Pencil2D is a free and open-source animation software that allows users to create 2D sketches of cartoons and animations for different projects. It uses vector graphics and bitmap images. You can use Pencil2D for business purposes or personal projects as it uses the GNU General Public License and the QT framework. This means that it is an open and perfect resource for 2D animation creators without the financial commitment.
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Pencil was the original version of the Pencil2D Animation software which was created by Patrick Corrieri and Pascal Naidon in 2005. Later it was abandoned and ceased in 2009. But in MAY 2019 Pencil2D version 0.6.4 started its journey with many updates.
Overview of Pencil2D Animation
When launching Pencil2D Animation, you will see a main whiteboard in the middle of the screen surrounded by control panels, tools, and features where the main portion of the animation is created.
On the left of the screen, you will find a Tools feature that includes a clear frame tool, brush tool, pencil, eraser, paint bucket tool, and all features that will help you sketch out a cartoon or animation and define it.
Below the Tools box, there will be an Options Box which includes the attributes of the tools you’re using. For instance, when using the brush tool, you can toggle between the thickness of the brush or how light or dark the color will appear.
The Display Box will be found below the Options Box. By flipping the Display Box vertically or horizontally, you can manipulate the sketch you’ve drawn. The Display Box also lets you apply onion skin on the sketch to create movement.
In the bottom right-hand corner, the Color Palette can be found. Here, you will find all the basic colors of the rainbow that can be added to your drawings.
Right below the Color Palette, the Color Box can be found. Here, you can add colors to your drawings by choosing specific color shades.
To customize colors by changing the brightness or capacity, use the Color Inspector.
This tool plays an important role in applying layers to your animation starting with the Bitmap layer, Vector layer, and Camera layer. If you want to create a video animation, delete, duplicate frames, and more then you can add keyframes.
Features of Pencil2D Animation
Pencil2D has a range of features which make this software user-friendly. These features are:
- 2D Drawings and Animations
- Allows you to extract data, import and export data, and media
- Pencil2D includes a basic drag & drop option
- Pencil2D has customized templates, video support, video editing, a pop-up color palette, and an image library
- Pencil 2D lets you edit and trace images, and text overlay onto animations
- Has third-party integrations
- Lets you import music and fonts into 2D Animations
System Requirements for Pencil2D Animation
- Operating System: Windows 7/8/10(64-bit or 32-bit), Windows XP/Vista(32-bit)
- Processor: Intel Core i5(3rd generation or above) or comparable CPU architecture
- Memory: 4GB of RAM
How to install Pencil2D Animation
Install Pencil2D according to your operating system. Follow these steps to install:
- Search for the Pencil2D Animation on this website and click on the download.
- Then, unzip the files in the downloaded folder and click on the pencil2D.exe.
- Now click on “yes” to extract the whole archived files.
Pros of Pencil2D Animation
- It is open-source software
- Simple interface
- An amazing tool for newbies to start their animation journey
- Very light program and runs on any OS
- Support both vector and raster graphics
Cons of Pencil2D Animation
- Doesn’t support 3D animations
- Lacks of framerate curve
- Cannot be used in motion graphics
- No fancy tech frills
- Limited features
Troubleshooting of Pencil2D Animation
- “Pencil2D keeps crashing / Something happened and I couldn’t save my work.”
If you forgot to save your projects then Pencil2D’s auto save feature will save this. You can access this feature like this:
- Firstly, go to Edit>Preferences>Files>Enable autosave(Click on it).
But save your file manually at least once before enabling the autosave option. Otherwise, the autosave feature will not work before.
And try to avoid memory overload crashes.
- “When I try to import sounds, I can see it on the layer, but I can’t hear anything.”
To solve this problem please download Pencil 0.6.4 or a later version and check it again.
If still you’re facing this issue then please download a free audio editor. Follow these steps:
- Open the file you want to import sounds on
- Re-export it as a WAV file. This file appears as WAV PCM 16-bit signed. The file size will be a lot bigger, but you will be able to import this
Is Pencil2D Animation free or paid?
Pencil2D is completely free software to create traditional animations and it is an open-source application that is even used for businesses. Moreover, Pencil2D creates 2D hand-drawn animations using vector graphics and bitmap images.
Does Pencil2D have a text tool?
No, but the Pencil2D community assured to add this tool. If you want to add text to your project then you need other software to make text stuff and import them into Pencil2D with less effort than it would take for us to implement a full-text tool.
Does Pencil2D have a shape tool?
Unfortunately, Pencil2D doesn’t have a shape tool. The Pencil2D community said that they are aware of the need behind this tool and will work towards implementing it once other critical issues have been solved.
Is Pencil2D safe?
Yes, Pencil2D is fully safe. This software doesn’t have a single positive in VirusTotal and has an unimpeachable track record.
Is Pencil2D offline?
Yes, Pencil2D is an offline application. The only thing you need to do after downloading the software is to connect it to the Internet for “Check for Updates” in the Pencil2D that is under the Help me.
With Pencil2D creating animations is fairly easy to understand and execute. In Pencil2D you will get many options to create 2D sketches or animations, and with the application create a strong portfolio by any illustrator. It is a reliable software solution for digital designers that comes in handy to make amazing image animations and static drawings. As it is beginner-friendly it can be a great option for you to start the creation of an animation journey.