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Hamersly Library

Digital Media Production Guide : Animation

This guide highlights various software and tools you can use to create digital video projects

Free Animation Tools

Get step-by-step instructions for creating animation: Digital Media Life Hacks--Animation


A web-based tool for creating short animated videos using various themes. The range of themes, backgrounds, characters, props, and animation options is quite robust, and the interface is user-friendly. You can import images and sound files from your own computer.             

Caveats: the free version of the tool limits videos to 30 seconds, and makes only about half of the themes available. You cannot include audio or voice-over tracks using the free account. You can share your videos from the free account on social media and can view them via a unique URL, but you *cannot* download the video as a file. All free videos bear the GoAnimate logo.

A web-based tool for creating animated videos, very similar to GoAnimate in options and user-interface. PowToon markets itself as more of a business tool and its styles are less cartoon-like than other tools. With the free account, users are able to save videos up to 5 minutes long and can upload a voice-over track and/or audio track.

Caveat: The free version does not allow you to download your video as a file. All free videos bear the PowToon logo.

Another web-based tool for creating short, animated videos. Simpler, in terms of user interface and options, than other tools. Wideo's stock elements include text, cartoons, and drawings. You can also upload your own images and audio files to use in your videos.

A downloadable stick figure animation program. Very few options for what to animate (think MS Paint), but what it lacks in cute icons and backgrounds it makes up for in granular control and sophistication of the animation.

100% free and available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

A downloadable program that animates line drawings. This is a much more advanced program and requires the user to draw using a pencil, pen, paint, etc. tool (again, think MS Paint-type tools). For the user that is both artistically gifted and technically savvy.

100% free and available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.