With numerous alternatives accessible, finding the proper product that fits your needs and budget can be challenging.
So, if you need help with the best animation software, look no further! We have inquired about and compiled the best 10 programs accessible nowadays.
So, let’s check out to find the best fit for you!
- Moho Pro – Best For Overall
- Procreate – Best For Beginners
- Adobe Animate – Best For Ease To Use
- Unity – Best For 3D Rendering
- Autodesk Maya – Best For Budget
- CelAction2D – Best For 2D Animation
- Cartoon Animator 4 – Best For Free Trial
- Adobe Character Animator – Best For Real-Time Animation
- Blender – Best For Open Source Software
- Houdini (SideFX) – Best For Full Library
Here are the top 10 best animation software, including free and paid options for beginners and experts. So, if you want to pick one, keep reading for more details!
1. Moho Pro: Best For Overall
|Price||$59.99 – $399.99|
If you’re looking for the ideal way to create a scene for your project, Moho is a solid choice. Indeed, it is a powerful and modern animation software.
It offers complete animation tools, including drawing, animating, and rig. Thus, you can build your portfolio and unleash your creativity without problems.
Besides, I highly recommend using this software’s vector tool. Accordingly, this feature is intended to provide perfect animation quality.
I tried importing the photoshop file and some images, and surprisingly, it kept the layered structure and alignment smooth. It’s also why every final product I create from this software is always consistent in motion.
Creating realistic works will not be fine using this software. Moho’s editing tool is more flexible than I had imagined. You can easily add effects, change brightness, and adjust color or exposure according to your style and taste.
Last but not least, Moho offers a free trial for every user. So, you can download and test its superior features before paying for this software ultimately.
Website Link: Moho Pro
- Offer a free trial
- Flexible tools
- Easy to use
- Powerful performance
- Great value to use
- Not suitable for beginners
2. Procreate: Best For Beginners
Indeed, Procreate is the most incredible creative software I’ve ever had. It also started my journey as a graphic designer three years ago.
It provides many editing, formatting, and drawing options for me to handle my projects. So, these highlights are all exceptionally curious and simple to utilize.
In truth, it took me less than 1 hour to use a realistic design extension. Also, I tried tweaking the brushes to create a natural paper-like effect; fortunately, the process was smooth and fast.
The user interface is a big plus. Accordingly, the icons are familiar and arranged logically, saving me much time controlling my strokes.
In particular, this software also provides dynamic learning resource systems.
Website Link: Procreate
- Easy to use
- Simple interface
- Many helpful learning resources
- Good price
- It does not contain annoying ads
- Only available on the App Store for iPad
3. Adobe Animate: Best For Ease To Use
The Adobe Animate will be ideal for highly demanding animation performance. Accordingly, this tool allows users to create interactive designs for games, websites, and TV shows.
So, its smooth and powerful performance promises to be ready for any challenge in any project.
Because I have used similar products from Adobe, I had no significant problems handling its tools and interface. However, if you are a newbie, you must spend more time mastering its tools and options.
You can use the Adobe Fresco brush instead of the blinking mouse pointer. In other words, you will draw expressions according to the frame-by-frame image.
Because of this feature, Adobe Animation has become an excellent choice for projects that require high flexibility.
For the downside, I only have an issue with this program because it isn’t accessible as a download. So, I need help to work with my blueprints on the go.
Website Link: Adobe Animate
- User-friendly interface and easy control
- Versatile with many projects
- High flexibility
- Powerful performance
- No download available
4. Unity: Best For 3D Rendering
|Price||$399 – $2,040/year|
Unity is the ideal software to design and create games with a large release scale. Accordingly, it provides a great path to express your scripting thinking freely.
In addition, you can use shader charts to build 3D or 2D projects. I am incredibly impressed with this software’s real-time Rendering. Its responsive performance is 3 times faster than other software I have used, so any changes I make while running my project are easily visible.
I also tried setting the display to 4K resolution in milliseconds. And just as I expected, it works seamlessly without any problems.
The Unit includes various helpful editing options, such as viewport and game mode, for me to check out and fix error issues.
Finally, you can check out its free resources and guidelines to upgrade your skills on the platform.
Website Link: Unity
- Compatible with multiple platforms
- Support many resources to upgrade design thinking
- Fast response performance
- Flexible, helpful, easy-to-use tool
- High prices for upgraded versions
5. Autodesk Maya: Best For Budget
Among the 3D animation rendering software, Autodesk Maya received many good user reviews. So, it allows the user to create an immersive world with character effects.
Its modeling feature allows me to create smooth and vivid game worlds. I also tried the built-in graph feature in this software. So, it works perfectly and makes it easy for me to create unique effects like blizzards, wind, rain, and dust.
The works I create from this software is appreciated for its unique quality and impressiveness. Not only that, but the NURB modeling also allows me to build 3D models from curves and geometric prototypes.
Website Link: Autodesk Maya
- Many useful advanced features
- Excellent 3D rendering quality
- Many special effects
- Easy to use
- Good price
- Only compatible with specific platforms
6. CelAction2D: Best For 2D Animation
An excellent choice for 2D animation that I recommend is CelAction2D. It is famous software in popular TV shows, such as Peppa Pig, Mr. Bean, and Bluey.
