10 of the best animation software apps for beginners in 2023
You can be more creative with animated videos and connect with your audience in new ways. They’ve become omnipresent — it’s hard not to coincidentally find them. However, animation software packages make it difficult for developers to think outside the box.
These animation apps are unquestionably powerful. Even though there are free, open-source alternatives, their prices are higher. Start by considering how much time you want to spend learning about the animation software app you want to use for your project.
The learning curve can be simple or take a long time to master. In addition to revving up your creative juices for a different kind of work, you will need to learn how the software works. The most difficult part of learning a new program for many users is getting started, so animation software applications with simple user interfaces may be worth the cost.
A quick note regarding website animations: Use the animation section of our accessibility checklist to ensure that your website is accessible to everyone.
1.Cinema 4D is a powerful, well-built 3D animation software with a lot of tools for making a wide range of professional projects. This simple platform makes it easy for beginners to get started. With tutorials and weekly webinars to help users explore the many options, customer support is outstanding.
The number of features included in Cinema 4D is staggering, particularly the integrated Adobe integration. To run this program, you need a powerful computer with enough RAM and other hardware. Procedural modeling, realistic artificial reality games, and motion graphics are all possible. As you might anticipate, this software costs $59.91 per month, payable annually.
2. Adobe Animate Adobe Animate is more user-friendly than other software packages because it focuses on the 2D side of things. Its feature set is more useful to marketers who want to make infographics and ads that are compelling. Frame-by-frame animations can be used to bring games and animated GIFs to life. SVG and HTML5 Canvas are two of the many export options available in Animate. It additionally upholds television and portable applications.
Being able to edit with or without using code is another great feature that makes it easy for beginners to use. Adobe Animate is available as part of the Creative Cloud subscription or on its own. You can start using the program right away with the free trial to see if it’s right for you and your skills. If business owners want to get into animation, it is a good investment.
3. Adobe After Effects is the company’s solution for making 3D animations and editing videos. It is without a doubt a potent program. It is capable of both basic operations like rotating text and comprehensive post-production editing. Although the interface is easy to use, it takes some time to learn how to use all of its features. Plugins for specialized tasks can also be installed, but they cost money.
You can subscribe to Adobe After Effects or all of the Creative Cloud apps, and it works well with the company’s suite of software and some third-party programs, like Cinema 4D. More robust features will be available to those who subscribe to Creative Cloud. Sadly, that could cost too much for individuals and small businesses.
4. LottieFiles LottieFiles makes motion design easier and lets you make scalable animations for websites and pitch decks. Additionally, you can select from over 50,000 free animations directly within the Designer thanks to the integration with Webflow Lottie.
This app lets you make your own animations and set up triggers that make your designs come to life when someone clicks, scrolls, or hovers over them.
Because they are much smaller than gifs, lotties are great for web design because they won’t slow down page load speeds. In addition, you can keep your designs responsive regardless of screen size because they are infinitely scalable.
5. SideFX (Houdini) SideFX (Houdini) is a great option for advanced production, such as film, virtual reality, and motion graphics. In fact, it was used by professional animators when Frozen was made. SideFX, like other similar animation software, has a steep learning curve. Fortunately, there are plenty of tutorials available to get you over the hump. It is easier to use because it has many automated functions.
The strength of Houdini is its node-based workflow, which makes it simple to create actions that can be reused and rearranged. Nevertheless, it is computer software. A background in coding is helpful but not necessary. The benefits of creating visual effects and rendering capabilities of film-quality will be yours if you learn it. The organization offers six membership levels, including a free choice for specialists.
6. Blender You can do a lot with this 3D animation tool, despite the fact that it is free software. Visual effects, digital sculpting, video editing, and motion tracking are among its features. Although there are tutorials available, you might only find enough for some tasks. However, it has a thriving community and frequently releases software updates that continuously boost performance. Also, the documentation is done well.
Blender is easy to use because it can work with a wide variety of graphic formats. If you want to advance your skills, it also has a built-in 3D game engine. It has also been utilized by the film industry, just like Houdini. Although mastering the program will take time, attempting it will not cost you anything. It gives you everything you need to create, including postproduction, modeling, and simulations.
7. Pencil2D Pencil2D is yet another open-source, free application for beginning 2D animation. It is compatible with vector and raster workflows, allowing for maximum adaptability. Especially when you consider that it doesn’t cost anything, it has a decent set of features. Pixel tracker, sound scrubbing, and movie import are among the best features. Its active community also provides a lot of support.
The value of Pencil2D lies in its intuitive design and easy-to-use interface. As a result, it is an excellent option for novices seeking a straightforward application. A dedicated group of contributors to the software continually enhances it and adds new features. The one disadvantage is continuous security convention issues with the working frameworks themselves that they’ll ideally settle soon.
8. Animaker Animaker’s subscription-based web-based model sets it apart from the other animation software applications we’ve reviewed. Creating animated GIFs and videos with an HTML5 engine is its primary use. If you don’t want to or can’t download software to your computer, that’s a great option. With templates, auto lip-sync, and a library of facial expressions, the app makes it simple for beginners.
It goes on and on. In addition, you can make high-quality videos using the site’s extensive image library, which includes music and sound effects. You could do voiceovers with your decision of voice. Animaker has five pricing tiers, the cheapest of which includes five free downloads. Watermarks are unfortunately included in the limit of five downloads. However, it is a great way to test out Animaker without having to provide any cash or credit card information.
9. Another computer-based, open-source, and free 2D animation software is OpenToonz. It has a decent set of features, including both more recent and more traditional integrations. However, the interface is out of date and difficult to use. It’s hard to learn because there aren’t any tutorials or support options. Fortunately, YouTube provides assistance from other users.
OpenToonz is a good choice for basic tasks, but you might have trouble finding the tools you need because they are hidden. It’s a strong device for conceptualizing and drafting 2D movement prior to sending off your work into 3D. While it may not be the most ideal device that anyone could hope to find because of its dated, unintuitive point of interaction, you can’t beat the cost.
10. Autodesk 3D Animation (Maya) is widely regarded as the industry standard by many. After all, what else is there to say about a company that also developed AutoCAD? Disney uses it as their preferred software. I’ll stop here. Autodesk Maya is a full 3D production suite that can be customized with scripts and plugins to make it easier to use.
The advancement of Autodesk Maya is designed for the expert area. Due to its high cost, it is out of reach for small businesses. However, if you enjoy using this software, the company offers three-year licenses, which can save you money. It is undeniably powerful and capable of producing a wide range of animations. However, it fails to provide essential features like a larger viewport.