Best Animation Software in 2019 - Animated videos are becoming more popular by the day and we are here for it! Want to tell stories in a more creative manner? Looking to do more effective marketing?
Research attributes this effect to the fact that many people are visual learners. That aside, many people prefer visual content to written ones. Also, the larger part of the information that gets transmitted to the brain is visual. Animated videos are the in thing and should be your go-to tool.
If you are a business owner, then animated videos ought to be a part of your marketing strategy. You don’t have to own a business to use these videos. You could take congratulating that friend a notch higher by doing it with an animated video. With animated videos, you can bring just about any concept to life.
The question now is “What software to use?” and most importantly,“Where to get such software from?” Good news is there are lots of animation software out there for you to choose from. The more exciting news is that this article has much more than a long list of animation software. It contains the best of the best!
If you are an aspiring animator or cartoonist, then you are about to add some tools to your software stash. Whether you are an amateur or professional, there is something for you. If you want it in 2D or 3D, there’s also something for you.
All you’ve got to do is to choose from the comprehensive list below.
This software is one that is sure to give your animated videos that professional touch it needs. Moovly is a cloud-based platform, and it has both free and pro subscriptions. Users can choose from the ready-made video templates. Another option is uploading the content and starting from scratch. Little to no expertise is needed for beginners to get the job done. There is a library of over 600,000 free template videos and music tracks.
Pros / Features:
Powtoon is perfect for creating eye-catching animated content under a few minutes. With the ready-made template, it promises to deliver the best results in 20 minutes! Users can either change these templates or import their own images, and content. Everything is easier with the drag-and-drop feature. It offers various animation styles including infographics, whiteboard, and cartoons. A paid subscription is necessary if you want to use Powtoon on a long-term basis. It, however, offers a free trial plan which has only a few features. The Powtoon watermark stays and videos can only be 3 minutes long. Also, users cannot export videos as an MP4 file.
Pros / Features:
Also, an online-based software, Toufee makes creating animation videos easy. It is compatible with Windows, Macintosh, and Linux operating systems. It is also useable on iOS and Android mobile platforms. Price of the subscription depends on some factors. Such factors are the number of projects users intend to do, and video length. Deciding to make a custom video and take out the Toufee watermark attracts charges. Payment is on a monthly basis. There is a free plan too. Features of this free plan are 3 projects, Toufee watermark and 60 seconds video length per month.
Pros / Features:
· Comes with a lot of free stock music, video effects, and images
Animatron is not only an animation maker. It is also a marketing video editor. The software is perfect for businesses and startups and artists and animators. Actually, just about anyone and everyone can make use. Animations come alive with the simple drag-and-drop feature in the software. It has the Lite, Advanced and Design modes. The Lite mode is perfect for beginners. More experienced users can try to make use of the Advanced and Design modes.
Pros / Features:
Animaker claims to be 10 times better than other online animation software. The software divides animation needs into categories. There is Animaker for handcraft and one for infographics. There are also 2D, 2.5D, whiteboard categories. It is useful for content marketers, business owners, storytelling and so on. There is also a free and paid subscription. Accounts on free subscription can make only 2 minutes long videos. They also have access to only 5 exports in a month. The free plan comes with the Animaker watermark. To access all the amazing features it offers though, users would have to make payment.
Pros / Features:
Renderforest is an online video, logo and website maker. It is cloud-based and serves various purposes. Some of which are promotional videos for products or services. Others are presentations, slideshows, animations and so on. All its templates and tools are available for free use, but some situations call for payment. Exporting and rendering videos is free, but it comes with a watermark. If users do not want the watermark, they have to subscribe to one plan. It’s subscribing to that plan or paying for a onetime export.
Pros / Features:
Vyond promises to help you make media that moves! The neatness of the website alone is enough to convince anyone. The aesthetics of the interface is proof that whatever users create would come out clean. Its automatic character lip sync feature makes it stand out. It is accessible to people of all skill level. While there are templates to choose from, users can upload their own media. There is a free trial available for 14 days to help you see how things work with the website.
