Pencil2D: The Easiest Way to Learn Animation

in animation •  9 months ago

Screenshot of showcase video of user-generated animation.

Interested in learning animation but don't know where to start?

Pencil2D may just be the tool you need. Its interface is so simple it's similar to MS Paint - but on steroids. It's a frame-by-frame animation software that helps you bring your ideas to life quickly.

While it's not (yet) on par with other commercially available software in terms of features, it can help any aspiring animator learn the basics of creating moving pictures.

It is an open source project and anyone can access the code and add improvements.


Download it here:

The Windows version (64-bit) is less than 50MB and will run without installation. Just unzip the downloaded folder and you're good to go.


In this post, I'll show how I created my first animation.

Upon launching the software, you'll be greeted by a simple MS Paint-like interface.

Since this is a simple demo, I'll only use the paintbrush tool. You can choose the size of the brush. I chose the default size for the purpose of this demo.

Using the paintbrush tool, I painted a sad looking face.

Then I add a new frame and paint small changes to the face.

I proceeded altering the drawing on each new frame to finally come up with 7 frames and this final animation.

Giphy slowed down the animation a bit but you can see how the small changes can result in the illusion of movement.


My son Dudoy loves animation and he immediately fell in love with Pencil2D. He has autism and really likes to draw using Paint. So moving to Pencil2D seems like a natural progression for him. Check out his work.

So, I'm a total noob compared to Dudoy. And that's awesome!

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