Websites need movies because they attract attention, increase customer retention, improve SEO ranking, and help funnel projects. Free animation software is so important because making explainer videos for your website is usually very, very expensive. By the time you calculate the production costs and the scenery costs, as well as lost work time (or paying for actors), many people just give up on the idea and scrap the whole project. This is where animation comes in! 2D animations are quick and do not require locations or setup. A professional animation studio will charge upwards of $3,000 for a one-minute animated video, which is still much cheaper than doing a live action movie. But can it be done for free? Better yet, can it be done for free and still look professional?
Introducing Powtoon! Powtoon offers a free animation software tool that runs on windows or mac processing systems, and the best part is that you don’t need an animator to use it!
Making an animation takes an expert, plus you need to buy expensive software. There are some great programs out there, but for business owners, marketers, and basic users it is just too much, and it is definitely NOT FREE animation software. Powtoon is the first company to offer a free animation studio. With Powtoon, you can easily create 2D animations in just a few hours. It is so easy! Choose your characters, props, and scene, drag and drop them into the Powtoon editor, and select the animation you want to apply. Presto! You have a free animated video for your website. Since the Powtoon program runs on the web, Mac and Windows users can use it freely to animate their videos without worry. As it stands, Powtoon is the best free animation software on the market!
Powtoon works on a freemium model. It’s free for anyone to use with the Powtoon logo on the video and the Powtoon outro at the end of your video, but you can remove both of these things, and gain access to fantastic premium characters, for a very reasonable price. If you are an animator or want more graphics the premium account is definitely for you!
To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories.
To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories.
I grew up with the stop-motion animation of Aardman Animations and always thought of it as something that would be beyond me to create. After watching some old episodes, my kids were asking me how these films make their characters move – they were surprised to find it wasn't done with computers like Pixar films.
Their next question was inevitably, "Can we do something like this, dad?" This led to some hurried investigation and trial runs on my part, but before long I got to the point where it seemed totally doable to create these animations with them. Here are our first few attempts, each of which took around 20 minutes to film with 10 minutes to add the sound.
As we have done more of these, I've found that having the right equipment makes all the difference, and that there are some cheap tricks that can save a lot of money. Here are my stop-motion discoveries:
Camera: We based our setup on the iPhone 4 because that's the best camera we had in the house and there are a few great stop-motion apps that avoid having to manually combine the images on a computer before you can see your results. Any fourth-generation iPod Touch (from $140 Amazon) or iPhone with camera would work just as well.
Tripod: This took the longest time to figure out. I knew I wanted to use a tripod for the iPhone but wasn't sure how to attach the device to a standard camera mount. This was solved when I discovered the Glif mount ($19 Amazon), a simple device that enables you to attach your phone to any standard tripod. We went for the Vista Explorer ($19 Amazon) because it enables you to get a good height above your scene. The Joby GP1 Gorillapod ($13 Amazon) would also work, as would the FlipVideo tripod ($9 Amazon).
Software: We used the StopMotion HD Studio Pro app on the iPhone. Having tried a few, this was the easiest to use and enabled us to add sound and music to our creations – all without using a computer. You could use Stop Motion software (from $19 on Amazon) but this adds to the cost and complexity.
Theory: As we have done more of these animations, I've found that the kids wanted to know more about the theory behind what we were doing. This led to us buying a couple of great books on the subject. Stop Motion: Craft Skills for Model Animation ($17 Amazon) is the one they use the most and seems to have inspired some great ideas. Although this does add to the cost, it has been worth the investment.
Like most technical and creative projects, the total costs can mount up. However, by spreading things out over a longer period and by making use of equipment you already have, you can save a lot of money. Our stop-motion films are becoming ever more ambitious, with the kids now storyboarding ideas before they take them to "the set," as they call it. It's been great to see them get excited about something with so many different educational benefits – and that to me is invaluable.
Sony Vegas Video turns your computer into a high-quality video editing tool that any professional would love.
No matter how careful you are with your digital video camera, mistakes can always happen. You never know quite how the light will look in the finished video, if you captured enough sound or whether the background was just too dark. There is always a chance that you might have blank spots in your videos or sections that you want to cut out because nothing happens. With Sony Vegas Video, you can now make professional videos that will wow and amaze your friends and family.
Though similar to Final Cut Pro and the video editing software available from Adobe, this one is easier to use. Even if you never edited a single video clip before, the manual contains everything you need in an easy-to-follow format. It lets you import your videos from your computer or other devices you can hook up to your computer to edit multiple videos together into one seamless clip.
