16 January, 2009

"Pencil" : FREE Open Source Traditional 2D Animation Software

A colleague of mine came across "Pencil", an open source, traditional 2D animation software application that is free for you to download and use that was created by Pascal Naidon and Patrick Corrieri. I've played with it and I have to say its really nice.

Without reading the manual, I was able to draw and get something animated in a few minutes. As I tell all my students, with any new software that you are learning, after you learn the basics, create something fun for yourself so that you can remember what you've learned.

"Pencil" works well with the WACOM tablet, the drawing tools are simplified, filling shapes with color is easy, and as far as animating is concerned, its quite easy to set up keyframes and various layers for detail, and also has onion skinning. When I exported, I found that I could export the file into a quicktime movie of various sizes with ease, and it also exports files into swfs and image sequences. You are also able to import sound and movie files for reference. Not sure about compositing into other programs like After Effects or Combustion, if you try this, let us know how things go.

is definately worth exploring and will intoduce it to my Principles of Animaiton Class for use this quarter...after they learn how to use the lunchbox...mooo ha ha ha!

Hope this helps, good luck and have fun.