55+ Best Animation Software: Online, 2D, 3D, and More

55+ Best Animation Software: Online, 2D, 3D, and More

Animated videos are everywhere. We use them for different purposes from explainer videos for business to animated video greetings and everything in between. The question is: where to find animation software or an online tool that can perfectly meet our needs?

Depending on your skills, you can choose between different animation software available both offline and online․ There’s easy animation software for beginners and professional animation software with more advanced tools․ Some animation tools can seem to be too complicated for a basic user. Others can be unaffordable.

With these tools, you can create 2D and 3D animation, stop motion animation, whiteboard animation, and more.

We’ll introduce 55+ best animation software for beginners and advanced users, and leave it to your own consideration to choose the most suitable one.

Check out our ultimate list below:

  • Online Animation Tools
  • 2D Animation Software
  • 3D Animation Software
  • Other Animation Software




Online Animation Tools

One of the best things about online animation tools is that you don’t have to download these tools on your device to start working. All you need to do is upload your files to the editor and start editing your animated video. Here are some great online animation tools to make your job easier.


Renderforest cloud-based platform

  1. Renderforest

Operating system: Website


Renderforest is a cloud-based platform for explainer animations and cartoon videos. It’s also a great tool for kinetic typography, product or service promotional videos, music visualizations, wedding or travel slideshows, mobile app promotions, event invitations, corporate presentations, infographics, and a lot more. Renderforest provides a free version for most of its services.

All the templates and tools are available for free. You can create animated videos in minutes, see how each scene looks in real time, and render and export them in SD 360 quality with watermarks. If you want it to be without watermarks and in HD quality, then you need to subscribe to one of the plans or pay for a one-time export.

It’s a great solution for individuals or businesses that want their product to have a professional result and broadcast quality but don’t have any tech knowledge to build a professional product from scratch.


Animatron web-based animation software

  1. Animatron

Operating system: Website

Description: Animatron is a web-based animation software that enables users to make and edit animated videos and other interactive content. The company was formed as a corporate spin-off from JetBrains in 2011. It provides an HTML5 animation tool that allows displaying created animation on any mobile or desktop webpage.


Moovly cloud-based platform

  1. Moovly

Operating system: Website

Description: Moovly is a company that provides a cloud-based platform (SaaS) that enables users to create videos and other multimedia content: animated videos, video presentations, animated infographics, and any other video content that includes a mix of animation and motion graphics.


Animaker animated video creation tool

  1. Animaker

Operating system: Website

Description: Animaker is an easy-to-use animated video creation tool. Create an account to begin your video and choose a template to customize. Be sure to watch the tutorials before starting to learn all of the features included with Animaker. When complete, download a video to your computer or directly to YouTube or Facebook. The free version of the tool allows animated videos up to 2 minutes in length and five exports per month. The tutorials reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class “on a stick” to share.

Powtoon web-based animation software

  1. Powtoon

Operating system: Website

Description: PowToon is a web-based animation software that allows users to create animated presentations by manipulating pre-created objects, imported images, provided music, and user-created voice-overs. Powtoon uses an Apache Flex engine to generate an XML file that can be played in the Powtoon online viewer, exported to YouTube, or downloaded as an MP4 file. PowToon is also available in the Google Chrome Store and has an application on Edmodo.com.


Toonator online cartoon editing tool

  1. Toonator

Operating system: Website

Description: Toonator is an online cartoon editing tool. With Toonator you can easily make funny animations, and see how they look in real time.


Mixamo web-based tool

  1. Mixamo

Operating system: Website

Description: With this web-based tool you can create 3D animations without any prior knowledge. You can see animated characters moving instantly. Get high-quality animations that are automatically retargeted to your 3D character and ready to bring into your project. No need to reanimate a walk cycle for each character. Search the Store for the right animation and get instant feedback on timing. 


Wideo online editing tool

  1. Wideo

Operating system: Website

Description: With this online tool you can create, edit, and share videos very easily. Just drag and drop elements or upload your own images and start animating in a few clicks. Or edit one of the ready-made templates in minutes to create an animation.


Visme visual online tool

  1. Visme

Operating system: Website

Description: This is an online tool to create visual aids for your story. It can be used to create infographics, presentations, and other visual content in a time-saving manner. It has both free and paid options.



MakeWebVideo online video animation maker

  1. MakeWebVideo

Operating system: Website

Description: If you need a business video advertisement or a product video to promote your company, website, or an upcoming event – you’ve come to the right spot! This website has developed an online video animation maker that lets you make a professional video for your website and will help increase your business sales.


