Is there commercial-grade computer animation software available for Ubuntu, similar to the professional software sold for the Windows operating system?

This question goes out to those of you who may be using such software professionally. My daughter recently graduated from the Art Institute of Seattle, and needs to put together an animation portfolio in order to interest employers in the field. As you know, such software is usually provided by the employer and the costs are high - several thousand dollars.

I suggested that she investigate Ubuntu as a possible way to acquire the tools she needs. But, since I have no idea what might be available, either as open source or proprietary animation software, I am reaching out to the Ubuntu community for help in the hope someone who is using such software can help her.

Thank you for reading this post, and for any information you might have.

8 Answers 8


if you mean 3d computer animation, i would suggest blender http://www.blender.org/ it is very well documented and on par with professional grade apps on windows or mac

its is available through the ubuntu software center, simply search in the searchbox for blender, then click on install

best of luck in the future


Synfig Studio is a great 2D animation program, and the best part about it is that it's free.

Synfig Studio is a free and open-source 2D animation software, designed as powerful industrial-strength solution for creating film-quality animation using a vector and bitmap artwork. It eliminates the need to create animation frame-by frame, allowing you to produce 2D animation of a higher quality with fewer people and resources. Synfig Studio is available for Windows, Linux and MacOS X.

Check it out at it's website: http://www.synfig.org/cms/


What - nobody has mentioned GIMP's GAP plugin yet?
It looks pretty complex, huh?
To install gimp-gap in all currently supported versions of Ubuntu open the terminal and type:

sudo apt install gimp-gap

Blender is a very popular free and open source complete animation suite. It works on Windows, Mac, and Ubuntu. It is small, only 23 Megabytes, so you can install it from the software center without worrying about the computer slowing down. It is well documented and has many books written on it. If you would like to see what can be accomplished with Blender, search YouTube for "Big Buck Bunny". It is a short movie created using Blender a few years ago to show off what Blender can do. You can also check out the "Features and Gallery" section on Blender's website, which is at www.blender.org. Below is a a screenshot of the current version of Blender: blender screenshot

  • Side note: another more recent example of a short film made with Blender would be "Sintel", produced by the same people who made "Big Buck Bunny". But both are excellent examples of what Blender can accomplish; personally, I say they rival Pixar's movies in quality. Dec 13, 2011 at 23:29
  • Yes, Sintel too. Also Elephant's Dream, though that it is old and fails to show Blender's true capabilities. Yo Frankie! also is a good demonstration of Blender's game engine.
    – William
    Dec 13, 2011 at 23:38

I am currently using Blender(it's absolutely free of charge). Believe me, it is as good as Maya Autodesk or Adobe Effects.


Maya has 64bit Linux version. see this link for other commercial apps

to install Maya in Ubuntu follow this link

You may need to do this also...

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libtiff.so.4.3.4 /usr/lib/libtiff.so.3

Houdini from SideFX is a professional 3D animation package that runs brilliantly on Ubuntu. It includes:

  • Modelling, animation, character tools, lighting, particles and dynamics
  • An industry-grade renderer with a powerful RenderMan-like shading language
  • A full embedded 2D compositing system
  • Non-destructive node-based workflow
  • Python interaction and scripting

The full version costs $2k ($8k with particles and dynamics), but there is also:

I've used Houdini while working on 3D visual effects for a number of feature films and I can't recommend it enough.

Also the SideFX support staff are amazingly responsive and helpful.


Be aware that typical (esp. professional grade) 3D animation packages have a steep learning curve. So it may be wiser for your daughter to invest some money and stick to the software she is accustomed to rather than taking the time (speaking of weeks to months for getting to a professional level) to master a previously unknown package.

That being said I would second blender.

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