Smith Micro Software makes beginner and professional versions of its Anime Studio 2D animation software, Anime Studio Debut and Anime Studio Pro, to help you bring your imagination to life. Its programs have libraries of premade characters and assets you can use to quickly create and populate scenes. This cartoon maker software also includes a character wizard that uses preset character features you can mix and match and adjust. In addition, both versions have tools you can use to draw your characters on your computer like freehand drawing tools, brushes and vector conversion so you can trace imported sketches. In addition, both versions are compatible with drawing tablets.
These animation maker programs use a bone-rigging system to help realistically animate your characters. This feature helps best use the animation software to control how your character moves, bends and turns, and it smooths any distortion around the joints. Once you have your characters rigged, it’s easy to make them perform complex movements, which in turn makes your animation look professional. Only the professional version of this program includes an onion skinning tool. Onion skinning is a traditional animation method that allows you to see the frames before and after the one you are currently working on, which helps you create smooth movements and transitions.
You can use both versions of Anime Studio to record dialogue and sound effects directly in the program, and you can use the software to edit the audio as well. Most 2D animation software edits sound, but few have the ability to actually record audio. There is also an automated lip-syncing tool that detects the phonemes of your voice and maps them out with mouth poses for your drawings.
This program does not include any premade environmental effects such as rain, smoke, fire or explosions. You either have to create these effects yourself or purchase them from members of Anime Studio’s active user community.
The company’s programs allow you to import images in a wide variety of file types, including JPEG, PNG and BMP. When you are finished with your cartoons, you can export them as an AVI, QuickTime and Flash Movie files or upload them directly to your Facebook or YouTube account.