The real reason you’ll want to use Sony Vegas Video is because you can use it to create videos that look like all your favorite films. It comes loaded with hundreds of filters that let you layer videos on top of each other, brighten dark scenes and lighten up darker moments. You can use the special effects and text features to add titles, end credits and cut scenes to your videos, too.
Many people know Sony for its video equipment, but you’ll love the great audio that this software provides. You can easily add a soundtrack to your film from music files on your computer and files that you find online. Sony Vegas Video even lets you cut together different songs or use multiple songs in longer videos.
The primary problem with this software is its timeline interface. As it pops up various windows, you may have a hard time keeping track of what changes you made and what edits you still need to do. There is also a risk that you might accidentally delete your clips without saving a copy first. It also lacks some of the more professional features you might want and is hard for beginners to use. If you want to edit your home movies and videos you shoot like a pro, Sony Vegas Video will definitely help though.
Can you have your cake and eat it too? Can you create an insanely professional animation with a platform that even Fluffy your dog could master!?
YES! You can make a character move and spin and sing “Baby Got Back,” in only 6 steps.
How to Make Your Own Animation
1. Choose a RIDICULOUSLY Awesome, SUPER-EASY automated software animation program.
Logic dictates that if you start with a hard, complicated software program, then your journey to making animations will be hard and complicated. So choose right from the get-go and you’ll have an easy ride.
Lucky for you, advancements in technology have created a new era of super-easy, automated animation–making software. That means no more techie, time-consuming programs. No more spending a few days learning the software. No more building animations from scratch. The world works on instant gratification, and the platform that can give this to you is the one you need.
Powtoon is the instant gratification of the animation–making world. Don’t get me wrong, programs like Toon Boom and Photoshop are great, but they just aren’t that easy to use, and they aren’t as quick to learn.
2. Write Out Your Goal in One Sentence.
Once you have chosen the EASIEST animation software on earth, you can jump right into it. First, define the goal of your animation. Are you creating an advertisement, a short movie, a video resume or a business presentation? What’s the purpose of your animation? Write it down in one sentence, right now.
3. Script Time!
Now that you know your objective, you need to fill in the magical words of your script. We have an amazing tutorial all about powerful scriptwriting, but if you want a quick fix, then these are the top 3 essential tips:
A. Pull them in – “I knew that I was a good dad the day my daughter brought me her first fish.” Huh!? Start off with a sentence that piques curiosity and has an element of surprise or plays on emotion.
B. Introduce yourself – at some point in your script introduce your company, product, or yourself. Who are you? Are you a someone I should rely on, or are you a source of entertainment?
C. End with a bang – whether it’s a call-to-action, an appreciative thank you, or a powerful life lesson, your animation should end with a punch.
4. Choose your characters from a collection of pre-made characters.
Ever heard about the paradox of choice? It’s a psychological phenomenon that occurs when people are presented with too many options. Instead of being excited about so many different choices, the opposite happens; people become overwhelmed and frustrated, leading to a state of paralysis and indecision.
When it comes to animation, there are so many micro-nano details that it can cause the brain to OVERLOAD, aaaaarghhh! Do you really need to be staring at the computer screen, editing pixels, choosing from 50 shades of grey or fixing the texture of a body part? NO! It is much easier and faster to choose from a collection of pre-designed characters and then customize them to look and move the way that you want. Choose a program that lets you do this; You show the cartoons whose boss!
5. Set the Tone
Should your characters be silly and goofy, set behind a template of rainbow fields and flying bubbles? Or would you like serious business suit profiles and city skylines? Hey, you may not even know which style or characters will work best until you set them to action. So try them out, the right program should let you test out different characters, icons, and scenes with a click of the mouse.
6. Add your Voiceover/ or Music
The last and final step has arrived; adding audio! It is time to bring your animation to life. Will you narrate your script or add an awesome background beat (or perhaps both)? If you choose to record a voiceover, then grab a glass of water and a mic, clear your throat and start speaking. Your platform should have a free recording tool and a library of music at your fingertips (hint hint, thanks Powtoon). But, If you don’t have recording tools on your platform or you would like to use a piece of audio from an existing recording, then download Audacity. It is a great software tool for recording clean voiceovers and exporting them as different files.
Or… You can just ditch the voiceover. If your animation has speech bubbles or does such a great job visually telling your story, then just simply add music. Download your favorite songs and let Beyoncé or Frank Sinatra do the work for you!
7. You are Done.
Yes, I’m serious, congratulate yourself. I only added this last step in because, well it’s really fun to cross things off of lists.
There you have it, you just made your own animation in 6 steps!
