The Best Animation Software Free For Beginners And Professionals

Looking for the best animation software free? Video is a very powerful marketing tool as more than 85% of internet users watch videos at least once a month. In fact, people now read less text because they are comfortable watching more videos.

That is where the best animation software free comes in. research shown people are more attracted to videos and 54% of people think brands should put more video content out there.

Unfortunately, it is not always easy to put videos out there. Whether you are running low on ideas or you are camera shy or you simply don’t have the right equipment or budget to make quality videos, this list of the best animation software free can be your savior.

Benefits Of Video Marketing

From traditional television to YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook Live and even Snapchat, it is no secrete that video has become a staple of our everyday lives. Video is the best way to reach your audience if you really want to scale your business.

Recently, research showed that online video is 600% more effective than direct mail and print combined. The research further stated that:

  • Over 75 million people in the US watch online videos everyday
  • Nearly 50% of all video is watched on a mobile device
  • Merely mentioning ‘video’ in an email subject line increase click-through rate by 13%
  • Videos up to 2 minutes long get most engagement

Here are the benefits of video marketing and why you should start creating videos:

  1. Video boosts conversion and sales
  2. Video shows great ROI
  3. Video builds trust
  4. Google loves videos
  5. Video appeals to mobile users
  6. Video marketing can explain everything
  7. Video engages even the laziest buyers
  8. Video encourages social shares
  9. Video ads work wonders
  10. Video increases an email click-through rate

The benefits of video marketing are many and you can also start tapping into these benefits using the best animation software free.

The Best Animation Software Free

  1. Animaker
  2. Blender
  3. KeyShot
  4. K-3D
  5. Pencil2D Animation
  6. OpenToonz
  7. PowToon
  8. Plastic Animation Paper
  9. Synfig
  10. Stykz
  11. Toontastic 3D
  12. Moovly
  13. Krita
  14. Clara.io
  15. DAZ Studio
  16. Crazy talk
  17. Maxon
  18. Mari
  19. iClone
  20. Unity
  21. Mixamo
  22. Houdini
  23. Planetside
  24. Muvizu
the best animation software free

1. Animaker

Animaker is a web browser-based animation platform. It is a free animation software for beginners because it offers easy drag-and-drop functionality alongside an intuitive interface. With Animaker, you can make six types of videos including:

  • 2D
  • 2.5D
  • Whiteboard
  • Infographics
  • Typography
  • Handcraft

This software supports full HD, provides both vertical and horizontal video layouts, and pre-made graphics you can choose from. With Animaker, you can create fun-filled animated videos in no time.

It also offers audio features including text-to-speech, option to add sound effects and background music, and voiceover. You can upload your music or choose from Animaker’s library of sound.

Of course, it has a pro version you can pay for to get the advanced features including transition effects, in-app camera, curves, multimove and enter/exit effects.

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Blender Software Reviews 2020 – Is Blender Download Free?

2. Blender

Blender is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. It is one of the best open-source software that offers a lot of features for free. You don’t have to pay a cent for this software because it is completely free.

If you are a pro editor or creator, Blender is the right animation software for you. This free 3D animation tool supports modeling, rigging, animation, compositing, rendering, video editing, motion tracking and 2D animations pipeline.

Blender offers a lot and you can read more about it here. But it has a learning curve if you are not a professional. It is easy and fun to learn.

3. KeyShot

KeyShot is a user-friendly and fast 3D rendering software that is capable of animation. It allows you to go from a simple model to a stunning visual in a few minutes. The software is completely free and you can use it for free as long as you want.

As one of the best animation software free, it features animation and 3D rendering, including:

  • 2D and 3D animation
  • Camera control that allows users to stimulate real-world camera behavior
  • Focused caustics to ensure your objects are properly lighted
  • HDRI lighting that allows users to light and adjust scene as needed
  • Dynamic texture mapping that stimulates the real-world appearance of a landscape
  • And much more
the best animation software free

4. K-3D

K-3D is one of the best animation software free. It specializes in polygonal modeling, which is an approach to digital graphics that approximates object surfaces using polygons. It is designed for artists and the software combines plugins with a visualization pipeline architecture. The software adapts to the feel and look of tools you integrate it with.

To get started, you can watch tutorials, showing you how to master features such as shadows, symmetric modeling and texturing. While most programs offer only undo feature, K-3D offers easy to undo/redo functionality to help you fix mistakes quickly.

