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Animation Programs... which do you use?I'm looking for an animation program that I can use at home, but do a lot of projects with. I dunno exactly whats the best to use (or the cheapest thing that's not a total rip off) so that leaves me to the RT community to ask:

For those of you who animate (or those whose friends animate), what program do you (or they) use?
#1  Posted 5 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote  |  + 1 Cool
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Treyrs20o9 To RTx I Go
I use to use pivot stick figure animation, it's really really basic, but there are some animators who got really detailed with it, I'll link it.

all of his stuff is great.
#2  Posted 5 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
wolfbait1 Sponsor
In reply to directive, #1:

Ok. Lets get a bit more specific. Are you looking to do 2D or 3D animation?

Personally I´ve used 3DS Max but it costs several arms and legs (note its pro. software. They used it to make Halo, GTA, and other highly popular game models.)

Try looking at blender or Gmax.
#3  Posted 5 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote  |  + 1 Zing!
In reply to wolfbait1, #3:

I'm looking for 2D, for the simple reason that I know how to work it and it seems as if it would take less time doing a 2D (paperless) vs. a 3D.. Of course, I may be wrong, but if there's tutorial books and vids for the 3D programs, shoot, list them! :D

I looked up the 3DS Max, Blender and Gmax, but blender looks like the better shot out of the three... I dunno. 3DS Max is a little too professional for me. (Again, i have NO CLUE about the 3D, and would probably end up more trouble then it's worth to a beginner who does not know what they are looking at.) Also, I looked it up, but there wasn't much on gmax... but what i found did not give it the highest of praise. :/
#4  Posted 5 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
For 2D the norm over at newgrounds and other sites is Macromedia Flash. It defintelly takes time to learn but overall it's a really good program.
#5  Posted 5 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
I use After Effects
#6  Posted 5 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
In reply to Treyrs20o9, #2:

That shit is fucking wicked.

In reply to directive, #1:

If you're trying to learn, I've heard Alice is a great program. It's 3D, but geared for beginners. If I'm not mistaken, I think it's free, too.
#7  Posted 5 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
In reply to directive, #4:

For 2d go with Flash since I am figuring you just want to make some simple animation videos like Newgrounds.

In reply to ExSphere2, #6:

I think he is referring to animation as a video not animated effects.
#8  Posted 5 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
#9  Posted 5 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
I use CS4, we got a free copy at work. Oorah!
#10  Posted 5 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
I used Flash 8, It's reasonable but if your making youtube, you're going to need a SWF converter. And Flash 8 is for 2D, It's really hard to do 3-D, The only thing that is annoying is just managing your library and alignment is hard with stick figures.
BTW Adobe now = Macromedia + Adobe
Macromedia was bought by adobe in like 2004 or 2003.
#11  Posted 5 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
I used a thing called alice. its easy to use but hard to make look good
#12  Posted 4 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
what is the program called that rt use to do the animations in red vs blue revalations

#13  Posted 4 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote  |  - 2 Lame
In reply to ZERESEC, #13:

Maya. It's shit expensive, around 3500 dollars.
#14  Posted 4 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote  |  + 1 Ditto
In reply to cab0oserocks, #14:

They use that to make South Park, aswell.
#15  Posted 4 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
In reply to KylePwnz, #15:

You best be joking.
#16  Posted 4 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
I haven't done animation yet but I have been doing a bit of Blender work lately, I found that was easier to get into than 3D Studio Max, but that said I haven't used 3ds max in quite a few years, mabye if I went back to it now we might get a different story.

Plus Blender is free and open source. Check out a video called Big Buck Bunny, 90% of it was done in blender, the other 10% in some sound editing program.

On the subject of Maya, I suspect they suffer quite a bit of copyrighting with those sorts of prices, unless your doing some pretty heavy-duty animation. Photoshop's not exactly cheap but somehow every tech-teen has it.

Post edited 6/29/10 3:30AM
#17  Posted 4 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
In reply to cab0oserocks, #14:
In reply to ZERESEC, #13:

Maya. It's shit expensive, around 3500 dollars.
jesus christ!!!!!. maybe i should look on ebay. might be cheeper
#18  Posted 4 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote  |  - 1 Noob
In reply to Fhajad, #16:

Not to get off subject, but read the third paragraph of this. I actually found out about it by listening to the commentary of an episode done by Trey and Matt themselves, so it's not just wiki bs.
#19  Posted 4 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
In reply to directive, #1:


Start off small. Jumping off the bat right away to a professional modeling program with no personal training is a bad idea. You have to learn and design in an efficient way or the end results won't be what you expect. Not to mention would be a waste of render time.