Vyond online animation tool

  1. Vyond

Operating system: Website

Description: Vyond is an online tool that lets you create your own animated videos. Create your own characters, choose the one that fits your needs with the specific description. Audio is automatically lip-synced to the characters in real time, so it looks professional. This platform has a free trial available for 14 days.


Prezi web-based presentation software

  1. Prezi

Operating system: Website

Description: Prezi is web-based presentation software, created in Hungary.

This freedom of movement enables “conversational presenting”. It’s a presentation style following the flow of dialogue.

The company that develops Prezi, also called Prezi, was founded in Budapest, Hungary in 2009, and has additional offices in San Francisco and Mexico City. As of March 2017, Prezi had reportedly over 75 million users, who had created more than 260 million projects.

The company launched Prezi Business in 2016, with a suite of creation, collaboration, and analytics tools for teams. Prezi Business is an HTML5 application that runs on JavaScript.

The word Prezi is the short form of “presentation” in Hungarian.


Toon Boom animation and storyboarding software

  1. Toon Boom

Operating system: Website

Description: Toon Boom Animation Inc. is a Canadian software company that specializes in animation production and storyboarding software. Founded in 1994 and based in Montreal, Quebec, Toon Boom develops animation and storyboarding software for film, television, web animation, games, mobile devices, training applications, and education. It was acquired by Corus Entertainment in 2012.

Toon Boom software is used in over 130 countries and was awarded the Primetime Emmy Award in 2005 and 2012, among other awards.

Notable users include Walt Disney Animation Studios and Disney Television Animation, Pixar, Cartoon Network, Warner Bros. Animation, Fox, Rough Draft Studios, Nelvana, Xilam, Mercury Filmworks, China Central Television, Toonz India Ltd, Digital eMation, and Gaumont Animation.


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2D Animation Software

2D animation is one of the most popular animation styles. It’s been around for ages is considered to be the traditional animation style. 2D animation is used to create movies, cartoons, as well as video games, educational materials, explainer videos, and much more. Here is the list of the best 2D animation software to help you create your next animated video for business or any other purpose.


Moho 2D animation software

  1. Moho (Animion Software)

Operating system: Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X

Description: Moho is a proprietary vector-based 2D animation software for animators. Moho has two different versions: Moho Debut and Moho Pro. The first one doesn’t have all the functions that the Pro version has, plus the Debut version is a bit more restricted in terms of possible length and image size. The features include drawing tools, smart bones, Photoshop files import, quad meshes, full 3D space and camera, lip-sync tools, and more. Moho is available in English, German, and Japanese language (and Spanish since version 9.2).


Synfig Studio 2D vector graphics animation program

  1. Synfig Studio

Operating system: Linux, Mac OS X, Windows

Description: Synfig Studio is an open-source, free timeline-based, and 2D vector graphics computer animation program. Synfig Studio is a real back-end and front-end application, that allows you to design your animation in front-end and render it in the backend at a later time even on another computer, without having to connect the graphical display.


Adobe Animate computer animation program

  1. Adobe Animate

Operating system: Windows, OS X

Description: Adobe Animate is one of the best animation software and multimedia authoring programs and was developed by Adobe Systems. If you need to create vector graphics and animation, Animate is the right tool for you. You can, later on, use your creation for websites, online videos, rich internet apps, video games, and television programs. Adobe Animate offers support for video and audio embedding, ActionScript scripting, rich text, and raster graphics.


Pencil 2D free 2D animation software

  1. Pencil 2D

Operating system: Linux, OS X, Microsoft Windows

Description: Pencil 2D is an open-source and free animation software for creating 2D animations. You can easily produce simple 2D drawings, graphics, and create a hand-drawn animation by using the bitmap/vector drawing interface of the application. It started as a simple “pencil test” at first and developed into professional animation software.


Toonz 2D animation software

  1. OpenToonz

Operating system: Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows

Description: OpenToonz is an open-source 2D animation software. Toonz Premium is the professional product of the same family. This program has been used to create video games and films, such as Futurama, Anastasia, Asterix in America (in this movie the part of the sea storm was created by Toonz completely), and much more.


