SAM Animation is user-friendly software designed specifically for K-12 students and teachers, allowing for quick and easy creation of stop-motion animations in content ranging from photosynthesis to Newton’s Laws to poetry to fractions. SAM was originally developed at the Tufts University Center for Engineering Education and Outreach and is now an exclusive product of iCreate to Educate.
One of the most popular ways to create animation effects on a web site is to use Flash. The official method for creating a Flash movie, ie a .SWF file, is to use Adobe’s software. But it’s difficult to use, and very expensive.
Giotto, from Vectorian, is a free Windows program for creating .SWF files. You can get it from http://vectorian.com/downloads/, where you’ll also find a Quick Start guide and a collection of tutorials to help you get started with the program. There are also loads of pre-built effects and ActionScript snippets, so you don’t have to write any code.
Giotto is an 8 MB download, and runs on all versions of Windows from 2000 onwards.
Some info and training materials for using Alice.
A good list of free and low cost animation and modeling tools. This site has lots of info about 3D stuff!
3D Canvas is a real-time 3D modeling and animation tool that incorporates an intuitive drag-and-drop approach to 3D modeling.
Complex models can be constructed from simple 3D primitives, or created using 3D Canvas’ Object Building Tools. Modeling tools are provided to deform, sculpt, and paint 3D objects.
Creating an animated scene is as simple as positioning the objects within your scene for each point in time in your animation. 3D Canvas will ensure that the resulting animation runs smoothly. Your animation can be stepped through a frame at a time, viewed in real-time, or recorded to a Video (AVI) file so that you can distribute your creation.
Panda3D is a 3D engine: a library of subroutines for 3D rendering and game development. The library is C++ with a set of Python bindings. Game development with Panda3D usually consists of writing a Python or C++ program that controls the Panda3D library.
Panda3D is unusual in that its design emphasis is on supporting a short learning curve and rapid development. It is ideal whenever deadlines are tight and turnaround time is of the essence.
Complete history of animation including glossaries, tutorials and exercises.
Dozens and dozens of links to free or shareware apps for 3D animation on Windows.