10 Best Free 2D Animation Software in 2022 | ComputerCareers (2022)

Table of Contents show

Want to create and modify two-dimensional animations but can’t find the right tools? Nowadays, you can find many free and open-source options suitable.

This post will provide you with the top ten 2D Animation software. These powerful tools promise to be of great help to your work.

Now, check out the list below and make the right choice!

Our Top Picks:

The names below meet my expectations for a free 2D image creation software. Most come with many features, are easy to use, and complete basic tasks well.

1. Pencil 2D – Best for Overall

10 Best Free 2D Animation Software in 2022 | ComputerCareers (1)

Specifications

  • Operating system: Windows, Linux, macOS, FreeBSD.
  • System requirements: No.

Key Features

Pencil 2D is one of my favorite free 2D animation design software. It is built on open-source code, entirely free for commercial use.

The reason why I’m incredibly impressed with Pencil 2D is because of its simple operation. With Pencil 2D, I just focused on the animation instead of the functional buttons.

This tool also supports conversion between raster and vector. It has often helped with my sketching and creative work, even on the go.

I am pretty satisfied with the experience that this open-source software brings.

The only problem is that it doesn’t support changing the interface language. This disadvantage hinders quite a lot of my complex operations.

Price: Free.

Website Link: https://www.pencil2d.org

Pros

  • Simple operation.
  • Open source software.
  • Suitable for many different uses.
  • Free, even with the commercial version.
  • Support conversion between raster and vector

Cons

  • It does not support changing the interface language.

2. Syngif Studio – Best for Vector Animations

10 Best Free 2D Animation Software in 2022 | ComputerCareers (2)

Specifications

  • Operating system: Windows, Linux, macOS.
  • System requirements: No.

Key Features

The Synfig Studio is a 2D animation software that serves quite well for commercial purposes. It helps me create high-quality 2D movies with the least time and effort.

My favorite feature about this open-source software is its vector shape transformation. It supports powerful tools to convert any vector into the shape I want. I also do not waste time on calculations because the tool will automate all operations to save maximum time.

Syngif Studio also impresses with many other valuable features, such as 50 layers and filters, image clipping animations, and advanced control for creating dynamic structures.

Syngif Studio still has some disadvantages. One of them is its complicated interface, which is not convenient for performing some video import and export operations.

Price: Free

Website Link: https://www.synfig.org

Pros

  • Automatic calculation.
  • Support vector shape conversion.
  • Create dynamic structures easily.
  • It supports multiple layers and filters
  • Create a clipping animation with an image.

Cons

  • Complex interface.

3. Opentoonz – Best for Easy Download

10 Best Free 2D Animation Software in 2022 | ComputerCareers (3)

Specifications

  • Operating system: Windows, Linux, macOS, FreeBSD.
  • System requirements: No.

Key Features

I’m particularly interested in Opentoonz, which Studio Ghibli uses to create popular animated films. Although this tool does not possess the most advanced functions, it is still a great help for 2D creation due to its specific advantages.

Some of its most prominent ones are the GTS scanning engine, effects developer, deep learning image retouching, and others.

In particular, I immensely love Opentoonz’s lighting effects. It helps me create many classic works with eye-catching animations and colors.

If I had to point out one thing I don’t like about Opentoonz, it would be the outdated interface. But since it’s open-source software, you can make tweaks to get the best experience.

Price: Free

Website Link: https://opentoonz.github.io/e/

Pros

  • GTS scanning engine.
  • Effect development kit.
  • Support multiple effects
  • Editable open-source code.

Cons

  • Outdated interface.

4. Anime Studio Pro – Best for Anime

10 Best Free 2D Animation Software in 2022 | ComputerCareers (4)

Specifications

  • Operating system: Windows, Linux, macOS, FreeBSD.
  • System requirements: No.

Key Features

As the name suggests, Anime Studio Pro is specialized software to turn your ideas into vivid anime movies.

Compared to traditional software, Anime Studio Pro is much more powerful. This new-style animation software comes packed with powerful features for ultra-fast 2D movies.

One of those powerful features is a freehand drawing tool that minimizes the steps involved. Also, its bezier processing tool gives me more complete and accessible design control.

This version also supports creating multiple dynamic layers simultaneously. Not many free software allows flexible layer manipulation like Anime Studio Pro.

In the first use, I had to spend a lot of time getting used to the features that the software supports. For starters, it can be a pretty big minus.

