Simple animation tool as an alternative to Flash
December 6, 2005 11:20 AM   Subscribe

I used to make little movies in Flash. Nothing big, just fun little projects. I'd like to start making them again, and was wondering if there are any alternatives to Flash.

Ideally the alternative would be free or very cheap. I don't particularly mind if the end result is an mpeg, mov or avi file. I don't care about file-size at all.

I like how Flipbook works and there's even a downloadable version. But it's too basic. I want to do larger projects, particularly ones that incorporate audio. I'd also like to be able to use images (jpg/bmp/etc) in the animations, though this feature is somewhat less important to me.

Really, I think I just want something simple that will let me draw frame by frame and uses onion-skinning.
posted by soplerfo to Technology (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Only somewhat tongue-in-cheek, you could always try older versions of Flash...

Otherwise, Swish offers an affordable SWF-creation utility that lets you deal with their templates and other tools without being quite as intimidating as Flash. It looks like it offers what you're looking for, and is relatively cheap.
posted by disillusioned at 11:39 AM on December 6, 2005

Response by poster: Yeah, I was thinking older versions of flash would work - I mean, I used to use the older versions just fine - Where's a good place to buy old software like that though?
posted by soplerfo at 11:52 AM on December 6, 2005

Best answer: There are a TON of tools you could use. Most of them should be listed at I'm pretty fond of moho, koolmoves and toon boom studio.

Also, though you asked for alternatives, you might want to check out Flash 8 (new version). It's now much more of a hybrid vector/bitmap tool. It has a small subset of Photoshop-like filters built in, and it can handle video transparency.

Plus, if you use Flash, you can also use the cool plugins developed by the folks at
posted by grumblebee at 12:08 PM on December 6, 2005

I would second the Swish recommendation. You can download it and try it for free for 15 days to see if it meets you needs. I used to use it extensively, but have had no time lately. Nice product.
posted by flyingrock at 1:20 PM on December 6, 2005

If you're a student or know a student, you can get a cheap version of flash that way.
posted by ph00dz at 5:27 PM on December 6, 2005

It mght be a bit difficult, but I've found this...
posted by disillusioned at 10:08 PM on December 7, 2005

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