10 Best 2D Animation Software

2D animation is among the most popular types of entertainment. From fun cartoons to marketing videos, 2D pictures have become a familiar part of life.

As a 2D animator, you’ll need high-performance animation software to assist your job. This software features advanced tools and functions that help you create 2D images quickly and effectively.

Besides, they can save you time by handling repetitive tasks in animating. You will also find endless inspiration from their animation resources.

These programs will make your artistic skills and knowledge thrive because they possess innovative tools to help you build 2D projects effortlessly.

Now, let’s follow these detailed reviews to discover their best features!

1. Animate CC

Animate CC


Supported OS Windows
Who is it for? Professionals
Price $20.99/month

Key Features

Animate CC is a versatile 2D animation program. It is capable of building all sorts of 2D animation, from games, and websites, to applications. The amazing features like vector and interactive bitmap will make your work effortless.

Animate CC is particularly ideal for creating humanoid animations. You can create creative poses for figures or even vector images on this software. Users can also match the mouth poses to the character’s voice.

The importing and exporting features on Animate CC are excellent. It allows 360 VR animation export. Plus, you can upload images from the software with precise resolutions thanks to its image optimization.

The only setback is that this software requires a high learning curve. Animate CC requires many hours of practice to master all of its functions.

Price: $20.99/month



  • Advanced and diversified features
  • 360 VR animations export
  • Interactive bitmap
  • Ideal for humanoid animation


  • Not ideal for beginners

2. Synfig



Supported OS Windows, Linux, and OSX
Who is it for? Beginners
Price Free

Key Features

Synfig is a completely free with open-source 2D animation program. It covers basic tools like bitmap artwork and vector to accommodate all your needs.

Users can develop and edit images frame-by-frame on this tool. This feature allows small teams to create impressive projects with little resources required.

The capacity of this software is also limitless. You can transform a random vector shape into any form you desire, for example. It can also enable users to link various layers together.

Yet, Synfig is still in its development phase with only experimental features. A complete version will be released soon with more advanced functions.

Price: Free



  • Bone system
  • Audio support
  • Free of charge
  • Various systems and platforms


  • It should feature more tutorials for new users

3. Pencil 2D

Pencil 2D


Supported OS Windows, Linux, and OSX
Who is it for? Beginners
Price Free

Key Features

Pencil 2D is another excellent open-source and free 2D software. It features a simple interface to help new users navigate easier.

The software also provides impressive tools like vector or raster. So, Pencil 2D is also highly approachable for new users.

There are plenty of tutorials available in English, Portuguese, and Spanish languages. The software’s lightweight makes it ideal for low-capacity systems. This software is a rare exception that allows commercial uses for free charge.

Price: Free



  • Ease of use
  • Free of charge
  • Compatible with multiple platforms
  • Plenty of tutorials


  • Lacks some tools for building 2D shapes

4. Doratoon



Supported OS Windows, Linux, and OSX
Who is it for? Beginners
Price $10/month

Key Features

Doratoon is an endless source of creativity for 2D animators. It is my top recommendation for educational institutions and small to medium companies.

There are a huge number of free animations, backgrounds, and templates featured on this software. You’ll never run out of inspiration with rich resources.

Doratoon is also ideal for making animated presentations. Users can convert PDF files to videos and integrate extra audio. There are also hundreds of animated character samples to make your presentation more lively.

The software also offers a free version for unlimited use. Yet, it will feature the watermark on your videos. You can purchase the charged plan to remove this watermark with a very affordable price.

Price: $10/month



  • Flexible features
  • A user-friendly interface
  • An abundance of animating resources
  • Suitable for animators of all skill levels, especially beginners


  • Lack of some advanced features

5. Cartoon Animator

Cartoon Animator


Supported OS Windows, Linux, and OSX
Who is it for? Professionals
Price $149.00

Key Features

Cartoon Animator is an excellent tool for creating animated characters. It can help maximize your productivity through easy-to-use features.

The lip-sync technology helps you build realistic and beautiful 2D characters. Users can also create facial experiences based on your real expressions. There are also a ton of 2D visual effects to enrich your project.

If you are a storytelling animator, this tool is a must-have for your career!

Price: $149.00



  • Ease of use
  • Expression simulator
  • Lip-sync technology
  • Capable of 3D animation


  • High cost

6. CelAction2D



Supported OS Windows, Linux, and OSX
Who is it for? Professionals
Price $70/month

Key Features

There’s hardly any 2D animation tool that is more powerful than CelAction2D. This amazing software stands behind the success of many animated teams.

You can freely import your content from multiple software like Photoshop and Illustrator. Then, you can edit it on CelAction2D or build a brand-new project.

The price per month for the commercial version is $70. Meanwhile, educators can rent this software for one year for only $140. These offers make CelAction2D an excellent choice for animating learners.

Price: $70/month



  • Excellent speed
  • Ease of use
  • Excellent importing features
  • Compatible with low-capacity systems


  • It delivers the highest performance when combined with a third–party app.

7. Toon Boom Harmony

Toon Boom Harmony


Supported OS Windows, Linux, and OSX
Who is it for? Professionals
Price $27.00

Key Features

Toon Boom Harmony is my top recommendation for professional 2D animators. This powerful software is capable of building large-scale 2D projects.

It is an all-in-one 2D animation tool, and can handle all essential phases of production, from drawing to rendering. It also brings users unlimited creativity.

