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Animation reviews by real, verified users. Find unbiased ratings on user satisfaction, features, and price based on the most reviews available anywhere.

Best Animation Software

Animation software enables users to generate moving graphics from visual files. Depending on the particular program, users can animate some variation of 2D, 3D, hand-drawn or computer generated graphics, often with the option to add music or additional effects. These programs are most commonly used by animators working on films, TV shows, and commercials, as well as graphic designers creating promotional materials and website media for various industries. Animation software platforms may integrate with drawing software, video editing software or 3D modeling software. Artists and freelancers can use the best free video editing software and free animation software together to create their video animations on a budget.

To qualify for inclusion in the Animation category, a product must:

Provide functionality for generating animated visuals from 2D and/or 3D images for use in video files
Import media files from other programs or offer built-in drawing tools
Integrate with video editing or effects software to finalize animated videos

Top 10 Animation Software

  • Unity
  • Powtoon
  • Maya
  • 3ds Max Design
  • Adobe Animate
  • Vyond
  • Cinema 4D
  • Blender
  • KeyShot
  • Harmony

Compare Animation Software

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(219)4.5 out of 5

Unity is a game development platform to created both 3D and 2D games, experiences, models and designs. Both indie games and businesses can utilize the popular platform. .

(122)4.3 out of 5

Powtoon is the leading visual communication platform that enables anyone to create professional-looking and engaging videos and presentations in minutes, without any design or technical skills. More than 30 million people, including 96% of the Fortune 500 companies, use Powtoon to engage their audience — be it for corporate training and L&D, HR, internal comms, marketing, sales, and more. Founded in 2012, Powtoon has offices in London, San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Ukraine, and the Philippines.

(149)4.3 out of 5

Bring your imagination to life with Maya® 3D animation, modeling, simulation, and rendering software. Maya helps artists tell their story with one fast, creative toolset.

(241)4.2 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$1470

3ds Max Design software is a comprehensive 3D design, modeling, animation, and rendering solution for architects, designers, civil engineers, and visualization specialists.

(64)3.9 out of 5

Official Customer Support account for Adobe

(52)4.4 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$39 per month

Vyond lets you create videos easily with our library of templates, sounds, props, and so much more. Move your audience to action. Increase engagement, retention, motivation, and conversion using rich media made simply with Vyond. Vyond is changing the way the world communicates, one video at a time.

(116)4.6 out of 5

Cinema 4D Studio is the very best that MAXON has to offer for professional 3D artists. If you want to create advanced 3D graphics but need a helping hand to ensure you create jaw-dropping graphics quickly and easily, then this is the choice for you.

(162)4.5 out of 5

Blender is an open source 3D creation suite that supports the 3D pipeline, modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing, and motion tracking, video editing, and game creation.

(148)4.5 out of 5
Optimized for quick response
Entry Level Price:$2,995

KeyShot is real-time ray-tracing and global illumination program used to create 3D renderings, animations and interactive visuals. With the CPU-based architecture, photo realistic real-time rendering can be achieved even on simple laptops without the need for special graphics cards. It supports import for the greatest number of 3D file formats out of any rendering software, importing over 20 different file types, has an incredibly simple user interface with drag-n-drop material and environment p

(22)4.7 out of 5

Used by top studios all over the world, Harmony lets you work fast and animate in any style. Harmony has all the tools you need for traditional paperless, cut-out and hybrid animation productions.

(76)3.9 out of 5

Edge Animate lets web designers create interactive HTML animations for web, digital publishing, rich media advertising and more, reaching both desktop and mobile browsers with ease.

(24)4.2 out of 5

Adobe Character Animator CC is a motion capture and animation tool that gives everyone an accessible solution for intuitive 2D character animation, live animation, and easy character sharing and publishing.

(15)4.4 out of 5

Biteable is an online video and animation maker.

(13)4.0 out of 5

Viddyoze is a web-based in-video animation software.

