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Pros / It comes with dozens of templates that you can mix and match to create new characters.

Cons / There aren’t any drawing tools.

 Verdict / The large library of character templates, backgrounds and preset animated movements make this a great choice for anyone who isn’t an artist.

Muvizu:Play+ gives Windows users access to dozens of templates to help you create a vibrant world of various characters. It is easier to use than many of the other programs we tested and is a great option for anyone who doesn’t have drawing skills. It also happens to be one of the least expensive programs, so you won’t spend too much to get decent animation software. Unfortunately, this software doesn’t work on Mac.

The best thing about Muvizu:Play+ is that you don’t need to have any prior animation experience in order to use this software, and we found it basic and easy to navigate and use in our testing. In fact, it only took us a few minutes to feel familiar with it.

Muvizu:Play+ gives you access to a wide library of characters and backgrounds so you can focus on creating your story without needing to worry about artistic skills. Characters have elements that can be mixed, matched and otherwise edited so you can create unique actors for your movies. This software is easy to use making it ideal for children and animation hobbyists who don’t want to spend too much money.

You can purchase Muvizu:Play+ from the developer website for under $50. Before making that purchase, you can test the software as long as you want using the free version. The trial version of Muvizu:Play+ has a lot of limitations and locks many of the characters and backgrounds so you can’t use them, but you can get a thorough understanding of how the program works to decide if it’s something you want to pay for.

The software doesn’t offer any drawing tools so you won’t find any brushes, or tools that help you trace images into vectors. This also means that a drawing tablet isn’t necessary. Muvizu:Play+ doesn’t use bone rigging, instead it offers a large library of premade movements, which you can assign to your characters throughout the timeline. The layers section allowed us to select and edit specific characters or elements in our scenes. If you’d prefer an animation program that offers bone rigging and drawing tools, MOHO Debut is our top pick.

There are dozens of characters to choose from and you can edit them to get the specific look you want. It allowed us to change the color of skin, hair, clothes and any other accessories you place in your movies using the color palette. You will also find dozens of backgrounds that cover just about every scene you can imagine from a prison to magical woods. Once your characters have been created, add animation paths to have your actors move from one point to the next with the click of a button. This feature helped us save time instead of forcing us to manually place frame after frame just to make a character walk. You can also influence the lighting in each scene to add dramatic effect.

When you record audio it automatically lip-syncs to your characters. The program wouldn't let us edit our voice recordings, which is a large fault since the software only allows you to have one sound file for all characters. You’ll either need to record all of your dialogue in one recording or use an external program to combine multiple recordings into one audio file.

This software does not offer scene transitions, image filters, a chroma key or clipping mask tools so you’ll have to rely on the backgrounds it offers to add variation to your scenes. A window on the screen shows you the view of the camera so you know exactly what is being focused on. You can also move the camera within the 3D space to get various angles of your characters and scenes. In addition to characters, pre-animated effects like fire, smoke, explosions, rain and more are included. This helps to quickly add depth and detail to your stories.

Since this program uses preprogrammed characters, anything you import cannot be influenced by the action library. When you import a character created in another program, it will be static and cannot move. You cannot import anything from a scanner or digital camera and the software isn’t compatible with Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator files. However, you can import JPEG, GIF, PNG and BMP image files. Additionally, you can import MP4, MOV, WAV, and MP3 files for audio and video. There are only two export options: AVI and MP4. This means you cannot create GIFs in this software, or post directly to Facebook or YouTube.

While Muvizu:Play+ is easy to use, it also has some quirks and the occasional glitch. We found that dedicated users within the forum usually had ways to get around these complications. So take advantage of the active user forum, FAQs page and video tutorials to see how to best use the software. If you need a specific question answered, you can email or phone the company. Muvizu:Play+ works on Windows 7 and newer but isn’t compatible with Mac.

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