Digicel 2D animation software

  1. DigiCel FlipBook

Operating system: Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X

Description: DigiCel FlipBook is a 2D animation software. It was created with the intention of duplicating the animation process in its traditional form, much like Toon Boom Harmony and TVPaint. As FlipBook wants to keep the traditional aspect and the traditional 2D hand-drawn animations, it does not support skeletal animation. Thus each frame has to be created and drawn separately and in between is performed via onion skinning. The toolkit is raster-based and supports direct digital input of a drawing using a graphics tablet and scanning the physical drawing via either webcam or TWAIN-compliant scanner.


Retas Studio 2D animation software

  1. Retas Studio

Operating system: Microsoft Windows, Mac OS

Description: RETAS (Revolutionary Engineering Total Animation System) is a 2D animation software bundle developed and sold by Celsys that is available for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. It handles the entire animation production from digitally drawing or tracing to exporting in Flash and QuickTime, and is considered to be a leader in Japan’s anime industry.


Animation Paper software

  1. Animation Paper

Operating system: Linux, Windows, macOS

Description: Animation Paper, from Krogh Mortensen Animation, is a software package for hand-drawn 2D animation. It allows animators to draw directly on the screen removing the need for line tests. It is a free beginner-friendly animation program. A few years after the initial launch, the founder rebuilt the software under the name Animation Paper. It’s a new and improved version of Animation Paper. It’s now available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.


CelAction professional 2D animation software

  1. CelAction 2D

Operating system: Windows

Description: CelAction2D is a professional 2D animation software specialized in films, TV series, and commercials. Using vector graphics and bitmaps, character models and their movements can be edited. Over 60 effects and many audio samples are available in order to make scenes more dynamic. The animation will be previewed in low resolution but can be rendered out in any resolution you wish up to 4K. The program has no drawing tools, so your sketches or photos have to be imported from different software (such as Photoshop, Illustrator, or Flash).


Maefloresta animation software company

  1. Maefloresta

Operating system: Unix-like, Windows, macOS

Description: Maefloresta is a Colombian startup providing products and services to create animated content. Their main product is TupiTube, a simple animation software that kids and teenagers use to create animations. It was developed by two young Colombians to encourage young people throughout Latin America to animate. 

TupiTube is free and open-source software, compatible with phones, tablets, and PCs. It offers features like basic tools for vector illustration, support for tweening of positions and colors, a library panel to organize files, and different formats for exporting. The goal is to eventually reach a professional level for more advanced users.


3D explainer animation toolkit Trendy explainer animation template Whiteboard animation template

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3D Animation Software

Unlike 2D animation, which is flat, 3D animation is the art of placing objects and characters in a 3-dimensional space and giving them a more realistic feel. Check out our list of the best 3D animation software that you need to know about.


Autodesk 3ds Max 3D animation software

  1. Autodesk 3ds Max

Operating system: Windows 7 or later

Description: Autodesk 3ds Max, formerly 3D Studio, then 3D Studio Max is a professional 3D animation software for making 3D animations, models, games, and images. It’s developed and produced by Autodesk Media and Entertainment. It has modeling capabilities and a flexible plugin architecture and can be used on the Microsoft Windows platform. It is frequently used by video game developers, many TV commercial studios, and architectural visualization studios. It is also used for movie effects and movie pre-visualization. For its modeling and animation tools, the latest version of 3ds Max also features shaders (such as ambient occlusion and subsurface scattering), dynamic simulation, particle systems, radiosity, normal map creation and rendering, global illumination, a customizable intuitive interface, new icons, and its own scripting language.


Cinema 4D animation and 3D modeling software

  1. Maxon Cinema 4D

Operating system: AmigaOS, MacOS, Microsoft Windows

Description: CINEMA 4D is a 3D modeling, animation, motion graphics, and rendering application developed by MAXON Computer GmbH in Germany. It is one of the best animation software available, and is capable of procedural and polygonal/subd modeling, animating, lighting, texturing, rendering, visual effects, video editing and compositing, and common features found in 3D modeling applications. Four variants are currently available from MAXON: a core CINEMA 4D ‘Prime’ application, a ‘Broadcast’ version with additional motion-graphics features, ‘Visualize’ which adds functions for architectural design, and ‘Studio’, which includes all modules.

Initially, CINEMA 4D was developed for Amiga computers in the early 1990s, and the first three versions of the program were available exclusively for that platform. With v4, however, MAXON began to develop CINEMA 4D for Windows and Macintosh computers as well, citing the wish to reach a wider audience and the growing instability of the Amiga market following Commodore’s bankruptcy.