(47)4.3 out of 5

Animaker, Inc DIY (Do-it-Yourself), Professional Live and/or Animated videos in minutes!! Animaker, is one of the fastest growing SaaS Product companies in the content & video making space with over 7 Million users in 220 countries. Quickly, without technical expertise, create professional 4k quality videos (animated or live) for On-boarding, Marketing, Branding, Simplify Complex Concepts, etc. in minutes allowing companies to easily adapt to market changes to create competitive advantage.

(15)3.9 out of 5

3D design, engineering, and entertainment software and services.

(12)4.7 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$0

Think of GSAP as the Swiss Army Knife of animation...but better. It animates anything JavaScript can touch (CSS properties, canvas library objects, SVG, generic objects, whatever) and it solves countless browser inconsistencies, all with blazing speed (up to 20x faster than jQuery), including automatic GPU-acceleration of transforms. See the for details. Most other libraries only animate CSS properties. Plus, their sequencing abilities and runtime controls pale by

(11)4.6 out of 5
Entry Level Price:59.99 USD 1 license/year

Draw you frame-to-frame animation from scratch, or create animations upon videos, images, PSD layers. Animation Desk supports multiple import and export formats, and lets you create and share animations right on your iPad and iPhone. AWARDS - Featured in Top100 iPad Entertainment apps in 86 App Stores - Featured by Apple on iTunes Home Page - Featured by Yahoo Tech - Featured by TechCrunch - Recommended by edshelf,, All about apps in YOUR classroom, iPad Educators DRAW

(14)4.0 out of 5

Pencil2D is an animation/drawing software that allows you to create traditional hand-drawn animation using both bitmap and vector graphics.

(13)4.3 out of 5

Hype Professional is the most advanced app for creating stunning animated and interactive web content. Visual designs should use visual tools. The tweak and reload cycle is over, as is banging your head against CSS. Hype Pro’s philosophy is to make common animation tasks easy, and complex tasks possible. If you really want, you can still get your hands dirty with code. Learn more:

(11)4.0 out of 5

Principle makes it easy to design animated and interactive user interfaces. Whether you're designing the flow of a multi-screen app, or new interactions and animations, Principle helps you create designs that look and feel amazing.

(27)3.9 out of 5

LightWave 3D combines a state-of-the-art renderer with powerful, intuitive modeling, and animation tools.

(9)4.2 out of 5

Mari® is 3D painting without limits, combining the power and performance to handle even the most complex assets with artist-friendly 3D paint tools that make the most of your creativity.

(12)4.4 out of 5

Whether you're looking to create whole three di­men­sional worlds or have a two di­men­sional project in mind, Hash Animation:Master is the 3D soft­ware you need to design and render amazing imagery and animation... from the comfort of your kitchen table!

(20)3.7 out of 5

form·Z's ability to combine solid and surface modeling has made it a favorite in multiple design fields that engage in the articulation of 3D forms and spaces. Available for the Mac and Windows, it adds interoperability between the two platforms as it allows users to open their files on either one.

(12)3.7 out of 5

Cheetah3D is a powerful and easy to learn 3D modeling, rendering and animation application which was developed from the ground up for Mac OS X.

(11)4.2 out of 5

Model. Render. Animate. Online. is a full-featured cloud-based 3D modeling, animation and rendering software tool that runs in your web browser. With you can make complex 3D models, create beautiful photorealistic renderings, and share them without installing any software programs.

(8)4.8 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$ 398 USD 1 package

iClone is the fastest real-time 3D animation software in the industry, helping you easily produce professional animations for films, previz, animation, video games, content development, education and art. Integrated with the latest real-time technologies, iClone 7 simplifies the world of 3D Animation in a user-friendly production environment that blends character animation, scene design and cinematic storytelling; quickly turning your vision into a reality.

(4)5.0 out of 5

CreateStudio is a desktop video animation software, designed to give creators the freedom to create, with ease of use & full flexibility.

(4)4.8 out of 5

HUE Animation is a stop motion animation software for Windows and Mac OS X.

