Animation Programs [Review]

Hello and welcome to the first post made on this website!. I’ve decided to kick off the opening of this site with a giant review of some of the best known animation programs out there (and some not-so known).

Each animation program is different. While some may have similarities, they each offer different things – such as: more features, better usability, great support, etc.

Note: Click each title to be taken to a page were you can download it and/or find more information about it.

Adobe Flash CS4

This is the most popular and most used animating program of all-time and is used by countless individuals who want to express their creative side in a lively manner.

It was formerly called ‘Macromedia Flash’ before Adobe purchased ‘Macromedia’ for 3.4 Billion US Dollars in 2005. Once they had the rights to flash they added features and jacked up the price. It now costs about 700 dollars for one copy of adobe’s newest product (I.E Flash CS4) but it’s preaty understandable since they paid so much to get the rights to it – They do have to make their money back aswell as profit to keep their bussiness going.

Pro’s:

  • Has a great layout
  • Feature rich
  • Able to make games and applications
  • Web design and creation
  • Easy to navigate
  • Action Script is easy to master
  • Animations can turn out great if you know what you’re doing

Con’s:

  • Hard to get used to animating with it
  • Some features are hard to find
  • Costs a heck of a lot
  • Usabillity isn’t as good as it could be
  • Costs alot (Yes, I’m saying it again)

Pivot Stickfigure Animator

‘Pivot Stickfigure Animator’ or ‘Pivot’ for short is a stickfigure animation program that enables users to quickly and easily create decent animations. The way you animate with it is you use what are called ‘nodes’ to pivot each segment of a stickfigure to bring your 2-D characters to life.

Pivot is a great way for a begginer to ease into animating because it has a very little learning curve and is so simple even a 9 year old could pick it up and make a basic animation. However, getting good is another story, to get really good you must practice quite frequently for a long period of time. It was created by Peter Bone but unfortunately he has discontinued making the program after making Pivot 3.1 Beta.

There is a lot of places that you can go to to get help with animating in this program such as Droidz.org & Darkdemon.org. Droidz has a large variety of free stickfigures you can download and use for Pivot and a great forum community able and willing to help you get better at animating.

Pro’s:

  • 100% free!
  • Easy to learn
  • Simple interface
  • Easy to navigate
  • Good for begginers
  • Quickly create animations

Con’s:

  • Not as many features as there could be
  • Hard to master
  • Discontinued product
  • Only avalible for Windows
  • It will crash if you put too much detail into a frame or a stickfigure

Stykz

Stykz was first thought of in late 2008 by ‘stykzman’ (Ken Ray). His goal is to create a program similar to pivot so that he can give the pivot community’s more features and a better animating experience. So-far it is still in a pre-release stage called “Release Candidate”. As of right now it is in it’s ‘Release Candidate 3’ stage but stykzman has said he should be releasing ‘Candidate 4’ soon and the Official 1.0 Release soon after that.

Although Stykz is quite similar to Pivot, they function in different ways and have a different layout and means of accessing each function. Pivot is structured in one single window where-as Stykz uses multiple windows. Stykz has a library function similar to Adobe Flash where you can easily access your stickfigures from within stykz instead of having to import each figure each time you want to use it. Stykzman has a list on his forum that show’s an features that he will impliment and when he will impliment it as-well as some he is considering, by the lookes of it, if all the features in the list make it onto a version of Stykz that isn’t buggy, I predict everyone moving from Pivot to Stykz and maybe even some Flash users.

Stykz has it’s own forum where users can go to give ideas, feature requests and get support for the program if they have any problems. They can also post their animations and/or stickfigures in the specified sections to get feedback and help with animation techniques and/or stickmaking techniques. One other great thing about Stykz is that you can import .stk’s (the type of stickfigure that pivot uses) which means you can still get stickfigures off Droidz.org just like pivot.

Pro’s:

  • 100% free!
  • Multi-platform
  • More features added every release
  • Easy to use
  • Great support
  • Pollyfill tool gives you the ability to fill in blank space
  • Ability to have multicolored stickfigures without needing seperate sticks
  • Easy access library of all sticks made
  • Able to import Pivot sticks into Stykz
  • All editing and creating of Stykz figures can be done right on the stage

Con’s:

  • Navigation can be tricky if you’re used to pivot
  • Like Pivot it will crash if you put too much detail into a frame or a stickfigure
  • Still in pre-release form
  • It’s a bit buggy (as of right now)
  • Unable to import pivot 3 sticks (But it will be added soon)

Easytoon

Easytoon is a drawing animation program which means it’s basically like a poor man’s Flash. It has drawing tool’s that are much like ms paint but with the ability to make each frame and it can’t have an colour.

It uses a frame-by-frame animation system like Pivot or Stykz except instead of using pre-made stickfigures, you draw each character and object individually. Luckly there is what’s called an “Onion Skin” which showes where your last drawings were on frames before that.

Pro’s:

  • 100% free
  • Easy to create particles
  • The “Onion Skin” goes quite deep
  • Able to draw your own figure
  • Able to use different shading
  • Copy and paste certain frames
  • Animations can turn out great even with only basic knowledge of animation

Con’s:

  • You have to be good at drawing
  • Layout lookes pre-historic
  • No colour
  • It’s like paint but more to do with animation
  • The creator has discontinued making it

There you have it!, the first article of this website. I hope you enjoyed reading it!

24 thoughts on “Animation Programs [Review]

  1. golYterW

    Все бы было так хорошо, если бы не было так грустно, это так к слову… Эх, научил бы кто нить меня сайты делать – может тоже не хуже вашего бы получилось Отличный у вас проектик, не соскучишься, спасибо

    Reply
  2. Rosalyn Esch

    Though I would’ve loved it much more if you added a relevant video or at least pictures to back up the explanation, I still thought that your write-up quite helpful. It’s usually hard to make a complicated matter seem very easy. I enjoy your weblog and will sign up to your feed so I will not miss anything. Fantastic content

    Reply
    1. Sean Post author

      Yeah, sorry I didn’t put pictures in, it’s just the post had taken a while and I wanted to get the site up with a decent post as fast as I could. Thanks for the comment.

      Reply

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