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Pencil2D, based on old Pencil software, has been started in may 2013 by Matt Chang.

Pencil2D Animation

Pencil2D is an animation/drawing software for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. It lets you create traditional hand-drawn animation (cartoon) using both bitmap and vector graphics. Pencil is free and open source.


Wanna try the bleeding edge version of Pencil2D? Download the nightly builds!

Build Status

Source code

Pencil2D v0.5.4 beta


  • ScribbleArea code refactoring.
  • Custom keyboard shortcuts (Preferences->Shoftcuts)
  • Interactive brush resizing. SHIFT + Mouse Drag to change brush size, CTRL + Mouse Drag for FEATHER, CTRL+SHIFT applies brush size to the eraser and temporarily selects it.
  • Smoother brush stroke on Mac OS X.
  • Saving/loading project is more stable now.
  • Misc bug fixes.

Pencil2D v0.5.3 beta


  • Upgrade to Qt 4.8.4
  • ToolSet code refactoring.
  • Menubar code refactoring.
  • Color Palette code refactoring.
  • Bug fixed: brush cannot change color in 0.5.2

Pencil Animation v0.5 beta (Morevna Branch) - September 15th 2010

Changes by Konstantin Dmitriev:

  • Support for some command-line options. Now it's possible to specify file to open: $ Pencil file.pcl Export to image sequence using command-line: $ Pencil file.pcl --export-sequence file.png
  • Load dialog: Allow to choose "Any file" filter - that allows to load files without extension (old Pencil files).
  • Fix transparency issue when exporting to png sequence
  • Desktop integration (linux)
  • Other minor fixes

Changes by davidefa:

  • Export movie exports audio and video. Audio layers are mixed. To select video format use an 'appropriate' filename extension ( ex: .avi, .mov, .mpg, .mp4 ... ), movie framerate is selectable ( but output codecs don't support all framerates, a safe and usual choice should be 24, 25 or 30 fps )
  • Minor fixes in audio layers ( corrupted audio passed end of 'audio frame' ).
  • Improved undo/redo functionality
  • Fixed saving animation ( removed 'optimization', now saving is slower but safer )
  • Added fps parameter in saved animations
  • 3 'layers' of onion skinning ( configurable trough edit->preferences->tools, to remove a layer set its opacity to 0 )
  • Added import movie ( frames are imported at the current fps, there is no check to limit the imported frames )
  • Compiles fine with min 0.4.x on linux
  • Other minor fixes ( moving selection on bitmap layers, moving layers... )

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15 thoughts on “Pencil2D

  1. Eric

    The saving works now, right?
    Absolutely perfect program for me but the last version of Pencil did ruin a couple animations.

  2. Joseph

    Downloaded and looked so promising, but… it crashes every single time I try and load a sound file into it. Is this a known problem?

    1. Profile photo of kaiko


      I think there are some issues related to sound files inside Pencil2D. Maybe they are what you mentioned above.

      Please, would you mind to make a new post on the “forum” (not here) explaining this in more detail, and informing the developers the Operating System that you are using while performing the issue.

      Thank you, and welcome

  3. BOB

    I can’t seem to do anything in pencil, its like Im drawing on an invisible layer, I can’t see what I’m drawing. I can’t find anything on my particular issue, someone please help. I can’t tell if it’s because this is an old version of the program, and it’s no longer being updated or if it’s something I’m doing wrong.

  4. Nick

    I download it for Mac. It work, but I don’t change Keyboard shortcuts (only standard shortcuts work). Also import video don’t work. I hope, what it will be fixed later. Good program!

  5. Mario

    thanks for all. i’m interested in learning new things about design stuff. if you know any youtube channel with dynamic videos i’d be grateful

  6. Donovan

    Hello, I am currently using the original Pencil software, and I am wondering about a few things before I try this:
    Is there a straight line tool?
    Is there a circle/eclipse tool?
    What is the main difference between Pencil2D and the original Pencil program>


  7. Me

    So… Just… Bad. I know you can’t find any good, free animation software online, but this is just ridiculous. This sets a new minimum.

  8. Dave

    I can’t find any ‘import’ function in the layers menu along the top of the windows version. And, there are only three types of layers in my copy – bitmap, vector and camera, no sound.

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