Updated: Jul 22
Animation enables us to tell stories and convey ideas in a distinctive, simple-to-understand manner that both young children and adults can grasp. In a way that writing and live-action movies sometimes can't, animation has aided in fostering global connections. We also need to acknowledge the animation software in order to produce the finest animation.
The greatest animation software will improve your process and help your work stand out from the competition. This helpful guide will help you decide which software is ideal for you by listing the programmes you should be aware of. We have alternatives for both seasoned animators and beginners, so you're all covered.
Consider your needs and preferences, your style, how it exports, and compatibility with other software when selecting the finest animation programme for you and your projects. In this guide, we go over everything, outlining each software's benefits and drawbacks as well as its intended audience and the hardware requirements.
Check out our list of the best animation tools for digital artists if you need some new tools for animation rather than a whole piece of software. See our guide to the finest 3D modeling software if you wish to model some objects for your animations.
1. Adobe After Effects:
After Effects has the ability to perfectly create 2D effects. With After Effects, anything is conceivable, including text, images, and backgrounds that roll, spin, or swirl. With over 14,000 workers and $4.4 billion in annual revenue, Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) is a leader in digital media, digital marketing, and printing and publishing technologies.
2. Moho Pro:
Award-winning Mac animation programme Moho Pro is equipped with all the tools required to produce 2D animations of the highest calibre. Your creations will leap off the screen thanks to its robust rigging system, and the Smart Bones function will improve your character's body movements and face emotions.
Moho is widely regarded as the industry standard for skilled 2D animation and was used by Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon on the Oscar-nominated features The Breadwinner, Song of the Sea, Secret of the Kells, and Wolfwalkers.
Without any design or technical knowledge, anyone can make compelling films and presentations that appear professional in just a few minutes with Powtoon, the industry-leading visual communication platform. More than 30 million users, including 96% of Fortune 500 businesses, utilise Powtoon to engage their audience for corporate training and L&D, HR, internal comms, marketing, sales, and more. Powtoon, which was established in 2012, has offices in the Philippines, Tel Aviv, the Philippines, London, San Francisco, and Tel Aviv. By using Powtoon, you can quickly and easily produce your own HD live and animated videos in studio quality for no cost (or for a little fee). This saves you the costly cost of employing a video production team. The extensive library of professionally created templates, scenes, characters, props, films, soundtracks, and other content available on Powtoon is impressive.
Animaker is revolutionising how businesses educate, inspire, sell, communicate, view, and distribute content with DIY live and/or animated videos that can be produced quickly. Among the 15 million users in 220 countries are Visa, Johnson & Johnson, GSK, McDonald's, and Dell Technology. Create great 4k quality movies (animated or live) for on-boarding, marketing, branding, simplifying complex concepts, etc. quickly and without technological skills, enabling businesses to quickly adjust to market changes to gain a competitive advantage.
5. Autodesk Maya:
If you're a professional animator seeking for an effective 3D animation tool, Maya is unquestionably one of the greatest tools available. Modeling, animation, and visual effects are all things you can do using Maya. Maya also has one of the top rendering and physics engines currently on the market, as if that weren't enough. In our most recent Maya review, we discovered that Autodesk has enhanced the programme with a number of new features that improved the quality of life, and the most recent update has introduced even more features to look forward to.
6. Cartoon Animator:
The Reallusion team's latest version, Cartoon Animator 4.5 (formerly known as CrazyTalk Animator), is jam-packed with valuable features for artists. Despite not being the industry standard, Cartoon Animator is more than capable of producing animations of a high calibre.
Cartoon Animator has the capabilities to accomplish it all, from sophisticated IK motion editing to whole-body motion capture. With its sprite-based facial system, for instance, you can easily convert a 2D visage into a 3D talking head. You can also make convincing multi-angled 2D characters using the handy rigging and bone tool.
7. Adobe Character Animator:
With the help of motion capture technology and lip-syncing, Adobe Character Animator provides you with all the tools you need to swiftly and effectively animate your 2D characters. You can build your characters using your preferred tools and then bring them to life with Character Animator thanks to its seamless Photoshop and Illustrator file integration. You may even broadcast your characters live! Character Animator is still a helpful app for professionals and enthusiasts alike, but it's especially fantastic if you're new to animation and want to get a handle on the fundamentals.
8. Adobe Animate:
Adobe Animate has a lot to offer animators despite being very easy to use. The user interface is straightforward and recognisable, especially if you've used other Adobe products before. Additionally, it's simple to upload your cartoons to social networking platforms like Twitter and YouTube quickly and easily. Although Adobe Animate lacks some of the capabilities a professional animator would need, it may be the right tool for someone wishing to easily create interactive animations and simulations.
Without Blender, no list of the top 3D animation programmes would be complete. A character animation pose editor, forward/inverse kinematics, and sound synchronisation are all included in Blender's animation toolkit, which makes animating your upcoming work or personal project much simpler. Blender is particularly nice since it can be used for more than just simple animation; it can also be used for modeling, rendering, and other things. Additionally, you can use the Grease Pencil function to work on 2D creations and the useful Python API for scripting and app extension customization.
The 3D rendering and animation process is made simple with KeyShot. With its powerful interface that offers extensive features and the ability to see all of your changes in real-time, it enables you to apply materials and lighting quickly and provides the most authentic material looks and real-world lighting. Over 20 different file types may be imported, which is more than any other rendering software. It also offers a remarkably simple user interface with drag-and-drop material and environment pre-sets, interactive labelling, texture mapping, physical lighting, animation, and much more.
The aforementioned information is about a few of the most significant animation software programmes that are the most widely used and are now considered essential to master if you are truly passionate about working as an animator.