Whether you are a beginner who has just made the first steps in animation or an experienced digital drawing artist, you will definitely need the best cartoon making software. Read this article and discover the most popular products that will help you create fantastic animation clips and experiment with different techniques, such as hand-drawn traditional style, 2D and 3D animation, frame-by-frame animation, etc.
I’ve picked the best cartoon making software that will fulfill the needs of users who are ready to pay for premium quality or those who are looking for an open-source product. The list entails the popular software and the options that are just gaining the trust of users.
Verdict: Being compatible with Windows, macOS and Linux, Pencil2D is well-recognized software for making cartoon and digital drawings. Although it is free and open-source, it boasts excellent features for creating animated videos and illustrations.
Pencil2D has a professional-looking layout, but it is more suitable for novice users. If you’ve just embarked on the path of cartoon drawing, it can be a perfect tool for you. The most distinctive features of the software are several modes for files exporting, support for multiple layers and an ability to work with FLV animation.
Verdict: Character Animator has been recently added to the Adobe family and hit the market due to its powerful features. With this product, you can easily bring cartoon characters to life in real-time. Using this software for cartoon animation is a breeze. All you need is to plug in your microphone and camera. After that, you can add a static character (puppet) to start creating an animation video.
You can take advantage of numerous Adobe Character Animator tutorials to go deep into every stage of creating a custom animation clip with your webcam and microphone.
Verdict: Anime Studio Pro is one of the best 2D animation software currently available on the market. You can create either your own objects or use a built-in library with a set of pre-installed characters.
Even though Anime Studio is mainly designed for novice users and even kids, it offers powerful functionality to accomplish all your creative goals. The combination of top-tier tools and a streamlined user interface makes it a decent option among numerous contenders.
Once you understand all the features of the software, you can switch to the Pro version. Although the paid version is relatively expensive, it offers impressive functionality suitable for professional use.
Verdict: Synfig Studio is a 2D animation tool that can work with vector and bitmap graphics. With this software to make cartoons, you can create your animation faster while using fewer resources. It supports geometry, gradients, filters, transformations, etc.
Synfig Studio gives you complete control over the process of editing vector images while creating your artwork. You can also create puppet characters and use advanced tools to manipulate them.
Verdict: Inkscape is a well-developed and easy-to-use vector graphics tool for creating artistic and technical illustrations based on XML, SVG and CSS standards.
You can use it as the software to create cartoons and take advantage of numerous tools for working with colors and styles, such as color selection, ability to copy/paste colors and style, gradient editor, outline markers.
With Inscape, your cartoons appear neat and professional-looking. You can also make your creations in vector formats without sacrificing resources.
Verdict: Adobe Animate CC is a good software to make cartoon designed to create different animated content such as games, cartoons, commercials, etc. Once your project is ready, you can upload it on such platforms as WebGL, HTML5 Canvas and Snap SVG.
Adobe Animate CC includes a rich array of tools designed to make your cartoon creation experience as effective as possible. Since the software is released by Adobe, you can find here numerous useful Adobe tools that will help you boost your productivity.
Verdict: Adobe After Effects is professional animation software with powerful features designed for advanced graphics and visual effects creation. If you aren’t going to create complex animations, you can use After Effects as make cartoons software.
Due to a neat and straightforward interface, this Adobe product is suitable for all types of users. All the necessary tools have a convenient and intuitive layout.
You can make the most of such features as a timeline for editing, an ability to view the current active layers’ frame and the Filters section on the Properties panel.
Verdict: Toon Boom Harmony is a full-featured software for animation production. It caters to the needs of both aspiring animators and professionals. With Toon Boom Harmony, you can produce any kind of cartoons, whether you are going to use hand-drawn animation technique, cutout-style animation with Flash, particle effects, Hybrid animation, etc.
This product employs a slew of powerful features for creating animation, drawing and rigging, everything you can expect from the best cartoon making software.