16 Best Free Animation Software Options to Use in 2024

Regardless of whether you’re a beginner or an experienced animation expert, picking the best free animation software that is compatible with your device is essential to ensure you can enjoy a smooth and seamless working experience.

Additionally, such software needs to allow you to open and save files in a variety of formats while ideally being supported by different OS and platforms.

Top 16 Free Animation Programs for Any Skill Levels

adobe animate free animation software logo
Adobe Animate
Industry standard
  • Free trial

blender free animation software logo
  • Fully free

maya free animation software logo
Realistic effects
  • Free trial

k 3d free animation software logo
  • Fully free

animation desk free animation software logo
Animation Desk
For pros
  • Free trial

saola animate free animation software logo
Saola Animate
  • Free trial

pencil2d free animation software logo
  • Fully free

daz studio free animation software logo
Daz Studio
Motion features
  • Free trial

opentoonz free animation software logo
GTS scanning tool
  • Free trial

keyshot free animation software logo
Superb rendering
  • Free trial

powtoon free animation software logo
Flexible customization
  • Free trial

synfig studio free animation software logo
Synfig Studio
Multiple layers
  • Free trial

animation paper free animation software logo
Animation Paper
Tons of tutorials
  • Fully free

renderforest free animation software logo
AI technologies
  • Free trial

animaker free animation software logo
  • Free trial

tupitube free animation software logo
For kids
  • Fully free

1. Adobe Animate

adobe animate free animation software interface

Platforms supported: Windows, macOS

  • Straightforward, Adobe-style UI
  • Many tutorials to master the program
  • Works with all sorts of vector and bitmap photos
  • Amazing export capabilities
  • May be difficult for newbies
  • Limited trial period

Verdict: Adobe Animate is free animation software included in the Creative Cloud. The program is so feature-rich that you may need to spend several weeks to learn them all. For example, there is an interesting function allowing you to draw new frames on top of previous ones.

The program has an integration option with your Adobe Cloud library. You can use Adobe Animate to create Flash games, movie animations, kinetic typography, cartoons, animated GIFs, and more. Similar features are available in Character Animator, which is a serious ground for Adobe Animate vs Character Animator rivalry.

Adobe Animate is the best choice for professionals and enthusiasts, as well as those, who are already actively using Adobe products.

2. Blender

blender free animation software interface

Platforms supported: Windows, macOS, Linux

  • Open source program
  • Impressive number of features and add-ons
  • Powerful modeling tools
  • Simple importing of outside objects
  • Image-based animation may cause problems
  • Not beginner-oriented

Verdict: Blender is one of the best free animation programs with open source. It is used for creating animations, games, motion tracking, and more.

Representing arguably the best motion graphics software on the market, Blender is perfect for working on modeling and compositing projects as well as complex 3D productions and raster graphics. Additionally, this solution is frequently used for rendering high-resolution images.

Users get access to basic, e.g. video cropping, and advanced functions such as color gradation and video masking.

3. Maya

maya free animation software interface

Platforms supported: Windows, macOS

  • Performs complex animation tasks in a simple way
  • Profound color management
  • Suitable for creating realistic effects
  • Wonderful rendering technology
  • Price tag
  • Steep learning curve

Verdict: Maya from Autodesk is a free animation program that is especially useful for creating interactive 3D applications, movies, video games, TV shows, and more.

By the way, this program was used when working on “The Lord of the Rings” and “Star Wars”, so it is definitely one of the best free animation software.

Together with Maya, you can create animated pictures, video games and add 3D effects to moving images. Besides, you can use Maya as efficient storyboard software.

4. K-3D

k 3d free animation software interface

Platforms supported: Windows, macOS, Linux

  • Polygonal modeling tool
  • Simple undo/redo functions
  • A node-based visualization pipeline
  • Straightforward interface
  • No tutorials
  • Plug-ins compatibility issues

Verdict: K-3D is a free animation app for PC that was primarily designed for creating polygon models. Its engine is well-equipped for displaying object surfaces with the use of polygons and the software’s toolset and plugins are all optimized for handling such projects.

