Surprisingly, there is a lot of free computer animation software out there if you take the time to look for it. Unfortunately, some may not have the exact features you want or they may contain watermarks which can be kind of dissapointing.
For this course I have settled on three different software downloads. One for illustration (mostly backgrounds), one for editing, and one for actually animating your frames. None of them place watermarks on your work and they all contain the basic tools you need to make some pretty nice looking animation.
Paint Tool Sai – Illustration
The first software we are going to take a look at is Paint Tool Sai, one you may have already heard of. This is a popular free drawing software that many amateur artists and animators are familiar with. It’s easy to use and learn.
On their website make sure to click this button:
After this, your download will start and you will be redirected to a page showing you how to install Paint Tool Sai.
DaVinci Resolve 14 – Editing
DaVinci Resolve is an amazing editing software that surprisingly is free. Although it does come with a paid version that has a lot more advanced features. For this course, we will be using the free version.
Here is the link to the website: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/davinciresolve/
In order to download, you must click the center download button which will cause a pop up to appear
Make sure you click on DaVince Resolve 14 and NOT DaVinci Resolve 14 Studio. The Studio version is only a free trial you will later have to pay for.
After you choose which version fits your operating system, you will be asked to input some information in order to begin downloading. After you have completed the form and submitted it, your software will begin downloading as a .zip file and you can install it yourself (if you have any questions on how to do so, email me or comment below).
OpenToonz – Animation
My favorite animation software that I’ve come across as of yet, and it’s free! OpenToonz is an absolutely amazing animation software that gives you a variety of different ways to animate in a very straightforward way. This software has also been used and customized by the notorious Studio Ghibli!
Once you reach the home page, scroll down until you are able to find the download links
After you download, make sure to install it on your computer and you’re good to go!
The three programs shown above are the ones I’m going to be using in this course but you are more than welcome to use other programs if they work better for you.
Here are a few other programs you may want to check out:
Krita – Another free drawing program that is user friendly and has a lot of features to experiment with.
Clip Studio Paint – Not free but this is the drawing program that I personally use for my everyday art. Its very easy to learn and is used by many well established digital artists I follow.
Windows Movie Maker – Simple, free editing software most people are familiar with and may already come with your computer. Not a lot options to work with but will basically get you want you want.
Wax – Another free editing software with general features that are easy to learn and operate
Vegas Movie Studio – Editing software I typically use, not free, but very powerful tool for editing and making your videos look amazing.
For now, feel free to browse through your programs and become familiar with the interface and features.
In the next lesson, I am going to go over a simple animation excersize to get you started.
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Comment down below with any questions you have or suggestions for a future lesson plan, or you can email me