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Everyone should try their hand at building their own SciFi, using whatever tools work for them. One of the more expressive and accessible formats is animation; pretty much everyone can enjoy and follow a good video. And using animation avoids all those real-world constraints like special effects budgets and the laws of physics. 2D animation puts you in the realm of traditional cartoons, a format made popular over the last hundred years or so, and there are a number of free tools and a host of training resources available online. For instance, one of the commercial software packages, ToonBoom, has a few free online tools at Animachines. One takes your WebCam output, blends a simple animation, and gives you an animated gif you can use on your pages. The other lets you do frame-by-frame animations using 4 simple shapes for your building blocks. Much more powerful are the Open Source programs you can download and install, like Pencil, which runs on MACs, Windows, or Linux, and gives you a traditional hand-drawn animation environment that works with both bitmap and vector graphic images. Another is Animata from eastern Europe, designed to let you build backgrounds and animations for live theater/concert environments. K-Toon from Brazil was primarily for Nix systems (Unix, Linux, etc.) but now can be used everywhere; development seems to be stalled a year or so back, but it is still worth a look. Another great open-source program is SynFig, still under current development but mostly for Nix systems. It has tweening automated, which reduces the workflow steps necessary to create quality animation and puts feature-film level animation into everyone’s hands. Then there are programs like Creatoon, no longer supported but still a tool that can help you build your animations.