Animation software turns a soulless image or set of images into a linked story. This has a beneficial effect on audience involvement. After all, everyone loves cartoons, both children and adults. But to master the professional software level, you will need the talent of an artist and several years of training.
Do not rush to despair! To create an inexpensive short video, animate a banner or button, you don’t have to devote half your life to the animation. It is enough to choose the right software. Moreover, there is a huge number of stop-motion apps for the creation of cool videos.
And maybe you will discover the talent of a serious motion designer… So, simple commercial or personal tasks on animation are solved with the help programs designed for computers and some for mobile phones.
Best animation programs
Stop Motion Studio
The ideal choice for the absolute beginner in video production. The program is easy to learn, even a child will understand. With its help, you can create funny clips in the style of stop-motion when the animation and movement of objects are built from sequential frames. You can use it both on your computer and on your phone or tablet. It can create videos not only from photos but also from drawings.
- Intuitive interface with a large number of features.
- You can make videos in Ultra HD 4K.
- Manually or automatically control focus, exposure, ISO and white balance.
- Ability to connect a second camera as a remote device.
- Friendly with SLR cameras.
- Supports Onion Skinning.
- It can add music and visual effects.
Cartoon Animator 4
The animation software is suitable for both beginners and experienced animators. To begin with, choose a 2D character from a huge library, customize it at your discretion. Then, in the editor, you can bring your character to life by selecting from numerous motion patterns. In addition to the simplest animation “mangoes, runs, jumps, waving”, you control his facial expressions, lip movements, etc. There is a great number of points and trajectories of movement.
Perhaps this is the best tool for a beginner to feel like a professional animator.
It’s more than cool:
- A huge library of ready-made characters and motion patterns.
- Limbs of the character are elastic. They can be bent at any point and from any angle.
- You can quickly flip a PSD-image into a character template.
- You can control the muscles of the face and lips of the character, creating emotions or a conversation effect.
- Friendly with SLR cameras.
- Supports most video and static image formats.
Moho Anime Studio Debut
When Moho Anime Studio Debut entered the market, it was positioned as a revolutionary program. Thanks to it, even children can create cool animation. A symbiosis of advanced functionality and a simple, intuitive interface. And in general, the developers have kept their promise.
In Moho Anime Studio Debut everything is fine, except the price. Giving $100 to try an animation program is a rather expensive hobby. The advanced version of Anime Studio Debut will cost more
But just look at this luxurious functionality:
- Support for graphics tablets.
- The character’s extremities are elastic. Just like in the previous program, you can bend them at any point and from any angle.
- Plenty of trajectories of movement and bending of limbs.
- Animated effects for layers and shapes.
- A set of tools and functions is almost as good as professional programs.
The winner in the “simple and tasteful” category. This program gives you an idea of how 2D animation was created in the days of Walt Disney. The interface is reminiscent of classic Paint. The only difference is that the painted images can be “brought to life”. A godsend for those who love hand-drawn cartoon animation from childhood.
- Draw directly in the program or scan your drawing by hand and make it move.
- Supports Lip sync (the character opens his mouth to the text or song).
- It allows you to work on multiple frames at once.
- Optional features can be plugged in and out for a fee.
- Available for Mac and iOS.
- It can be used free of charge when not disturbed by watermarks.
Toon Boom Harmony
Canadian animation program for hardcore professionals. One of the most powerful software in the collection. Formally – for amateurs, in fact – not inferior to professional programs. It was used to create the cult Space Jam cartoon. The one where Michael Jordan plays basketball with the characters of the animated series Merry melodies. Toon Boom Harmony is a favorite for animators from Disney, Warner Bros, and smaller studios.
The program has powerful functionality. It can take up to several hours to process just one frame, but the result is worth it. It allows you to create any type of animation – from classic hand-drawn to a combination of 2D and 3D. Everything you need to create animations at a nice price.
- Works on Windows and MacOS.
- Advanced technology for creating raster and vector images.
- A wide range of tools for managing textures and colors.
- Multiple cameras angles to control the composition.
- Compatible with all formats and programs including PDF and Illustrator.
- Images are easily exported to game engines.
Open Source program for creating 3D animations with a wide range of tools. Suitable for animators, game creators, creators of models and renderings. Perhaps Blender’s possibilities will seem limited to professionals, but novice animators will definitely like it.
- Available on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
- Is free!
- Advanced modeling, sculpting and UV tools.
- You can watch the preview of your project in real-time.
- You can draw in 2D in a 3D window.
Free open-source program for creating 2D animation. Experts love to call Synfig a free alternative to Adobe Flash. The functionality of the program is enough to make full-fledged children’s cartoons.
Here you have both “bone” animation, and the ability to distill a bitmap image into a vector one, and 50+ filters and effects. It will be difficult for you to immediately understand the functionality, but on the site, there is a free training course. Of the minuses – not very convenient mechanics of exporting video. And the program is demanding on RAM.
- Is free.
- Powered by Windows, Mac OSX and Linux.
- Constantly updated and improved.
These programs, services, and applications for creating animation should be enough to try your hand and understand how this activity suits you.
Practice every day, watch training videos and soon you will be able to create the simplest animation at the Amateur level.