Price: Freetrial

Website Link: https://anime-studio-pro.en.softonic.com

Pros

  • Time-saving
  • Many powerful tools.
  • Simplify the creative process.
  • Support design control.
  • Create multiple layers at once.

Cons

  • Not too suitable for beginners.

5. Toon Boom Harmony – Best for Professionals

10 Best Free 2D Animation Software in 2022 | ComputerCareers (5)

Specifications

  • Operating system: Windows.
  • System requirements: Intel Core i5 or better.

Key Features

I’ve done quite a few animation projects with Toon Boom Harmony. And so far, I’m still quite satisfied with its professional design.

It gives me a brush and pencil converter and various textures. This feature is very relevant to the nature of my 2D animation creative work in many styles.

The software also supports flexible parameter customization to create the most natural lines and textures. Some of the customizations I often use are tilt, configure transparency, draw textures in real-time, and more.

I was also impressed with Toon Boom Harmony’s support for up to 4 layers of art per artboard. I took advantage of this feature to easily create multiple sub-layers and separate lines from colors.

To use these pro features, your device needs a powerful processor. With Windows computers, the CPU must be at least from Intel Core i5 and Intel Core i7 to provide the best user experience.

Price: Free trial – $123.5/month

Website Link: https://www.toonboom.com/products/harmony

Pros

  • Create multiple subclasses.
  • Meet the needs of professionals.
  • Flexible parameter customization.
  • Create 3D animations in many styles.
  • Provide a tool to switch between brushes and pencils.

Cons

  • Require a device with a powerful processor.

6. CelAction2D – Best for Commercials 2D Software

10 Best Free 2D Animation Software in 2022 | ComputerCareers (6)

Specifications

  • Operating system: Windows.
  • System requirements: Intel i5 or better.

Key Features

CelAction2D is the 2D animation software behind commercially successful movies. If you want to produce high-quality 2D videos in bulk, try this software.

I can easily attach the character model to the frame in this professional software through vectors and bitmaps. This feature saves me much time but still gets distortion-free images and natural movement.

CelAction 2D even nicely supports importing content from other famous photo and video editing software. So, I have an extensive and easy-to-use source of animations.

Unfortunately, this commercial software is still not perfect. It can only support animation creation without many advanced features.

Price: N/A

Website Link: https://www.celaction.com/en/celaction2d/

Pros

  • Support multiple 2D videos in a short time.
  • Attach the character model to the frame.
  • Import content from various software.
  • Serve well for commercial purposes
  • Motion picture without distortion

Cons

  • Drawing is not supported.

7. Stop Motion Studio – Best for Frame-by-Frame Animation

10 Best Free 2D Animation Software in 2022 | ComputerCareers (7)

Specifications

  • Operating system: Windows, Linux, macOS, Android.
  • System requirements: No.

Key Features

The Stop Motion Studio is a tool worth considering for creating images and stories. I greatly appreciate its user-friendly interface.

The intuitive design makes this toolkit relatively easy to use. I have recommended it to beginners, and the feedback is quite positive.

The best feature of this program is smooth playback with a high frame rate, multi-frame capture quickly, and universal compatibility.

All these advantages make Stop Motion Studio one of the ideal tools for frame-by-frame animation. However, this powerful software lacks the camera zoom feature.

Price: Freetrial

Website Link: https://www.cateater.com/try.html

Pros

  • Widely compatible.
  • User-friendly interface.
  • Capture multiple frames quickly.
  • Smooth playback with a high frame rate.
  • Ideal for frame-by-frame animation.

Cons

  • The image cannot be zoomed in.

8. Reallusion CrazyTalk Animator – The Lightest 2D Animation Editor

10 Best Free 2D Animation Software in 2022 | ComputerCareers (8)

Specifications

  • Operating system: Windows, macOS.
  • System requirements: No.

Key Features

The Reallusion CrazyTalk Animator is a powerful, smooth, and efficient 2D animation tool that any creator should consider.

I especially love the automatic motion tool this software supports. This tool makes converting ideas and images into animated movies no longer too difficult.

I regularly import my drawings and still images into the software to transform them into animated characters. It’s the easiest way to bring your ideas to life.

This software also supports the creation of 3D characters. However, you will have to pay $49 – $199/month to use this unique feature and many other powerful tools.

Price: Freetrial

Website Link: https://www.reallusion.com/cartoon-animator/

Pros

  • Smooth.
  • Strong power
  • Automatic conversion.
  • Can create 3D characters.
  • Convert image drawings into 3D animations.

Cons

  • Need to pay for long-term use.

