- Animation videos can be used for all kind of purposes, be it cartoons, tutorials or ads
- Our top list will help you make an informed choice when it comes to animation software based on your needs and skills
- You can also use a motion capture software that can turn a moving object into animation if you are looking for a more complex VFX effect
- Check our Video Editing Hub for more tutorials and top lists
There is a lot of animation software available in the market today, but the truth is all of us don’t need a highly sophisticated and complicated animation software to create basic animations.
So, which animation software should you choose? It depends on your requirement. If you want something that is easy to learn and use and still be able to create high-quality animation, you can opt for automated 2D animation software that can produce natural motions in few minutes with a visual editor.
However, in case you want to create a professional-grade animation that you have seen on film, games, and television look for animation software with 3D modeling, game creation, and motion tracking capabilities.
If you have still confused about what animation software you should begin with, let us help you make a better judgment.
Today, in this article, we will walk you through the best automated animation software to create feature films and cartoons in 2D and 3D.
What's the best automated animation software for beginners and professionals?
Adobe Animate CC (editor's choice)
Adobe Animate CC is suited for beginners as well as professionals who are looking to create high-quality and captivating animated videos.
You can create basic 2D characters or use a more complex graphic design tool like Adobe Illustrator that will help you create detailed characters that you can easily export into the software.
You can animate static shapes by using different animation templates as well as create a basic 3D effect by using the multiple layer feature and axial camera motion.
You can make your character talk, blink, and move frame-by-frame. The content can be triggered by a click or scroll which makes it perfect for interactive banner creation.
The package also comes with a suite of drawing tools such as vector brushes, rotatable canvas, and colored skinning which are more than enough for a basic animated video.
Once your content is ready, you can easily publish it on the web or TV by exporting it in any of the HTML5 Canvas, WebGL, Flash/Adobe AIR formats.
- Price – Free trial / $185 month / $1505 year
If you think the online animation software listed above is too simple and basic for your needs, meet Maya. A 3D animation, modeling, simulation, and rendering software from the house of Autodesk, might be the right choice for you.
Autodesk Maya has been the industry leader for decades. The software is used by some of the leading Hollywood studios to create animation, environment and motion graphics.
That being said, Maya is a complicated and powerful software that costs a whopping $1500 a year or $189 per month. It is made for professionals looking for a solid software with a powerful toolset.
For 3D animation, Maya comes with parallel rig evaluation for rig manipulation – general animations for keyframes, procedural and scripted animation – time editor to make high-level animation edit with a clip-based, nonlinear editor – shape tuner to fine tune 3D characters and animations with ease and a speed enhancer to make animation scenes faster.
In addition, it also comes with pipeline integration, 3D rendering and shading options, dynamic and effects and 3D modeling features.
Autodesk Maya involves a learning curve and can be intimidating with its features to the beginners.
Autodesk Maya is a flexible solution for 3D animation artists as it offers more than just animation tools and allows you to make precise modifications to meet the client requirement.
- Price – Free limited plan / Personal plan $12 mo / Startup plan $35 mo / Business $59 mo
Let me begin with saying that Animaker has nailed the intro video on its website that is probably made using the Animaker software. If nothing else, the intro video itself will get you excited about this cloud-based animation software.
Animaker comes in three premium plans that start at $12 per month and goes all the way up to $59 a month. There is a free plan but limited to 2 minute of video length and five exports a month with SD quality, watermark, and other limitations.
Animaker boasts the world’s largest animated library. It is a DIY software for marketing professionals and freelancers for creating a simple yet effective marketing campaign, intros, and instructional videos.
Getting started with Animaker is easy even for beginners. Animaker also has a good collection of how to videos on the website to help you understand the working of the software.
With six video styles, Animaker allows you to create 720 different types of animated videos that include infographics, whiteboard animation, typography, animated, and 2D and 2.5D animation.
The user interface is simple and supports drag and drop functionality. The basic editing tools offered by Animaker includes cut, paste, edit, record, multimove, curve, camera, transition effect and enter/exit effects.
You can further customize the videos by adding ready-made background music tracks, sound effects and import custom tracks to the video. To add voice to your video you can use text to speech feature or add voice over using direct voice recording.
Other notable features offered by Animaker is a multi-user collaboration, task management, file management, and an in-app file manager in the Enterprise version. The videos can be exported in Full HD, and HD resolution and the video length can be of 5, 15 and 30 minutes depending on the plan.