Animation making technology has come a long way. New automation software now gives EVERYONE, including you and me, the ability to become our own animators! So, take advantage of the era of instant gratification. Go ahead, make your own FREE awesome animation… Before your dog beats you to it!
Turn your precious stories into picture books for kids
Make a Children’s Story Book with Pictures Online
Choose a Format
We offer three shapes and six sizes for your books. Whether you want a small square picture book or a large album, we’ve got you covered.
Write and Illustrate
Open the tool and start writing using our cool fonts. You can then bring your story to life with our ready-made illustrations or add your own.
Print or Download
We’ll professionally print as many books as you like and deliver them to any address in the world. You can also download your book as a PDF.
Wait for Your Delivery
BookBildr ships to most countries in the world thanks to our shipping partners. We print in the EU, Canada & Australia for global coverage.
Watch the Video to Learn How BookBildr Works
Create a Children’s Book Online in 4 Simple Steps
Select Size and Shape
Select your book’s size and shape. Square books are great for creating toddler picture books and the classic book shape is perfect for more text.
Choose a Background
Select the background for each page. It can be a solid color, a photo, an illustration, or a texture. Use our images or upload your own!
We have hundreds of vector illustrations and photos for you to use. Browse the categories, select the pics you like or upload your own images.
Write Your Story
Turn your unique story into a beautiful children’s picture book online. Choose from dozens of fonts and colors, and put your text anywhere on the page.
What Is BookBildr?
BookBildr is your one-stop service for creating beautiful picture books for children. You no longer need a designer, an illustrator, special software or a publisher because you can make your children’s book yourself with the help of our ready-made illustrations and the power of Google fonts! Best of all, you can illustrate your book online for free and save as many book projects as you want. When you finish writing your book, we’ll professionally print it and deliver it to practically any address in the world.
With BookBildr you can make your own picture book for kids online without wasting time and resources on buying illustrations and working with a designer. Using BookBildr is free – there are no subscription fees or any premium content whatsoever: you only pay if you download your book as an eBook or order printed copies.
BookBildr is for everyone who loves reading and wants to write unique picture books for children and adults. It’s for parents and grandparents who want to turn their precious stories into beautiful books for their children. It’s also for kids who want to try their hand at writing, independent children’s book authors, educators, non-profits and more.
If you want to get a hold of your finances, you need to control your spending—and that starts with establishing a budget. Learn how to create a budget, best practices for sticking to it, the latest budgeting software available to you, and more.
Your Guide to Spending and Saving Money
Frequently Asked Questions
An individual’s budget will vary depending on their lifestyle, spending habits, and net income. To start a budget, you need to take a deep dive into how you spend your money, which includes gathering all of your bills and pay stubs. When you have all of your bills and pay stubs, write down all monthly expenses. Then, write down your monthly income. Subtract the expenses from how much money you make. If the number is less than zero, you are spending more money than you make and it is time to reevaluate your spending and saving habits. A beginner can use a budgeting spreadsheet, calculator, or various applications to assist in the process.
A personal or household budget is a financial summary that compares and tracks your income and expenses for a defined period, typically one month at a time. Essentially, it is a written plan for how you will spend your money. It allows you to make financial decisions ahead of time, making it easier to cover all your expenses. It also helps you to pay off debt, save for the future, and be able to afford fun expenses. Budgeting consistently can help you turn your finances around and start the process of building wealth.
How much spending money you should have each month depends on the individual. However, to determine this amount you need to get a sense of how much you are spending per month compared to what you earn. This way, you can set spending limits. The first step is to take a look at mandatory expenses, then add them all up and subtract the total from your income. The amount you have left is what you can budget for discretionary expenses and savings goals. There are many different budgeting strategies you can follow to determine how much you spend each month. Generally, what you budget for expenses should not be more than your income; otherwise, you will end up in debt.
Each month, you’ll likely spend in three categories of expenses: fixed, variable, and discretionary. Fixed expenses are necessary ongoing costs that don't change in amount or frequency. Some examples include rent, health insurance, or a phone plan. Variable expenses are still considered necessary costs, but the amount you spend changes every month. The amount you spend on groceries or clothing each month can be considered variable expenses. Lastly, discretionary expenses are those expenses that you desire and would like to have, but do not necessarily need, such as a dinner out at a restaurant or concert tickets.
The 50/30/20 rule of thumb is a way to allocate your budget according to three categories: needs, wants, and financial goals. Through this strategy, 50% of your budget will go toward needs, 30% will go toward wants, and 20% will be put away for financial goals. All of the categories use your after-tax income.