With parametric and procedural workflows, you can make adjustments and see the change immediately. A node-based visualization pipeline means you can create connections and combinations for different elements within the video. It allows you to work on the side of your object and mirror the other side.

If you are creative, this is the right tool for you.

#5. Pencil2D Animation

Available on Windows, Mac and Linux, Pencil2D Animation is a simple animation software that is free for creating hand-drawn 2D videos. It is an open-source software that offers both free and commercial use features and you can use it to create fun videos and videos to promote products.

Its interface is simple and you can watch a lot of tutorials on the forums and websites for free to get familiar with how to use it. Some of its features include:

  • Audio and image import
  • Frame rate adjustment
  • Switching between vector and raster workflows to allow you sketch, paint and ink
  • Onion skinning
  • Adding distortion and lighting effects
  • Pressure sensitivity
  • Toolbar customizations
  • Pressure sensitivity
  • Multiple export formats
the best animation software free

6. OpenToonz

Available for Windows, Mac and Linux, OpenToonz is one of the best animation software free. It is a 2D animation software and as open-source software, it is completely free. You can create marketing videos with it without any hassle.

The software is loaded with features including:

  • Digital drawing tools such as vector and bitmap drawing tools
  • Scripting
  • Motion tracking
  • Effects and compositing
  • Indexed color platelets
  • Scan and cleanup
  • Motion tweening
  • Frame-by-frame animation
  • Particle systems
  • Bones character animation

If you want to make advanced animations, this software is the best and of course, it is free.

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powtoon

7. PowToon

PowToon is a web-based free animation software created for making short videos and presentations. You can upload your content or use PowToon royalty-free content. With PowToon, you can customize existing templates to fit your needs.

This software offers you both a free plan and a paid plan. Here are some of its features:

  • Access to PowToon content library
  • Standard video resolution
  • Ability to create videos up to 3 minutes long
  • Choice of aspect ratio and sizes
  • Export directly to Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo and more.
plastic animation paper pap

8. Plastic Animation Paper

Plastic Animation Paper is available on Mac, Windows and Linux. It is a free animation software that is completely free to use. With this software, you can create hand-drawn 2D animations. It is easy for beginners to understand this software and become familiar with it.

If you are looking for basic animation videos, this tool comes handy. Here are some of the Plastic Animation Paper features:

  • Large and small format frames
  • Layers and lasso
  • Advanced and customizable onion skinning
  • Real-time, smooth zoom and rotation, plus multiple options for flipping
  • Coloring and painting
  • High-quality lines and stabilization
  • Real-time frame reference on a second monitor for quick editing.

After creating your animation video, you can export in .mp4, .png and .mov or .svg frame stacks.

synfig

9. Synfig

Synfig is an open-source 2D software that is free for Windows, macOS and Linux users. While the software provides you with both technical and advanced features, it also offers a big library of video courses and documentation in multiple languages.

The platform is improving every day and users can download the stable option or choose a new development version.

With Synfig, you get features, including:

  • Layer and filtering
  • Vector tweening
  • Bone system for complex editing of bitmap images
  • Lots of advanced technical features for professional animators
stykz

10. Stykz

Stykz is one of the easiest and best animation software free that can be used by anyone. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux and you can create basic 2D stick figure animation videos in it.

The software is frame-based, which means you can work on one frame at a time. It makes use of onionskin to help you see the previous frame and how it flows together with the current frame. You can also make your editing within the stage in the same window. So no toggling between views is needed.

Editing objects is easy and you can fill shapes and import your stick figures without hassle. Your project will autosave as you go, so you will never lose your work even if there is an itch with your system.

11. Toontastic 3D

Owned by Google, Toontastic 3D is created for kids, but brands are also using it to make high-quality animated 3D videos. It is perfect for storytelling and available for iOS and Android.

You can create your own characters from scratch or based on an uploaded image. After creating your character(s), you can start inserting them into your story. Plan your storyline, animate it, add narration to it and add background music, and then export it to share anywhere you like.

The software also has pre-made scenes you can choose from. You can also work on it offline.

12. Moovly

Moovly is a cool online software for creating animated videos for different purposes – explainer videos, advertising, presentations, whiteboard videos, social media and more. The tool is perfect for both beginners and professionals, as well as small and big businesses.