Other than its advanced polygon modeling features, the K-3D photo animation software is known for its useful undo/redo tools that also serve to make it one of the best options you can get your hands on.

The fact that this software is available for free makes it an enticing offer to any animation designer on a tight budget, as K-3D lets you focus your efforts on the finer details of your projects without having to worry about breaking the bank.

5. Animation Desk

animation desk free animation software interface

Platforms supported: Windows, iOS, Android

  • 46+brushes
  • Multiple options for data export
  • Intuitive interface
  • Supports layers
  • Occasional crashes
  • No Mac and Linux versions

Verdict: Animation Desk is a creative free animation program for originating frame-to-frame storyboards. It is catching in a wonderful way and is very quick at unleashing the user’s creative potential. It is valid that the app does feature multiple tools that turn it into a full solution for both the newbie and ambitious animators alike.

No animation skill can be required on your behalf. Each scene has to be drawn frame-by-frame and put together by the app thereafter. You can export animations as Photoshop layers, a PDF sheet, or a big size GIF.

Users are allowed to edit animation sequences further, across different devices such as Android, iOS, and Windows 10.

6. Saola Animate

saola animate free animation software interface

Platforms supported: Windows, macOS

  • Keyframe-based animating functionality
  • Intuitive UI
  • For producing 3D transformations
  • Compatible with a wide range of formats
  • Isn't as advanced as some alternatives
  • Incapable of producing high-end VFX

Verdict: Saola Animate is a great solution for producing HTML 5 animations and interactive web assets. Supplied with a user-friendly editor and a convenient UI, Saola Animate can be used even by people with zero coding experience.

This tool employs an advanced keyframe-based animation system. As such, keyframes are used for determining the start and end parameters of animation elements, allowing you to easily produce smooth transformations.

Additionally, this free animation software comes with Preset Effects and Auto-Keyframes that automatically create keyframes when producing the animations.

7. Pencil2D

pencil2d free animation software interface

Platforms supported: Windows, macOS, Linux

  • Easy to use
  • Cross-platform program
  • Smooth switching between raster and vector files
  • Simple restarting
  • Setting preferences aren’t saved between sessions
  • The program doesn’t support video export

Verdict: Pencil2D provides a broad selection of features to anyone interested in using animation software free. It includes a layer menu for bitmap, audio, camera, and vector layers, which are essential for designing elaborate animations. Meanwhile, its compositing functionality is also expansive and supports seamless element blending.

The intuitive layout of this free animation program makes it easy to recommend to newbies, as its convenient UI won’t leave you feeling puzzled or lost. Pencil2D also offers HD support, allowing you to save your creations in high quality.

Another benefit of this motion tracking software is its ever-growing team of developers who frequently release new updates and expand the offered functionality.

8. Daz Studio

daz studio free animation software interface

Platforms supported: Windows, macOS

  • Tools for 3D animation, rendering, and modeling
  • GPU-accelerated real-time rendering
  • Realistic characters
  • Motion features
  • Resource demanding
  • Only for pro users

Verdict: Daz Studio is a free tool for creating animations and short videos. The main emphasis in this good free animation software is on 3D effects. Make models, visualize them, and create animations at the level of skin texture.

Other advantages of this free animation software include fast real-time rendering and interactive tutorials to help you become the best 3D artist.

I should also mention that Daz Studio works well on both PCs and Macs, which is a plus for users who switch between different operating systems. Additionally, the installation and updating process is straightforward, thanks to the unique installer provided by Daz Studio.

