5+ best 3D animation software for Windows PCs [2021 Guide]

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
CEO & Founder
Radu Tyrsina has been a Windows fan ever since he got his first PC, a Pentium III (a monster at that time). For most of the kids of his age, the Internet was an... Read more
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  • Most photo or video editors nowadays also showcase the capabilities of any dedicated 3D animation software.
  • When choosing the best animation software for your PC you should look into its features and accessibility for beginners.
  • As always, in the Adobe suite, you can find excellent 3D animation apps for PC.
  • Autodesk, Blender, or Mixamo are names that can't be omitted from such a list.
Best 3D animation software for Windows 10

Computer animation is the process of generating animated images by using computer graphics. The concept of computer animation is the digital successor of the stop motion techniques using 3D models and frame to frame animation of 2D illustrations.

In order to create an animated movie, the illusion of movement is developed, and an image is displayed on the computer screen and repeatedly replaced by the new image that is similar to it and so on.

This same technique is achieved by television and also by motion pictures.

The computer animation can be developed with a computer and with the help of animation software. The animation will make everything alive by showing its movement and 3D animation will create an image that looks real to anyone who is viewing it.

It is not an easy task to make artificial objects look real by their motion. The motion of an object is a very difficult and very complex task. Fortunately, animation software can make it much easier.

All that being said, we present you with some of the coolest animation programs for your Windows PC.

What is the best 3D animation software for Windows 10?

  Rating Free/Paid 2D&3D supported Keyframe timeline Motion Capture Beginner’s support
Adobe Creative Cloud 4.7 Paid(has trial) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Blender 4 Free Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cinema 4D Studio 4.5 Paid(has trial) Yes Yes Yes No
Aurora 3D Animation maker 4.5 Paid Yes Yes No Yes
Autodesk Maya 4 Paid(has trial) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mixamo 3.5 Paid (free sign up) Yes Yes No Yes

Adobe Creative Cloud

3d animation software

Adobe Creative Cloud is a whole packaged solution for your 3D creation needs. Although the full suite might seem hard to handle, at first sight, Adobe made sure that the learning process gets aided by tons of tutorials along with a simple to use and flexible interface.

To create a high-quality 3D animation you will need a couple of products from Adobe, such as Adobe Animate CC, Adobe Illustrator and, Adobe Character Animator. 

That’s why it makes sense to subscribe to Creative Cloud – with a single subscription, you get access to other apps that can handle anything involved in video editing as well as static graphic design.

Adobe Animate lets you create depth in animation by setting up the distance between layers across frames and also by rotating the object across the plane of the screen.

With Adobe Character Animator you can define facial features, body parts, and joint motions that contribute to a more lifelike visual effect.

You can also link the above-mentioned characteristics to your keyboard, mouse, or camera for a faster work process.

Adobe Illustrator will make the base of your project by designing stunning 3d characters based on perspective grids and layer grouping. You can also group parts for a smooth synchronization process.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud

After trying Creative Cloud you won’t even think about alternative tools. Your 3D animations will just look stunning!

Free trialVisit website

Daz3D Studio

daz3d studio scene window

Daz3D is a powerful tool to create animations and scenes by manipulating model presets. It allows you to use human, vehicle, animal, and object models.

You only have to choose your models, choose the accessories you want, and start creating digital animation scenes.

You have to know from the start that you cannot create your own models but there are so many features in morphing and detailing models that you won’t even feel the difference between Daz3D and 3D modeling software.

Even if the models are ‘lifeless’ at a first glance, just put into the scene the right details and it will be an artistic masterpiece.

While Daz3D is not the best software for newbies, it is not hard to assimilate and to get used to its features and possibilities.

Besides, you can find a bunch of tutorials on Youtube that will assist you in getting familiar with this 3D animation generator. After a few days of tutorials and you will become a future 3D professional animator!

For more advanced users we have good news: you can use the models from Daz3D in Photoshop and ZBrush to customize 3D figures. You can use this feature for free by downloading free plugins like GoZ.

Get Daz3D Studio

Autodesk Maya

Autodesk Maya is one of the best 3D animation software out there. Using this software, you will be able to create and develop 3D scenes, games, people, and movies.

The software has some cool features that are not complicated and that makes the program perfect for modeling, animating, and coloring.

You can use Arnold RenderView to view scene changes in real-time, including lighting, materials, and camera.

You can also create complex procedural effects and animations with instanced objects, and you will be able to make high-level animation edits with a nondestructive, nonlinear, clip-based editor.

The intuitive brush-based grooming tools give you greater control and accuracy for styling and posing hair and fur.

The developers have recently added a bunch of new features to the software. The speed enhancements will make your scenes work much faster, and now you can create ocean surfaces with waves.

You can also quickly render and manage complex scenes and generate templates for the setup of a shot for easy re-use. You are now able to fine-tune your characters and the animation more easily and quickly.

With the software, you can create branding, title sequences, flying logos, and more projects that require text. You can also import and or copy/paste SVG files into the program.

The mirror enhancements and the tool symmetry improvements will make symmetrical modeling much easier, and the sculpt and shape models are now more artistic and intuitive.

Users can accelerate their performance with the interactive workflow.

Maya allows you to work in a higher-fidelity, and higher-performance environment to edit assets and images in a short time.

You can buy the Autodesk Maya animation software from Autodesk. There is also a 30-day free trial available.

Get Autodesk Maya

Blender

Blender is an open-source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline including rigging, modeling, simulation, animation, composition and motion tracking, video editing, and game creation.