Moovly is easy to use as it provides a library of templates, images, audio files and video to choose from. Here is some of its features:

Features

  • User-friendly drag and drop interface
  • A library of templates, sound files, video clips and images
  • Easily upload your own media
  • Download and sharing options
  • Free

If you want to take it a step forward, this software also has a Pro version billed at $24.92 per month (billed annually). It also has an Enterprise option with customized pricing.

the best animation software free

13. Krita

Available for Windows, Mac and Linux, Krita is another great and one of the best animation software free for artists, new and veteran alike. The software has an intuitive user interface made for digital artists. It is formally known to be a digital painting software similar to Paint.net and Photoshop.

Thankfully, Krita now supports animation via frame-by-frame raster animation and onion-skinning animation. Krita also has a drawing tablet and touch screen support.

This animation software has a strong open-source community that carries lots of resources to get you going, from downloadable content such as texture and brush presets packs to video tutorials, Japanese animation templates and documentation on vector graphics.

Krita also has a programming feature involving scripting using the popular programming language Python. The animation software is available for free across all platforms. It is an excellent painting software that is easier to get into than Photoshop.

14. Clara.io

Clara.io is a cloud-based animation software that works perfectly with all browsers. With it, you don’t need any plugins. It provides you with a great combination of basic stick-figure animation and polygonal modeling.

Clara.io gives you a great range of mesh instruments you can use. It also provides you with features such as sub-object editing, modeling features such as subdivision surfaces and lots of realistic-looking materials that can be easily tweaked with some adjustable lighting.

It is a software with a simple and clean interface and provides you with a strong community with over 80,000 members where you can ask any question or share your work.

15. DAZ Studio

Available on Windows and Mac, DAZ Studio is a free animation software that can be used to pose, render and animate 3D figures. The process is simple; register, download the software and start making videos.

DAZ Studio is user-friendly as it provides you with a super-fast design engine and an enormous library of materials that can be used to whip up high-quality animation. This allows you to cover lots of info in just a little time. The software is perfect fr both beginners and professionals.

16. Crazy Talk

CrazyTalk animation software is a tool that uses text and voice to animate facial images. The 3D software for Windows, Mac and Linux lets you use the intensity of your voice to drive real-time animation. This animation software provides you with 3D editing with expression templates, muscle control and modify sliders.

Some of its features include:

  • Ability to transform a photo into real-time 3D heads.
  • You can dress up and customize designs of accessories
  • It provides timeline editing with individual part control and motion clips
  • It lets you control selected parts and fine tune facial behaviors
  • You can synthesize 3D head by using both front and side photos for accurate looks
  • CrazyTalk supports major image formats and video file formats up to 4k.

17. Maxon

Maxon is a great 3D modeling, motion, and rendering software capable of animating, texturing and lighting. This software helps you to work on 3D graphics and animation.

Here are some of the features of Maxon:

  • Helps you to create abstract and realistic models.
  • With Maxon, you can create high-quality product visualization using customizable models.
  • This software provides you with procedural objects and shaders make, which makes it easier to refine your idea.
  • It lets you choose fonts quickly from the drop-down menu showing preview.

18. Mari

Mari is another great 3D painting tool that allows you to add texture to any object. It provides over hundred HD textures. It has Python API to automate workflows and studios.

Here are some features of Mary animation software:

  • Supports UDIM workflows
  • Allows you to manage color transforms
  • You can easily make adjustments and changes to your paint before you start working on a photo
  • Mari supports Ptex format to UV based texture
  • You can mix paint with the adjustment layer to build shader
  • It lets artists import and convert set of texture into a Mari material.

19. iClone

iClone is one of the best tools for creating real-time 3D animation. It helps you to produce animation for video games, films, content development, education, etc. The software is capable of creating realistic and stylized animation without any hassle. If you are looking for a great animation software, iClone is one of the best

Here are the features that makes iClone thick:

  • It allows you to assign and manage materials via a clean, simplified interface to control textures.
  • iClone provides you with drag and drop facilities to light your interior and exterior scene.
  • It offers a tool for the face and body to animate any character instantly.
  • iClone can be extended by using Python API
  • The software offers ready to animate characters, motions and accessories.
  • With iClone, you can turn a normal 3D scene into a photo-realistic world.