And after effects really isn't a modling/animation program. It's more really of a compositing software.

You should probably focus on drawing more before you begin. A lot of beginners come to me asking for help frustrated when all they really need to do is hone their skills in artwork. It's essential to animation.

For 3d,
Blender is a good start to learning. Of course, the big ones being 3dsmax and Maya and C4. Dont go near those though until youre ready for some training or taking classes in school. If you start using those, end up taking a job or side work with those, you'll find that you can't efficiently work with the other people that're using them.

But for 2d, hmm.. I dont do much of 2d animation.
ToonBoom is popular amongst ametuers, Macromedia Flash is good if you know how to use it. Do a bit of research, try them all, see which one you like. There's a lot.
#20  Posted 4 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
In reply to directive, #1:

There are a whole variety of programs that one can use for 3D animation (for 2D I would go with Macromedia Flash, best thing out there for 2D animation).

For 3D, as I said, has a wide variety, but it just depends what you're really interested in:

Maya: Best 'unlimited' package within the industry (which is why so many game developers use it) because it allows you to go beyond what most 3D programs can actually do.

3DS Max: Really the cousin of Maya but can work just as well, though they don't really seperate things out as well as they do with Maya.

Lightwave: I personally use this for animation AND modelling as they separate both sides into individual programs (i.e, theres Modeler and Layout, one for modelling and the latter for animation) which I found really works nicely.

Cinema4D: I don't know much about this one, but its apparently a good 3D packaged software as well.

Blender: The best 3D program to use that is FREE. I've seen some amazing videos done in Blender.

Though tbh, it doesn't matter what program you use, its about HOW you utilize the program which really creates the results.
#21  Posted 4 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote  |  + 1 Ditto
In reply to Gundam114, #21:

That is true, but some programs are easier to grasp the concept of than others, my first crack at 3DS Max failed, but my first at blender I made something that wasn't great, but it was a start, but that said, I'd like to go back to 3DS Max and try it out again
#22  Posted 4 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
I don't know what your needs are, but I use blender. I don't merge the animations with any other footage though, just as a stand alone.
#23  Posted 4 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
In reply to directive, #1:

well I use 3Ds Max and Maya for my animation. If you're in college you can get it free at Or if you're in Early College like me. Those are pretty good, if you wanna see how they look, go on Youtube and check it out.
#24  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
In reply to directive, #1:

I use a 2D program called Anime Studio. It's a good alternative to Flash if you want something cheaper. You can find a beginner and pro version on There are lots of good tutorials to be found there too,
#25  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
In reply to wolfbait1, #3:

on the contrary it is free to students of project led the way schools. all autodesk products are. I personaly use maya for animation but there are others like 3ds max. But you are right. this program is not for people who are brand new to animation or autodesk.
#26  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
2D wise I've used Xara drawing package in the past because it requires no programming knowledge to work it you simply drop and drag shapes etc really and the program works out translations etc between scenes to move to stuff. I've made a few animations with it over the time mostly jokey ones but none I've uploaded etc.

3D wise I've used muvizu for over a year now, its freeware, it allows HD ready level of definition for videos etc, the best way I can describe it is drag and drop animation you can put backdrops in and set objects etc, there's special effects, you can import models from blender to add more props, you can make your own character skins and such.
Example video of what people have done with it
yes some do see it as a hack program like go animate but you can do a lot more with it and you can make some really amazing stuff with it that isn't some generic lot of videos.
#27  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
ragusa33 Goose Master
I'm looking for an Animation Program that is really good for 2D animation. Any suggestions?
#28  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
I can't speak with authority just yet, but I have heard good things about an open-source tool called Synfig Studio.
#29  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
mitmaster Awesome Guy
Flash and After Effects are both good starters for 2D animation. As for 3D, I always found Blender's interface a little confusing and overwhelming for beginners. I use Maya for 3D at school and I feel like its easier to get a hang of. Its free for students now, too.
#30  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
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