Houdini 3D animation software

  1. Houdini

Operating system: Windows, MacOS, Linux

Description: Houdini is one of the best animation software, and was developed by Side Effects Software based in Toronto. Side Effects adapted Houdini from the PRISMS suite of procedural generation software tools. Its exclusive attention to procedural generation distinguishes it from other 3D computer graphics software.

Houdini is an advanced motion graphics tool, and has been used in various feature animation productions, including Disney’s feature films Frozen and Zootopia; the Blue Sky Studios film Rio, and DNA Productions’ Ant Bully.

Side Effects also publishes a partially limited version called Houdini Apprentice, which is free of charge for non-commercial use.


Poser 3D rendering software

  1. Poser

Operating system: Windows, OS X

Description: Poser is a 3D computer graphics program optimized for modeling human figures. The program has gained popularity due to allowing beginners to produce basic animations and digital images, and the extensive availability of third-party digital models. Poser is a 3D rendering software package for the posing, animating, and rendering of 3D polymesh human and animal figures. Akin to a virtual photography studio, Poser allows the user to load figures, props, lighting, and cameras for still and animated renderings.

Natively using a subset of the Alias object (OBJ) file format and a text-based markup for content files, Poser comes with a large library of pre-rigged human, animal, robotic, and cartoon figures. The package also includes poses, hairpieces, props, textures, hand gestures, and facial expressions. As Poser itself does not allow for original modeling of objects, a large community market of artists emerged, creating and selling Poser content, made using third-party software like Modo, ZBrush, Blender, or Autodesk 3ds Max.


iClone real-time 3D animation program

  1. iClone

Operating system: Windows

Description: iClone is a real-time 3D animation and rendering software program that enables users to make 3D animated films. Real-time playback is enabled by using a 3D video game engine for instant on-screen rendering.

Other functionality includes full facial and skeletal animation of human and animal figures; lip-syncing; import of standard 3D file types including FBX; a timeline for editing and merging motions; a scripting language (Lua) for character interaction; application of standard motion-capture files; the ability to control an animated scene in the same manner as playing a video game; and the import of models from Google 3D Warehouse, among many other features. iClone is also notable for offering users royalty-free usage of all content that they create with the software, even when using Reallusion’s own assets library.


Aladdin 4D animation software

  1. Aladdin 4D

Operating system: AmigaOS, Mac OS X, iPad, Linux, AROS, MorphOS, Windows

Description: Aladdin4D is a computer program for modeling and rendering three-dimensional graphics and animations, currently running on AmigaOS and Mac OS X platforms. A-Eon Technology Ltd owns the rights and develops current and future versions of Aladdin4D for AmigaOS, MorphOS & AROS. All other platforms including OS X, iOS, Windows & Linux are developed by DiscreetFX. Nova Design added many modern features and made it easier to create animated videos with the software. It was one of the first 3D animation software on any platform to employ volumetrics, which were primarily used to create volumetric gas. However, unlike the majority of Amiga 3D programs, it used scanline rendering instead of the more photo-realistic ray-tracing technique. Scanline rendering is similar to the rendering technique used in most Pixar movies. 


Autodesk Maya 3D animation software

  1. Autodesk Maya

Operating system: Windows 7 or later OS X 10.8 or later RHEL/CentOS 6.2 or later


Maya is an application used to generate 3D assets for use in film, television, game development, and architecture. The software is also one of the best animation software for character animation and is used by major studios around the world. It was initially released for the IRIX operating system. However, this support was discontinued in August 2006.

Users define a virtual workspace (scene) to implement and edit media for a particular project. Scenes can be saved in a variety of formats, the default being .mb (Maya D). Maya exposes a node graph architecture. Scene elements are node-based, each node having its own attributes and customization. As a result, the visual representation of a scene is based entirely on a network of interconnecting nodes, depending on each other’s information. For the convenience of viewing these networks, there is a dependency and a directed acyclic graph.

Users who are students, teachers (or veterans or unemployed in USA markets) can download a full educational version from the Autodesk Education community for free. The versions available at the community are only licensed for non-commercial use (once activated with the product license) and some products create watermarks on output renders. The software comes with a full 36-month license. Once it expires, users can log into the community to request a new 36 months license and download the latest Autodesk product.