20. Unity

Unity is a fully integrated development game engine with the ability to create games and other interactive 3D content. The software helps you to assemble art and assets into environment and scene.

Here are some of the features of Unity:

  • Unity can be used for 2D and 3D development
  • It is excellent on Windows, Mac and Linux
  • Allows you to collaborate with other people on a project.
  • Unity editor can be extended with numerous other tools to match your team’s workflow
  • It helps to create user interfaces intuitively and fast.

21. Mixamo

Mixamo is another great tool that lets artists and developers customize and create 3D character animation. With a collection of high-quality and ready-to-use 3D characters, this software is one of the best animation software free.

Here are some of Mixamo features that make people love it:

  • Mixamo can automatically set custom characters according to a full human skeleton
  • It lets you download animations in multiple forms
  • With it, readymade characters can be transferred into your own characters.
  • It is free

22. Houdini

Houdini is a 3D animation software application that helps artists to work freely, create multiple iterations and share workflows with colleagues. The software offers a grooming tool to create quick curves.

Here are some of the features of Houdini:

  • It is a tool that can be used to create complex models such as cityscapes and environments
  • Houdini provides you with a better way of building, sculpting and rendering cloud formations
  • It offers a wide variety of polygons, subdivision surface modeling tools
  • It offers a range of third-party rendering applications such as OctaneRender, RenderMan and Redshift

23. Planetside

Planetside is a great 3D animation solution for building, rendering and animating realistic natural environments. The tool lets you fine-tune your scene easily and quickly. In fact, you can use Planetside to give visual effects in movie.

Here are some of the features of Planetside that make it the best animation software free:

  • Allows you to design cloud with realistic shading
  • Provides realistic ozone simulation
  • Planetside contains all animation-oriented tools for making better animation.
  • It enables you to add lens effects in the image
  • It has shaders to add shaders to add shades to your images.

24. Muvizu

Muvizu is a fantastic software application that allows you to make 3D animated movies on your desktop. The software provides a better way to describe your story using animation. You can drag and drop customizable characters and sets to make animation videos.

Here are a few features of Muvizu:

  • You can easily customize character types.
  • It provides virtual lights
  • Muvizu automatically syncs lipsing to the character
  • It lets you color any character with texture
  • It helps in creating high-quality 3D animation without any hassle
  • It provides special effects.

Those are the best animation software free. But you might want to step it up a bit with premium video software that is why we have created the list of premium video software below.

the best animation software free

The Best Premium Animation Software

If you are already a professional animator, you might want to try these premium animation software:

1. Adobe Character Animator

Adobe Character Animator uses your movement and expression to animate characters in real-time. The software is so fast that you can Livestream while working, to wow your audience every step of the way. With it, you can turn any art into an animated character with your webcam, powered by Adobe Sensei AI.

You can import art from Photoshop and Illustrator, or start with built-in character templates. It is also easy to control gestures like waving with your MIDI device or keyboard. Movements can be saved as buttons, so they are easier to remember than key commands.

2. Adobe Animate

Adobe Animate is a software to design interactive animation for the web, TV shows and games. With it, you can easily bring banner and cartoon ads to life. Create animated avatars and doodles, and add action to eLearning content and infographics.

With Adobe Animate, you can quickly publish your work to multiple platforms in just about any format and reach viewers on any screen, be it small or big screen. Reach your audience on TV, mobile and desktop by exporting your animations to multiple platforms such as HTML5 Canvas, Flash/Adobe AIR, WebGL and custom platforms such as SVG.

Adobe Animate lets you include code right inside your projects and add actions without having to code.

3. Autodesk Sketchbook

Autodesk Sketchbook allows you to bring your creative ideas to life. From quick conceptual sketches to fully finished artwork, sketching is at the heart of the creative process. When the great idea strikes, access to a fast and powerful creative sketching tool is an invaluable part of any creative process.

If you love to bring to life your creative idea, Autodesk Sketchbook is the best animation software for you.

4. ToonBoom Harmony

When it comes to digital production, ToonBoom Harmony is the industry standard by which all 2D animation software is judged. ToonBoom Harmony is the most creative, yet efficient animation software ever created, which is why it is the industry standard.

The software is used by thousands of individuals and studios worldwide, so if you are looking for the best 2D animation software to create engaging videos, ToonBoom Harmony is your best bet.