The software features clean and precise vector lines. There are well-organized textured bitmap lines. These vectorization tools make your drawing process much more efficient.

The switching mechanism between drawing tools feels super smooth and effortless. You will also love its advanced art layers technology.

Price: $27.00 (Essential)



  • Advanced features
  • Bitmap lines
  • Vectorization tools
  • Art layers technology
  • A powerful engine


  • High cost

8. Opentoonz



Supported OS Windows and OSX
Who is it for? Beginners
Price Free

Key Features

Opentoonz is one of the best free 2D animation software on this list. The powerful engine makes this software a fine alternative choice for charged products. You will love its GTS scanning and other amazing features.

This tool allows users to manage images on their actual resolution. The software also works with both vector images and raster. These features bring you more flexibility in editing graphics.

You can also combine this tool with an extra plug-in. It helps you create eye-catching animation effects without the need for editing. You can also freely adjust the light effects and picture styles afterwards.

Price: Free



  • GTS scanning
  • Free of charge
  • Excellent editing capacity
  • Compatible with scans in multiple colors


  • The user interface is a little outdated

9. Stop Motion Studio

Stop Motion Studio


Supported OS Windows, OSX, Android, and iOS
Who is it for? Professionals
Price $9.99

Key Features

Stop Motion Studio is an excellent app for creating 2D movies. It helps you create fun and attractive animated videos within a few steps.

The editing features of this software are also amazing. Users can adjust every single detail via the frame-by-frame editor. This program allows me to change an image’s white balance and focus.

Yet, the most impressive feature of Stop Motion Studio lies in its audio. The program allows users to record their own voices and use them for projects.

It also supports DSLR. This feature is ideal for animators who love using their cameras in conjunction. However, this tool doesn’t support 3D drawing.

Price: $9.99



  • Amazing editing features
  • It allows audio recording
  • Easy to upload your work
  • Ideal for creating animated movies


  • It’s limited to only 2D animation.

10. SketchBook



Supported OS Windows and MacOS
Who is it for? All skill levels
Price $19

Key Features

SketchBook is one of the best 2D software to interact with on tablets. The software features a tidy interface with many brushes and drawing tools available.

Using SketchBook makes you feel like interacting with real pens and paper. You can quickly tuck the tools out of your sign to clean up the space. These features help you feel more comfortable and concentrate on your drawings.

They all come with tutorials to help you grasp their characteristics and functions. Some tools provided bring you extra precision in realistic 2D projects.

Price: $19



  • Easy to use
  • Simple and tidy interface
  • Diversified tools and brushes
  • An immersive and realistic drawing experience


  • A limited number of layers

How to Choose?

2D animators’ job is to convey ideas and tell stories via 2D graphics. Your 2D images must appear appealing to viewers to fulfill this purpose. Yet, not all 2D software delivers the same image type and quality.

So, you need to consider the tools’ features carefully. It will help you pick a suitable option for your drawing style. Here are some critical factors to consider.

Type Of Animation

There are many types of 2D Animation; however, there is no 2D program that can fully cater for all these categories.

Do extensive research about your upcoming projects and their requirements. Each tool will specialize in covering a specific animation type. Therefore, consider the kind of images you want to create.

Then, you can pick the most suitable tool for your field. Besides, you need to consider multi-purpose software if you work on a wide range of projects.

Level Of User

Popular animation tools like Animate CC feature simple interfaces and functions. It is suitable for all levels. Yet, advanced tools are much more complex for users.

They require a higher learning curve and deep computing knowledge. Thus, you should consider your level of experience before selecting.

Easy To Use

Complex software will cost you a lot of time to master its functions. Therefore, you should prioritize tools that offer the highest simplicity.

An even better option is programs that allow customization. You can adjust their interfaces to best suit your drawing style.

Features And Tools

You will only use roughly 30% of all the provided tools in the software. Some features will be the main tools for your projects. Thus, you need to consider what features you need the most when choosing software.

For example, my job involves developing 2D humanoid images. Thus, I prioritize software that has the most advanced features for this aspect.

Cost Of The Software

Professional 2D animation software comes with higher capacity. They bring you a wide range of toolsets and powerful functions with a high price.

Therefore, you should consider your needs to avoid wasting your budget. If you are a learner, purchasing a product at such a high price is unnecessary.

You should consider the lower pricing options or the non-commercial versions. They can cover all basic functions and serve your study very well.


What Is The Advantage Of 2D Animation?

2D animation is much more approachable than 3D. It is easy to learn with simpler rules. It also takes much less effort to create 2D animation products.

Is Drawing Important For 2D Animation?

Yes, drawing is an essential part of 2D animation design. Mastering the drawing elements is also critical for this field. The animators must possess excellent drawing and designing skills.

Can 2D Animation Be Digital?

Yes. Users have gradually switched to digital 2D products for entertainment.

What Devices Do 2D Animators Use?

Modern 2D animators no longer use traditional tools like paper or pen. They have switched to digital products to assist their jobs. Some examples are smart tablets, stylus pens, and 2D drawing software.

Final Thoughts

Don’t just judge a program’s quality based on its features and customers’ reviews. Your actual experience will help you decide if it’s a suitable choice.

I recommend you experience all 10 selections to discover your optimal pick. Among these products, Animate CC and Synfig are the best tools to start with.

Whether for educational purposes or professional needs, these tools can fully cater to your demands. If you have any other great recommendations, please comment and let me know. Thank you for reading!