- When choosing your animation software, you should look at featured options, supported formats, or ease of use.
- Microsoft offers free animation software and you can find the app in the Store.
- You should consider the best 2D animation software in this list if that's what you are looking for.
- Many users have doubts when it comes to popular animation tools. We're covering the comparison in this article.
If you need to create an animated video, there’s plenty of animation software for Windows. Animation software falls largely into 2D and 3D categories.
The 3D applications develop CGI videos, whilst 2D packages enable users to set up video animations based on 2D illustrations.
Moreover, the history of animation started hundred of years ago with rudimental resources, of course. One of the first animations was created in the 1900s by a cartoonist named Emile Cohl, even before the Disney era.
The animation was reproduced in a short movie called Fantasmagorie, using only hand-drawn animation on individual frames.
Today, we have high-tech computerized animation and visual effects that can provide unique animation stories available for everyone out there.
Even though CGI animated film is prevalent in cinema, 2D animation programs are far from redundant. This is some of the best video animation software for Windows.
What are the best video animation tools for your PC?
Adobe Animate, previously Flash Professional, is Adobe System’s latest multimedia animation software. Many choose Adobe Animate to create rich Flash content and animated video for the web. It’s great for game development, movies, and a website video.
Adobe Animate is packed with a variety of graphic design and drawing tools such as customizable vector art brushes, a rotatable canvas, and colored onion skinning for configuring animations.
With the software’s TimeLine and Motion Editor tools, you can create flowing animations with natural motion. Users can create both 3D and 2D animations with some terrific effects for landscape details such as clouds, flowers, trees, etc.
Adobe Animate supports 4K resolution so you can export and optimize videos for Ultra HD display. The software is also integrated with Creative Cloud gives you cloud storage and access to Adobe Stock images, videos, and graphics.
Here are the main features of Adobe Animate CC:
- Asset panel with clips and animations
- Adobe Fresco live brushes
- Web or mobile content for games/ads
- Publish on desktop, mobile or TV
- “Getting started” tutorials
Adobe Animate CC
Adobe is the best professional multimedia animation software that also supports 4K video for unprecedented quality.
Maya is the industry-standard software for 3D animations that has a comprehensive set of tools for animation, modeling, and rendering.
It’s compatible with Windows and Mac OS X and has generated graphics and effects for films such as Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, Avatar, and Up and Hugo.
This isn’t really software for hobby animators, and a one-year subscription for Maya is pretty expensive. Blender might be a better value alternative. Nevertheless, you can still try out a one-month free trial for the software.
Maya comes packed with extensive toolsets for 3D modeling, motion graphics, texturing, and scene animations.
The latest edition includes a new Time Editor for non-linear 3D animation editing so that you can easily navigate between key-level details and clip-level views.
With its motion graphics tools, users can create stunning animations and effects with instanced objects. In addition, the software enables you to add a wide variety of atmospheric, liquid, and other 3D dynamic effects to animations.
So Maya is a serious bit of kit with which users can create animations and effects for animated films, games, or TV series.
But as this software has advanced tools, it also has hefty minimum system requirements amounting to 8 GB RAM, 4 GB HDD storage, and 64-bit Intel or AMD multi-core processor. Quadro M, GeForce GTX, FirePro W, and Radeon R9 are among the required graphics cards.
Here are the main features of Autodesk Maya:
- 3D modelling tools
- Revamped UV toolkit
- Brush sculpting tools
- 3D animation and rigging
- Indie game workflow
Some of the most important blockbuster movies like Avatar and Finding Nemo were created using Maya. Enough said.
Animaker is not like the first two giants from our list but it still boasts a huge animated library. This tool is directed more to market professionals who need to create marketing campaigns with simple graphics, intros, or instructional videos.
And again, unlike the two software above, Animaker is pretty easy to use and to learn because it’s accompanied by a pretty big database with guiding clips to train you on how to use it.
You will be able to create up to 720 types of animated videos. Just to mention a few there are 2D and 2.5 animations, whiteboard animation, infographics, and many many more.
Even the interface is pretty friendly as you will have familiar functions like cut and copy/ paste, drag & drop, edit and record but also specialized functions like camera, record, transition, and enter/ exit effects.
And as it’s mostly for marketing, you will be able to add your own backgrounds and branding, sounds, music, and even voice recordings.
Animaker offers a very good feature/ price balance so check it out to see if it fits your requirements.
Here are the main features of Animaker:
- Professional crafted templates
- Video asset library
- Custom character builder
- 20+ facial expressions
- Smart move functionality
Animaker comes with one of the largest animation libraries and it’s very easy to use to get the perfect results.
Visme is a graphic presentation tool created for teams or beginners who need to offer animated visual experiences.
The software is quite intuitive and includes a variety of templates and pitch decks to easily showcase your ideas and visions in an interactive manner.
With multi-functional support, the platform can guarantee diverse tools for different presentation types like charts and infographics, social media templates, visual documents and reports, mockups, etc.
Besides, you benefit from thousands of professional templates, animated icons, or characters that will impress your managers or important clients.
