Animation software has played a critical role in the development of the video-making industry. It is projected that 80% of internet traffic will be concentrated on video.
It allows amateurs to easily create advanced animations such as stop-motion animation, motion graphics and typography, CGI, 2D vectoring, and more. Additionally, it provides a career opportunity in video editing, game designing, and the option to monetize a Youtube Channel.
However, it is also capable of providing professional-looking advanced 3D modeling required for businesses and organizations. Choosing this type of software depends on the industry-specific requirements and budget and might not be that easy.
So in this guide, I have ranked and reviewed the best animation software based on their pricing, 3D modeling, support, integrations, editing capabilities, and more.
So let’s get started.
What is the Best Animation Software?
Here is my list of the best animation software to use this year.
Renderforest is an online animation software and video generator platform designed for any business or personal use. Their aim is to provide branding essentials to everyone at affordable rates. Therefore they provide you with all the necessary marketing tools to develop quality videos, animations, infographics, and much more.
They are not only limited to creating videos but also provide you with the service to generate logos and websites in the easiest way possible. Plus, they even provide ready-made video templates to get started. Therefore, any newbie can start using this platform to generate advertising products like introduction videos for their business.
Renderforest is an all-in-one platform for all your branding requirements. Also, it is an extremely self-explanatory platform. Therefore, it’s easy to use for anyone but even if you are stuck anywhere, they have tutorials to help you out and customer support is also always available.
- Personalize: This platform has lots of personalized features to develop the desired product for your business and look different from everyone.
- Voiceover: You can add music or your voice to any video or content you want in no time.
- Templates: There are lots and lots of templates available on this platform that are totally customizable. Therefore, you don’t need to start from scratch.
- Website Builder: Apart from the video generator, Renderforest also provides a website builder tool so that you can develop a website quickly with the least effort.
- Create your own personalized high-quality content with a professional touch effortlessly and in no time.
- It has the most efficient and responsive support team that is eager to help you out anytime.
- It is extremely easy to use this platform.
- Renderforest is cloud-based therefore it’s easily accessible from any device.
They provide 2 types of payment options. One is “Pay per product” where you can pay for the product that you want to use and the other is “Subscription plans” wherein all the Renderforest products are available to use with various limitations. The “Pay per product” starts at ₹399 for a product and then varies depending on the product. There is a free plan available and the other Subscription plans start at ₹999/month where you can save 30-40% if you subscribe annually.
Maya is a powerful animation software including free 3D modeling, simulation, and rendering. It is so robust and versatile that you can create everything that you can imagine. It can easily be integrated with various software and can even improve your work efficiency.
Maya has a python API which makes it possible for you to write python scripts and create your desired product. Plus, they also provide lots of paid and free plugins to choose from. With Maya, you can have a stronghold over your work and can generate desired outputs.
Maya is best for start-ups/small businesses and freelancers as it has everything including 3D so they don’t have to install various other software. Furthermore, attaching plugins or writing scripts in python increase productivity. Basically, Maya is the complete package of animation required for any niche.
- 3D Animation: you have access to a time editor, graph editor, fast playback, and other tools required to level up your animation to 3D using Maya.
- Customizable: Maya is totally customizable the way you want. You can even add your choice of plugins or create one using python scripts.
- Ready-to-use graphs: you can create effects like dust and snow with ready-made graphs.
- Interactive hair grooming: you can create realistic fur and hair for your characters with interactive hair grooming tools.
- Maya has lots of features to play with and create unique animation. You can put your imagination into action and develop a product with all your requirements.
- Maya is a complete product for animation, 3D modeling, rendering, and shading. It might take some time for you to get used to it but once you overcome it, it’s the best platform for your animation creation.
- The incredible motion-capture handling by Maya is unbeatable which makes Maya the first choice by various industries like the film industry.
Maya provides a free 30-day trial to test its services. Apart from that, they provide 2 types of plans. One is token-based and the other is a monthly subscription plan. The tokens are priced at around $3 each and the minimum quantity is 500 tokens. The subscription plans are priced at $215/month and you can save up to 34% by subscribing annually.
Animaker is a cloud-based DIY video generator and animation software. With Animaker you can not only create animation but also create live-action videos of anything completely by yourself. It can help you create any type of introductory/explanatory video with an easy drag-and-drop feature.
They provide thousands of stock images and videos, templates, resizing options, and more. Plus, they have powerful character builders through which you can create your unique characters as you like. With all these features your video would be as unique as you. Furthermore, you can import/export videos of any size/quality. There are up to 20GB of storage available.
Animaker is for everyone, whether you are an individual content maker, a start-up, or a business. Without any prior knowledge of this, you can create various characters, change their actions and expressions, change backgrounds, customize everything that you want, and create an outstanding animation video.
- Character Builder: You can create your custom character with over 15 facial features, 10 accessory slots, 20 facial expressions, and even lip sync.
