Choose one of these free animation software, if you want to create a cartoon, video, infographic or 2D animation even without much experience. This list contains free animation programs for beginners and professionals, as well as top-notch 3D animation software that can be installed on Windows and Mac.
Here are 16 free programs for creating animated videos in 2D or 3D format, which will be useful to designers, photographers, marketers and brands that want to boost recognition.
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 photo animation software for professionals and enthusiasts, as well as those, who are already actively using Adobe products.
Verdict: Blender is one of the best free animation programs with open source and a high-quality motion graphics software. It is used for creating 3D animations, games, motion tracking, and more. The software allows artists to turn photos into 3D animations. In addition, Blender has a Rigging Tool for converting 3D models into animated characters.
Users get access to basic, e.g. video cropping, and advanced functions such as color gradation and video masking.
Verdict: Maya from Autodesk is a 3D computer graphics and animation software 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.
Verdict: Here is an award-winning software, winner of Primetime Emmy. This is a comprehensive storyboard tool that boasts functions for drawing, creating scripts and animations, and controlling the camera and sound.
Using this best free animation software, you can create frame-by-frame animation and edit frames. You get a pressure-sensitive pencil, texture brushes, and the Bone Deform function. Thanks to onion skinning, you can control the movement and time of each animation, which makes Toon Boom Storyboard Pro a great alternative to the best motion tracking software.
Verdict: K-3D is free 3D animation software aimed at polygon modeling. According to this approach to digital graphics, the surface of objects is represented with the help of polygons. The program contains a complete set of tools and plug-ins for such a task.
In addition to powerful polygon modeling functionality, K-3D has handy undo/redo features, which all together make it one of the best free animation software.
Verdict: Daz Studio is a free tool for creating 3D 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 program include fast real-time rendering and interactive tutorials to help you become the best 3D artist.
Verdict: Animaker is a free online program for creating animations of various types: 2D, infographics, handcraft, whiteboard, 2.5D, typography. You can also work with audio: convert text into audio, add background music, sound effects, and voice.
I liked the drag-and-drop function, which helps create animations on the go.
Verdict: KeyShot is a handy free animation software for beginners with 3D 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.
I liked the rendering quality and a simple interface. As for the minuses - the process takes a little longer, when compared with other programs.
Verdict: Renderforest is a universal online video, animation, logo, and website maker. 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.
Verdict: Toontastic 3D is a free mobile application from Google, originally created for children, but the functionality is also enough to generate corporate animated 3D-videos. A nice bonus – this free animation software for beginners also works offline, so you can create videos on the go or when Wi-Fi is off.
According to Google developers, you can create a one-minute video with six scenes in just a minute, excluding the time spent on creating characters.
Verdict: Powtoon online application 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.
In Powtoon, you can choose your own style, change the proportions and sizes of the animation, export videos to YouTube, Facebook, Wistia, and Vimeo. There are also handy Powtoon tutorials, which makes mastering the app even quicker.
Verdict: Pencil2D Animation software free is used for creating 2D animated videos. It allows users to create more traditional, hand-drawn scenes.
Animator artists will like a clean, non-cluttered timeline, where it’s quite simple to add new frames on different layers, duplicate them, change the frame rate and quickly create animations with minimal effort.
Verdict: Synfig Studio is another free online 2D drawing animation software. Here you use vector graphics to create timeline animations.
To make the movements of the drawn characters more natural, the developers integrated a bone system. Thanks to the parameters of the layers, you can create dynamic characters.
Verdict: TupuTube is a free 2D animation program. You can use a mobile application or a desktop version.
The program supports vector illustrations. You can add rectangles, lines, polygons and other shapes. You can also import bitmap images and export finished pictures to different file formats.
Verdict: OpenToonz is open source 2D animation software. Users can enjoy vector and raster drawing tools, quick painting and color changing, blurs, lighting, keys, masks, warps, and more than 100 other effects. You can also combine animation with video, create frame-by-frame animation, motion tweening and bones character animation.
Verdict: Plastic Animation Paper is one of the best 2D animation software, where you can create drawings in black and white, and make them color.
You can quickly switch from one screen to another and check the drawing that you’ve created. The advantage of PAP is that the program works well with frames of any size.