Animation is really popular these days. It is an illusion of motion created through a series of images. But you already knew that. What you probably didn’t know is that getting started with animation is not as hard as you might think. There is numerous software made to help you create cool animations. Some are more complex than others, but there are plenty made for beginners.
An animation software lets you create motion on a frame-by-frame basis, and each frame represents a single image. Then, the frames are strung together and can be viewed as a movie. In this review, we will list the top 7 animation software for beginners that you can get started with. We will mention both free and premium software to help you find the best one for you.
1. Vidtoon 2
Vidtoon 2 is an animation software that can aid you in creating sophisticated animated videos. You get access to 40 characters for your videos, along with 200 royalty-free music tracks and 150 HD backgrounds that let you set the scene for your video. You can even add your own backgrounds and choose how long you want the background and the scene to stay on for.
You can make your characters talk, dance, read, jump, drive cars, and lots of cool actions and movements and change their dimensions.
You also get unlimited access to GIFs, icons, and stock images that you can add to your video. After it’s done, a video can be easily exported and published in FHD. You can also record and import audio or record directly inside the software. Another great thing about this software is that the purchase grants you lifetime access, unlike most other software that you pay a monthly fee for. You can get Vidtoon 2 for only $49.
2. Cartoon Animator 4
Cartoon Animator 4 is a software suitable for all users, beginners included. With this, you can create 2D custom characters, choose them from a large database, or import them. Other features include a bone rigging tool, audio lip-syncing, facial detection, tools for creating talking heads, and many motion templates. There’s even an option to add life and motion to props and use light and shades to add effect layers.
You can get a free trial if you want to try it out before making the final decision.
3. Stop Motion Studio
Stop Motion Studio is a stop-motion animation software also suitable for beginners. You can create 4k stop-motion animations that can be mixed with 2D style drawings painted on the picture. It can be installed on iPhone, iPad, macOS, Android, and Windows. Features include the ability to control your camera settings, such as focus, exposure, ISO, and white balance.
You can capture the images in 4K and use a second device as a remote camera for a different perspective.
You can cut, copy, and insert frames at any position, zoom in and out of the timeline view. It also includes features like; add audio clips and sounds, titles, credits, and filters. Basically, everything is up to you. There are even grid and onion skin control options that help you position your animated objects precisely in the frame.
The software has different pricing options depending on your chosen device, so check these out before you buy a plan.
4. Adobe Character Animator
Adobe Character Animator is a very powerful tool that lets you animate cartoon characters. It’s simple to use, as well. You just plug in your mic and cam, import a character (called a puppet), and the program will detect facial expressions to animate the character’s face. You use triggers to make your character move (walk, dance, run) and make gestures.
Other features include automatic lip-syncing, live streaming and real-time animation, in-app template puppets, snapshots, replays, and many more functions.
This might seem like complex software, but it comes with many supporting documents and tutorials that will make it easy to use. You will just have to spend some time learning how everything works. To get this software, you will need to pay $52.99 monthly, making it a bit pricy, but it does come with many great features.
5. Toon Boom Animation
Toon Boom Animation is a professional software for animation used by beginners and experienced animators alike. With the help of this tool, you’ll be able to create any type of animation (traditional drawn, flash-style cut-out, 2D and 3D combinations, and more).
Plus, it’s compatible with both Windows and macOS. It has some pretty advanced features, such as vector/bitmap drawing technology, advanced palettes, and painting tools, integrating 3D and 2D elements, and you can integrate with other software and export to game engines. It also comes with tools for paperless animations, multiplane layers and camera, and a simple timeline cut-out.
There are 3 plans you can choose from, and for the basic one, you pay $17 monthly (billed annually), going up to $78 monthly (billed annually) for the premium plan.
Blender is an open-source 3D creation software that is completely free to use. You can create animations, video games, renders, models, and other 3D-based projects. It is available on Windows, macOS, and Linux. It has tools for advanced modeling and sculpting, along with different animation tools and powerful visual effects. There are also features for full animation support that includes onion skinning, layers, colors for the stroke and fills, and sculpt brush strokes.
You can also preview your work in real-time. Lastly, it has a flexible interface that you can adjust. You can adjust the colors and layouts and create your own tools and add-ons.
7. Synfig Studio
Synfig Studio is another open-source animation software. You have full control vector editing tools for automatic frame calculations, various layer types, and control over your characters. The best feature is its easy-to-use controls. You do not create frame-by-frame animation but real-time animations. This software is based on vectors and allows you full control over editing your vector artwork. There is also a full-features bone system and vector tweening to transform one vector shape into another.