Wick Editor is a new free, browser based, animation program that requires no installation or download. As long as one has access to an internet browser whether it be PC, tablet, or phone, making animations is now a very possible avenue for newcomers. Just how good is this new tool though and how will it stack up against the staple programs that people use today?
For many years, getting into digital animation was quite difficult. There were only a few animation programs at the cost hundreds of dollars. Because of this, getting into animation as a new user came with expensive barriers. I’ve been on a search for a program that would be both affordable, easily accessible, and most importantly, functional, and Wick Editor could be the best of all these worlds.
The main attraction to Wick Editor is how accessible the program is. There is no download required, it’s free and open source, and it is usable with multiple platforms like PC, phones, and tablets. To have an animation program this accessible in so many different formats is a huge deal to animators on a budget and new people trying to get into animation.
The Animation Timeline
The timeline is essentially the bread and butter of any animation program. This is where you can visually see and edit your frames in your animation. Wick Editor in my testing has been very robust in their timeline controls and actually a lot better than some other timelines for programs you have to pay for. It has all the essentials that one would need for animating like layers, keyframes, stills, onion skin, and even implementation of sound effects directly on the timeline.
Flash and Adobe Animate users would be very familiar with the Wick Editor timeline, which is a very good thing since those programs have one of the best timelines on the market. A good functioning timeline means less time fidgeting over technicalities and more time focusing on your drawings and animation.
Having an animation program fully functional on an internet browser might lead to speculation on the performance, but that is far from the case. With the most recent updates, Wick Editor actually performs very well! There is no brush stroke lag and even bigger projects with multiple layers hold up well. With further updates performance will always improve so it looks promising so far. Wick Editor also comes with auto-saving every 5 seconds so you will never have to worry about losing your project.
The amount of animation tools and features that Wick Editor comes with are quite limited at the time of this review, but the ones that are available work very well. It is a vector only based drawing program meaning instead of raster rendering with pixels like Photoshop, it uses clean vector lines and shapes like Illustrator and Animate. On top of that you are able to nest animations in “clips” that can speed up animation workflow like lip-syncing and looped cycles. Wick Editor also has an intuitive coloring system that includes a color picker, color wheel, and smart filling for coloring your projects.
The devs have stated that they are working on more features like gradients, glows, and maybe even some raster based tools!
The Devs and Updates
The developers of Wick Editor, Luca Damasco and Zach Rispoli, have been developing this program for the last few years. Their reason for creating Wick Editor was because there were no easy and accessible free animation programs out there to teach kids. If there isn’t anything out there, why not just make it? Receiving multiple grants from reputable companies like Mozilla, they travel to schools and conventions to teach curious minds on the worlds of animation and game development. They have plans to keep pushing out new features and fixes for the program to set the bar when it comes to free animation programs.
My final thoughts on Wick Editor are quite positive. It’s a very solid animation program perfect for beginners and intermediate animators who want to learn and not spend a dime. While there are a few bugs and missing features that I would like, because of the consistency of the devs constantly updating the app and adding more features based on community feedback, it has the potential to become a staple program for even veteran animators. I’m excited to see how far Wick Editor can go and how it turns out by the end of this year.
Try it out yourself at https://www.wickeditor.com