9. OpenToonz

opentoonz free animation software interface

Platforms supported: Windows, macOS

  • Open source
  • GTS scanning tool
  • Unique Xsheets & timelines functions
  • Audio/soundtrack implementer
  • Limited plug-ins effects
  • Learning the program requires some time

Verdict: OpenToonz is both a complex and feature-rich drawing solution and 2D animation software. It provides a broad set of drawing and animating features while having a customizable UI that lets you adjust this application to your exact needs.

One of the most appealing aspects of this free animation app for PC is the fact that it supports both vector and raster graphics. You can integrate OpenToonz into your pre-established workflow to enjoy even more creative freedom when making your animations.

This solution comes with different integrated effects including lighting filters, image styles, and various distortions. You can use these assets to add depth to your projects and make them more eye-catching.

10. KeyShot

keyshot free animation software interface

Platforms supported: Windows, macOS

  • Understandable interface
  • Quickly switching between different model sets
  • You can view changes in real-time
  • May be legally used on several computers
  • Rendering could be faster
  • Occasional crashes

Verdict: KeyShot is a handy free animation software for beginners with superb rendering capabilities. Developers have added the physically correct render engine to the program to accurately copy materials from the real world and create photorealistic visualizations.

When it comes to assets, KeyShot will surprise you with the variety it brings to the table. It lets you add several layers of assets to ensure you get the exact look and feel you need. Additionally, this software lets you adjust the scene parameters and save them as presets for the future.

I liked the rendering quality and the simple interface. Besides, it can be installed on several animation PC systems. As for the minuses - the process takes a little longer when compared with other programs.

11. Powtoon

powtoon free animation software interface

Platforms supported: Web-based

  • Different styles and designs
  • In-depth text editing
  • Broad range of premade templates
  • Allows sharing your creations
  • Maximum length of 3 minutes
  • Saved projects have a watermark

Verdict: Powtoon is mainly used for creating short videos and dynamic video presentations. There are some limitations in the free plan: you can create HD videos lasting up to 3 minutes, and the storage capacity is limited to 100 MB.

This free animation software allows you to pick the desired style, adjust the proportions and scale of the animation, and post your creations on YouTube, Facebook, Wistia, and Vimeo. You can also find plenty of useful Powtoon tutorials online that will help you learn how to use this application even faster.

Another reason why Powtoon deserves to be on this list is its collaborative functionality. It lets you seamlessly work on animations with other users on two PCs or tablets. The software’s user-friendly UI lets you add text, pictures, animations, clips, stickers, and transitions to your projects.

12. Synfig Studio

synfig studio free animation software interface

Platforms supported: Windows, macOS, Linux

  • For producing high-quality 2D animation
  • Standard drawing toolkit
  • Supports vector shapes
  • Work with multiple layers
  • Can be resource-intensive
  • Lacks some standard functions

Verdict: Synfig Studio is an open-source solution that is available for free on PC and can be used for producing professional-quality 2D animations. It’s known for its expansive support network and tutorial collection. As such, even a complete beginner shouldn’t have any trouble learning this software.

In regards to functionality, this option provides a basic drawing toolset that comes with shapes, a Bezier pen, rectangle and ellipse tools, a paint bucket, and other essential inclusions. Akin to most Synfig Studio alternatives, this solution also features a bone system, which is irreplaceable when it comes to animating characters and designing realistic skeleton rigs. Moreover, Synfig Studio’s soft shading technology ensures your creations look as visually appealing as possible.

Synfig Studio has also earned its place among the best free animation software because of its library of filters and effects that can be added to your animations, helping you achieve various effects like blur or distortions.

13. Animation Paper

animation paper free animation software interface

Platforms supported: Windows, macOS, Linux

  • Minimalist interface
  • Provides multiple flipping methods
  • Available across several platforms
  • Offers newbie-friendly tutorials
  • Dated functionality with no color palette
  • Demands a dependable PC with solid memory

Verdict: Animation Paper is a multifunctional solution that allows you to visualize and illustrate a variety of interesting or complex ideas. You can also use it to make your animations more dramatic and impactful.