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High Performers
Cinema 4D
3ds Max Design
Adobe Edge Animate
Adobe Animate
LightWave 3D
Tumult Hype
Adobe Character Animator
Animation Desk
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Learn More About Animation Software

What is Animation Software?

Whether you’re an aspiring cartoonist or just want to make captivating visual content for your brand, the animation programs featured in this category can help. Animation software does require a certain level of skill to create animations with even the most user-friendly interface—you should not expect these applications to take your animated movies from concept to completion. If you have a graphic designer, visual artist, or seasoned animator on your team you are already ahead of the curve. But even without one, if you follow tutorials and dedicate the time, these tools can help you animate characters and produce motion graphics you never thought possible.

You’ve likely seen animated videos or movies that utilized one of the tools featured here. Some are more advanced than others, which can be reflected in the price, branding, or standard features. As with other software categories, your animation maker may offer new effects or capabilities based on your financial investment. For a basic animation video, though, the standard version included with most of these solutions should provide the requisite features to create quality content. There are even a number of free animation tools that can help you create animated projects with zero financial commitment, except for the labor involved.

Why Use Animation Software?

Animated material may seem like a niche business focus, and until recently it was much less common across many industries. But if you’ve seen an explainer video or whiteboard animation on a random company’s website, it could explain this software’s rising demand. Hand-drawn animation or computer-animated cartoons are no longer just for movies and television shows. An informative video with animation effects is now a valuable asset for promoting brands and spreading awareness of products or services. This content allows you to explain complex processes or mission statements with colorful special effects, and is readily shareable on social networks and popular video hosting platforms. Animated images are a distinctly modern form of marketing collateral and customer engagement that are fun for both the creators and the viewers.

Of course, once you or someone on your team masters an animation tool, these skills can be used to animate characters and stories for pure entertainment. Animation has never been more popular of a medium among children and adults alike. Your future studio can begin at your work desk, bringing motion to your brand’s drawings and ideas for the benefit of educating and inspiring business decisions from a larger audience.

Who Uses Animation Software?

The fruit of animation platforms, from “onion skinning" 2D models to beautiful whiteboard animation videos, can be alluring to just about anyone within your organization. Thanks to some of the best free animation software, there’s nothing stopping your CEO or your sales team from getting involved with character animation or wanting to create some basic layers of cartoon effects. With that being said, there are certain individuals or departments who are a more natural use case for digital animation studios.

Content – The creativity engine in your organization not only has the most obvious benefits from visual effects such as animation, but likely employs individuals with a head start on graphic design or art-minded interests. If you have a blog or an online video channel, or you just desire an interactive, eye-catching website, your content team can supplement your output by working with an animation software solution. There is overwhelming evidence that content is more effective with a visual element—as much as 650 percent more effective1. Animated visuals can open new doors for your content team and take your branded content to an entirely new level of quality.

Marketing – Depending on the structure of your organization, marketing efforts may be closely tied to other content initiatives. In any case, marketing with help from animation software is powerful, memorable way to reach both previous customers and future ones. This can come in the form of shareable videos in your promotional materials, sprinkled throughout your website, or digital advertising campaigns with a notable element of animation. Consider how you would respond to animated marketing as opposed to more traditional content, and the potential benefits could become obvious.

Product – The focus of your product team hinges on a number of factors related to your company’s overall mission and structure. Between user experience and tutorials and general website or application content, visual and design efforts may already be a daily concern in this department’s frame of mind. Integrating animation into the product team’s arsenal can be an injection of creativity and possibilities toward the long list of projects on their plate.

Production studios – Creative agencies, such as video production companies and graphic design services providers, have a revolving door of projects that can require or directly benefit from publishing tools such as these. For a successful company in this vein, it is beneficial to at least have the option and knowledge of animation in the event a certain situation calls for it, or the perfect opportunity arises for an animated component. Video game development is a direct relative of animation; companies are prone to hire designers and developers well-versed in this branch of video software. Finally, film production companies will increasingly go beyond standard filming and video editing in their expertise; animated films and television shows are more popular than ever and owe much of their success to the evolution and availability of animation platforms like the ones featured in this category.

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