6 best animation software for anime to have on PC

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
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  • Animation software is the best solution to bring your characters to life with interactive videos
  • Professionals in graphic design need to captivate attention of the audience by using dedicated tools for creating animes
  • We propose you the best list of animation software that is useful for professionals as for beginners
  • If you want to discover more about creating outstanding videos, you can check out in our Video Editing hub
animation software anime

If you love anime movies and you’re planning to create anime yourself, you’ll need a dedicated animation software to do that.

Fortunately, there are many animations tools for anime that offer you a variety of features that come in very handy when creating this type of animation.

Windows Report did the homework for you and compiled a list of the best animation programs that you can use to create anime on Windows computers.

Read the description for each tool and install the one that best suits your needs and technical skills.

Animation software to create unique anime

Adobe Animate (recommended)

adobe animateIt doesn’t matter if you’re creating an anime for personal viewing or for a wider audience, you should always use the best tools at your disposal.

In the case of animation in general, be it cartoons or anime, few tools can come closer to the level of professionalism brought by Adobe Animate.

This neat tool lets you design interactive animations for games, TV shows, and the web, so plain old animation that you only watch are no longer the limit.

This tool now lets you bring cartoons and banner ads to life, create animated doodles and avatars, and add action to eLearning content and infographics.

Once your anime masterpiece is done, you can also use the tool to publish your artworks on multiple platforms in just about any format, and reach viewers on any screen.

Features:

  • Frequent updates
  • Cross-platform publishing capabilities
  • Full range of animation and character design tools
  • Familiar interface style for those used to Adobe products
  • Brush library that can be enriched with third-party brushes
  • A community that provides regular guides, tutorials, and other neat tips and tricks

Did we convince you about how good Adobe Animate is? Then don’t wait any longer, download it now and let your imagination run wild!

Download now Adobe Animate

Autodesk 3ds Max (suggested)

Autodesk 3ds MaxA recent trend in anime that’s been around for a few years is to make cell-shaded 3D animations.

These are much easier to handle once character design is complete since you no longer have to waste time figuring out how to draw them by hand in all possible angles.

That is why a 3D animation tool can be extremely handy, and if you get one as professional as Autodesk 3ds Max, then you are on the right foot.

The great thing about Autodesk 3ds Max is that it is not a unidirectional tool. Once you subscribe to it, you can use it to do pretty much anything where you may require both 3D modeling and animation.

This includes anime, 3D feature-length films, video games, and video game cutscenes, etc.

Features:

  • Frequently updated
  • Familiar interface for those that use AutoDesk products
  • Detailed hair and texture design
  • VR support
  • Refined shape modeling

All things considered, even if you end up deciding using another tool for creating anime, never forget how versatile Autodesk 3ds Max.

Now that you have it, you can always use it again in case inspiration leads you down another path other than anime.

Download now Autodesk 3ds Max

Maya

maya anime animation software

Maya is a powerful animation software that allows you to create 3D anime. If attention to details is one of your strong points as an animator, then this is the right tool for you.

Here are some of Maya’s key features:

  • Interactive grooming workflow: With the help of these easy to use brush-based grooming tools you can control your characters’ styling, posing, hair and fur.
  • After Effects live link: You can connect Maya and Adobe After Effects in real-time and operate changes on your characters’ appearance.
  • Advanced dynamics and effects: This feature allows you to generate complex environments with high-level details. For example, you can create atmospheric effects such as smoke and mist, render photorealistic liquids, and more.
  • Cutting edge sculpting toolset that lets users sculpt and shape characters more artistically and intuitively.

Do you want to see Maya in action? Check out the video below to see how you can use the tool to create anime:

You can try Maya for free for 30 days from the official website.

Get now Autodesk Maya from the official website

DP Animation Maker

Animation software

DP Animation Maker is the perfect tool to bring your anime to life on screen with just a few clicks. You can add special effects and also fine-tune them from settings.

The software toolset includes the following powerful instruments:

  • Smart Animation Brushes allow you to paint over a still image turning a picture of water, fire, or light into real-time animation.
  • Morphing/Deformation Brushes make stars spin, plants wave, ships sail and many other cool movements with little effort.
  • Library of Ready-to-Use Animations
  • Automatic Looped Video Generation

The program was not built for creating cartoon animations, but it is great for making quick animations from pre-existing elements.

Here’s what you can create with DP Animation Maker:

  • Animated Backgrounds
  • Animated introductions for games
  • Animated videos
  • Animated pictures for multimedia products
  • Music videos
  • YouTube videos

With DP Animation Maker you can create seamless animations automatically.

Check out more of its features and test the powerful instruments now. Feel free to download the trial version from the official website and see if it’s the right choice.

Check now DP Animation Maker

— Editor’s Note: If you’re interested in other animation software, check out our wide collection of guides.

Toonz

toonz anime software

Toonz is a popular animation software among anime creators. As a matter of fact, a well-known anime studio from Japan is a long-standing user of this program and relied on it to create Princess Mononoke (Hayao Miyazaki), Spirited Away and other anime.

If you want to keep the production phase simple without resorting to third-party entities, then Toonz is the right tool for you. More specifically, Toonz Harlequin and Toonz Bravo support paperless animation workflow, meaning that you don’t need to externalize drawing or animation — in this manner, you’ll cut down on costs.

Toonz features a series of options that you can use to make realistic anime, such as blur, glow, color corrections, and much more.

The software is suitable for professional users. You can buy it from the official website.

Moho (formerly known as Anime Studio)

 

moho animation software

Moho is one of the best animation software that you can use to create Japanese-style anime. Whether you’re an experienced animator or a complete beginner, this tool will make the creation process easier.

The software comes in two versions: Moho Debut and Moho Professional, which brings a bevy of advanced features allowing to create stunning anime. Both versions successfully mix traditional animation tools with modern, cutting edge animation features.

The latest version of the software, Moho 12, improves Smart Bones, the feature that allows users to control character movement and facial expressions.

Distortion around your character’s joints has been significantly reduced, and you can control facial expressions and head-turning with simple dial movements, so you no longer need to touch each bone point. This makes it much easier to repeat complex movements, allowing you to complete your animation work faster.

You can download the software and read more about the latest improvements and new features on Moho’s official webpage.

Meanwhile, take a look at this anime created using Moho:

We’ll end our list here. Have you encountered any other worth-mentioning anime software to create amazing videos? Feel free to share it in the comments box.

Animation Software FAQ:

  • What is the easiest animation software to use?

If you have dedicated software for animation it is not that complicated to create your cartoon. Beginners can use DP Animation Maker, Animaker, Wideo Animation as other dedicated software for animating your presentations.

  • What is the best animation software for anime?

One of the best programs for animation is Adobe Animate, as it always provides new features in order to create the best video characters.

  • Can I learn animation at home?

There are a lot of industry-leading tools for advanced as for beginners that can help you create 2D animation (Adobe Animate, DP Animation Maker, Powtoon) and 3D animation (Daz3D Studio or Autodesk Maya), so with the help of these website’s tutorials, it is possible to learn how to create your cartoons at home, without any courses.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in January 2018 and was revamped and updated in November 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.