If you want to learn the basic curves of animation and looking for some free animation software meant for beginners and students then you will find dozens of online. But doing a Google search and going to their websites one by one can consume lots of time and to save that here we have compiled the best free animations software list for beginners, experts, and students, which are available online. These software programs are free to download and use.
These free alternatives to paid animation software programs are not that powerful but enough excellent and capable of sculpting your ideas into a moving animation.
Besides this free animation software list, we have compiled the best available open-source software for animation.
Best Free 3D & 2D Animation Software
For those who don’t know Blender is open-source software, hence absolutely free to use on Linux, Mac, and Windows. Blender is one of the best animation software to create videos for professionals apart from CAD designing. It consists of a wide range of tools to support 3D animation. Modeling, masking, motion tracking and compositing, simulation, built-in video editor, character animation, and more are its features.
Even movies such as RRR and others have used Blender to create VFX shots.
- Cycles, a Blenber’s render engine offers multi-core CPU and GPU rendering
- Modeling with Python scripting for custom tools and add-ons
- Digital sculpting includes Dedicated Workspace, Brushes, Dynamic Topology, and Masking
- Animation Toolset for Character animation, Non-Linear Animation (NLA), Forward/inverse kinematics for fast poses and sound synchronization
- Story Art, drawing 2D in 3D – Its Grease Pencil allows you to draw in the 3D space. Can be used to make traditional 2D animation.
- VFX, Pipeline, Simulation, script, and customizable shortcuts are some other important features.
Daz Studio provides premium 3D animation software packed with extremely user-friendly features. To download, this free software you need to sign up to create a free account. Just like open-source blender software you have to give it some time to learn–how to handle the 3D software. The Daz3D is available to download for Windows and macOS.
Daz Studio Free Animation Software features
- Scene Building
- Export in multiple formats including Autodesk FBX, COLLADA, OBJ, BVH, Universal 3D
- 3D Morphing, posing, animation & rendering
- GPU accelerated real-time rendering, photo-realistic results
- Lighting, textures, industry standard rigging
- Bloom Filters
- Support NVIDIA Iray Render Engine
- And More…
Clara.io is a free cloud-based 3D modeling, animation, and rendering software that can run on any platform because it works on the browser. This means any operating system such as Windows, Linux, Android, and macOS can operate this free 3D animation software using the web browser.
Clara.io can create complex 3D models and beautiful photorealistic renderings that can share without installing any software program on the computer. The user interface of the software is similar to any desktop animation software that is divided into sections for tools and editing space. Clara.io offers three plans: Free, Standard, and Professional. The free version of this animation software provides 5GB cloud storage, Unlimited public scenes, 10 private scenes, 1-hour personal rendering, Unlimited rendering jobs, WebGL embeds, and V-Ray embeds and it doesn’t require a credit card to sign up.
- Modeling Tools
- VRay Cloud Rendering
- Scripting, Plugins + REST API
- Import/Export in more than 30 common file formats such as Collada, STL, OBJ, FBX, Three.JS, STEP, IGES, 3DS, Blender, Babylons.JS, and more.
- Modern Interface with Undo/redo/Drag/drop options
- Easy Sharing + Embedding
- And More…
If you are a student then you can get the professional AutoDesk Maya 3D animation software free of cost license. The Maya offers 3D computer animation, modeling, simulation, rendering, and compositing.
- Complete general tools set for animation
- Make high-level animation edit
- Symmetry modeling
- Motion Graphics toolset
- Time Editor
- Geodesic voxel binding
- Animation speed enhancements
- And lots more…
K-3D is free 3D modeling and animation software that features plugins with a visualization pipeline architecture. K-3D features procedural and parametric workflows, node-based visualization, undo/redo systems, and more.
You can see the other side of your model while working on one side via its mirrored feature and both sides can be welded together as a subdivision surface in real-time. In this free 3D animation software one can modify the beginning of a workflow, and watch as changes propagate automatically to the end.
Best Free 2D Animation Software
Opentoonz is another top but free and open-source software for creating animation on Windows, Mac, and Linux. You cannot only use for personal but commercial purposes as well. The tool specializes in 2D animations and therefore does not offer the possibility to create content in 3D. Earlier it was known as Toonz which used to create well-known TV series such as Futurama. However, later the program is also available free of charge as an open-source tool. After a bit of training, you can create moving figures from static drawings or even your own cartoon series.
The open-source status of the software allows knowledgeable animators to add their own code at any time or to adapt the existing code to their own wishes. Also, the so-called effect development kit (SDK) can even add your own effects in the form of plugins to the animation program.
Stykz is a freeware that can create 2D animations that you can export to show on other devices or applications. It is free to download and supports Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.
You can say that Stykz is a free animation software for beginners with a simple and easily understandable user interface along with handy tools to create animations. You can work on individual frames of your animations because Stykz uses a frame-based model. To adjust the frames easily and see what was in the previous it has an option called Onion skins.
- Frame-based interface
- Supports multiple animation documents
- Multiple documents can open simultaneously to cut, copy, and paste figures between them.
- Stykz can export to QuickTime, Animated GIF, or a sequence of images.
- Auto Save/Auto Backup
- And More…
Plastic Paper animation is another 2D animation software. The software allows the creation of beautiful animations and cartoons in 2D plain without any cost. The free version is the original version of Plastic Animation Paper (PAP) is the old version and runs perfectly on Windows or macOS while the pro costs around $75.
It supports zooming, control frame speed, layers, export of projects in AVI, PNG GIF, and other formats, sketching, color adding, and more…
Synfig Studio is also free and open-source 2D animation software to create film-quality animation using vector and bitmap artwork. It eliminates the need to create animation frame-by frame; generates the frames between two keyframes, creating fluid movement and allowing you to produce 2D animation of a higher quality with fewer people and resources. For example, to control the body parts of a figure and to deform the vector and raster graphics used accordingly.
- Vector Tweening: Transform any vector shape into another.
- Layer and Filters: Synfig provides 50+ layers
- Full-featured bone system
- Allows you to create advanced character puppets and other dynamic structures.