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I am looking for a simple 2D animation software to create animated infographics, basically an alternative to Adobe Animate/Flash Pro.

I need something that

  • Supports text properly, including Unicode fonts (like Font Awesome)
  • Supports Vector Graphics (preferably SVG, but .ai or .eps is also ok)
  • Has a timeline where I can specify Key Frames, and then do stuff like
    • Move objects from A to B, preferably without easing if desired
    • Animate Color or Transparency changes
    • Scale objects
  • Export the animation as an animated GIF or Picture Sequence at a given resolution and frame rate
  • Must run locally on Windows - no web/cloud based ones (but Electron apps are okay)
  • Must not have a subscription model. I don't need Free/OSS, a one-time payment is fine, preferably $150 or less

Tools that I've tried so far that commonly come up

  • NCH Express Animate - Almost what I want, except that it doesn't support Vector Graphics, and that text handling is broken in the current version (Doesn't remember text sizes, doesn't support all fonts in the system)
  • Synfig Studio - Aimed at Character Animation/Cartoons, does not handle text well
  • Pencil2D - Same as Synfig studio
  • Plenty of HTML5-based ones (e.g., Animatron or Biteable), but those are online/cloud apps
  • Adobe Animate - has everything that I want (and a whole bunch of stuff that I don't need), but at $240/year, it's more that I want to spend
  • Adobe After Effects - same issue as animate, $240/year.
  • DIY Solutions using Processing or similar - last resort, don't want to spend a week making my own if I can avoid it.
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Some additional tools besides the one you mentioned.

This 3 are compositing tools similar to After Effects. You can export as a movie and convert them to gif after.

If you want a CSS+HTML or JavaScript animation, not gif you can try these:

(I like NCH Express Animate, but the animation is almost pure JavaScript based one)

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    Nice! Rafael already named everything I was going to answer with. Except that Edge Animate v1.5 is the only free version of Edge which was released and is still accessible and downloadable online. Just cause it's not free anymore doesn't mean it's not a tool to ignore. I still use it in production work. Mostly for animated infographics Animatron Studio, Blender and GWD are my go to apps. – Michael Schwartz May 13 '18 at 5:44
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    Rafael, in the future you might want to write 5 individual answers. A single answer with 5 programs is hard to vote on, because e.g. I like 2 of the suggestions but dislike 3. – Thomas Weller Jan 9 at 12:55
  • Oh. Ok. Interesting opinion. Some programs are also outdated... – Rafael Jan 9 at 19:30
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To close the loop on this, I ended up with Moho Pro 12, formerly known as Anime Studio Pro. The retail price is $400, so above the budget, but (at the time of writing) Amazon.com sold it for $199, so that's what I ended up getting.

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If you are looking for something fast and easy, you can use https://clipchamp.com/en/. Been using this for a year now and you can customize your infographics in such a way it will fit your needs.

The free version is limited to 480p video exports. The full version is at 19 USD/month.

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  • Sorry, I downvoted because the requirement was "Must not have a subscription model." and Clipchamp has a monthly subscription model. – Thomas Weller Jan 9 at 15:16
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OpenToonz is a free software for 2D animation.

  • ✓ Supports Unicode fonts. I tried with FontAwesome Brands.
  • ✓ Supports vector graphics. Use the menu Level/New/New vector level to create a layer that supports vector graphics.
  • ✓ Has a timeline.
  • ✓ Can specify key frames. Actually, it will insert keyframes automatically where needed whenever you use the animation tool.
  • ✓ Keyframe animation supports position (moving), scaling and rotation.
  • ✓ It does also supports color animation, but not on an object level (which I understand is what you want). Instead, you want a fade effect (Youtube), which is not so straight forward. Don't forget to activate preview mode or you won't see it.
  • ✓ It does not render to an animated GIF directly, but generates single images
  • ✓ Runs on Windows locally
  • ✓ Is , so it does not have a subscription model.

Timeline with keyframes in OpenToonz:

Timeline in OpenToonz

Disadvantages:

  • It cannot deal with SVGs very well. From 3 SVGs I imported, 2 of them were not displayed as expected, i.e. different than in Firefox and Inkscape. This seems to be due to conversion from SVG to PLI when you add the drawing to OpenToonz.
  • It once said "run out of contiguous physical memory" in a scene with 1 text element only and a machine with 96 GB of RAM. That was unexpected.
  • It sometimes hangs and crashes. So save often and have a good backup system or version control.
  • Some actions do not have undo. Again, save often and have a good backup system or version control.

At the time of writing, this is the result of an SVG import into OpenToonz (left) and the original in Inkscape (right), ignore the red dotted line:

Loudspeaker after import and in Inkscape

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