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I would like to make easy 2d animations and I am looking for an easy tool for this purpose. The animations I intend to do are quite simple (e.g. exchanging messages between different computers, rotate a wind turbine). Basically I could also do this using MS PowerPoint, but I would like to have something slightly more advanced than PowerPoint.

Here is an example animation (it is in German but this should not bother you and I do not need the robot at all. There should not be any moving charactere): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNSOrs8Xi0Q

I did some research and found synfig (https://www.synfig.org/) but I somehow have the impression that synfig is too complex (based on the things I want to do). Has someone had experience with synfig or any other simple programm. I'd appreciate every comment and will be quite thankful if you can help me on that. So basically I would like to know which tool is the simplest one to make a simple animation?

  • Try to paste an example of the type of result you need. – Rafael Apr 27 at 11:59
  • Thanks Rafel for your answer. I just edited my original question and posted the link to an example. – VanessaF Apr 27 at 13:00
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Edited sometime later

Here is a specific test.

I prepared the different elements as transparent png using Corel Draw. But you can use Inkscape, rocket, cloud, fire, etc.

enter image description here

From easiest to a bit less easy.

1. NCH Express Animate

This was the first animation I did in 28 mins approx. I was testing ways to animate the fire of the rocket.

The program is VERY light. It is less than 4Mb!

https://www.nchsoftware.com/animation/index.html

enter image description here

The result: https://otake.com.mx/Foros/Video/ExpressAnimate.mp4

2. HitFilm

It took me only 20 mins because I already knew what I wanted by doing the prior animation. I did not pay attention to make the scale or the effects the same as the other test. It is a bit tricky to use because you actually animate inside a composition, and that composition is inside the editing tab. But it is a step that only takes 10 seconds to complete.

https://fxhome.com/hitfilm-express

enter image description here

The result: https://otake.com.mx/Foros/Video/HitFilm.mp4

If you want a long video, with different scenes, different animations, this is the best option. Each scene will be a composition and all merged in the video editing tab.

I would stick to these two options. They have some useful options like defining a "parent" to another object. In this case, the fire is attached to the rocket.


3. Davinci Resolve

It is a bit bulky, I love the program for video editing; but probably for animations, you have a bit less control than the other two. It took me about 20 mins too, but I did not detail the fire or the monster's jump.

https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/mx/products/davinciresolve/

enter image description here

The result: https://otake.com.mx/Foros/Video/Resolve.mp4

Images by freepik.com


Original Answer

The example you are posting is not really an amateur animation, it is simple but has several elements that make it a bit tricky.

  1. You need to sync it to audio.

  2. It has some considerable duration for an animation.

  3. It combines several techniques, hand-drawn animation, tween, and bone amination.


Every program will be difficult or easy depending on the time you invest in. Synfig could be indeed a good option. The level of complexity is defined by the level of detail you need.

For small animations NCH Express Animate.

If you want to deliver as a video there are some other options to animate, but you need to combine them with drawing tools like Inkscape.

HitFilm express, Davinci Resolve which has some basic animation tools, or even Blender.

Another option is Open Toonz.

You probably need to make divide your project into small animations and edit them later.

But you need to define the scope of the results you want. Do you want to sync to music for example? Do you want to animate for the web, or for video? do you want some loops only?


Actually, if you do not need the robot, you could still make some good animations using PowerPoint.

If you want a moving presentation zooming in and out of different parts of a diagram, try Sozi. Another option for this zoom in zoom out animations is Focusky.


You live in the era of video tutorials, take a look at some of them, and download the programs. All I just listed are free.


Which one is easier to use, a screwdriver, a hammer, or some pliers?

The easiest one to use is PowerPoint, it has a familiar interface, you can import a ton of formats, and it is fairly intuitive. The 365 version of it is suitable for animation where you have changes in position, rotation, and scale, as the overall result your example shows, mainly using the Transformation transition and the animation panel, but in order to do the "moving smoke" for example, you need probably another additional tool. It is not free but you most likely already have it.

One with a lot of tutorials is Hit Film, it has a friendly community on its own webpage forums.

You need to enter the video editor, and then make a new composite shot.

enter image description here

And start animating stuff in this panel

enter image description here

If you do not have many elements at the same time, use Davinci Resolve. Here is a quick example: https://video.stackexchange.com/questions/30037/how-is-this-doom-eternal-still-picture-to-stretching-motion-video-produced/30041#30041

Blender is the most powerful of them all and has even a stack exchange forum. But it is not the "easiest" one... until you are used to using it.

And some others are good, but have a small fan base, so, regardless they are good (and probably easy), it is harder to find tutorials.

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  • Thanks Rafel for your answer. Basically I want to make an animation for a research project and I would like to explain (in voice) something. So it should be synced with my (or any other) voice at the end of the day. I have some experience with Inscape but as far as I know Inskcape can't be used for animation. I am looking for something similar to Synfig but hopefully less complex. – VanessaF Apr 27 at 13:06
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    @VanessaF how many animations have you made? It is generally accepted that it takes about day to make a second or 2 of character animation level result, and about a 1-3 of motion graphics per day of work. Under no circumstances is animation easy. Not hard either but time consuming. PS: of all the art school students that I meet animators are hands down the most technical people and one of their main characteristic si that they never complain that something is too hard. – joojaa Apr 27 at 19:03
  • Thanks for your answers Rafael and joojaa. So far I have not had any experience with animations. Basically I only want to have a simple animation that could basically be done with PowerPoint but PowerPoint is not really good for animation videos but rather for presentations. This is why I am looking for something that is slightly more adavanced for animations than PowerPoint. – VanessaF Apr 28 at 8:31
  • @Rafael: Which of the tools you mentioned is - according to your point of use - the simplest one for beginners? As said before, the animation I intend to do is simple. I do not need any character movement. I'd appreciate further comments and would be quite thankful. – VanessaF Apr 28 at 8:35
  • I added some notes at the end. – Rafael Apr 28 at 14:11

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