You’ll find everything you need to create animations as well as great special effects and transitions in your videos with free, user-friendly Express Animate from NCH Software.
Express Animate enables you to add creative animations from images, text, audio and special effects to your videos and to export them to a number of different video formats. The easy to use interface introduces all the basic tools needed for creating the compositions of image, video and sound files to make beautifully customized movies:
- Import video files, image and sound files and add text
- Add text bubbles
- Animate text and images
- Move, rotate, resize objects
- Apply effects – brightness, contrast, negative, etc. – to objects
- Add or record audio and apply effects to it
- Mask objects or group them for editing
- Timeline editing
- Export to video formats, flash, html5 or animated GIF
The free animation software also has advanced tools for more experienced animators and those already familiar with graphics software:
- Vector Masks
- Graph editor
- Blending mode
- Selective editing of objects
Once download, installed and launched, you’ll find the Express Animate interface comprises a menu bar, a toolbar and a workspace featuring three panels. The Objects Panel at right is where you view the active composition and hierarchy of objects it contains. The Canvas Panel displays your composition as at the given point in time and includes playback controls. The Composition Panel, complete with timeline, is where you position and organize your objects.
You load the video, image and audio files you require either dragging and dropping them from the Windows Files Explorer into the Canvas, click Load Media in the toolbar or load them via the File Menu.
The X and Y pixel coordinates for each object you place in the Canvas Panel are displayed in the Composition Panel. When you select an object on the canvas and drag it to a new position, the properties in the Compositions Panel change accordingly. You can also move objects changing the position property directly or you can use the computer’s arrow keys. You can select and move groups of objects, in addition to single objects, using these two methods.
When you select an object – whether clicking its layer in the Canvas Panel or its name in the Objects Panel – it becomes highlighted in blue in the Composition Panel with its In and Out points displayed. Any of the selected object’s properties can be changed in the Composition Panel and you can trim or extend the duration.
Use the buttons on the toolbar to add masks, shapes, text or special effects with to an object, creating property groups for each, or as a new object with a different duration. Use the playback controls under the Canvas Panel to change the timeline position or to play the entire clip. You can move from frame to frame, playback in real time or cache frames to playback in a loop.
Express Animate allows you to save your video in a number of formats locally or to a DVD or USB drive, or to upload it to share. Use the Save Video button on the toolbar to select both the destination and the format and click the Create button to bring up the Video Output Setup Panel. You can also publish your video to HTML5 for displaying on your website.
This free animation software is an ideal choice for the beginner to develop skills in creating compositions with video, image and sound files. It is compatible with all versions of Windows and includes lots of help and how-to information as well as access to tutorials.