Help with 2D animation, please...


Let me start by saying that i don’t think there is such a thing as ‘the correct way to go’ …in art everything goes as long as it suits you!

But to get in to your pipeline question (thats the ‘industry’ term for the sequence of programs you use ) to me it seems painfully long.
Starting in pap do some animating there then exporting your jpegs to photoshop color them there then after effects for the camera shots and special effects and then…finally going to premiere to edit it together.
i’m a professional 2D animator and i do all of these steps in one program called Mirage(TVP animator)
it is a bitmap type program and just like photoshop has layers and similar paint options but it also has a timeline like after effects and it lets you do effects and camera moves.
it is very suitable for 2D animation. the latest incarnation of it even has a rotating animation disk and a multiplane camera option
check it out: here
you can download a fully working 30 day demo(beta version) when you subscribe to the forum
mirage has a rapidly growing userbase and a great community of users

greetings peter


hey guys, nice tools you propose.

I have been looking for an open source solution and what I’ve found is

Do you know the program?
I’ll give this a try right now…

Anyone who knows another good open source animation prog?

pap is cool btw but I hate to work with deactivated features and as I am a student I cannot effort one of the better versions beginning at 500 €

Is there maybe a plan to release a student version? *hehe :smiley: *
Or how do I get the features like importing to good ol PS 7 or the blue pen and x-table?


PAP 4.0 is currently in open beta. Once it will be released, there will be a PAP:Home edition with many advanced features at an introductory price of $99 (later it will be $149), check out the announcement in their forum. Also, there are discounts for animation students, maybe you should contact their sales department.


I have been very happy with moho from Lost Marble - It is $99, has a free demo, has versions for Mac, PC, and Linux.

It has a nice bone system, particles, and an active user base. Check it out!


You guys should check this out:

“Monkeyjam” is a really nice free piece of animation software that is a lot like toonboom. It has an X-sheet and other nice tools/ even a stop motion live feed for your camera! I have had students use it in my class. Check it out.


thats a nice program, this ‘monkeyjam’, but it is only a linetesting tool

What most people want is a program where they can actually draw in (with their tablet)
and where they can edit the images directly


or at least have low level DIP in if its going to scan/capture. Very nice to here about monkey jam none the less seems like a great linetesting software.


My personal Preference is to use TVP Animation ( - I also own Moho, PD Pro, CTP, and *paint - and have used Flash, US Animation/Toon Boom, etc…

But when it comes down to it, for me and when Im doing a solo project or with just a half dozen person team… TVP Animation is hard to beat. It is almost like if Photoshop were an animation program.

If it does what you want it to do, and you dont expect for it to do your work for you - all you need to do is decide which accomodates your workflow better. Really, if you were ambitious - you could animate something in MS Paint… it would be a long process, but its possible. But its not really the software that decides how it would turn out in many cases, but the work you put into it…


try the free version of Project Dogwaffle.


My question may have been answered already but basically I’m a paperless artest, my sketches typically originate in Alias Sketchbook Pro, then I import them over to Flash where I “trace” over them, adding color and whatnot to get my finished product, or now that I’m drawing in higher volume I draw it in Sketchbook Pro then occationally import the illustration over to Photoshop to color it.

Now I’m looking to do 2D animation with my work, so I’m not sure what to do exactly; or rather what software I can use to do the animation. I’ve never delved into computer animation before so I’m only familiar with drawing then redrawing each freakin’ frame and then compiling it together - and that’s a method I’m not keen on in the least.

That method seems rather archaic to me. Is there some software that will allow me to take my illustration and then easily make changes to it and then animate that sequence? I thought about doing that in Flash but that also sounds terribly tedious, unless of course there’s some way to streamline that method.

Thanks in advance, you’re all great! If you need more information or detail let me know, I didn’t want to take up too much space in my initial post.


Try Project Dogwaffle. It’s much more than a paint program, it’s also an animation program.

If you’re a traditional old-school artists drawing and sketching each frame yourself, such as with Alieas Sketch, you can save these to Targa or similar raster image frames and load them into Dogwaffle. Or you can do all in Dogwaffle.

Try the Demo:

See sample drawings and sketches at

Now that’s if you want to stay on the raster side of things. Another affordable and yet also very powerful animation program is Lost Marble’s Moho, which is vector based, with bones for 2D animation of objects. It can even load 3D objects too I think. Dogwaffle can make a powerful companion to Moho, hence it’s cross linked in their links page.

You might even want to consider some 3D approaches even if in the end you render out to a toon shader 2D look. Something like Carrara Studio 3 at beloww $29 might be a good start. - Carrara has a Storyboard room.


I think, till now days, no 2d animation tool could ever beat “Autodesk Animator” !!
It is, THE best software for 2d animation ever created.
the Windows version is cool, the DOS version is nostalgie! :slight_smile:

I still use the windows version, and love it!



It’s free. You can create drawings on your tablet – both bitmap and vector; it’s multi-layered; can import sound tracks; onion skin; the response is fast. Works on both Windows and Mac.

You can click the right/left arrow-buttons with one hand (while in the time-line window) at the same time you’re drawing with the other hand, to imitate rolling through the frames.


has toon boom been mentioned here, thats a pretty classy program to use. even though I prefere flash.


I came across a cut-out animation program that’s free to download… just thought this would fit nicely to this thread if anyone’s interested… :slight_smile:

I’ve been trying it out today and it seems pretty handy…


Creatoon is very nicely done indeed. Too bad it’s been discontinued, or so it seems anyway.

Speaking of animation tools, we just released PD Pro 4.0b (separate thread)


Wow! Thanks for this thread :slight_smile: and I thought I was going to have to do everything myself in Image ready…

I downloaded PAP just now, and going to play around with it.


Hello . I’m just getting used to paperless 2d animation and I have been using Photoshop to draw all the frames. Unfortunatedly Photoshop’s animation abilities are very limited as the animation palette is very rudimentary. I started looking for 2d animation software and I’ve downloaded trail versions of RetaPro and Toonboom. Although they seem very useful I haven’t been able to give my animation the sketchy feeling that I can produce with my wacom in Photoshop seeing as the presure sensitivity in these apps seems to be very limited in comparision and I was wondering if anyone knew of any software where this could be acomplished or if maybe it is possible to make fine ajustments to pen pressure in these apps .


You might check out Pencil, I’ve gotten a nice sketchy feel from that application:


Tweenmaker is another nifty little app -