Pencil 2D (animation)

An easy, intuitive tool to make 2D hand-drawn animations.

  • Minimal Design: Lightweight and easy to use so you can focus on animating and not what button to hit next.
  • Raster & Vector: Seamlessly switch between raster and vector workflows, allowing you to sketch, ink & paint on the go.
  • Cross-Platform: Pencil2D is cross-platform and runs on Windows, macOS, Linux & FreeBSD.
  • Open Source & Free: Pencil2D is completely open source and free to use, even commercially!

Pencil2D is a free and open-source 2D animation software available for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. It is a fork of ‘Pencil’. The application uses a bitmap/vector drawing interface to produce simple 2D graphics and drawings as well as animation. Pencil is written in C++ and is Qt-based. The application license is GNU General Public License.

It started as a simple “pencil test” program by Patrick Corrieri, extended to the current Pencil application mainly by Pascal Naidon. It was forked as Pencil2D by Matt Chang and is being developed.


Pencil was originally an application created by Patrick Corrieri by the end of 2005 under the name “Pencil Planner”. It was a simple yet effective pencil test (a.k.a. line test) programme. It included a drawing area, a single-track timeline where Keyframes could be added, previous and next onion skins. The drawing tools were a pencil and an eraser, along with a colour chooser. The animation could be played at a specified frame rate, and in addition it was possible to add a background image and a background sound. It was developed under Qt 3 and made available on Macintosh and then Windows platforms under GPL license. The Mac version could output QuickTime files.

When developer Paul became aware of this programme,He realised that it could be evolved into an application for making traditional animations rather than just pencil tests. Obviously what was needed was more drawing tools to fill shapes with colours,and some selection tools to move things around.

He got in touch with Patrick, and started implementing those functions, along with cleaning the original code. In this way the “Pencil planner” started to get to software “Pencil 2d”.

Pencil 2D – official website


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