After using Scratch for the first time, I found it to be an easy program to use to create computer animations. Scratch gives the animator many preset commands for directing the animation in comparison to the program I usually use, Adobe ImageReady. ImageReady lets you animate using the layer system, in which each animation frame is layered on top of the other to create the animation. Much like animating with paper, the animator must draw on each new layer to create the animation and be mindful not to draw on a previous layer. Though the layer system is used on other Adobe programs like Photoshop and Illustrator, using layers to animate can become complicated as more layers are added.
Scratch is different because it lets you animate using commands, like in HTML code. Scratch lets the animator insert commands in the form of blocks that can dragged and stacked to create an animation. Scratch is unique as it lets the animator program one or multiple frames of animation (or, as in the program, sprite costumes) to move in any direction and even animate multiple sprites (objects or characters) on one screen. It would take many layers of animation frames to achieve this in ImageReady. The animator can also add sound, text, and interactive elements to make the animations more enjoyable to the user.
Though there are more dedicated animation programs out there, Scratch is very easy to use for those starting out in computer animation. The program contains many animation tools where their results would be difficult to reproduce in programs like ImageReady. And, more importantly, Scratch doesn’t have the $100 price tag like ImageReady and can be shared online in minutes.