Blender 3D computer graphics software

  1. Blender

Operating system: Windows, Mac OS, Linux

Description: Blender is professional and free animation software. Its 3D computer graphics software toolset is used for creating animated films, visual effects, art, 3D printed models, interactive 3D applications, and video games. Blender’s features include UV unwrapping, texturing, raster graphics editing, rigging and skinning, fluid and smoke simulation, particle simulation, soft body simulation, sculpting, animating, match moving, camera tracking, rendering, video editing, compositing, motion graphics, and character animation. It further features an integrated game engine.


Cascadeur 3D computer graphics software

  1. Cascadeur

Operating system: Windows, Linux

Description: Cascadeur is a professional 3D graphics software for physics-based action animation. The software offers a wealth of tools you can use to achieve the most realistic look for your animation. The software comes with both editable mockups and tools to create an animation from scratch. The AI tools help to adjust the timing and trajectories so that users can concentrate on the animation process. Cascadeur is compatible with other animation software, such as Maya, Unity, Autodesk 3DS Max, Cinema4D, and others.


Lightwave 3D software package

  1. LightWave 3D

Operating system: AmigaOS, Windows, macOS

Description: LightWave is a software package used for rendering 3D images, both animated and static. It includes a fast rendering engine that supports such advanced features as realistic reflection, radiosity, caustics, and 999 render nodes. The 3D modeling component supports both polygon modeling and subdivision surfaces. The animation component has features such as reverse and forward kinematics for character animation, particle systems, and dynamics. Programmers can expand LightWave’s capabilities using an included SDK which offers Python, LScript (a proprietary scripting language) scripting, and C language interfaces.


Autodesk MotionBuilder professional 3D character animation software

  1. Autodesk MotionBuilder

Operating system: Windows, Linux

Description: MotionBuilder is a professional 3D character animation software produced by Autodesk. It is used for virtual production, motion capture, character animation, and traditional keyframe animation. It was originally named Filmbox when it was first created by Canadian company Kaydara, later acquired by Alias and renamed MotionBuilder. Alias, in turn, was acquired by Autodesk.

It is primarily used in film, games, television production, as well as other multimedia projects. Mainstream examples include Assassin’s Creed, Killzone 2, and Avatar.

At SIGGRAPH 2012, Autodesk announced a partnership with Weta Digital and Lightstorm Entertainment to develop the next generation of technology.


Daz 3D software company

  1. Daz 3D

Operating system: Windows

Description: Daz Productions, Inc., commonly known as Daz 3D, is a 3D content and software company specializing in providing rigged 3D human models, associated accessory content, and software to the prosumer market. It was originally part of Zygote Media Group, a general-purpose, application-agnostic 3D content broker, and split off as “Digital Art Zone” in 2000 to focus on supplying content for the Poser market.

After acquiring other modeling tools, DAZ 3D created their own 3D posing/animation package, DAZ Studio, while still continuing to make the content compatible with Poser for several years. DAZ 3D also sells third-party applications usable with their products.


Bryce animation software

  1. Bryce

Operating system: Windows, macOS

Description: Bryce is a 3D modeling, rendering, and animation program specializing in fractal landscapes. The name is taken from Bryce Canyon — a rugged region with many of the same landscapes that were first simulated with the software. The original Bryce software arose from working with fractal geometry to create realistic computer images of mountain ranges and coastlines. An initial set of fractal-based programs was developed by Ken Musgrave (who later created MojoWorld) a student of Benoît Mandelbrot, and extended by Eric Wenger. Wenger later met and worked with software artist Kai Krause to design a basic user interface. The first commercial version, Bryce 1.0, appeared in 1994 for the Macintosh. 


Modo animation software

  1. Modo

Operating system: Windows, Linux, macOS

Description: Modo (stylized as MODO, originally modo) is a polygon and subdivision surface modeling, sculpting, 3D painting, animation, and rendering package developed by Luxology, LLC, which is now merged with and known as Foundry. The program incorporates features such as n-gons and edge weighting and runs on Microsoft Windows, Linux, and macOS platforms. Modo was created by the same core group of software engineers that previously created the pioneering 3D application LightWave 3D, originally developed on the Amiga platform and bundled with the Amiga-based Video Toaster workstations that were popular in television studios in the late 1980s and early 1990s. They are based in Mountain View, California. Modo’s workflow differs substantially from many other mainstream 3D applications. While Maya and 3ds Max stress using the right tool for the job, Modo artists typically use a much smaller number of basic tools and combine them to create new tools using the Tool Pipe and customizable action centers and falloffs. Modo was used in the production of feature films such as Stealth, Ant Bully, Iron Man, and Wall*E.


