FREEWAREFILES EDITOR'S REVIEW
Many people enjoy computer animation as a hobby, with some learning enough to go on and create their own games, videos, and media. The issue: creating nice animations requires software, and that software typically costs quite a bit of money. There are free animation programs available, but they're often lackluster or difficult to navigate. OpenToonz, a free 2d animation tool released by software developer Dwango, solves this problem by offering software that's not only user friendly but richly featured.
OpenToonzis free to download and fairly easy to install. The interface is clean, but it would be easy for anyone who isn't familiar with computer animation software to be intimidated. After playing around with the features and browsing through the OpenToonz community forum, just about anyone will have a much better idea of how to use it.
OpenToonz allows you to create 2d animations via many methods, including scanning your hand or digital drawings. You can scan in 4 ways: black and white, color, with binarization, or without binarization. As a bonus, there's no need to manually set your scan preferences since OpenToonz saves scan settings and also has the ability to replicate processes while cuts are being rescanned.
One of the many neat features of OpenToonz is its menu of picture effects, which range from the ability to affect incident light and create wavy distortions to completely changing picture styles. If you're into modifying source code and customizing programs, you'll especially appreciate that OpenToonz is open source. The program is TWAIN standard compatible and works with Windows versions 7 SP1, 8.1, and 10.
OpenToonz is based on the Toonz software that was the brainchild of Italy's Digital Video S.P.A. and Japan's Studio Ghibli. With these two powerhouses working in cooperation with Dwango to launch OpenToonz, it's no wonder it's such a great tool. This software can easily hold its own against paid products, which is very impressive for a free 2d animation program. If you regularly create computer animations or you want to see the engine behind some of the world's most famous cartoons -- such as The Simpsons, Futurama, and Princess Mononoke -- you should definitely try out OpenToonz. If you've never created a 2d animation in your life, download and try it anyway -- you'll be surprised how much you'll learn.