While you can make a budget by hand or by using one of the many applications or software available, a spreadsheet is one of the most effective ways to create a budget. To make a spreadsheet, you must first download a software program, such as Microsoft Excel. Then you’ll need a list of fixed monthly expenses, variable monthly expenses, and income records for everything you earn. Next, decide how you wish to organize your spreadsheet, whether that be by including all information in one sheet or creating several tabs within the sheet. Then, track your income sources, as well as your expenses. Compare the two, and continue to track your spending and saving habits within the sheet. There are also several pre-made sheets available online, if you do not wish to start from scratch.
A multimedia presentation differs from a normal presentation in that it contains some form of animation or media. Typically a multimedia presentation contains at least one of the following elements:
- Video or movie clip
- Sound (this could be a voice-over, background music or sound clips)
- Navigation structure
Choice of multimedia presentation technology
The first – and hardest – part is to choose the technology for your presentation. The choice comes down to two main contenders, Adobe Flash or Microsoft PowerPoint.
Flash allows you to create presentations where you can build in powerful animation. It also has very good video compression technology.
Perhaps the best part of Flash is that it also allows you to put presentations directly onto your web site.
The biggest problem though is that Flash is a difficult system to get to use. I have been on a training class and also have access to a couple of graphic designers for help and still find it difficult to put together a presentation in Flash.
or an example of a Flash presentation that includes a voice-over and animation click on the picture on the right.
Life has become a lot easier in the recent versions (Flash 8 and Flash CS3). With these versions there is a new feature called Flash Slide Presentation. Rather than the conventional time-line it allows you to build and add in slides a bit like the slide sorter in PowerPoint.
It is also very expensive. Checking on Amazon the latest version of Flash (CS3) will set you back £515 ($629.99). You will probably have to factor in around £400 for a decent Flash training class.
There is a low cost alternative to Flash called Swish. They make it easy to build a Flash presentation without the need for detailed programming knowledge. For a free trial of the software you can visit the Swish website at www.swishzone.com
The easiest way to create a multimedia presentation is in Microsoft PowerPoint. You can add in video, a soundtrack and also a reasonable degree of animation.
By far the the biggest advantage of making multimedia presentations in PowerPoint is that it is easy for anyone to be able to edit the presentation.
An example of how you can introduce multimedia effects in a presentation is shown in the taxi sequence on the right. It starts with a line drawing being made on the screen and is then followed up with a taxi fading in.
The sequence is part of one of our PowerPoint templates. You can see the effect in action by downloading the taxi animated template from the download page. Make sure that you view the sequence in PowerPoint show mode.
We have a number of tutorials on the Presentation Helper web site that make it easier to put together a multimedia presentation.
If you put together a number of these elements you will have a way to create a multimedia presentation in PowerPoint.
The best free parental control software should make it straightforward to keep tabs on your family’s access to the internet, giving you peace of mind that your children will stay safe online.
Our current pick of the best free parental control software is Qustodio, which offers a comprehensive suite of tools to keep your kids safe online including content-filtering and time limits.
However, it’s not your only option, so we’ve gathered together several of the best other alternative parental control tools so you can make the best choice for you and your family.
In an ideal world, the web would be a safe space for everyone, but unfortunately that is far from reality, and as a busy adult, it’s not always possible for you to spend the time to be there while your children are online.
This is where the best free parental control software can help – by allowing you to either block access to particular sites that may have concerning content, or only permit access to sites you deem suitable, this tool can help protect your kids.
The best free parental control software will look after the kids when you’re unable to, whether they are conducting research for a school project, keeping in touch with friends, or simply enjoying all the good things that the Internet does offer.
It does not matter what age your child is, or whether they are using a mobile device, Windows or a macOS computer. In this roundup, you will find the perfect choice of the best free parental control software to lend you a vigilant hand.
The best parental control software right now is: Qustodio
Qustodio’s premium parental control tools are the best around. YouTube monitoring, the ability to see time spent on social networks, time limits for games and call tracking are just some of the options available. These tools aren’t free, but they’ll provide an extra layer of protection to keep your kids safe.
Best free parental control app: How did we choose?
Best free parental control app: How did we choose?
Keeping your children safe on the internet is becoming a more difficult task every day, but it has never been more important. The amount of inappropriate content online is troubling and without some form of parental control software, there is little way of knowing what your child is looking at. With that in mind, we’ve trawled through the numerous paternal control apps on the market today and selected the best – the ones that will keep your kids safe. We’ve looked at free and paid options, as well as ones that might be suitable for children of different ages.