Making a cartoon comic strip, manga comic series, or cartoon animation is not easy. Not only do you have to worry about getting the right team of writers, pencil artists, and inkers but you also have to get the best software for cartoon drawing. Some of the best tools are PaintTool SAI, Adobe Illustrator, and Manga Studio.
The software is designed to help correct you with the pencil work, layout, coloring, and more. You still need to be able to draw and work as a team but the software does a lot of the tedious work for you and also gives you the ability to create intricate pieces of work. Unfortunately, all of those are pretty expensive. 4anime
If you’re just starting out with you and a few friends, hoping to practice and dip your feet in the water then you will want to start out with freeware software instead. You won’t be spending money and still be able to experience the process of professional cartoon drawing. Take a look at some of the best freeware software for cartoon drawing below:
SmoothDraw – out of all the different freeware, SmoothDraw is the most basic but it does offer a lot. This is basically a trimmed version of Adobe Photoshop. You could consider it more like Photoshop CS2 or CS3 when it is compared to the new Adobe Photoshop CS6. It doesn’t work with Vector images so you’ll have to work a little bit more carefully with SmoothDraw. It does offer a wide variety of brush strokes and it is compatible with light pens and other drawing peripherals. The only problem with SmoothDraw is that while it is quite capable, it is mostly designed to do single images and the majority of the tools are for portrait brush strokes and not cartoon designs.
Inkscape – if you had to pick one freeware that could be a perfect replacement to Adobe Illustrator then you can’t go wrong with Inkscape. As a matter of fact, many artists in Deviant Art that do comic book art and animation use Inkscape. This is a very in-depth tool that not only allows to do work from scratch but it also allows you to convert bitmap images to Vector formats. This is perfect if you are transferring sketches from real paper to the computer for editing and coloring