Animation Software

Best Animation Software include:

Adobe Animate (formerly Flash) and Adobe After Effects.

Animation Software Overview

Animation software allows designers to draft and build 2D and 3D images or stories that include motion, which can then be used for marketing, gaming, illustrations, education or entertainment. Some leading animation software is available free and open source or inexpensively via perpetual license. Many CAD or graphics suites support animation as an intrinsic feature, or as an ancillary, optional feature. Alternately, many serviceable animation toolsets are available standalone.

Animation Products

(1-13 of 13) Sorted by Most Reviews

Adobe Animate (formerly Flash)

Adobe Animate (or Animate CC) supports but replaces the former Adobe Flash, and allows users to design interactive animations for games, TV shows, and the web. With it, the vendor states users can bring cartoons and banner ads to life, create animated doodles and avatars, and add…

Adobe After Effects

Adobe After Effects allows users to create cinematic movie titles, intros, and transitions, remove an object from a clip, start a fire or make it rain, or animate a logo or character. The vendor states that with After Effects, users can apply motion-graphics and animation to any…

Autodesk Maya

Autodesk offers Maya, a 3D animation, modeling, simulation and rendering tool available to artists, animators, and educators.

Autodesk 3ds Max

Autodesk offers 3ds Max, 3D modeling and rendering software for design visualization, games, and animation. The vendor states that users can produce professional-quality 3D animations, renders, and models with an efficient and flexible toolset to help create better 3D content in…


Blender is a free and open source 3D creation suite available in under the GNU General Public License. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, video editing and 2D animation pipeline. Blender…


Pixologic in Los Angeles offers ZBrush, a digital sculpting and painting program for the 3D industry. Built within its interface, ZBrush offers tools for digital artists with an arsenal of features that have been developed with usability in mind, to create a user experience designed…

Cinema 4D

Maxon, headquartered in Germany, offers Cinema 4D, an animaton suite for 3D artists, which the vendor states is suitable for beginners and seasoned professionals alike, who can take advantage of Cinema 4D’s wide range of tools and features to achieve stunning results for demanding,…


TVPaint Animation is a bitmap animation software from French company TVPaint Développement.

Moho (Anime Studio)

Moho (formerly Anime Studio) is Complete Animation Software for Professionals and Digital Artists, which vendor Smith Micro Software headquartered in Pittsburgh states has been used in the Oscar nominated films, The Breadwinner and Song of the Sea, for Best Animated Feature Film.


Boinx Software headquartered in Puchheim offers iStopMotion, a stop motion animation software.

Toon Boom Harmony

Toon Boom in Montreal offers Harmony, an animation toolset that allows users to create artwork, animate, add special effects and sound, composite and do final production all in the same tool. It is presented by the vendor as a one-stop-shop for everything animation — the consolidation…


Spine is an animation tool that focuses specifically on 2D animation for games, from Esoteric Software in Tacoma. Spine aims to have an efficient, streamlined workflow, both for creating animations using the editor and for making use of those animations in games using the Spine Runtimes.…


Dragonframe is a stop motion animation software from DZED Systems in California.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best animation software?

What makes for the best animation software first depends on the type of animation you are planning on creating: 2D, 3D, or both. Some animation tools excel at both, or one or the other. There are also animation tools designed for amateurs vs pros, which may not be suitable for the latter.

For a list of the best animation software around according to real users, check out our Animation Software category page if you already haven't.

What are some free animation software products?

Some popular animation tools that are available for free are Animaker, Blender, and Autodesk actually offers 3DS Max and Maya for free, but only to students and educations. For a full list of free animation tools, check out our blog post on the subject.

What are good animation tools for beginners?

Good animation tools for beginners are those that are demonstrably easy-to-use, and perhaps even available for free whether completely or on a trial basis. The importance of having a free animation tool is that it allows you to experiment with which tool is most intuitive to you without breaking the bank.

Blender, for example, is an animation software product available for free and also consistently recommended to amateur animators.