How to create Animated Pictures [Best tools]

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
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  • If GIF-making is on your mind, make sure you pair those original ideas with an equally impressive picture animation software.
  • Go through our recommendations below and choose the tool that best suits your needs.
  • Do you aspire to create more complex animations or are you already a pro? Check out our Animation Software page to get the industry's freshest news and more.
  • Don't forget to bookmark our Graphic & Design Hub to never miss a trend or a tool that might ease up your work.
Best picture animation software cover image

Wouldn’t it be marvelous to have the ability to turn a boring, still pic into a professional animation? Well, the latest advancements in technology have already made it possible.

Introducing the picture animation software that can do just that, bring your pics of choice to life. Alongside memes (and yes, there are specialized tools you can use to create your own memes), GIFs – which are nothing more and nothing less than animated pictures – have taken the online world.

If you aspire to create your own GIFs, or perhaps top-notch expert level animations integrated into VR or gaming starting from a pic, then you will definitely be interested in our guide containing the very best recommendations for picture animation software.

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Top 5 picture animation software to bring your pics to life

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop

Covering everything from photo editing to animation, Adobe Photoshop is the world’s best imaging and graphic design software.

If you own a DSLR or even a smartphone (and who doesn’t these days?), you can create an animated GIF from a series of photos. Simply convert layers into animation frames, then set the animation to loop and voila, export your animated pic.

You can even craft 3D animations in Photoshop and thanks to its versatile structure, you can start on your iPad and finish on your desktop or the other way round.

How do you make animated pictures?

  1. Download here Adobe Photoshop for free.
  2. Install the program on your PC and launch it.
  3. Upload your photos following this path: File -> Scripts -> Load Files into Stack.
  4. Open the Timeline panel and select Create Frame Animation -> New.
  5. Select Make Frames From Layers in order to turn your uploaded photos (now individual layers) into individual frames.
  6. Set the looping value to Forever from the Repeat menu in the Timeline panel.
  7. Save and Export the animation as a GIF.

Let’s quickly go through its key features:

  • Various video and animation export formats
  • Optimization tools for animation frames
  • Redundant Pixel Removal (to refine your work pixel by pixel)
  • Flatten frames into layers
  • Tips and tricks plus quick start tutorials
  • Switch from mobile to desktop with flawless results (your work is automatically saved to the cloud and your PSDs are the same)

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FilmoraPro by Wondershare

FilmoraPro

Making animated photos is just one click away with FilmoraPro. All you need to do is upload your pic of choice and let the editor work its magic.

Combining pro-level tools such as Control Settings and features like Auto-Correction you can adjust your image quality to perfection and you can even add keyframes for more controls.

Let’s quickly go through its key features:

  • Apply preset motions or customize your own animations with keyframes.
  • Ease In/Ease Out Options (change the speed and duration of animations to create fluid motions)
  • Pan & Zoom Options
  • Create, edit, and animate custom text
  • Lights & Flares plus Warp & Distort effects

Check out Filmora’s official page now

Animaker

animaker_best picture animation tool

Animaker is an online animation maker that brings studio quality presentations at consumers’ level, regardless of their previous experience with animation.

The tool provides premade templates to help you kick-start your composition, but you can also upload your own image and start fresh. Simply import your pic and start transforming it with stunning effects, good music, and text editing, then download your animation and share it with the world instantly.

Let’s quickly go through its key features:

  • 3000+ graphic elements
  • 150+ scene backgrounds
  • Huge animation library
  • 50+ pre-build animations
  • Billion+ character combinations

Check out Animaker’s official page now

Maya by Autodesk

autodesk-maya

Maya is a 3D computer animation software that is generally reserved for professionals.

Boasting complex tools and features, it enables you to create hyperrealistic effects that dazzle when it comes to animations. Ready-to-use graphs and speed enhancements turn your fast scenes faster.

Let’s quickly go through its key features:

  • Keyframe and nonlinear animation
  • Time and graph editors (create time-warping effects)
  • Animated rotation and turntable animation
  • Add audio to your animation or mute animation
  • Draw on the scene view with Grease Pencil

Check out Autodesk’s official page now

Blender

 

Blender

Blender is an open-source 3D creation suite that was meant for animation (among other things, of course).

With an easy-to-use and flexible interface, you can start creating complex animations from pictures in no time. Adjust anything from layout, colors or size and make the tool as complex or as straightforward as you want it to be by installing add-ons via Blender’s Python API.

Let’s quickly go through its key features:

  • Curve editor and custom shapes for fast input
  • Customize the interface layout and colors (create your own tools and add-ons)
  • Connect with Blender’s Render API
  • Full Animation support with Onion Skinning
  • Layers and colors for Stroke and Fill

Check out Blender’s official page now

GIFs can be hilarious, it’s easy to see why we grew so fond of them. If you have a sassy idea, you should definitely try your hand at making your own.

Bring your creativity and let the picture animation software work its magic to breathe life into the picture of your choice.

Don’t forget to share your stunning creation with us in the comments section below.


FAQ: Learn more about picture animation

  • How do you animate a picture? 

Using a dedicated picture animation software is the way to go. The workflow is generally similar: you start with an image (which you can either upload or choose from a library) and use the provided tools to edit it, then export as GIF format.

  • What is the easiest animation software to use?

If you are a beginner, you should start with simpler tools like Animaker. Adobe Photoshop is also a great option thanks to its extended learning materials and step-by-step tutorials that you can access freely.

  • What is the best free animation software for beginners?

The most generous free and open-source animation editor is probably Blender. It is also easy to use and highly customizable allowing you to make it as complex or as straightforward as you want it, according to your needs.