After you learn how to do illustrations and graphics, experts often recommend you keep practicing until you develop your art style and excel in it. Your next step after creating graphics would be animation. You can start with something simple and keep on upgrading your skills, whether you are someone new to the animation scene or a skilled animator who wants to learn more recent software and experiment with their art style.
Every animation software comes with different prices, features, operability, and interface. Choosing the right software generally depends on the user’s art style and preferences. Here we have listed our top five animation software for you to choose from for animation.
- Autodesk Maya
Autodesk Maya is a powerful 3D animation software for VFX and character creation. For many professionals, Autodesk Maya is an industry-standard software. Out of various software used in Disney, Autodesk Maya is a popular choice. You can work on modeling, animation, and visual effects. Maya’s physics engine and rendering systems are of top-notch quality. One important feature that stands out is XGen’s interactive grooming.
This feature includes tools like sculpting brushes, modifiers, and sculpting layers. Using these tools, users can add textures of hair, fur, and likewise. This software is compatible with all three OS Windows, Linux, and Mac. This software is pretty costly and has a yearly subscription. If you are willing to learn this software but not ready to invest so much, you can click here and download the software for free!
- Adobe Character Animator
Bring your character to life with this beginner-friendly software, Adobe Character Animator. This software requires little to no knowledge of animation or experience. Users generally create their puppet or the character on other software like Adobe Photoshop, Procreate, and Adobe Illustrator. The program then applies the system’s microphone and camera and detects your voice and movements to animate the character. In the end, beginners often prefer to use this software. Adobe Character Animate is integrated with other Adobe products. But due to its limited use cases and absence of drawing tools, it is not a popular choice among professionals.
- Adobe Animate
Adobe Animate is a universally popular choice of software for both beginners and professionals. This software is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS. Adobe Animate is a great option for 2D animation software. Users can animate characters, avatars, shapes, and other assets by timeline. Available features like vector brushes come with different sizes, smoothness, pressure, and velocity settings, virtual camera with pan, zooming, and other effects. You can synchronize audio with your animation and even create audio loops. You can export your work in Flash, HTML5 Canvas, WebGL, SVG, and more. Adobe Animate is integrated with other Adobe products, but anybody can purchase it individually. The main downside of the software is that it has a steep learning curve.
If you are looking for free software but also packed with features, Blender is perfect for you. It is an open-source video editing software that lets you have complete control over your animations. It has powerful rendering, modeling, and sculpting tools. Users are equipped with advanced animation and rigging tools. You can draw in 3D mode, edit videos, VFX with motion tracking, masking and compositing. Python API is used for scripting and customization through app extensions. Blender offers you complete support of various features for smooth workflow from beginning to end.
Pencil2D is a free software ideal for 2D animations. Are you looking for a lightweight, open-source software that is easier to learn plus it’s free? Pencil2D is the right choice for you. This software has more of a traditional approach to animation but does not have 3D support. This software is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. The best feature of Pencil2D is that it allows the users to switch between raster and vector workflows and add layers without much difficulty. Overall this software has almost no learning curve. It is minimal software, easy to use, and you can focus on the crucial task: animating. Although it’s pretty popular among beginners, it is not the first choice of professionals due to its limited features.
Other animation software apart from these five is Visme, Biteable, etc. There is plenty of animation software available online from which you can choose a software that caters to your needs. The users, especially the beginners, are offered so many online choices that can get confusing. For beginners who want to short animated content, GIFs, you can download Visme.
For more professional animators who have fair experience working in this software and want to learn and create more animated content, we recommend Blender or Autodesk Maya. It is recommended that animators do more research before purchasing any animation software. If the software does not meet your needs, it will not be a good experience. It has to be kept in mind that you have to keep on practicing and upgrading your skills to create good animation.