Pros / Features:
With the Toon Boom online software, all you need is a few clicks to bring your stories to life. Many notable corporations have made use of Toon Boom. Some of them are Cartoon Network, Walt Disney Studios, and Warner Bros. It is said to be the industry standard for creating digital 2D animation. It is perfect for creating content for mobile apps, games, and websites
Pros / Features:
With MakeWebVideo, creating an animated video for your business, your brand just got easier! This software is easy, fast, and professional. No technical skills are needed, and the video gets done under 30 minutes. To download videos from this software without watermark, a paid subscription is necessary. While the videos come at a fee, MakeWebVideo promises a 100% guarantee. This way, if you are not satisfied with the video, you either get a refund or a chance to make another video. All videos created are compatible with Windows, Android, Mac, and Linux.
· There are many templates to choose from and they are all customizable
· Users can upload and use their own images, texts, and graphics with the templates
· Videos are available for download in various formats and resolutions
· Videos from MakeWebVideo are produced with Adobe After Effects. This is one of the best video production software out there
· The software is easy to use
You can tell all the story you want to with Visme. With this software, users can either publish videos online or download it for offline use. It is also used to make infographics, presentations. Visme has a unique pricing plan. The pricing plan of an individual differs from that of a business. Likewise, that of a business team differs from that of those in the education field.
· Simple and easy to navigate interface
· There is audio content to choose from
· Allows for customization of templates
· Large media library that is frequently updated
· Allows for downloading of content in different formats
Available on Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows PC, the Moho software is one that’s very suitable for beginners. With its smart warp feature, users could bend, animate and twist objects easily. Moho helps with the creation of animation from start to finish. It supports English, French, Spanish languages amongst many others. It is available in both Pro and Debut forms. The major difference between both is in the length of videos and size of images. The Debut version is quite limited in terms of both.
· It is very easy to handle.
· Perfect for both digital artists and learners
· It is compatible with other design programs
· It comes with a large library of characters.
· It comes equipped with many drawing tools
· Suitable even for people with very limited drawing skills
Synfig is an open-source animation and free software. It is available for download on Windows, Linux and OS X. Synfig studio offers two versions. The stable and development versions. The former is suitable for everyday use and has well-tested features. The latter allows users to try out experimental features.
· There are over 50 layers, filter types to choose from, and work with
· As it is an open-source software, it is accessible to a large audience
· It is easy to install in supported operating systems
· It gets the job well done with only a few tools and resources
· Clean and easy to navigate interface
With Adobe Animate, you can animate just about anything. With this software, you can create not only Ads but apps and games. This software also allows for the creation of interactive vectors. It has a lot of user-friendly features that would make learning for beginners very easy. It is equally suitable for character and web animations. Whether you animate as a hobby or you do as a profession, Adobe Animate is a great tool for you.
· Backing up work is made easy with Adobe Cloud
· Smooth playback of animated scenes
· It comes with formats and templates that make production easier
· Excellent graphics quality
· It supports the importation and exportation of various file formats
· Its layout is highly customizable
Also an open-source animation software, Pencil 2D is one you should get. With it, you get to create easy and traditional hand-drawn animations. As the pencil is lightweight, creating animations is stress free. You don’t have to worry about what button to hit or not hit. It works well with Windows, Linux, Mac OSX and Free BSD.
· There is more stability while drawing objects
· The software is very simple and easy to use. This makes it perfect for beginners
· There is a “timeline” feature that can be used toset the pace at which animation moves
· It is free to use
This is another 2D animation software you can use for free. It doesn’t matter if the animation is for personal or commercial use. You don’t have to pay a dime to use it. It is compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.
· Accessing more effects is possible with the plug-in feature
· It is compatible with both vector and raster images
· Its source code can be freely modified
TupiTube has to be the easiest to use software on this list so far. Its animation creation process gets done in only 5 steps. Its content is mainly for beginners, children, and teenagers. TupiTube allows for users to create and share animated videos, just for fun. There are various source files to experiment with and also work with. If you are very new to the animating world, TupiTube is one of the best options. It is also free.
