not a fun place to be in. To help you scale through that, here are some factors other than pricing to look out for when choosing a top free animation software in 2023.


Goal Definition

Before settling on any software, you must define your purpose for getting the animation tool. You should consider the type of animation video, what you want it to achieve, and the level of sophistication it should have.


Features

Take count of the features you require to create that animation that will meet your objectives. A sophisticated video will require several advanced features. Meanwhile, a simple animated explainer video will not require much.


Your skillset

Beginners to animation creation may not need many advanced features during the learning process. As you advance in expertise, you may require more sophistication. At this point, using simple tools might not cut it anymore for you.


Compare the tools at your disposal

When deciding what animation software to get, it is important to stack each tool at your disposal against each other. This way, you can get the best animation tool that meets your requirement.


Benefits of using Animation Software to businesses


If drawing animations for fun does not seem all that appealing to you, why not try incorporating animations into your business? Animations boost businesses in the following ways;

  1. A sign of Uniqueness -

By incorporating animations into your business promotions, you set yourself aside from other businesses in your niche. Animations also portray your brand as one that is innovative, futuristic, and creative.

  1. It hikes business' rate of conversion-

When you can create an animation that is good enough to get your audience interested in what you have to offer as a brand, your audience might be encouraged to make purchases in cases where they normally would not. Regardless of the product you are marketing, statistics show an 80% increase in conversion rates for sites that have animations on their home page.

  1. Boost your site's SEO-

Google loves video content as much as your site's audience. By including animated videos in your site, you get people to spend more time on your site which equally reflects on your page SEO.

  1. It gives better insight into business-

By using visual aids, your audience takes lesser time to gain information about your brand. And as statistics show, visual imagery helps individuals understand whatever message is being passed across better.


Wrapping Up

What makes animation videos stand out for you? Is it its ease of rearranging elements and objects on the video? Or, is it scrolling through time frames in real-time? Or do you just want to create something that appeals more to your audience, leading to increased engagement levels? Whatever reason draws you towards using animation software, you surely deserve an animation tool that gives results.


In the hands of professional animators, animation software is integral to creating realistic and surreal animations. Here, we featured top animation software in 2023 and suggested reasons you should decide to get an animation software right away. To make the process seamless, it discusses several tips to select the best animation software. Whether you create an animated explainer video for business or hangouts, you are now a step closer to realizing your goals with the top free animation software in 2023.


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