K-3D 3D modelling and animation software

  1. K-3D

Operating system: Windows, macOS, Linux, Free BSD

Description: K-3D is a free 3D modeling and animation software. It features a plug-in-oriented procedural engine for all of its content. K-3D supports polygonal modeling, and it includes basic tools for NURBS, patches, curves, and animation. Despite its name, it is not a KDE application; it uses the GTK+ toolkit via gtkmm. K-3D’s interface uses the platform’s look-and-feel, and it is therefore consistent with other applications that already exist.

K-3D features procedural and parametric workflows. Properties can be adjusted interactively and results appear immediately. The node-based visualization pipeline allows more possibilities than traditional modifier stacks or histories. Selection flows from one modifier to the next. Standards form the foundation on which K-3D builds – including native RenderMan support that integrates tightly with the K-3D user interface. K-3D supports a node-based visualization pipeline, thus allowing the connection of multiple bodies. Work on one side of a model, show the other side mirrored, and see the end result welded together as a subdivision surface in real-time. Go back, modify the beginning of a workflow, and watch as changes propagate automatically to the end.


Anim8or 3D modeling and animation program

  1. Anim8or

Operating system: Windows

Description: Anim8or is a freeware OpenGL-based 3D and character animation program by R. Steven Glanville, a software engineer at NVidia. Currently, at stable version 0.98 (version 1.0 beta 3 is available as of 22 Mar 2017), it is a compact program with several tools which would normally be expected in high-end, paid software. To date, every version released has been under 3 MB, despite the fact that it does not make full use of the windows native interface, carrying some graphical elements of its own. Although few official tutorials have been posted by the author, many other users have posted their own on sites such as YouTube and the Anim8or home page. While Anim8or was once comparable to other freeware animation software such as Blender, it has seen less progression in recent years.


MovieStorm real-time 3D animation app

  1. MovieStorm

Operating system: Windows, macOS

Description: Moviestorm is a real-time 3D animation software published by Moviestorm Ltd. The motion graphics software is available to and used by people of all age groups and appeals to those with a diverse range of backgrounds and interests, from amateur and professional filmmakers, through to businesses and education, as well as people just looking to simply tell stories or create messages to share using video. Moviestorm enables the user to create animated movies, using machinima technology. It takes the user from initial concept to finished, distributed movies. Sets and characters can be created and customized, and scenes can be filmed using multiple cameras.

Moviestorm is being used predominantly in education by students of film and media studies as a means to develop their skills and expand their portfolio, as well as a collaborative cross-curricular creative tool in education sectors from elementary to high school.

The software’s website features a Web 2.0 social media service, which includes a video hosting service, and an online community where people can talk about their created movies, find collaborators, and organize online events. Moviestorm also makes use of Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook to release the latest news on the software and to interact with both current and potential users.


Messiah Studio 3D animation and rendering application

  1. Messiah Studio

Operating system: Windows 2000 and later

Description:  Messiah Studio is a 3D animation and rendering application developed by PMG Worldwide. It runs on the Win32 and Win64 platforms. It is marketed to run on Mac OS X and Linux via Wine. Messiah’s fourth version, Messiah Studio was released in April 2009, and version 5.5b as Messiah Animate was released in November 2006. Messiah Studio6 was released in April 2013.


Hash Animation: Master 3D character animation application

  1. Hash Animation: Master

Operating system: Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X

Description: Hash Animation: Master is a 3D character animation application offered by Hash, Inc. that includes tools for modeling, rigging, animation, texturing, lighting, and rendering. Although Animation: Master was developed for and is targeted towards independent artists, with a workflow optimized to enable one artist to create a rendered animated piece from start to finish, the workflow also presents economic advantages for larger workgroups.

The software uses a proprietary spline mesh technology to perform modeling and animation, and it is different in this sense from polygon mesh or NURBS-based programs. The system used is called patch-based modeling. It uses multiple intersecting splines to create surfaces, called patches. Patches present efficiency in that one patch can describe a complex curved surface that would require many facets to approximate in flat polygons.

Aside from the typical 4-sided patches common in many spline modeling environments, Animation: Master can also create 3 and 5-sided patches that enable mesh topologies not possible in other applications.


Crazy Talk animation software

  1. Crazy Talk

Operating system: Windows XP and later OS X 10.6 and later

Description: CrazyTalk is Reallusion’s brand name for its 3D animation software. The product series includes CrazyTalk, a 3D facial animation software tool, and CrazyTalk Animator, a face, and a body 3D animation suite.

