The Very Best Animation Software

Software for 2D Animation

Toon Boom Studio 4:Toon Boom Studio is at the top when it comes to animation software for internet users. It is a practical application made by animators for animators. If you want to create your own original animations, this is the perfect choice.

Animationish Animationish was made with the idea that entertainment programmes should not be too complicated to make effective and funny cartoons. It is a good programme for learning the basics of animation.

Flip Boom The producers of Toon Boom have created this animation programme with children in mind. It is an easy programme to master. The control output has been reduced to make it as easy as possible for children to understand.


Adobe Flash has been around for a while in various forms. It has the advantage of being easy to use, but it lacks some tools that would really benefit designers and animators. This explains why Flash doesn’t get credit from most of the best animators. A bit pricey and not ideal for cartoon animation.

After Effects Although it is mainly used for composition and effects, the software can create animations. But to use this just for animation would be a shame because it’s expensive, but it deserves to be on the list because it can be used for animation.

pencils Pencil is an animation programme that enables both vector and bitmap drawings. It’s as if Photoshop’s drawing tools were incorporated into Flash. The software here has been reduced to its essential elements, meaning it’s an excellent introduction to animation software.

Synfig. The designers of Windows-only Synfig have high hopes for using their animation software to create cinematic-quality animations. After seeing an impressive demo, it seems like they are not far from their goal. Synfig can create complex lighting and camera effects. As an animator, it is your responsibility to make the most of them.

CreaToon Here is yet another animation window programme that uses a cropping method similar to that of the animation software Toon Boom. The programme seems a little less sophisticated, but with the added ability to use bitmap images in the program, it does make life easier.

Toon Boom Digital Pro. As far as software animation goes, Toon Boom Digital Pro is aimed solely at professionals, as the price indicates. It has the evidence to back it up. A comprehensive list includes TV shows and movies made with Toon Boom Digital Pro. Internet gurus Bernard Derriman and Adam Phillips make use of this animation software.

Toon Boom Studio ExpressThis simplified version of Toon Boom Studio is an animation software programme suitable for beginners. It has limitations because only one scene can be created at a time. However, you can also choose to buy Express and then upgrade to Studio later if you need to do that later.

SWiSHINGSWiSH was originally created to make full use of the open space. SWF Flash format. Initially billed as a cheaper alternative to Flash, SWiSH is now a reliable standalone text software animation package for Windows. It allows you to easily create beautiful swooping effects and then export them.

Ulead GIF Animator The GIF animator is really old-fashioned. GIF animations in general are almost extinct on the web as Flash and DSL speeds have become almost universal. It is a Windows application and will not work under Vista. This is an entertainment programme that will make you want to party like it was 1999.

TV Paint TV Paint was a solid software animation program, so when it bought the Mirage name, they combined the two packages into one programme and called it TV Paint. For many animators, this was a good move. TV Paint is solid animation design software and also has a professional version.

Paper for Plastic AnimationDenmark brings us the next exciting animation program. Plastic Animation Paper is intended as a replacement for the traditional lightbox/paper combo animation. It’s currently available for Windows and Linux, but they’re working diligently on a Mac version. You can try a free version, and, of course, there is a professional version as well.

Motion Studio This is a funky Windows-only programme designed to create.exe-only file types. It can be useful for slideshows or looping presentations, but the animation aspect is quite limited.

Pro Motion Pro Motion is an animation programme for Windows designed exclusively for processing close-up pixels. This makes it the perfect software to build sprite-based characters similar to those found in video games.

3D animation programs.

For the most part, 3D is considered software for professionals, although the following home applications and open-source movies are used.

Maxwell’s 3D Studio3D Studio Max wins as the most expensive software animation programme on the list. Many of you will recognise that 3D Studio Max and Maya, which we will look at next, are owned by Autodesk. Although it is a popular tool for industrial designers and architects, it has found a cult following in the movie and video game industries.


Maya 3D is increasingly becoming the tool of choice for the film industry as it allows for a wide variety of tones and lighting effects. Maya is also highly customizable, allowing for easy integration with third-party software. This has made it an easy choice for animation studios. You can download the Personal Learning Edition for free, which is recommended if you are considering this software.

Lightwave LightWave 3D is a highly professional programme used to create special effects for TV and movies. Lightwave is not something to be taken lightly. However, you can get a 30-day trial version of this animation software, and it is recommended. Blenders The Blender

has recently become popular for its use in the creation of the Big Buck Bunny comic. This fun and professional animation should be the only reason to experiment with this open-source animation software.

Anim8or: Truly a labour of love, this animation software is the creation of Steve Glanville, a software engineer at NVIDIA. Anim8or, besides being difficult to spell, is only a programme for Windows. This is not professional animation level software and was never intended to be. Anyway, this is a good introduction to animation software, especially if you’re interested in learning how to create 3D animation.

Swift 3D Originally intended as a 3D alternative for Flash users, This software programme allows you to animate directly through the software and export to the flash-friendly.swf format. Programs for Photo


The following programmes take still photos and use them to make animated movies. They are almost forgotten and almost fall into the “other” category.


The only Macintosh application exclusively on this list is iStopMotion is a very nice programme specially designed for stop motion animation. It can work with a camera built into your Mac, or you can simply import photos to build your animations.

Morpheus: Morpheus is an animation programme designed to convert your images into other things, such as cartoons or animals. The process of morphing itself is the benchmark of the animation in question, but it can be interesting to play with.