MonkeyJam and Anasazi are full-version freeware editing systems designed to capture your frames and create a polished, professional animated film. Both programs allow you to import existing visual files or capture your frames live by using cables that connect your webcam or digital camera to the computer.
They offer indispensable tools such as onionskinning, which allows you to superimpose previously shot frames onto each other to make sure that you have created a smooth and logical flow of animated movement for your characters. Both programs also feature framegrabbing technology, which allows you to extract problematic or inconsistent frames in your film. They also both offer frame flipping and frame averaging (which improves picture quality by reducing grain or other visual problems in your frames).
Anasazi enables you to assign various tasks to certain keys on your keyboard, otherwise known as a “hot key” feature. Both systems allow you to import audio and add special effects to films, and export your cuts into various file formats.
If you wish to retouch your frames or add some visual effects, there is no better program to use than The Gimp. Yes, it is a horrible sounding name, but this photo editing software could give Adobe Photoshop a run for its money. It works with a similar user interface, and has most of the same features that would otherwise cost hundreds of dollars. Thankfully, The Gimp is free, and compatible with many animation software programs that are not. You can find it at www.gimp.org .
There are wonderful audio programs to be had, as well! If you visit http://audacity.sourceforge.net/, you can download Audacity for free! This program can capture and edit sound tracks which can be added later into your film’s editing program. Best of all, the software is compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems.
Are you looking for some good audio to upload to your new sound editing program? Why not browse through www.grsites.com/sounds . They offer over 1,900 free clips which can be downloaded onto your computer and then imported into other programs
If you are itching for a chance to work with some of the more costly editing equipment, keep in mind that almost all of the high-end software programs come with free trials of varying strengths. While some offer editions with limited capabilities, many other programs will let you experiment with the whole enchilada, if only for a few days.
The free resources mentioned above are all fabulous software programs to use and will greatly improve the quality of your stop motion film. As you continue to animate, use your internet browser to constantly look for new (or improved!) versions of free or open source software that can be used for post-production purposes.