· Its interface is very easy to use and navigate
· It offers various exporting formats for created animations.
This software claims to be your versatile software for 2D animation and it couldn’t be any truer. It’s been used in many popular movies such as the 2018 movie, ‘Isle of Dogs’. The software focuses on traditional hand-drawn animation style. It is also one of the few animation software that has an Android version. It is also compatible with Linux, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and AmigaOS.
· As it has an Android version, sketching on mobile phones and tablets is easier
· The software is free and easy to use
· It can be used for all kinds of production. From video games to feature films to adverts and lots more
Only a few animation software is as fast as DigiCel FlipBook. With this software, the traditional bits of animation is very well preserved. It’s compatible with Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X. It produces high-quality animated videos. Do you need further proof? Well, it was the software used in movies like The Lion King and Aladdin. If you are a beginner, using this software would make the animation journey much easier for you. The software comes with a help file that would walk you through the process.
· It is not only fast but also easy to use
· It supports the direct digital input of drawings. This way, you can directly import your drawings from a scanner.
· The software has a clean user interface
RETAS stands for Revolutionary Engineering Total Animation System. It is one of the top 2D animation software in the Japanese industry. Many anime artists in Japan use it. It is available for both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X.
This software is a package of four different software. All 4 perform specific functions. They include
· Stylos HD: It’s used to do multi-layer editing and draw keyframes. It works with a graphics drawing tablet rather than paper.
· TraceMan HD: This is for scanning and converting hand drawings into line art
· PaintMan HD: Images created with either TraceMan or Stylos get colored here
· CoreRETAS HD: It is here that scenes are set up and made into an animation
This software is one with which any story can be well told. It doesn’t matter what field you are looking to tell the story in. The software is compatible with Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. For software that has been around as far back as 1972, it’s definitely worth some looking into. It is not available for only animators. Graphic designers can use it.
· It requires no technical knowledge before use
· It is free and easy to use
· It is a full-scale animator.
· It offers a lot of flexibility and versatility
When it comes to 3D animation software, 3ds Max is one of the major ones out there. It’s used in making games, images, models and animations. It is also used to create virtual reality experiences. It is compatible with Windows PC. Many video game developers, TV studios, architectural studios make use of this software. With the Autodesk 3ds Max, detailed characters can be created
· Smooth design interface
· Comes with an asset library that allows users to search for 3D content easily
· The setup is easy to understand
· Elements from other formats can get imported into the software
· Versatile and easy-to-use modeling tools
· An big array of features to work with
· The rendering features are very powerful
If you want a 3D software that works efficiently and is easy to use, Cinema 4D would make a great pick. It would help you create jaw-dropping animations and graphics. It doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner or a professional. You would find that using this software to achieve your goals is easy. The software comes with a powerful help system. This helps to give the answer to questions about features and their functions. It can be used to create anything, from mock-ups to full-scale 3D productions. It is compatible with Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, and Amiga OS.
· It comes with an array of intuitive tools
· It is 100% customizable
· User-friendly interface
· High-quality textures and easy to use texturing tools
· It is very easy to learn
The Houdini software aids the easy development of 3D animations for artists. Compatible with Linux, Mac OS, and Windows, this application would meet your 3D needs. Side Effects software developed this software. Animated films like Zootopia, Frozen made use of the Houdini application. It’s also applicable for commercials and video games. Under the ‘Side Effects’ software is the Houdini Apprentice. The Houdini Apprentice application is for non-commercial use and is for free.
· Comes with a node-based workflow. This allows for more flexibility while working
· User-friendly tools
· Digital assets can be created without having to write codes
· A lot of tutorials is available on the Houdini website to walk users through the process.
Poser is a 3D character art and animation software. It’s optimized for the 3D modeling of human figures. It’s loaded with over 5GB of these human and animal figures. It is beginner friendly. With it, beginners can easily create basic animations and images. It is useful for content creators, artists, and forensic professionals. It is compatible with Windows PC and OS X.
