Pencil 0.4.4b

Create animated comic books and enjoy hours of unlimited fun

  • Vote:
    6.4 (303)
  • Category:

    Animation

  • Version:

    0.4.4b

  • Works under:

    Windows Vista / Windows XP

  • Also available for:

    Mac

  • Program available in:In English
  • Program license:Free (gpl)

Pencil is a drawing and animation software that allows users to create their own digital comics and animations. The main purpose of this program is to mimic traditional, hand drawn animations with a simple and easy to use interface allows anyone to make traditional 2D animations.

Users can create traditional animations or cartoons using bitmap or vector graphics in this free, open source program. Layers for sound and camera images can be added to give animations more detail and authenticity. Animation works by setting key frames on individual layers and arranging the layers in chronological order on top of one another. Users start out by sketching their animations on a bitmap layer with a traditional pencil tool. Once the sketch is finished, it can be inked in and made sharper on a new vector layer, and later sound effects and graphics can be added.

The interface is much clearer than expensive, high-end animation tools, such as Flash, and allows for a certain amount of customization. One of the most convenient features of Pencil is that all tools and options are on display from the beginning, with no required searching to locate additional tools and options. Palettes and tools can still be detached or removed to create space or further simplify the interface, however.

Pros:

  • Timelines are neatly organized and easy to make use of.
  • The drawing interface is simple and easy to work in, but allows for some customization. The simplicity of the program is designed to enable anyone to create animations.
  • Open source license makes Pencil easily accessible and a good alternative to people who are interested in making animations but don't feel like spending money on expensive animation programs.

Cons:

  • As with many drawing programs, it can be difficult to produce good, quality drawings without a graphics tablet.
  • Predefined items, such as templates or shapes, are not included with the program.

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