Just a little bit beyond keynote/powerpoint...
October 3, 2014 7:49 AM   Subscribe

What relatively simple animation programs will let me both define and compose simple animations?

In Keynote and Powerpoint, I can animate a triangle by drawing an arbitrary path for it to move along. I can also select from a small number of transformations (all centered around the object itself) which can take place *during* the path animation: Rotate, Grow/Shrink/ and Change Opacity - so you can create for instance a ball that ‘rolls’ along a path, or a triangle that disappears as it goes.

I’d like to be able to define more of the second type of transformation, including simple motions in the reference frame of the moving object - for instance a simple stick figure that waves it hands as the whole thing moves along a path. (I haven’t used them, but I think that if I wanted to animate each frame of my stick figure guy, I’d want sprites (?)…but I don’t want to animate frame-by-frame, if possible: I'd like to be able to specify moves & rotations along with timing.)

I’ve looked into real, grown-up animation programs like Blender, but wondering if something simpler will fit my needs. I need to be able to produce watermark-free animations that are exportable to standard movie formats, but either 2d or 3d is just fine. Does such a program exist? (or macros for ppt/keynote, even?) Assume I’m willing to pay $20 but not $100, and can work happily on Windows/Mac/Unix as necessary.
posted by heyforfour to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'll toss out a few, maybe one sticks: Prezi, Haiku Deck, and Projeqt. Each site has a video example, though Projeqt's site is currently down due to an attack.

This Mashable article has some demo video's and short explanation of how they work/what they do.
posted by MansRiot at 11:39 AM on October 3, 2014

Anime Studio Debut does everything you want, and has a nice "bones" system that basically lets you manipulate your drawing like a puppet.
posted by Sophont at 12:34 PM on October 3, 2014

Powtoon does what you want - animated slides - I think if you pay the watermark goes away.
posted by jander03 at 12:34 PM on October 3, 2014

I was coming to suggest PowToon too. It's free for educators right now if that happens to be a category that includes you.
posted by guster4lovers at 7:43 AM on October 4, 2014

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