· Arranging complex scenes is easy
· There is a large library of scenes and props
· The library isn’t limited to human characters only. There are vehicles, insects and lots more
· Hundreds of templates to choose from
· Easy to use overall
· Suitable for complete beginners and professional artists
· Figures created with Poser are always more lifelike and realistic
iClone is one of the fastest 3D animation software available. It is also a character generation tool. With it, creating professional animations for video games, films, art is made easy. This software has a lot of advanced tools and functionality. It is compatible with the Windows operating system. iClone is one software sure to help bring your animation dreams into reality
· It supports a host of animation inputs
· Animating characters is super easy
· Importing files from other software is easy
· Its rendering engine is quick and efficient
· Its user interface is quick to adapt to workflow
You might not come across a more interesting name for any animation software. This 3D software is compatible with a lot of operating systems. From Mac OS X to iPad to Windows to Linux and many others.
· It allows for infinite layering of objects and surfaces
· Allows for the importation of files in various formats
· It is an entry-level software, making it easy for beginners to use
Also referred to as Maya, this 3D software is one that many professionals love. This is because of its highly customizable interface. It also has some big names in the movie industry to its credits. Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, South Park are some of the movies and shows that made use of Autodesk Maya. It is also used in the architecture and game development industries
· Sophisticated automation tools that make 3D animation a walk through the park
· Has a ‘time editor’ feature that makes animation easier and faster
· It allows for the saving of scenes in various formats
· Over 3000 available tools that give great output
· Great rendering quality
This is one of the few open-source 3D animation software out there. It is free to download but just as professional as the other software. Feature films, video games, interactive applications are some areas it can be used. Others are for visual effects, arts and architectural visualizations. It is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. Some of its features include texturing, unwrapping, rendering, and video editing. You get to access all the features and pros below at absolutely no charge.
· Well organized and structured workspace
· Broad modeling capacity
· Professional tools for all forms of 3D modeling
· Comes with good technical support and quality
· Flexible and easy to customize
· A large library of online tutorials to make use easier for beginners
Available on Amiga OS, Windows and Mac OS, LightWave is a powerful 3D software. It has a lot of advanced features that makes animating easy. It is a perfect entry-level software for 3D learners to use.
· The software is very flexible and easy to use and learn
· Highly customizable features
· It has separate features for animation and rendering. This makes the work process seamless and clean
· Creating and setting up scenes is easy
· Has a simple modeling system
· Lots of advanced features and plugins
· High-quality and fast render engine
As its name depicts, this software helps you to build 3D motion. It is compatible with Windows and Linux operating systems. Its use is in video games, film, and TV production. The human movements created with this software are very realistic. Animation of 3D characters gets done in real-time. This makes it suitable for game development and animated movies. This software was the oneused in Avatar. The display is very well optimized for both directors and animators alike.
· Importing or exporting assets is easy
· High-quality performance capture that improves workflow process
· Can be customized
· It supports virtual cameras
· It has a real-time 3D engine that allows for the building of human movements
· It interacts smoothly with other 3D applications
Specialized in bringing 3D art and animation to life, Daz 3D software does a good job. Compatible with the Windows and Mac OS, it stands for “Digital Art Zone’. The software is very powerful, and it is free. Both animation pros and beginners can make use of it. Daz 3D is often used to make graphics, book cover art, comic illustration. It is also used in independent films, design of characters and freelance art and design. There are many options for customer support for this software. There are user forums, ticket-based help, and a knowledge base to get help from.
