Digital animation can be expensive to start because of the cost of 2D animation softwares. There are a few choices to look at when we want to learn 2D animations.
To learn digital animation, you require both animation and software skills. As a beginner, we choose our animation software, we need to consider some factors that involve money & cents, and time.
As a newbie in animation, we want to invest our savings and time on worthwhile things. I’ll give some recommendations to start your 2D animation journey at a more affordable cost and produce quality animation using relevant industry software.
I recommended Adobe Flash for 2D animation software because of its drawing and animation tools available. Simple South Park characters can be created even if you have no drawing skills. You can start drawing with a mouse using Adobe Flash! Adobe Flash comes with preset motions to create animation and they can create some complex animation very easily.
Adobe Flash is definitely not free. However you can download Adobe Flash for a trial period of 30 days to test out the software before burning a hole in your pocket as it costs about USD$800+. Ask friends who has this software to let you play around with before making the investment.
Toon Boom Studio is another recommendation for learning 2D animation because you can create interesting animation such as Japan anime. This software creates good quality animation for TV series and short videos. Anime such as Naruto, Bleach, etc., are examples of the style you can create with Toon Boon.
Toon Boom also not free and it cost about USD$300+ onwards. However, they do allow you to download for a short trial period of 30 days. Kid’s version of the software, Animation-ish, which cost USD$60 is worth a try as it gives you a good amount of basic tools to start learning animation.
You can also consider DigiCel Flipbook which is very much similar to Animation-ish but the prerequisite is your drawing skill. DigiCel Flipbook is easy to use and it compiles your drawings into an animation. Lip syncing animation can also be created with DigiCel Flipbook as it has voice synchronizing function. The basic version of this software is priced at USD$78 and it contains all the tools to sufficiently gear you up for your animation learning journey.
You can easily create 2D animation buttons and banners with these softwares. If you plan to be a cartoon animator, your drawing skill will be critical. This is when you will need to learn to draw digitally with a drawing table.
The cheapest tablet you can start with is Wacom’s Bamboo Tablet. As a beginner, you will not feel that it is not sensitive until you become an expert in digital drawing. Bamboo Tablet is popular among students because it is sold at quite an affordable price of USD$100+. As you advance to be a veteran artist, you consider upgrading your tablet to Wacom Intuos 5 series. This tablet is also popular in the media industry because of the sensitivity when you draw.
Wacom tablets are compatible for both Mac and Windows platform and most drawing softwares. They are mainly plug and play with some configuration to suit your drawing needs.