CrazyTalk, the 3D facial animation software, is a real-time animation software that enables users to make 3D animated cartoons. It is a facial animation tool that uses voice and text to vividly animate facial images. It has an auto motion engine that allows animators to use the intensity of their voice to drive their animations in real-time. As of January 2016, the CrazyTalk software is in version 8.

CrazyTalk is developed and marketed by Reallusion, a company that has a software and digital content development base in Taiwan with offices and training centers in the U.S. and Germany.

Animated Explainer Video Templates


KeyShot real-time 3D rendering software

  1. KeyShot

Operating system: Windows, OS X

Description: KeyShot is a real-time 3D rendering software. It aims to deliver results instantly, reducing the time it takes to load and create shots. KeyShot allows users to elevate visuals creating a lifelike animation. It offers features, such as CPU rendering, HDRI lighting, physical lighting, denoise, camera control, KeyShot cloud, etc.

KeyShot was introduced by Luxion, which specializes in advanced 3D rendering, animation, and lighting technology. Luxion developed KeyShot based on scientific research on material representation and global illumination.


Toontastic 3D creative storytelling software

  1. Toontastic 3D

Operating system: Windows, macOS

Description: Toontastic 3D is a creative storytelling tool available for tablets, phones, and Chromebooks. It works both for iOS and Android. Toontastic allows you to draw, animate, and narrate your own animated cartoons. You can choose from existing characters, draw your own, or add your face to characters. 

The app doesn’t require a login or password and works offline. Exporting and downloading your files is easy and free. Because of its interactive and simple interface, Toontastic has gained popularity among kids and students.


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Other Animation Software

There are also some other animation tools that we think you should know about. Check it out!

Wondershare FilmoraPro software

  1. Wondershare FilmoraPro

Operating system: Microsoft Windows (64-bit), Mac OS X 10.13 or later

Description: Wondershare FilmoraPro is a powerful and straightforward video editor for all levels from middle to advanced. Its flexible keyframing, advanced tools, smoothing effects, and motion blur will greatly help you create a high-quality animation video. And the auto color correction and audio mixer will raise up your 2D animation video to a new level. If you are looking for greater productivity, better control, and more ways to customize your animation video, FilmoraPro is the right choice.

Adobe After Effects digital application

  1. Adobe After Effects

Operating system: Microsoft Windows, macOS

Description: Adobe After Effects is a digital visual effect, motion graphics, and compositing application developed by Adobe Systems and used in the post-production process of filmmaking, video editing, and television production. Among other things, After Effects can be used for keying, tracking, compositing, and animation. It also functions as a very basic non-linear editor, audio editor, media transcoder, and is one of the best animation software for motion graphics lovers.

Pivot Animator freeware application

  1. Pivot Animator

Operating system: Windows

Description: Pivot Animator (formerly Pivot Stickfigure Animator and usually shortened to Pivot) is a freeware application that allows users to create stick-figure and sprite animations, and save them in the animated GIF format for use on web pages and the AVI format (in Pivot Animator 3 and later).

Pivot provides a simple, easy-to-use interface with a few features. It uses fixed-length ‘sticks’ to ensure size consistency during the animation.


Microsoft PowerPoint presentation program

  1. Microsoft PowerPoint

Operating system: Microsoft Windows  

Description: Microsoft PowerPoint is a presentation program currently developed by Microsoft, for use on both Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh operating systems. PowerPoint, initially named “Presenter”, was created by Forethought Inc. Microsoft’s version of PowerPoint was officially launched on May 22, 1990, as a part of the Microsoft Office suite. PowerPoint is useful for helping develop the slide-based presentation format and is currently one of the most commonly used slide-based presentation programs available. Microsoft has also released the PowerPoint mobile application for use on Apple and Android mobile operating systems.



Unity cross-platform game engine

  1. Unity

Operating system: Linux, macOS, Windows

Description: Unity is a cross-platform game engine developed by Unity Technologies, which is primarily used to develop video games and simulations for computers, consoles, and mobile devices.

Unity is marketed to be an all-purpose engine, and as a result supports both 2D and 3D graphics, drag and drop functionality, and scripting through its 3 custom languages. The engine targets the following APIs: Direct3D and Vulkan on Windows and Xbox 360; OpenGL on Mac, Linux, and Windows; OpenGL ES on Android and iOS; and proprietary APIs on video game consoles.