Unlike other modern versions, this software does not provide tools to draw vector backgrounds. Instead, it uses a sketch from Photoshop, GIMP, or another built-in template the user adds.
In addition, you can store vector drawings in the library and review them at any time. So, this software can process millions of vectors, allowing you to check, analyze, increase, or decrease the aspect ratio quickly.
Besides, I love that the software also supports bitmap drawings and layers. It’s beneficial for our team’s animation work.
I tried importing images up to 60 Megapixels resolution, and it handled everything well and sped up the animation and rendering process.
Finally, adding effects in game production is a minor deal with this software. So, with over 60 frames to choose from, it promises to enrich all my projects. In particular, I can reuse them to save time and improve work efficiency.
Website Link: CelAction2D
- Awesome 2D animation
- Rich effect resources
- Fast and seamless Rendering
- High use value
- It does not provide its vector drawing tool
7. Cartoon Animator 4: Best For Free Trial
Cartoon Animator 4 is the most useful free trial software I’ve come across. Besides, there are endless videos on how to utilize this program.
So, in this manner, you’ll not have to worry about dealing with your items if you’re beginning with a realistic plan.
Besides, I am most impressed with Cartoon Animator 4’s ability to create characters freely in my style. Accordingly, very few versions support this feature for free, so it is an option worth considering for any graphic designer.
Finally, the adjustable camera angle is also a highlight of this software. Accordingly, I ensure every effect stacks up perfectly.
Website Link: Cartoon Animator 4
- Free trial
- Useful study guide
- The super-wide camera angle
- Ideal for newbies
- There are many drawbacks to text format
8. Adobe Character Animator: Best For Real-Time Animation
Real-time animation has long been the standard that any graphic designer pursues. With this in mind, Adobe Character software is your best choice.
This software offers more movement options than most other versions I have used. So, you can select and apply them to enrich and liven up your projects.
Whether a master or just starting within the field, you may design and make your favorite substance with this program.
Finally, my advice will begin with a free trial or sign up for a month-to-month premium and arrange to enjoy astonishing inventiveness immediately.
Website Link: Adobe Character Animator
- Best for budget
- Professional advanced features
- Rich effects
- User-friendly interface
- It’s a bit difficult to create multiple scenes
9. Blender: Best For Open Source Software
As open-source software, Blender gives you free access to all 3D animation libraries. So, it receives recognition from millions of users globally, including artists, scientists, and filmmakers.
In addition to essential drawing tools, this software also provides reflection, rearrangement, and painting features.
Besides, I love that it’s compatible with many brush options, including Smooth, Crease, Clay Strips, Grab, Pinch, and Mask.
All these options have their help in creating vibrant designs in the joint. Of course, you can adjust the brush to fit the design needs of the project you’re working on.
In particular, Blender also allows users to adjust facial expressions, create muscles and refine the skeleton through the format key. Therefore, this software can perfectly meet any need to build a unique 3D animation project.
Website Link: Blender
- All free features
- Multiple brush options
- Great built-in support tool
- Useful advanced features
- Missing some basic effects
10. Houdini (SideFX): Best For Full Library
With Houdini software, you can work on non-commercial projects to get outstanding achievements in graphic design.
It provides users free access to virtually all features, giving you design freedom. In particular, you can store your projects or ideas on disk and review them anytime.
Regarding visual effects, it’s better than any other paid 3D modeling software on the market. It is a 3D modeling, lighting, animation, and rigging workflow.
Moreover, Moho allows users to draw directly in the app. In other words, you can download the software to work from anywhere.
I used this software for an explosion simulation project three months ago. So far, it has created a perfect effect, greatly enhancing the vivid and realistic quality of the project.
Website Link: Houdini (SideFX)
- Powerful effects
- Allows saving display change to disk
- Provides free access
- Compatible with multiple platforms
- Requires 4GB or more memory to download
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best animation software. It’s better to remember what features you’ll likely need, hardware compatibility, and price balance for each.
The features that each animation software performs may vary depending on the manufacturer’s intent. Hence, it is vital to select proper features that can meet your needs well.
I suggest looking at models that permit bringing in files to the extent you’re working on. More simply, it needs to provide all the necessary tools and features for your needs.
Compatibility is another crucial factor to consider. Some programs allow you to import and open any image, while others do not include these options. Therefore, choose a version that supports your input and output file types.
Cost isn’t the primary factor, but it is worth considering if you arrange to purchase and utilize a program for a long time.
Many of the ones available in the market come with different prices, from the free to the high-quality pro. As a smart user, you must also balance your budget.
The animation duration can vary widely depending on the distance traveled and the complexity. However, the most optimal choice for any project I recommend is 100–500 milliseconds.
Depending on the platform used, the requirement for animation motion at every second varies greatly. So, as a full-time filmmaker, I’ve noticed the most common animation trend is at 24 frames per second.
An animator usually works about 40 to 50 hours per week. Yet, sometimes they also work overtime on weekends to ensure the project is completed on time.
Above are my recommendations for the 10 best animation software. So, one of them is the ideal choice to make your work stand out.
Are you satisfied with my suggestions above? If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below. Thank you for reading!