Monday, August 2, 2010

Tej Kohli's Best 2D Animation Tools

Tej Kohli Animation blog - your reservoir of animation and everything related to it!

While there is no denial that 3D animation has taken the animation industry by storm, there are still a plenty of traditionalists who believe that 2D animation is better that its contemporary counterpart. No matter if you believe that strongly, or you're just a novice who is trying to carve his niche is the animation industry, 2D animation is your first step towards becoming a professional animator. There are a variety of 2D animation tools available out there, even online. You can also access them for free and hone your 2D animation skills.

Pencil – This is perhaps the first thing an artist shall befriend with. Not only in real life but also virtually. Pencil is a free animation program that allow users to create 2D images using both bitmap and vector graphics. Although this programs doesn't not feature all the features that a professional 2D animation program has, but as a free program, it lets users create hand-drawn-like animations.

DigiCel FlipBook – This is an extremely useful program that helps at every stage of animation process – from the lip-syncing and creating storyboards to the raw and refined animation, all the way to the final product. Equally great for amateurs and professionals, this program helps you create feature-length animations. Use hand-drawn pictures or create them on the computer itself. You can also add a variety of effects, like zooms and dissolves to give your work a professional look.

Plastic Animation Paper – This program is available in three versions, and each of them differ in price and tools they feature. The free version is very basic but looks great if you're fond of 2D animation, and is ideal for an amateur. The home edition, which comes at $99, has some extra tools that adds a professional appeal to your animation. Using the home edition, you can make animations for YouTube or your own website. And lastly, the professional version, which is tagged at $695. This is capable of making feature-length animation and is perfect for a studio team.

Stickman and Elemento – This is a basic program with few buttons and features and allow students to expand their knowledge about the animation process. Draw in the program or import images like JPEG or Photoshop. While it's not a fully-featured software, but is ideal for younger students to help them harness their creativity.

Monkey Jam – A freeware animation, Monkey Jam is a wonderful intermediate program that allows you to create your own personal animations. Animate or separate layers to facilitate animation process, and use keyboard shortcuts to alter image duration, which works great while testing the speed of animation.

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