In terms of functionality, the first feature that needs to be mentioned is Plastic Animation Paper (PAP), which allows you to create classic 2D animations. It provides standard tools for flipping assets, onion skinning, and working with a variety of formats.

Being arguably the best free animation program, Animation Paper is pleasantly user-friendly and allows you to experience the feeling of making hand-drawn animations at zero cost. That said, this software doesn’t have a color palette, which will surely disappoint some animators.

14. Renderforest

renderforest free animation software interface

Platforms supported: Web-based

  • Intuitive user interface
  • Create animation in a few clicks
  • Top-quality graphics and logos
  • Advanced AI technologies
  • 3-min free video limit
  • Watermarks added on all outputs

Verdict: Renderforest is a universal free animation software. To create an easy animation, you have more than 50,000 unique graphic files to choose from and more than 100 ready-made templates for mobile devices.

Here you have hundreds of animated video templates at your disposal to suit your needs, including slide shows, splash screens, explanatory videos, logo displays, corporate presentations, and animated infographics.

Renderforest also receives frequent updates that increase the number of templates and features this software has to offer. While some of the included tools gradually become outdated, the inclusion of new features more than makes up for that fact.

15. Animaker

animaker free animation software interface

Platforms supported: Web-based

  • Drag-and-drop controls
  • 6 unique animation styles
  • Available on different devices
  • Real-time collaborative functionality
  • Previews lead to lags
  • Small selection of animated characters in the library

Verdict: Arguably, the most appealing aspect of this solution is its intuitive UI which shouldn’t pose any difficulties even to complete beginners. It allows you to produce animated clips with zero relevant experience. The drag-and-drop controls make it easy for you to adjust and enhance assets, characters, and backgrounds in real-time.

Another notable inclusion in this free animation software is the large library of templates and pre-animated assets. Whether you need to produce an explainer video, an animated wedding invitation, or an engaging CV, you’re bound to find a suitable template here. Additionally, Animaker lets you pick from 6 distinct video styles, making it easier to ensure your project has the look and feel you need.

The biggest distinguishing feature of this platform is its library of thousands of stock footage videos that you can use to diversify your project. This 3D animation software also offers a selection of royalty-free audio clips, meaning you don’t have to stress over potential copyright violations.

16. TupiTube

tupitube free animation software interface

Platforms supported: Web-based

  • Clear UI
  • Free open-source program
  • Supports vector illustrations
  • Compatible with many file formats
  • Only for 2D animation
  • Limited functionality

Verdict: TupiTube is a free animation program that was developed for beginners, kids, and enthusiasts who are only getting their feet wet in the animation industry.

The most appealing feature of this solution is its straightforward nature. It provides an intuitive UI that doesn’t have any distracting elements, meaning you can focus all of your attention on creating animations. If you feel overwhelmed by more complex software, TupiTube is probably the best alternative for you.

This application also deserves points for being available on nearly all operating systems. Regardless of whether you’re a Windows, Mac, or Linux user, you can access TupiTube without any problems.

How to Choose the Best Free Animation Software

Feature set. When picking the best free animation software for PC, pay attention to the inclusion of such features as onion skinning, frame-by-frame editing, pressure-sensitive pencil support, texture brushes, and Bone Deformation.

User community. Evaluate the scale and liveliness of the software’s community. Bigger communities tend to provide a larger number of plugins, tutorials, and assets for you to take advantage of. They’re also likelier to offer superior customer support should you suffer from any technical difficulties.

User-friendliness. The UI of the chosen software needs to be intuitive and convenient to navigate, especially if you’re a beginner. Give preference to free animation programs with easy-to-use tools and a simple learning curve.

Platform compatibility. Check if the software is compatible with your OS and hardware. You also need to ensure it will let you open and work with the file formats required for your animation projects (including video and sound files). Most of the free animation apps for PC reviewed above are supported by both Windows and Mac PCs or are available as browser-based tools that support convenient file sharing.