Animake offers an excellent set of features to create a stunning animated marketing video and runs on the cloud sparing your PC from having another program installed. Sign up for the free plan to see if it meets your requirements before upgrading.
- Price – Project-based pricing / Starts at $47 a month /One-time purchase available / Business plan available
Viddyoze is a cloud-based live-action animation software that allows you to add a layer of animation and effects on top of your marketing or promotional video.
The huge library consists of premade video templates, animated intros, special effects, backgrounds and more. As for the templates, the company claims that they add new animations and templates every month. So, if you are a creative professional who opted for a monthly plan, you will have new contents to stylize your client’s project every month.
Viddyoze has two types of plans – Business and Marketplace. The Marketplace plan offers one-time purchase where you can choose how many animations you want to create an advanced and pay accordingly or select a monthly plan based on your requirement.
The Business plan is targeted at-large team, and the pricing starts at $149 per month.
Viddyoze is a fully automated software that allows you to create stunning and professional 3D animations in a few clicks. The animations can be customized per the requirement of the client.
The business plan offers access to the entire Viddyoze library with other features such as exclusive new templates every month, multi-rendering processing, multi-user access for team collaboration and tailor-made templates on demand.
Viddyoze is simple to use and allows you to create studio-quality content by adding new effects on top of your existent content.
- Price – Free trial / Starts at $11 a month for Starter and $37 for Pro a month/ Yearly subscription available
Marionette Studio is a cloud-based one of a kind animation software that is completely available online and does not require you to install anything on your computer. From simple UI to tons of artwork and excellent export options, Marionette Studio doesn’t disappoint as an animation software for beginners and has enough tools for professionals.
The user interface reminds us of the old Adobe Flash program. Marionette Studio offers every nut and bolt to piece together a professional looking 2D animation in no time.
The automated animation feature allows skipping the process of creating each step for the animation movement. To create a walking human animation, all you have to do is define point A and point B for the object, and the software will fill in the legwork automatically. This can be done with anything that needs to be shown as covering distance or in motion.
Marionette Studio comes equipped with advanced features such as the ability to customize animation curves, natural deformation to apply the skin on the auto-generated mesh, wight painting, auto-meshing with refining features, animation FX with Pixel art and Motion Blur support and inverse kinematics.
The animations can be exported in multiple formats in HD and SD resolution. The animations can be used as a sprite sheet for creating games with Unity, Cocos2D and other game engines.
Marionette Studio is an excellent tool for beginners as well as creative professionals to create 2D animations for less complicated projects.
As for the lack features compared to full blown animation software, this software is targeted at indie developers offering flexibility and features to create fast-paced animation.
- Price – Free limited plan / Starts at $16 per month
Whether you want to create an animation video for marketing, HR, IT, training or for report creation, PowToon can help you make a stunning video presentation in a few minutes.
PowToon is among the oldest cloud-based animation software with tools to create professional looking videos using the ready-made templates, built-in voice tools, and advanced animations.
PowToon offers a free plan for everyone, but it comes with tight restrictions and watermark on the finished project. The basic plan though starts at $16 month.
The users can start making videos by selecting a look that includes Whiteboard, infographics, cartoon, and training, etc. Next, you need to choose a template under three categories that include Work, Personal and Education.
You can customize each slide with text, graphics, images from the library or by uploading your own and the background music.
PowToon has lots of features to explore and takes more than one session to grasp it all. However, it is a great alternative to Power-Point slides for creating a presentation. It may not be as good as Animaker or Marionette Studio on the functionality standpoint but it can certainly make for an excellent presentation maker.
Animaker and Marionette Studio are excellent automated animation applications. For adding animations to your live action video use PowToon or Viddyoze. If you want something more sophisticated, Autodesk Maya is an excellent option as well.
FAQ about automated animation software
- Which software is best for animation?
We recommend Adobe Animate CC as the best software for animation, it works best in conjunction with another graphics creation tool for complex character design and life-like motion.
- Is Animaker really free?
Yes, Animaker offers a free limited plan if you want to get acknowledged with the app or just need basic animation capabilities.
- What is the easiest animation software to use?
Animaker is the easiest one from our list, however, we recommend considering Adobe Animate or Autodesk Maya for the long run.
Do let us know your favorite animation software and what problem do you solve with it in the comments below.