9. Plastic Animation Paper – Best for Hand-Drawn Animation

10 Best Free 2D Animation Software in 2022 | ComputerCareers (9)

Specifications

  • Operating system: Windows, Linux, macOS.
  • System requirements: No.

Key Features

The Plastic Animation Paper is software worth considering if you are familiar with hand-drawn animation production methods.

This software is suitable for many different platforms and has many features to meet the needs of both beginners and professional filmmakers.

I am very impressed with the intuitiveness and fun of this software. Its layout feels quite familiar, like when working with traditional pen and paper.

The software also provides useful features that make creating 2D animations simpler and more enjoyable.

However, I had to spend a lot of time learning how to use the functions because the software features are pretty different from today’s popular options.

Another downside is that it only supports black-and-white images. Even so, it won’t be a problem for those who love hand-drawn animation.

Price: Free.

Website Link: https://animationpaper.com

Pros

  • Intuitive.
  • Airy working space
  • Many novel functions.
  • Meet the needs of many users.
  • Suitable for hand-drawn 2D animation.

Cons

  • Only black and white images are supported.

10. CreaToon – Best for Simple Animated Videos

10 Best Free 2D Animation Software in 2022 | ComputerCareers (10)

Specifications

  • Operating system: Windows, Linux, macOS, FreeBSD.
  • System requirements: No.

Key Features

Creating high-quality 2D animations is challenging for professionals, requiring you to use complex paid software. But, if you want to create simple animations, using the free CreaToon software is more than enough.

CreaToon focuses on creating animations. It allows me to add keyframes to add multimedia files to the project.

In addition, the software also supports editing directly at the main interface. I no longer have to waste time with different keyframes. Instead, I just worked with the Preview panel to get the animation I wanted.

Overall, CreaToon meets mine needs to create simple animations quite well. It would be ideal for beginners. However, it will not be the option that professionals will use to create complex animations.

Price: Free.

Website Link: https://www.softpedia.com/get/Multimedia/Graphic/Graphic-Editors/CreaToon.shtml

Pros

  • Simple, easy to use.
  • Suitable for beginners.
  • Edit directly at the main interface.
  • Help to add multimedia files to the project.
  • Good support for creating simple animations.

Cons

  • Unable to create complex animations.

How To Choose

Some notes below are the experience of my choice of 2D animation software. Hopefully, these shares will help you find a powerful animation tool soon.

System specifications

Some powerful software will require your device to have a compatible graphics card, RAM, and processor.

Usually, most software will require the computer, and the PC must have at least 16 GB and 4 GB graphics cards to work correctly.

If your device configuration is lower than the above numbers, consider platforms that support online animations that do not require hardware.

Features

The required features of the 2D software you choose will depend on the nature of your work.

With 2D animation, you will need to use various sketching tools. Software that supports using old frames to create animations is worth considering.

Meanwhile, if the job requires you to create 2D and 3D movies, in addition to the above features, the ideal software needs to be able to sculpt, support lighting, and texture processing.

Platform

Most software that supports creating 2D animations today is compatible with Windows and macOS operating systems. A handful of software can work on Linux and other less popular operating systems.

To use the software smoothly, without a hitch, you need to choose the correct version that supports your operating system. Also, don’t forget to update to the latest software version for the best working experience.

Conclusion

For those who are first getting into 2D animation, I would suggest using Pencil 2D. This free software is easy to use and offers all the powerful tools.

Toon Boom Harmony is powerful software, promising to satisfy professionals. Plastic Animation Paper conquers animation creators by hand drawing method.

Thank you for reading!

Recommended Reading...

  • 2D Animator
  • 10 Best Free Music Making Software
  • 10 Best Free Database Software
  • 10 Best Free PDF Editors
  • How To Become a 2D Animator
  • 10 Best Free Video Editing Software
  • 12 Best Free Audio Editors
  • 10 Best Free Logo Makers
  • How To Become an Animator

Top Articles

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Kieth Sipes

Last Updated: 08/04/2022

Views: 5775

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (67 voted)

Reviews: 82% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kieth Sipes

Birthday: 2001-04-14

Address: Suite 492 62479 Champlin Loop, South Catrice, MS 57271

Phone: +9663362133320

Job: District Sales Analyst

Hobby: Digital arts, Dance, Ghost hunting, Worldbuilding, Kayaking, Table tennis, 3D printing

Introduction: My name is Kieth Sipes, I am a zany, rich, courageous, powerful, faithful, jolly, excited person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.