· The software is easy to use
· All created art are royalty free
· It has built-in file export capabilities
· Figures created are very advanced and realistic
· Customizing user interface is easy
· It comes with additional useful software that makes it easy for users to work
Modo is a creative 3D modeling, texturing, and rendering tool. This software is compatible with the Windows, Linux and Mac OS. It was the software used in top movies like Iron Man and Ant Bully. Compared to other 3D software out there, Modo uses a smaller number of tools to get the job done. It is useful for work in video games, movies, 3D printing
· Modo is highly customizable, allowing for modification as you so desire
· It allows users to create realistic fiber based materials such as hair, fur, grass
· It is fairly easy to learn
· Has a built-in renderer that works pretty well and is easy to set up
· Well-designed workflow, user interface, and user experience
· The software is also lightweight. Loads in a shorter period oftime compared to other software
Yet another free 3D animation software you want to try out. It caters to just about every 3D need you might have. Clara.io software runs in browsers and so, it is online based. The fact that it is online based means you get to access your file anytime and from anywhere. As it runs in browsers, it is the perfect software to use for collaborations. Sharing designs with other people working on a project is easy.
· Backing up work is easy seeing as it is online based and it’s done from time to time
· Rendering is easy to do
· Supports over 30 formats for importing and exporting files
· It has a very modern interface that is customizable
· It allows for multi-user editing
Terragen differs from other 3D software on this list in that it’s developed to serve one main purpose. Its main purpose is the designing and animating of landscapes. It’s equipped with tons of animation features. The landscape can be photorealistic. The software is compatible with Windows, Linux and Mac OS. Its use is in films, virtual reality, and games.
· Users have total control of stars, sky, sun, and other landscape properties. This feature is one that would help the landscape look more realistic
· Exporting can be in many image file formats
· The rendering system is responsive and interactive
SmartBody is a 3D character animation software. It runs on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux devices. It also runs on Android and iPhone devices. Just like Clara.io, it is also free. Functions include steering, locomotion, lip syncing, nonverbal behavior and so on.
· SmartBody has a database of body shapes that gives characters a natural appearance
· Comes with a reshaping tool that helps to change the parameters of characters such as height
· Has a functional scanning tool
Adobe After Effects is compatible with both Mac and Microsoft Windows operating system. It is also web-based and works on Android, iPhone, iPad devices. While it is majorly used for digital visual effect and motion graphics, it can be also used in animating.
· It has a rich set of tools
· Lots of tutorials to make learning easy
· Templates are easy to use
· Allows for the creation of virtual reality effects
You can use Unity to bring all your animation visions to life. This cross-platform software is compatible with Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems. It supports both 2D and 3D animations and graphics.
· User-friendly interface
· Variety of resources to make working with Unity easy
· Simple to use tools
· Users can import and export their own 3D models
The Adobe Character Animator software works with the Adobe After Effects. This is because it gets automatically installed with it. However, it is also available for download on its own as an app. You can use this software for both live and non-live animations. It is compatible with Linux, OS X, and Windows operating systems.
· Comes with a facial tracking feature that makes animated characters look very real
· Lots of templates to make the animation process easier
· Allows for controlling animated characters with a webcam
· Users can make a live animated figure mimic their movements and facial expressions.
· Allows for the importation of characters
· A motion capture feature that allows for quick animation of characters
This software is one of the most versatile ones out there. It is not useful for only animations. It can be used to make illustrations, draw, paint, and create manga. Professionals in these fields make use of the Clip Studio Paint software. It is compatible with the Windows and Mac operating systems. It is available for free on iPad for the first 6 months of use. There are two versions of subscription with CSP. The first is the Paint Pro, a standard version. The second is the Paint EX, a full feature version. Both cost $49.99 and $219.00 respectively.
· High-quality rendering engine
· It is easy to learn how to use
· Unlimited customization of tools, templates, and characters
· Access to a large online material library
· It supports all major file formats for importing and exporting content
Pivot Animator allows users to create animations and stick figures easily. These can be then saved in an animated GIF format. They can then get exported and uploaded to the web via this format. Pivot released its latest stable version on January 1st, 2019. This version came with features such as bug fixes and addition of the Romanian language. It is compatible with the Windows operating system.
· Has a clean feature lineup
· Has only a few tools but they get the job done!
· It is very simple to use and learn
· It is free to download and use
· An online help manual is available to guide users
It doesn’t really matter what your exact reasons for needing an animation software is. Any of the 40 above would meet your needs in more ways than one. Choose one or five of them and tell your stories in the most special animated way!