Anime Studio Pro Free Trial Available for Download Again

Good news, everyone!*

The Pro version of Anime Studio 8 is available for download as a free trial at Smith Micro Store again! Until recently they only offered the trial for Debut. The procedure stays the same, you have to enter your credit card information first to download Anime Studio Pro, then you can cancel the order within 30 days (see store support). The price will only be charged after the trial period.

Get your download here!

On related news, you can now get limited demo versions without credit card information. With these demo versions you cannot export your animations (unlike the trial versions where everything works) but they are great to explore the software without obligation.

If you’re interested, please start an online chat with us here or contact us directly at and let us know the following:

What version? Debut or Pro
What operating system? Mac or Win

We will then send you a download link within 1-2 business days.


Happy animating (and also Happy Easter for those who celebrate)!

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Webinar (1 hour): Physics in Animation – How to Apply Physics in Anime Studio

Jason Cozy from Smith Micro explains physics in the latest official Anime Studio Webinar (hold on March 23, 2012, see here) with lots of examples. Great introduction, a must-see for beginners with the Anime Studio physics engine.


(3:10) Basic setup with layers and shapes, enabling the physics engine.

(9:30) How bones and physics interact (skip to 10:50 to see the example)

(12:00) Angle Constraints and Bone Dynamics (example at 14:10)

(18:00) Non-moving objects and initial moving directions.

(21:45) Object properties: Friction, Springiness, Density

(25:00) Layer origin points (complex example at 28:20)

(31:40) Pinball example, Force fields

(38:40) Washing machine example

(40:20) Example with real cartoon character and background scene: guy falling down a hill. Jason creates it from scratch with elements from the library and answers some additional questions.

How to Make an Animated Cartoon

How is a cartoon made? Can anyone make one? Is it expensive? These are questions that many people who grew up with animation have asked themselves at some point. And, for a long time, the answers to the latter two questions were “no”, and “tremendously” in that order. Now, with the advent of technology of today, things have changed quite a bit. Now, anyone with some artistic skill, and a grasp of computer basics can in fact make a cartoon, the only expense is going to be time.

Ok, that’s not entirely true. It’ll still cost some money to produce a cartoon. But, where traditional animation studios (and modern massive studios) had expenses in staff and technical equipment, it’s more of an expense for the high-powered software and a decent computer to power it.

You have a myriad of choices for what software and techniques you use to animate your cartoon, and today we’re going to learn about classic flash animation, complete with implementing backgrounds, characters and audio. So, buckle your seat belt, put your tray in the full upright position, and prepare to land. Er, learn to animate!

There are a variety of versions of Flash available. This is because for a long time, Flash was a product of a now-defunct company called Macromedia. Adobe bought the rights to Flash and several other Macromedia products, and integrated them into their CS (creative suite) product line about ten years ago.

Let’s use Adobe Flash CS5, it’s the most powerful, and it’s less bulky than previous CS versions. Also, it takes full advantage of the Flash player modern browsers use. But, we also need another program to mix and sequence our voice clips. Let’s use Audacity, as it’s free and easy to pick up. Continue reading

Tutorial: Point Level Animation in Anime Studio Pro

rough planningJoey Gates shows how he animated facial expressions for a ten second cartoon. He explains how to animate shapes using points and how he used this to create a complex mouth animation. In this method there are no bones involved, so it is obviously more useful for facial expressions than for body movement. Also it is a lot more fun to work with in comparison to “Tweens” in Flash. Continue reading

How to Make Animated Cartoons on the Computer

Almost anyone who grew up watching cartoons has wanted to make a cartoon themselves at some point. In the modern age, people growing up around computers and other digital devices tend to retain their childlike creative urges even later in life. This is because with the aid of digital equipment like computers, people of any age have all the creative power they could ever want, at their fingertips.

