CGI – free software

Free Options for Computer Generated Imagery:

3D software


Blender 3D opensourceOfficial tutorials. You can access some free tutorials at: or this workbook from Some useful add-ons. There are some very interesting developments in 2.8 with the 2D animation Grease Pencil tools and the fun Animation Sketch add-on (YouTube).


Hexagon provides a basic 3D modelling package which is intended for creating props for Daz. It is also a great place to start 3D objects to transfer later to more sophisticated software such as Maya that either you cannot afford or perhaps cannot run on a laptop or an older PC/Mac. Good to create items to 3D print since it can export as .stl Documentation + Tutorials


Daz 3D free figure posing, rendering and animation, with a wide range of low-cost props, figures and costumes available. Similar to commercial app Poser


MakeHuman is a free open source character generator suitable for use with Maya and 3ds Max and with increasingly close links with Blender 3D.


Free Web-based sculpting in your browser or downloaded to work offline. Can export in useful formats such as .obj and .stl amongst others. iMaterialise review  Intro video

Scupltris (by makers of zBrush)

Sculptris is a free but sadly no longer supported sculpting app for Mac & Windows. It may not work too well with modern operating systems. Being from Pixologic (famous for professionals’ favourite zBrush) Sculptris models can be imported easily to zBrush. (Given the price of zBrush is $895 first look at the more basic ‘zBrush Core’ at $179.99).  Comparison of Sculptris vs ZBrush Core vs ZBrush

Image Manipulation and 2D Paint Software

GiMP Image Manipulation – the open source Photoshop rival. ClipStudio Paint (previously called Manga Studio) is only free for 30 days but is an excellent low cost alternative with a lot of great features including a built-in 3D character to pose for reference and basic animation.


Fire Alpaca is a lightweight app for Mac and Windows which will run fine on older machines too. See Youtube video. Does contain advertising, which requires payment to SE Windows version through Steam to remove.


Inkscape vector drawing app logo and link Inkscape is a free open-source vector graphics application that can stand in for Adobe Illustrator.


Krita and its manual – free ‘natural media’ tools similar to Coral Paint or Clip Studio Paint.


Screentogif offers a great way to edit and export examples of your 2D or 3D animation. There is no need to install the .exe – it is portable and can be run from a USB stick or unzipped into your documents folder for use. Windows only. The image shows some of the tools available in this excellent free open-source utility:

3D Printing

3D printing software recommendations for beginners

See our 3D printing section here at My-Animation



Scratch is an online system of coloured blocks that you put in order to program your own interactive stories, games, and animations. It can also control Lego WeDo and Mindstorms EV3 models. Machine Learning add-on now available.


sololearn free is a great free way to learn to program. C# is used by Unity game engine, C++ by Unreal, Python by Blender and Krita.

Video Editing

List of 15 free video editing applications for Mac, Windows or iOS