Kid wants to learn animation. He's used Wick, but it can't do everything he wants to do, and he's used up a trial of Adobe Animate.
I don't want to support Adobe's Creative Cloud keep-paying-every-month-forever subscription model.
Question for the fediverse: What animation drawing programs have you used? Which ones have you found to be easy to learn, capable, reasonably priced, etc?
We've looked at some of the other programs here, but I'm hoping for more context:
Tumult Hype is .. okay
you can try Synfig, I haven't but I have heard that it is good.
Dragon Bones , Spine, and.. I think there's one other I can't remember, they let you set up skeletal animation around 2D transparent images pieces, like shadow puppets, but in color.
Moho (formerly 'anime studio' and before that, Moho again, I guess they realised anime studio was a dumb name.)
Moho is *excellllent* and I can highly reccomend it.
@KelsonV Toonboom is what the pros use for 2d television animation.
I've heard TV Paint also gets used for this.
@KelsonV But don't get too hung up on "the tools that the pros use", Animation fundamentals are more important, and you can do those in any tool or process.
The Preston Blair book is every pro animator's bible.
@zens Wow, thanks.Definitely going to check out Moho and the Preston Blair book!
It isn't a pretty interface… yet. Looks a bit boring, but it is powerful.
@dsfgs @KelsonV when it comes to creative software i am personally not very impressed by the claim that “anyone can improve it” and that being open source will over time improve it. that certainly hasn’t been the case with most open source creativity software I have tried.
the software will certainly accumulate more *features* over time— but more features !== better software
@dsfgs I told a lie, i have tried synfig. couldn’t make any sense of the UI and gave up. i didn’t mention it because i feel like a 10 minute failed attempt to do something simple isn’t giving it a fair chance
@dsfgs in practice, there isn’t a process for people with UX skills, or experience in a field, but no programming skills, to controbute their expertise to open source projects. programmers always have final veto, and if their dunning kruger tingle wiill veto stuff the ux experts tell them to do.
@dsfgs not to mention the cultural barriers to entry for them to even want to talk to open source projects, are huge, and largely unacknowledged in the off chance a designer does decide to talk to an open source project. RMS and similar comic-book-guy figures have done a poor job as mascots
@dsfgs ahg sorry for the unsolicited rant. i’ll stop now
@KelsonV the third bones based animation tool that i couldn’t remember was spriter.
from what I can tell, they are all three about the same featurewise- which one you go with is a matter of preference, though it gives me an idea that I should fet into writing UI quality reviews of software
long post about some different animation software
krita is free and has some basic frame-by-frame animation capabilities. There's nothing too fancy to it, its just a timeline and an onion skin, but it does those well, all things considered! (krita's main focus is in illustration, so it doesn't go too intense on its animation features)
clip studio paint ex is another very good illustration program with basic frame-by-frame animation abilities. It is similar to krita in that those features are mainly just a timeline and an onion skin, but, also like krita, it does those well. It also has some *very* basic tweening abilities, but they are, well, very limited. Also, clip studio paint EX is probably the version you would want, as clip studio paint pro is limited to just 30 frames. It costs 200 dollars, however several times a year it goes on a pretty steep sale. It also has a decent free trial length of 3 months (I think at least? it was a different trial length when I started, but the website says "up to 3 months"). This is the program I currently use myself.
toonboom harmony is probably the best animation program around for tweening animation, and also does quite well with frame-by-frame animation. Unlike the other two listed above, it is a program created specifically for animation, and so it is much more fully featured. The major issue however, is it markets itself as an industry program and as a result is ludicrously expensive, at 400 dollars for a permanent license on the basic version, and over 2000 for the most advanced version. it does have a 21 day free trial period to try out. I know years ago when i did my free trial, their website would let you buy older versions for a discounted price, but I have no clue if they still do that anymore (this was in, i think 2014? maaaaybe 2015)
opentoonz is a free animation program which i have been meaning to learn myself for some time now. Like toonboom, it is specifically made for animation, and as such, is very well featured. It was originally created for internal use within animation companies (the most prominent of which being studio ghibli), however in 2016, it was made open source. It is a very powerful and well featured frame-by-frame animation program, though I dont know what capabilities it has for tweening animation, if any. The major catch with it, is that it has a very different workflow and layout from a lot of other animation software, meaning it has a pretty steep learning curve to get over. This has been what has kept me from using it over the years, but if I had the motivation to, It definitely is possible to get started relatively quickly, and there's much more resources for learning it online now than there were in 2016.
tvpaint, I have been told, is the best program for frame-by-frame animation, and as far as i know it has no tweening abilities. It is the program i have the least experience with in this list, so unfortunately i dont really have much to say on it, other than that, like toonboom, it is /very/ expensive, and I dont know if it goes on sale or not (it may! i just dont know)
aaaaand thats it for the programs listed there that i know about (other than the ipad ones, which if interested in i an also elaborate on!), hope its helpful! <3
long post about some different animation software
@fluffdragom @Cynder Thanks, that's a really helpful list. I'd been thinking about checking out opentoonz but hadn't yet, and based on your rec's I'll have to check out at least clip studio paint. I like the long trial period because it means he might actually have a chance to *learn* during the trial, not just get a sense of the UX and then get told to pay up.
@KelsonV I've fiddled around with Animate, Flash, Pencil2D, Anime Studio 9 (now Moho) , OpenToonz and Krita.
My first 2D animation program was Moho. It's a rig-based program (which I didn't expect for 2D), but it's great and I found it really easy to get the hang of.
Nowadays, I prefer to use OpenToonz. It's free, and is meant for a more traditional workflow. It also has *great* compositing features, and I've used it for everything from animating tiny emoticons to simple scenes.
@flewkey Thanks! Someone else was also recommending Moho, so I'm *definitely* going to check that one out, and OpenToonz is on my short list too.
@KelsonV Blender's new Grease Pencil might be a bit more complicated, but is quite capable and entirely free. look at Bigtop Burger for an example of what a small (i think single person?) team can do with it.
@KelsonV also for short pixel loops there is Aseprite, which has paid binary downloads but the source is available and you can build it yourself. (or your distro might package it, eg.: I know the AUR has it)
@csepp Nice, I think he'll get a kick out of the sprite animations too. He's been watching a lot of retro-computing videos lately!
@KelsonV I've played around a tiny bit with Pencil 2D. It seemed simpler than Blender. I'm thinking about using it for a history project with animated maps. It's cross platform, Windows & Mac and in the Ubuntu repo. I'd check out their tutorial videos on their website, which I didn't know about till right now.
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