- Voiceover: You can record your own voice and instantly use it in your video.
- Animaker voice: You can create human-like voices with Animaker’s text-to-speech converter which has 50+ voices with over 25 languages supported.
- Subtitles: you can add subtitles to your videos so that it’s understood by more people.
- Build your brand kit: With Animaker, you can store your brand colors, logos, fonts, and all the other requirements for easy access later every time.
- Animaker provides pristine 4K video quality and you can even watermark your content.
- You don’t need to go to other platforms to search for stock assets. Animaker provides over 100 million+ stock assets.
- Animaker even provides royalty-free music tracks and sound effects.
- A simpler version of Animaker called Animaker lite is available which helps you to create videos even faster with all the essential requirements for video creation.
Animaker’s subscription plans start from $20 and they even provide a custom pricing option. Below are the various subscription plans:
- Basic: $20/month
- Starter: $35/month
- Pro: $79/month
You can save up to 50% by subscribing annually rather than monthly.
Pencil2D is a traditional animation software through which you can create hand-drawn animations using vector graphics or bitmap. It is an open-source software therefore you can easily download it to your system and use it. Furthermore, it is available for Windows, macOS, and even Unix-like operating systems.
You can easily make your 2D animation from scratch using Pencil2D. It has a very basic interface like most drawing apps and is even easy to use. Most of the objects in it are self-explanatory and therefore you can get used to them in no time. It is the best option for any beginner to enter into animation creation.
Pencil2D has all the tools required to get into the field of animation and get started with creating your own animation the way you want. The animation frames are to be created to move your object. Therefore, you have complete control over your animation.
- Vector & Raster: you can create your 2D animations in both vector and raster.
- Customizable toolbars: There are various tools available in Pencil2D. The users can rearrange them anywhere as per their preferences.
- Keyframes & timelines: you can add, duplicate or delete a frame and set timelines for each frame. The start, pause and play button help to monitor the transition.
- Drag & drop: It has the easy drag-and-drop feature that makes the use of various tools very easy.
- Text overlay: You can overlay text with your image/animations using Pencil2D.
- Pencil2D is entirely free-to-use and open-source animation software.
- This software is lightweight and runs on almost all operating systems.
- The frame-by-frame animation generator helps you to manage your entire animation and move it just the way you want.
Pencil2D is open-source software and is free to use. Therefore, it is a good cost-effective alternative for any organization.
So now let’s cover the basics.
What is Animation Software?
Animation software is used to create motion graphics based on the concept of a single-frame basis. The animators combine multiple single frames to create motion graphics that produce things such as animated movies and video games.
From creating presentations to sending GIFs, from producing films to creating video games, animation software is the foundation of these things. They are designed to manipulate a set of keyframes to create complex yet easy-looking animations.
What you Should Look for in Animation Software?
Every animation software in the industry comes with its own unique capabilities and functionalities. However, here are some standard factors you should consider before purchasing animation software.
Customization is the key feature that any modern video animation tool should provide to a business. Moreover, they should be tailored made according to the specific business requirement of an organization.
This includes the addition and deletion of features and modules on the fly for the business. This will not only make the solution viable but also very specific to the required specifications.
2. Ease of use
An interactive user-friendly interface is essential in any animation solution you intend to purchase. Moreover, it should provide navigational support to technically difficult features available in the software.
Also, it should provide a guide to help beginners understand how the software works for different scenarios.
There are a lot of options available in the market right from open source to expensive ones. However, choose the best animation software that is within your budget and caters to your specific business requirements.
Moreover, look out for software that allows you to unsubscribe to certain features on the go. This will help you to cut unnecessary spending on the features you are not requiring for time being.
Make sure the software provides an industry-standard quality system when it comes to delivering animations. Your business should be up-to-date with the latest animation technology to survive in the cut-through competition.
Best Animation Software – Final Summary
This wraps up my list of the best animation software to use this year. I will keep updating the list with other animation tools available in the market.
Remember that there are different types of animation software catering to specific individual and business needs. Therefore, you need to research which software exactly matches your business requirement.
Moreover, if you are looking for basic animation features then you can use free software otherwise, you can go for professional tools such as Renderforest and Maya. Finally, research all the factors such as pricing, support, features, customer care, etc before purchasing.
Which animation software are you planning to use? Let me know in the comment section below.
Commonly Asked Questions
The best animation software to use for both mobile applications and the web is Adobe Animate. It provides sophisticated features for interactive content, vector graphics animation, image control effects, and more.
You should switch to paid animation software if your business requirements involve complex effects and image render controlling to perform certain tasks. Otherwise, you are good with free animation software available in the market
Autodesk 3D animation tool Maya is one of the easiest animation software you can rely on to start with. It’s versatile and robust, and many consider it the industry standard for animation.