Articles

ALAN BECKER – Freeware Alternatives to Adobe Flash

October 5, 2019


This video goes into detail about several animation programs that don’t cost any money at all, To use as an alternative to Adobe Flash Which does cost money to use legally. I’ll be comparing them to Flash and giving my personal review of each of them. First we have Synfig Studio Synfig is a 2d animation program that focuses on cutout style animation, using the bone tool. There are actually some people that manage to make a whole short film using this software, and other open-source software So it’s definitely a powerful program. There’s a whole online course available, on their website, for a donation of $1, or more, to learn about all the features If you’re looking to do frame by frame animation though, this program is not the best choice for you Which they actually say themselves at the bottom of the page. Next we have Wick Editor. Wick Editor is actually an online animation program, that has all the basic features of an animation program, as well as the ability to add code into your animations and make them interactive They have a code reference page as well as some example projects So this would be a good alternative if you’re interested in making some simple flash style games Tupi 2D Magic is both an app and a desktop program. And the app has a ridiculous 4.9 stars on the app store as of now. it’s really simple and fairly easy to use and figure out and It’s nice that it gives you a large space to draw instead of crowding the space with buttons I thought there was no undo button, but it’s actually just called the eraser the desktop program is more advanced like Flash But instead of using a timeline It uses what’s called an exposure sheet, which is another way that animators organize and plan their frames It’s almost like a vertical timeline, but I did find out that you can enable a horizontal timeline view, by clicking here But it is limited because you cannot extend the length of frames And there’s no distinction to show if the keyframe is empty or not Other than that it features all the basic tools, as well as some more advanced features like tweening Although, the exposure sheet format might take some getting used to, this program could be all that you need. Animation Desk is a mobile app on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone it functions very much like a painting software With many different types of brushes to play with. The frames function like a storyboard, which can get complicated If your animation is very long. But I found it to be pretty sufficient for experimenting, and playing around with animation ,especially on the go. Here are some animations I’ve done with the app in the past. iMotion is not necessarily an alternative to Flash, but it is a cool stop motion animation app, that allows you to make some high quality stop-motion animation. You can set it to take one photo every few seconds and do some cool time lapses that way, or take photos Manually in order to plan out your animations. You can even use another device as a remote to take pictures from afar I have played around with this app a lot in the past, using both toys, and real people. One tip is to always use the onion skin, so you know what the previous frame looks like, before taking the next picture Next we have Pivot Animator Which I didn’t think to include on the list until I saw some of the animations, people have made using Pivot And how advanced they are this program has been around since 2004, and it’s last update was actually in 2016, so it’s still relevant. The main point of Pivot is being able to manipulate a stick character, by rotating its body parts around its pivot points, instead of drawing the stick figure each frame This is good If you struggle with keeping the size of your stick character consistent, from frame to frame. However, having each body parts stay the same size makes it difficult to do things like squash and stretch or give the stick figure any Kind of 3d perspective. And last but not least, is Vectorian Giotto. Vectorian Giotto is probably the closest thing to Flash, that you’ll find for free. Unfortunately the developers are no longer putting out updates to the program in fact their website is no longer running So you have to go through third-party websites to download it However, you can do most of the same things you can do in Flash like basic drawing, timeline manipulation, symbol creation, motion tweening with easing, customizable keyboard shortcuts, and so on. After using it for a bit I found a few things that made this different from Flash, that stood out to me. All brush strokes, have an outline. If you don’t want it to have an outline then you have to go to the shape panel, and Set it to none when I’m animating frame by frame in Flash I usually press F7 to make a new blank keyframe and make the next drawing Usually the blank keyframe gets put after the current frame, but in this program It pushes the current frame to the side and puts the new keyframe before it. This is annoying because in order to get around this, you have to press control period to move ahead one frame and then press F7, instead of only having to press F7. But it’s not a huge deal. One interesting built-in feature that Flash doesn’t have is a library of effects You can right-click any object and hit effect and then add And then you have a wide array of effects to choose from. Most of these effects seem good for PowerPoint presentation styled animations Though there is an actions panel so you can add ActionScript code and make games. I don’t know if it’s ActionScript 2.0 or 3.0. Another feature that is missing, as far as I know, is the graphic symbol They do have movie clip symbols, but a key difference between movie clip symbols and graphic symbols, Is that graphic symbols will play in a timeline, while movie clips do not play until you export the final product. That’s a big drawback for me. There also doesn’t seem to be any Indicator that shows when you’re inside of a symbol versus back on the main timeline But I’m getting really picky here. This program is extremely advanced for being completely free Bottom line is, if you don’t want, or need to get too advanced, Vectorian Giotto is a great free animation platform to use. Compared to all the animation alternatives to Flash, Vectorian Giotto, comes closest to having all the capabilities of Flash, But by my standards it is not a direct replacement for Flash So that is my list, and links to each of the programs are in the description. If You find this list helpful, or any of my other videos helpful, please consider giving back through Patreon. So thanks for watching, and I’ll see you guys in the next video.

No Comments

Leave a Reply