The Best Free 2D Animation Software for Beginners

2D animation provides a simple, effective method of developing lasting impressions and communicating your message in the best way. While the software is primarily used by architects, game developers, artists, cartoonists, and other professionals to develop attractive animations, 2D animation also helps present your data to target consumers. The problem is, there are numerous options available and sometimes it becomes difficult to understand which 2D animation software will fulfill your requirements. Plus, animation development is often very expensive. So, if you do not plan every aspect carefully, saving money might prove difficult, especially when you’re starting out in the industry. Thankfully, we have compiled a list of the best 2D animation software that beginners can download and use without paying a cent:

1. Pencil

This open source drawing/animation software is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux Operating Systems, and deals with traditionally hand-drawn techniques in animation. Even though it is available for free, Pencil provides access to a list of features and tools, including timeline feature, set frame rate, insert colors, import image, and sound, etc. All of these tools prove useful when you’re developing eye-catching 2D graphics. So, if you are a beginner and want to learn how to master the basics of cartoon animation, Pencil is a good choice for developing high-quality animations and drawings.

2. Anime Studio Pro v11

This program combines quality and affordability to become one of the best free 2D animation software in the market right now. Mainly used by Flash-style content creators, Anime Studio Pro v11 comes with automatic lip-syncing features, so the characters’ mouth movements look as authentic as possible. The only drawback is an artist is unable to create frame-by-frame animation using this software. However, the in-betweening and bone system functions more than make up for it, and add a new dimension to this 2D animation software.

3. Tupi

One of the best 2D animation software available for amateurs, Tupi runs easily on Mac OS, Linux, and Windows. Featuring basic tools of illustration that can easily be understood by new animators, this software boasts of a host of useful features, including export animations, exposure sheet, import SVG image file, color, pencil, and tweening tools. Tupi is a great combination of old-school frame-by-frame animation and tweening to develop eye-catching animations.

4. Plastic Animation Paper

Fledgling animators wishing to transform their ideas into free animations and stunning cartoons can use this software. There are several advantages of the software, including a customizable toolbar, zooming features, colors, music integration, frame speed, real-time smooth rotation, and the sketching space. You can download this software onto your Windows and Mac OS devices for a fast, responsive solution to all your animation requirements.

5. Synfig Studio

This 2D animation software comprises of multiple platforms divided into four distinct windows – the editing window, the tools window, the navigator window, and the parameters window. A newbie won’t take long to master the skills offered by this free software, and once he/she does, it will help create high-quality videos, cartoons, and movies. Even though it is available free of cost, Synfig Studio offers the strength of industrial-grade software. Not only can the animations you create be synced with a soundtrack, but you can use vector graphics or bitmap images to develop cut-out animations. You can run this open source software on numerous platforms like Linux, Windows, and Mac OS. The interface of this software is very easy to use and helps you control the most sophisticated facilities without any hassle.

6. Stykz

This software is very user-friendly and helps budding animators create eye-catching animations using handy tools like the preview and edit tools. Supported by multiple operating systems, like Linux, Windows, and Mac OS, Stykz helps you perfect your animation skills. For example, you can use this tool to draft your animation before making the switch to full animation. This freeware supports pivot and the addition of customizable frames enhances its features and usability.

7. Express Animator

Now, novice animators can create striking presentations and cartoons with music and sound without spending too much time. This tool comes with a host of innovative features and tools that allow users to create exciting animation. The best part is, you’re able to download the software in its entirety free of cost. A two-week trial helps you experience the tool with all the bells and whistles tacked on. So, you know what you are getting into before you pay for it. Files created on the Express Animator platform can be saved in SWF (Flash) format and can be viewed in Microsoft’s new Silverlight format or websites.

8. Spine

This is one of the best 2D animation software available to beginners for free. The program can be used by game developers, programmers, and artists alike. The only drawback we could find is how the number of tools meant for game developers eclipses the number of tools meant for artists. So, users from the latter group find Spine to be a bit limited in its scope. However, as far as character work is concerned, you have unlimited possibilities with Spine.

9. Powtoon

Are you interested in creating animation clips, tutorials or how-to videos, and YouTube videos? Then Powtoon is one of the best 2D online animation software you can use. Not only does it provide a free option, but you can switch to a premium package if you want later. The pre-created images, objects, and music can be used to develop animated videos and presentations. Think of Powtoon as a one-stop solution for every single one of your animation requirements.

What makes Powtoon stand out from the competition is how it provides users a simplified alternative to Flash. Otherwise, Flash can be extremely expensive to use. With Powtoon, however, you’re able to form 2D animations within a matter of hours without any difficulty.

10. DigiCel FlipBook

Do you often feel overwhelmed by the different types of free 2D animation software found on the market? Then it’s time to pick out the best tools among them so you can bring your wonderful creations to life using the latest animation features and impressive motion. You can even design the characters and the production environment without spending a single dime. It does not matter that you are finally finding your bearings in the animation industry; thanks to the list of 2D animation software above you can really hone your craft and create high-quality animation.