Digital equipment changed the game for animation. Let’s look for a moment at how animation used to have to be done. A sketch artist would make a storyboard, made up of “key frames”. These frames showed each significant different angle or major pose of characters and objects in the cartoon. Then entire teams of talented artists would sketch all of the frames between the key frames. Then, another team would take each of these sketches, and paint a colored cell based off of it. Following this, a team of photo-implementers would use special equipment to place the cells over backdrops, one at a time, and photograph the result, to put on film.

At 24 frames per second, a theatrical short cartoon, the original format for cartoons, took thousands of frames done one at a time in this process. It was time consuming and very expensive!

Computers have changed this, with software to scan sketches, ink and paint frames, and assemble them directly into a timeline of animation. Mistakes can be corrected without having to redraw a frame, and any errors in positioning don’t have to waste film. Continue reading

Tutorial: How to Draw and Animate an Arm in Anime Studio

Simple Arm from Line ToolIn the short “Arm Animation Bone Rig” Tutorial, caddysnap demonstrates how to create cartoon arms for your character in Anime Studio Debut 7 just with your mouse. He uses the line tool to outline the arm in a drop shaped style, then creates a bone layer with bones for every part (upper arm, lower arm, fingers).

Cartoon Arm with BonesYou’ll learn a few tricks with the bone tool and see how a simply drawn arm can get animated in a quite natural way within less than ten minutes. Such an arm can easily be reused and modified for several characters.

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Tutorial: How to Draw Eyes in Anime Studio

The Eye Your cartoon characters always have points and circles for eyes? Here is a nice step by step tutorial for detailed cartoon eyes with eyelashes, irides, pupils, the whole package, in a easy to adapt way.

It also shows how to animate blinking, which is important for the characters’ liveliness, and looking in different directions.

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How to Make a Cartoon Movie on the Computer

The digital millennium has brought many empowering changes to the way we live our lives, and how we experience creativity as well. With the advent of computers, and software for them to replace bulky equipment as well as teams of specialists, people are able to embark upon creative projects previously out of reach.

Among the many creative things individuals are now free to explore, animation ranks at the top. Animation is a popular form of art, which has been both embraced and admired by the masses since the turn of the century. In previous times, it took teams of people specializing in complex tasks and operation of intricate equipment to produce even the lower qualities of animation that could be achieved.

The process of making hundreds or thousands of frames, to be sketched, painted and positioned was a laborious task, and an expensive one. But, with today’s technology, there are alternative methods that can allow you to create cartoons as a one man … or lady … army!

There are many choices for technique, software and methodology when it comes to making your animations. It really depends on how patient you are, what kind of artist you might happen to be, and how you want the animation to look.

Even with the streamlined nature of modern animation technology, it’s still possible to do a frame-by-frame animation process for a smooth, organic animation. But, this is time consuming and laborious. There’s also the option of designing vector objects, and rigging them to a skeleton. This is called inverse kinematics, and its downside is it can look a bit “puppety”.

But, there is an animation technique that blends these, and if done properly, it can look fantastic. First, you need a scanner capable of high definition scans. Also, you need Adobe Flash CS4 or higher, though CS5 is far less bloated and bulky than CS4.

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Webinar (1 hour) Anime Studio vs. Flash: The Benefits

Chad Troftgruben, an expert on both products, compares Flash to Anime Studio when it comes to character animation. This webinar addresses Flash users and encourages them to try out Anime Studio as alternative.

The webinar was hold on January 19, 2012 (more info on official site) with Flash CS 5 and Anime Studio Pro 8.1


The following aspects are covered by the webinar (with minute position in the video):

(5:00) Difference of the drawing tools: The freehand tool in Flash is very dynamic and flexible but on the other hand there is much more control in Anime Studio.

(11:50) Skeletal Animation: The bone tool is an essential feature in Anime Studio, in Flash it was introduced in CS 4 and has still some limitations (e.g. no bones over multiple layers).

(21:30) Camera movement: Flash does not have an explicit camera option, so it has to be simulated by moving all objects. Note that Anime Studio even provides an automatic depth effect (background objects moving slower than foreground objects via z-position) Continue reading