An old proverb says - "A picture is worth a thousand words". Even with all of our new technology, I feel this is truer than ever before. You can see the evidence of this everywhere - including the Internet, which was initially text based only. Now you can open any web page, and you will see the images and animations popping out from every corner of the visible area. Human mind is more receptive to visual pictures and animation, than it is to dull text.
Animation means to move or rotate something which cannot do it by itself. In other words, animation is just an illusion that tricks you eye into believing that something is in motion. Animation adds to graphics the dimension of time.
The art of creating static pictures and animations was limited to a few gifted artists only, especially in pre-Internet era. With the invention of the high resolution displays and graphics applications, this has changed significantly. Don't you wish one day you could create your own animation? Any person, irrespective of his education, experience and inclination, start Paint shop pro, or GIF Animator, and create a decent animation, within a few minutes. Not only this, but today's Animation programs provide a rich set of tools and filters to enhance the effects in the animation.
However, it's not always easy to choose one free animation software package over another free animation software. There are many influencing factors while deciding just which computer animation software is suitable for a particular task. In today's article, I will review a few free animation packages to help you take this crucial decision. Note that this list is not all inclusive - There are far many animation programs available on the net than can be reviewed here. However, the following list can be a good starting point for a animation beginner. Obviously, there is no tool that is perfect for every animator or animation.
Most animation software programs have some common features, like a rich set of Drawing and editing tools, support for various file formats, filters and special effects. However, some not-so-evident features, that help in the long run, are -
You may be using Windows now, but may decide to switch over to Linux or Macintosh in future. If your favorite free animation software is available on both operating systems, your hard earned investment won't be wasted.
This may seem unnecessary initially, but will become important as your animations become more complicated.
This is a must for any decent free animation software. Except for few basic free animation softwares, don't use any free animation software that doesn't support layers.
Raster-to-Vector Converter in free animation softwar is necessary when you are using more than one software program, and each of them supports a different format.
Don't overlook SWF Import/Export. Some clients might want their animations as GIF files, whereas others might opt for a flash movie. You don't want to double your efforts if the client changes his/her mind.
Again, for the same reason. Don't overlook QuickTime and Avi Support in free animation software. Some clients might want their animations as GIF files, whereas others might opt for a flash movie. You don't want to double your efforts if the client changes his/her mind.
Alpha Channel Support in Free Animation Software is a slightly advance feature, but you might need it in the future.
Sqirlz Lite 1.1d Free Animation Software is remarkable software - Sqirlz Lite 1.1d Free Animation Software can distort image and export it in an AVI format. Note that only lite version is free.
Sqirlz Morph 1.2c Free Animation Software is free software that morphs and blends the images.
Animator-9 3.6 Free Animation software helps you to create animated GIFs from digital photos
Gmax Free Animation Software is great software that is based on 3D Studio Max. Gmax Free Animation Software is mainly targeted towards a game programmer to create games - especially Gmax-ready video games. However, Gmax Free Animation Software is not only limited to game programmers only.
Serif 3D Plus Free Animation Software is simple but useful animation program - Serif 3D Plus Free Animation Software helps you to create animated shapes and landscapes.
Special Effects 3.2 Free Animation Software allows you to create screen savers - with pre-set animations.
True Space 3.2 Free Animation Software is amazing 3D animation software, which is cross-compatible with many other similar programs. However, you need to register with the web site (Registration is free) to get an unlock code for the program to run.