For an animation student, it is very essential to get the tools which are required to make an animation available to them easily. Most of the high-end tools that are found in the market are proprietary and not affordable for students and amateurs. Thus, there are some free and also open-source software tools for both 2D and 3D animation.
These are some of the best 3D and 2D animation tools which are available for animation enthusiasts.
Ajax Animator is a free, web-based animation suite. It started life back in 2006 and was developed by a 6th grader as a replacement to Adobe’s expensive Flash MX. From such auspicious beginnings emerged a robust and fully functional animator that is well worth checking out despite its primitive look, especially if you’re an iPad user.
Synfig Studio is an open-source and free 2D animation software, designed as powerful industrial-strength solution for creating film-quality animation using a vector and bitmap artwork. It eliminates the need to create animation frame-by frame, allowing you to produce 2D animation of a higher quality with fewer people and resources.
Pencil is also a free and open-source 2D animation programsby far the most well-rounded and comes with a surprising number of features. Although it looks simple from the clean interface, it is packed with all the main tools you’ll find in some of the Pencil’s paid counterparts. It supports both vector and bitmap images, multiple layers and has its own in-built illustration tools so you can either import graphics or create them right there and then before animating them. It also exports to flv file.
Blender is one of the most widely-used free 3D animation softwares still in active development and even professional animators and video game developers turn to it from time to time. Although it may take some time for beginners to get to grips with, those who manage to put even half the features Blender offers to use will be able to produce very impressive results.
Daz Studio is a 3D figure customisation, posing and animation tool that enables artists of all skill levels to creating digital art using virtual people, animals, props, vehicles, accessories and environments. It is available for free, but registration is required and is designed to allow users to manipulate “ready to use” models and figures as well as other supporting 3D content.