Produce No Budget Animation

Some people claim that to do animation you need lots of money, because all the expensive software out there, but the truth is, there are free resources that you can get.

Production Workflow

Let’s do a reality check before talking about this.

Of course, to do it, you need to know about the production workflow of the entire process of animation. Here is the summary of what is needed: Script, Storyboard, Audio Dialogue Recording, Music, Sound Effects, Sound Editing, Animatic, Character Design, Animation, Scene Compositions and, after everything is ready, the Editing.

To be able to complete all of that process, you need software, and if you have no money, you need it for free. At the end of this article you will find all of the links to the software mentioned here.

Script

Before the script, you need the idea for your next story, once you have that, you can start writing. The best way to do this is by using a professional Script Writing App that can be accessed for free online, I recommend Adobe Story.

Storyboard

Then, after the script, you continue to visualize your project in a Storyboard, how can you do this for free? Well, simple… Do pencil and paper ring any bells?

Audio

A word of warning for those with dialogue in their projects, not only do you need a software to process the audio, but also, you need equipment, like a microphone. So if you have $0.00 US Dollars, then stay out of stories with dialogue.

If your project doesn’t have dialogue, then you need an Audio Software to mix all of the sound effects and the music. I recommend Audacity, because it’s free and it has lots of tutorials on YouTube.

Animatic

The animatic is a video of the storyboard with music and sound, maybe even some dialogue for those with the right equipment. This video can be edited in a Video Editing software, and a free option you can try is Avidemux.

Animation and Editing

Now that you have your animatic, you can do all your animation with Synfig, it’s also free, and with very good features. Of course, it will not have all the features that professional software has, but it will do the trick.

Once you have your animations ready, you can put all the scenes together using your Video Editing Software, click Render, and you have your animation.

Final thoughts

I must warn any of you animators out there, everything comes at a cost, in this case, because you are not spending a dime, it only means you are going to work harder and invest more time, because every free software has limitations.

My suggestion is to go for two Adobe Products, one for animation (it can be Flash or After Effects) and one for video editing (Premiere Pro), which means spending $40.00 USD a month, saving a lot of time thanks to the great features these guys offer.

And if you are a teenager reading this with no credit card, then now you have an alternative, just take into account that it will mean more time investment.

Free Resources

Script Writing Online Apps

Adobe Story

Celtix

Drawing Software

Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop:

Gimp

Seashore

Alternatives to Adobe Illustrator:

Inkscape

Apache OpenOffice Draw

Animation Software

Synfig Studio

Audio Recording and Editing Software

Audacity

Video Editing Software

Avidemux

Royalty free music

Incompetech