Unity is the default software development kit (SDK) for Nintendo’s Wii U video game console platform, with a free copy included by Nintendo with each Wii U developer license. Unity Technologies calls this bundling of a third-party SDK an “industry first”.


Stop Motion animation software

  1. Stop Motion Studio

Operating system: macOS, Windows

Description: Stop Motion Studio helps to create stop-action movies. It was created by Cateater LLC, a South Carolina-based development studio. Features include 4K Ultra HD, frame-by-frame editing, overlay mode, built-in movies gallery, and sound effects. It supports digital cameras and allows the use of a second device as a remote camera. Stop Motion Studio is available on various devices, including iPhone, iPad, macOS, as well as Android, and Windows. It has been honored with numerous awards and is one of the best software for creating stop motion animations.


Krita professional free and open source painting program

  1. Krita

Operating system: Unix-like system, Windows, OS X

Description: Krita is a professional and free animation software and a  painting program. It is made by artists that want to see affordable art tools for everyone. With Krita, you can create concept art, texture and matte paintings, illustrations, and comics.

Stykz freeware

  1. Stykz

Operating system: Linux, Windows, OS X

Description: Stykz is freeware, meaning it’s completely free to download and use to create animations that you can show off to others or import into other applications. No hidden costs, license, or permission are required to use Stykz to its fullest and this makes Stykz one of the best free animation software. If you’ve ever used Pivot StickFigure Animator, you’ll feel right at home working with Stykz. Stykz is the first multi-platform stick figure animation program in the world (as far as we know), so you’ll be able to use Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux* to create, edit and preview your animations. (*Linux is in internal beta but will be available soon.)

Adobe Character Animator software

  1. Adobe Character Animator

Operating system: Linux, Windows, OS X

Description: Adobe Character Animator is a desktop application software product that combines live motion-capture with a multi-track recording system to control layered 2D puppets drawn in Photoshop or Illustrator. It is automatically installed with Adobe After Effects since CC 2015 and is also available as a standalone application, which you can download separately and enjoy the process of creating character animation. It is used to produce both live and non-live animation.

Character Animator imports layered Photoshop & Illustrator documents into puppets that have behaviors applied to them. The puppets are then placed into a scene, which can be viewed in the Scene panel and Timeline panel. Rigging is set up in the Puppet panel, though basic rigging is fully automatic based on specific layer names like Right Eyebrow and Smile. The final output of a scene can be exported to a sequence of PNG files and a WAV file, or any video format supported by Adobe Media Encoder. Live output can be sent to other applications running on the same machine via the Syphon protocol (Mac only) or Adobe Mercury Transmit on both Mac and Windows. Scenes can also be dropped directly into After Effects and Premiere Pro, using Dynamic Link to avoid rendering.

Clip Studio Paint software

  1. Clip Studio Paint

Operating system: Windows, macOS


Clip Studio Paint is an illustration/manga/animation production software. Its high-performing rendering engine makes it possible to draw with natural and realistic brush strokes and multi-core CPU support handles high resolution and multiple layers. Since its launch in 2012, more than 3 million people worldwide have used this software.

The software is widely used in the professional field as well, including many manga artists and animation studios. Not only the software itself, but Celsys also provides various services for its users, including CLIP STUDIO ASSETS for downloading materials, and CLIP STUDIO TIPS for tutorials and drawing techniques. Currently, the software is supported in 7 different languages (Japanese, English, Traditional Chinese, Korean, French, Spanish, German). A free version is available to try on PC and iPad.

Dragonframe stop-motion animation software

  1. Dragonframe

Operating system: Windows, macOS, Linux

Description: Dragonframe is one of the best animation software for stop motion videos. It allows you to do feature-level, performance-based animation in any format. The software permits users to manipulate the camera and the scene, and then to combine the frames into a stop motion video. A 30-day free trial is available.

Dragonframe was developed by brothers Jamie and Dyami Caliri when they were working on a commercial called “The Dragon”. Later on, they formed DZED Systems LLC to develop Dragon Stop Motion for the public. Dragonframe has since been used to create Disney’s Frankenweenie, Laika’s Coraline, The Boxtrolls, and ParaNorman, as well as the holochess scene in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

As you can see, there is no one answer to which is the best animation software.  There are a lot of animation software options to choose from, depending on your needs and skills. In this extensive list, we’ve gathered some of the best animation tools you can use to start creating animations. Try these 2D and 3D animation makers and pick the one that suits you best to create the most compelling animations and explainer videos.

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