Avatars and Animations

Voki (http://www.voki.com/)
Voki is a free avatar creator. Once you have created your avatar, you can embed it into a website, wiki, or other project. This avatar must have speech added in order to embed it.
For elementary students, try this free avatar creator: Build Your Wild Self

Here's a simple avatar creator. Go to DoppelMe and create your avatar. If you simply want to save it as a .gif file, right click on the image and "Save As."

Screen shot 2013-04-09 at 2.45.02 PM.pngLike claymation? Try to Clay Yourself.


Scratch DL (http://scratch.mit.edu/) (Free download)
Scratch is a new programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art -- and share your creations on the web. Scratch is designed to help young people (ages 8 and up) develop 21st century learning skills. As they create and share Scratch projects, young people learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively.

DOINK (http://www.doink.com/)
Love to draw? Want to create animations of your drawings (or those of others, whose work is copyright free)? Animation is a heck of a lot easier with the right tools. Motion is as simple as drawing a line, and pressing play. What really sets this site apart, though, is the ability to reuse art. Need a turtle? Just search and use the one you like best. Doink will take care of giving credit where credit is due, so the only thing you need to do is make the animation you want. When you're done, you can embed it anywhere on the web!

Xtra Normal (http://www.xtranormal.com/) Best for older learners (high school).
Make a 3-D movie in minutes, for free! Uses trademarked "Text-to-Movie" technology. If you can type, you can make a movie. Choose from one of six free worlds for your setting, whether you want to use one or two characters in your movie, and you're off! You can work with up to two characters, using multiple types of camera shots, and combine text-to-speech in a variety of accents with various sound effects. Drag and drop preprogrammed animations, among other elements. Try the service for free, but you’ll soon need to purchase bundles of Xtranormal Points for use toward additional assets—new actors, sets, and the like. Using the address http://edu.xtranormal.com helps to filter out inappropriate content. Xtranormal sponsors educators making educational movies with grants of Xtranormal Points on the Xtranormal Movie Maker platform. Not available for entire classes or schools and student accounts.

Go Animate (http://goanimate.com/) This free tool allows you lots of cool choices. You may prefer it to xtranormal because you can have more than two characters in your movie.
GoAnimate.com: kindergarten+addition by slackm

Like it? Create your own at GoAnimate.com. It's free and fun!

MeMoovCreate animations! This site is similar to xtranormal, but the voices are less robotic.

Pencil Traditional 2D animation software for MAC, Windows, or Linux. It lets you create traditional hand-drawn animation (cartoon) using both bitmap and vector graphics. Pencil is free and open source.

Dfilm Easily create fun films.

Fluxtime Another easy animator that is fun to use.

Canvastic Create simple animations on this free canvas.
Aniboom Virtual Studio allows users to create and edit stop-motion cartoons in real time. This free download for Windows has shapes, colors, and onion-layering tools to provide users—beginners and professionals alike—an exciting environment for animating.
Blender.org is an open source 3-D content creation suite, providing tools to make 3-D animations, video games, and visual effects. The software is available for all major operating systems under a GNU General Public License. For more information, visit this page.
CreaToon 3.0
A 2-D cut-out style animation program, CreaToon allows animators to set certain keyframes and the software completes the frames in between. CreaToon 3.0 is available to download, however, parent company Androme has discontinued further developments and technical support.
DAZ Studio 3
DAZ Studio is a free, feature-rich figure design program that allows the artist to work in 3-D animation using the puppet tool. With DAZ, users can create characters in different styles, such as anime. Easy-to-follow tutorial videos can be found on the DAZ Studio website as well as on YouTube.
Web-based options
This simple drag-and-drop, Web-based animator offers a library of images, voice and video clips and sound effects for creating quick projects. Use existing clip art and sound, or upload your own elements to create projects.

A popular tool for educators, Blabberize allows the user to speak through a picture. Upload an image, locate its mouth, record sound, and make the picture speak. “Blabbers” can be shared via email, embedded in a website, or added to a slideshow.
Comics Sketch
A free site that allows users to draw and animate comic strips and books. View, vote, and comment on your favorite comics by other members.
A free, Web-based app for making videos or creating characters. WithGoAnimate, you can: build scenes; choose backgrounds; select characters and preprogrammed actions, movements, and emotions; add speech bubbles; resize; bring objects forward and back; and add music and effects. GoAnimate.com features a public gallery of user-created cartoons, so there’s a risk of inappropriate content. For a “clean” version minus dicey material, tryDomoAnimate or GoAnimate4Schools (described below).
The educational version of GoAnimate is free for up to 100 accounts. A single teacher account gets unlimited access to all GoAnimate4Schools’ features. The teacher can also post work to GoAnimate4Schools’ public gallery. With a student account, users may craft animations of up to two minutes in length, upload music, record their voices, or take advantage of a text-to-speech function. SchoolPlus accounts offer unlimited features for multiple teacher accounts, with no limits on the number of student users. There are also no restrictions on the length of animations or the number of image and video uploads on this plan.
Owned and operated by Disney, this Web-based studio designed for young people is all about making art and animated movies. Kerpoof offers many different movie-making programs and activities organized by grade level and cross-referenced with state and national educational standards. Winner of a 2010 Parents’ Choice Gold Award, the site is mostly free, with premium membership options.
Zimmer Twins
Click and drag to build simple movies from clips using Zimmer Twins. Change words in a sentence to adjust characters and actions within the clips. Free to use, but VIP members can share their movies, access additional animated clips, leave written comments, and more.