Some free animation tools include Pencil, Synfig Studios, Stykz, Blender and Bryce. These free and open-source animation programs give users varied tools to draw and animate images.
Pencil is a 2-D animation program that is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. The program offers a wide set of features, including support for vector and bitmap images, layered animation and drawing, built-in animation tools and the ability to import graphics. The program is also fairly intuitive and features a clean interface.
Synfig Studios is comparable to Pencil, but the program offers an even larger toolset for animation. This comes along with a steeper learning curve, but this animation studio can create work that is close to the professional level.
Stykz is a simple animation tool that allows users to create and animate crude stick figure drawings. While it’s not functional for creating professional animations, Stykz is a useful tool for animators who need to outline their work before actually animating it.
Blender is one of the most popular 3-D animation tools, and even professional animators make use of the program on occasion. The software offers a substantial range of animation tools, but its learning curve can be off-putting for beginners.
Bryce isn’t actually an animation program, but the terrain creator tool is an invaluable asset for creating quality backgrounds for animations. Bryce integrates with most other animation and modeling software, and the program can create both simple and complex backgrounds.