This is a public project, and it is made by hundreds of people from all over the world, by professionals and hobbyists, studios and individual artists, students, scientists, animators, VFX experts, game artists, and so on.

Blender features a built-in powerful straight path tracer engine called Cycles that offers fantastic realistic rendering: CPU and GPU rendering, real-time viewport preview, VR rendering support, PBR shaders, and HDR lighting support.

Blender features a vast array of modeling tools that make transforming, creating, and editing your models very easy.

Blender includes also a production-ready camera and object tracking that will allow you to import footage, track it, mask areas, and see the camera movements live in your 3D scene.

Due to its various qualities, Blender is used for various short films, advertisements, feature movies, and TV series.

With the help of the software, you can now draw 2D in 3D, and drawing straight in a 3D viewport makes lots of sense and it opens unsurpassed workflow freedom for storyboarders and 2D artists.

Blender has a flexible Python-controlled interface, and the layout, size, fonts, and colors can be adjusted very easily. You can use hundreds of add-ons by the community, or you can create your very own by using Blender’s Python API.

You can also subscribe to Blender Cloud for a monthly fee and you will get 100+ hours of high-quality training, all the tutorials and the open movies, and exclusive production insight and walkthroughs.

Get Blender

Cinema 4D Studio

Cinema 4D Studio is another top animation software that you can use to easily create character rigs and advanced character animation with numerous tools.

Cinema 4D is very easy to learn, and it’s also compelling. It really is the perfect package for all 3D artists out there who want to achieve breathtaking results as fast as possible and hassle-free.

All beginners and seasoned professionals will be able to take advantage of the program’s vast range of tools and features to achieve amazing results.

The software’s reliability will make the perfect app for demanding fast-paced 3D production and a range of attractively priced software packages is available to fit every need an artist has.

You can get started with the software straightforward and quickly to create cool results. The software’s intuitive and simple interface makes it very easy for beginners to jump right into the middle of the software and take control.

It never stops to amaze professional users as well, and the many tutorials and the global community are essential for bringing beginners to a pro-level of use.

All the program’s new functions work intuitively, and they are exactly what users need. The Cinema 4D’s layout can also be easily customized to precisely fit a user’s needs.

The program’s stability is great, and all the new features and functions are tested before they are released.

The developers release free service packs on a regular basis, and these will optimize the software and let the creators respond to changes in drivers and operating systems as quickly as possible.

Staying flexible for last-minute changes is important no matter which project you’re working on.

Cinema 4D offers numerous options for working non-destructively: parametric modeling, procedural shaders, textures, and more.

And the Cinema 4D Take System lets you save and manage multiple versions of a scene in a single file!

Get Cinema 4D

Aurora 3D Animation Maker

Aurora 3D Animation Maker is among the best animation software, and it features an extensive range of functions.

The software will allow users to create eye-catching 3D animations that will transform your logos or your text into original and awesome creations.

You will get the opportunity to control all aspects of your animation, including the speed of playback, the animation’s length, and more.

You can create your own movie title animations for the web and your movies in minutes. You don’t even need mastery over the basics of 3D Design.

Aurora offers 3000+ symbols, 60+ additional TrueType fonts, 80+ object style, 200+ 3D object templates, among others.

Using Aurora 3D animation software you can get the best results. You should know that web design is more than just choosing the right layout and graphics.

You will need eye-popping visuals that will capture and hold your audience’s attention. And Aurora 3D Animation Maker allows you to create awesome 3D animations that will take your logos and your texts as well to the very next level.

The software will allow you to create limitless special animation effects and you will be able to go as far as your creativity allows you to work.

Just imagine how it would be to apply particle effects to simulate fireworks, smoke, snow, flame, or the emptiness of space.

Or use motion effects like Linear, Quad, Cubic, and Quit to add choreography like bounce and twists.

When you are absolutely pleased with your final result, Aurora 3D Animation Maker makes it easy to incorporate your animation into your website, giving you the options to export as Video, Flash, animated GIF, or as a sequence of images.

Aurora 3D Animation Maker is one of the best cool 3D text, logo animation, 3D video title maker tools.

Get Aurora 3D Animation Maker

Mixamo

mixamo 3D animation

You may not have heard of Mixamo up until now, but we’re sure that ‘Adobe’ rings a bell for you. Mixamo is a niche 3D animation software that’s part of the Adobe family.

If you’re looking for a reliable tool to create animated 3D characters, then Mixamo is the right choice for you. The best part is that there is no 3D knowledge required to use this software.

Mixamo offers a huge animation library that you can choose from. There is no need to animate each and every step that your character takes, for instance. Simply go to Mixamo’s store and get the right animation for your needs.

If we were to use just two words to describe Mixamo, those would be ‘time efficiency’.

Simply use a few markers and the tool will instantly calculate skinning weights, adjust bones, and other visual characteristics.

Get Mixamo

While the first tools are really powerful and extremely versatile, the last one on your list, Mixamo is a great niche animation tool that you can use to create 3D character animation.

If you have any other questions about these products, or maybe you’re aware of another good alternative to them, feel free to share in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • We recommend Autodesk Maya as the easiest 3d animation software given the easy-to-navigate interface, intuitive tools, and tons of available guides.

  • We recommend Daz3D Studio as the best software for 3d character modeling of humans as well as animals. Although it might seem hard to handle at first glance, it includes plenty of tutorials.

  • Maya is better for large production companies, but Blender is better suited for small companies and educational projects.

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