5. Animaker

Animaker is a creative platform for beginners, non-designers and professionals to create animation and live-action videos for every moment of life. It has helped more than 5 million people to create awesome videos by themselves. The good thing is that it is trusted by some of the world’s leading brands.

If the world’s leading brands are using it, why don’t you try it too?

6. CelAction 2D

CelAction 2D is a professional animation software for commercials, TV series and films. It is the software of choice for lots of animators out there and it represents the state-of-the-art in high-quality, high volume production.

Using vector and/or bitmaps, you can easily rig character models into skeleton so that animation can be changed and reused easily. You can also automatically inbetweened the skeleton in a variety of ways, making animation faster ever than before.

7. FlipBook

FlipBook is One of the easiest animation software to use because it makes animation easier to learn. It is designed to help you learn the principles of animation. With this software, things work the way you expect them to. It lets you draw with a pencil, fill with the bucket or paint with a paintbrush.

Just click on Play to watch it play. You can also easily add sound by dragging a sound file onto the xsheet. You can start using it today because you don’t have to spend hours reading a manual or go through weeks of trial and error trying to figure how the software works.

Just do what makes sense and the software will work wonders. And if you ever need help, the FlipBook website provides you with lots of video tutorials you can watch.

8. LightWave 3D

Fresh, fast and proven, LightWave 3D makes it possible for anyone to become a 3D artist and animator. It is an affordable software that is completely easy to learn and use and in fact, become a professional. The software also provides real-time collaborative 3D interactivity through a bridge to Unreal Engine.

It is one of the best 3D software for both beginners and professionals.

9. Pixar RenderMan

Pixar RenderMan offers a new state-of-the-art framework optimized for physically-based rendering. It delivers unmatched flexibility for any production pipeline. With this software, you can get out-of-the-box production tools directly from Pixar Animation Studios, including materials and light transport – no development required.

It comes fully loaded with all the creative options needed by artists. from glass to subtle skin, you can use this software to create the most engaging animation video.

10. Cinema 4D

Extremely powerful and easy to learn, Cinema 4D is the perfect package for all 3D artists who want to achieve amazing results fast and hassle-free. It is created for both beginners and seasoned professionals to take advantage of the software’s wide range of features and tools to quickly achieve breathtaking results.

With a clean interface, Cinema 4D is easy to understand. If you ever need any help, you can quickly watch some of the tutorials on the Cinema 4D website and start creating animation like professionals.

FAQs

What Is 3D Animation Software?

A 3D Animation software is an application that lets you create three-dimensional models, storyboards, backgrounds and apply effects on them. You can use 3D animation software to animate characters for television, movies and commercials. It also lets you transform images into real-time 3D models.

Which Are The Best 3D Animation Software?

Here are some of the best 3D Animation software:

  • Maya
  • Adobe After Effects
  • Blender
  • Unity
  • Houdini
  • Lightwave
  • ToonBoom Harmony
  • Mari
  • CrazyTalk
  • Cinema 4DPixar RenderMan
  • FlipBook
  • Animaker
  • Adobe Animate
  • Adobe Character Animator
  • And much more

Is Animation A Good Career?

Animation is one of the most lucrative careers and most sought-after courses these days. With personal freedom and most attractive salaries, a career in animation could be the right choice for you.

Where Can I Learn Basic Animation?

Most of the animation software creators also have tutorials on how to use their software. However, you might want to check YouTube for tutorials on how to create animation videos with the software of your choice.

What Are Types Of Animation?

  • Traditional Pencil Animation
  • 2D Animation
  • 3D animation
  • Cel Animation
  • Stop Animation
  • Motion Graphics
  • Character Animation
  • Special Effect Animation
  • Texture Animations

How To Use 3D Animation Software

To use 3D animation software, follow these steps:

  • Download and install any of the above-listed 3D software
  • Open the software once the installation is complete
  • Go to File> New Project to create a new project you want to work on
  • Create a 3D object using given tools or just import a pre-built 3D object to your existing project from File>Import or by drag and drop
  • Give effects and animation to your 3D model
  • Go to File>Save as and name your project to save the project work for future
  • Render your project

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Conclusion

If you are looking for the best animation software free, there you have them. But before you choose one, check the features if they match what you need to create your videos. The features should allow you to achieve your end goals, such as promoting your brands or excitingly educating your audience.

If you enjoy this article, why don’t you share it with others? Life is that simple!

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