It’s worth mentioning that you’ll be able to animate every element. It’s possible to animate objects, icons, or people in your presentation to add extra value and dynamics.
Here are the main features of Visme:
- Animated vector icons
- 30+ data widgets like charts, statistics, figures
- Collaboration with your team
- Interactivity tools
- Photos & videos add-on
Need to better present your pitch? Using this animation presentation tool will capture your message flawlessly.
Harmony, formerly Toon Boom Studios, is one of the industry-standard packages for 2D animation. There are three upgrade options from Toon Boom Studios to the Harmony editions. They are Harmony Essentials, Advanced and Premium versions.
Harmony is software at the cutting edge of 2D animation technology. This software blends the more traditional art tools with digital alternatives. It enables its users to combine 2D animations with imported 3D models and add a range of special effects to animated videos.
One of the best things about Harmony is its built-in compositing with which you can set up flexible cut-out character rigs.
The program enables users to set up 2D game animations that can be exported to a variety of game engines. Harmony also supports more than 13 alternative file formats.
Here are the main features of Harmony:
- Advanced brush engine
- Color palettes, color space and painting
- 2D/3D integration
- Compositing and special effects
- Sound management/manipulation
We have chosen this tool for all people working in video marketing or who need to create videos for academic purposes. Viddyoze is a versatile tool that will assist you in creating beautiful animations in 3D.
It is perfect for web marketers and for video-editing professionals because it allows you to create stunning intros, outros, call-to-actions, and social actions.
Even if it’s focused on short/generic creations, it remains a powerful tool to use when you want to enhance your videos in terms of quality and visual aspects.
It has a pretty fair price and includes all Viddyoze features so you can create amazing animations, have full support for any questions, and the best export quality for your videos.
Here are the main features of Viddyoze:
- 100% compatibility with MP4 or MOV formats
- Unlimited usage
- Studio aspect designs and animations
- Customization option for brands
- Social media video animations
- Professional logo animations
Moho, formerly Anime Studio, is vector-based 2D animation software compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X. This is also renowned software in the animated film industry that has a Pro and Debut edition.
The Pro edition has more extensive options, but Debut is a better program for beginner animators.
This software enables you to sketch out animations with freehand drawing tools and brushes, or you can also use its cartoon maker’s character wizard. Moho’s revolutionary bone-rigging system enables users to realistically animate cartoon characters.
The latest version of Moho Pro includes a variety of new tools such as Bezier handles that create smoother line bends.
Moho Pro also includes realistic motion blur effects to add to moving objects, and both versions have an updated GUI with revamped layers and library panels.
Here are the main features of Moho:
- Strong 2D rigging system
- Smart Bones moves
- Optimized drawing tools
- Photoshop files importing
- Wind dynamics
⇒ Get Moho
Blender is an open-source 3D animation software that has extensive options for 3D graphic editing. This is a multi-platform application compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux with which you can set up some stunning 3D models and animations.
There’s also a portable version of Blender for USB drives. Click the Installer (.msi) button on the software’s website to save its setup.
Blender includes a multitude of animation, lighting, texture, and modeling tools. The software has photorealistic GPU and CPU rendering that supports HDR lighting.
This program enables users to sculpt organic subjects with is sculpting toolset that provides 20 alternative brushes, mirrored sculpting, and Dynamic Topology sculpting.
It has a variety of simulations with which you can add realistic smoke, fluid, fire, and particle effects to animations. Blender is ideal for game animations as it includes a full 3D game engine that supports Open GL and Python scripting API.
Another good thing about Blender is its built-in video editor with which you can edit videos. The software has a flexible UI and a variety of extensions.
It also incorporates import/export options and is compatible with numerous video, image, and 3D file formats. Overall, Blender is probably the best open-source video animation software for Windows.
Here are the main features of Blender:
- Extensive modeling toolset
- Digital sculpting tools
- Story art and 2D concept design
- Object motion tracking
- VFX object motion tracking
Animation Desk is one of the best free video animation apps for Windows, Android, and iOS mobile devices This app enables users to combine separate picture frames into a single animation.
There’s also an Animation Desk Pro version that has extended export formats, tag and annotation options, more extensive editing tools, and Kdan Cloud storage space.
Animation Desk has a UI that’s based on a traditional animation desk with separate frames that you can sketch on. It includes numerous paint tools such as crayons, fountain pens, pencils, and a triumvirate of brush types.
The app has onion skinning that provides users with an overlay of adjacent frames, and it includes four frame rates for users to select.
You can also crop, move, and delete frames with the app’s frame manager. So this is an intuitive and comprehensive app that brings doodles to life.
Here are the main features of Animation Desk:
- Many painting tools with pressure sensitivity
- Onion Skinning
- 4 sets of frame rate support
- Color selection pallettes
So those are some of the best software for video animation. You can set up fantastic 2D or 3D animations and effects for videos, flash content, and games with those programs.
Harmony and Maya probably have the most extensive toolsets and options, but Moho, Adobe Animate, Blender, and Animation Desk offer better value.
We compiled this animation software list with user experience in mind. Do share your opinion with us regarding these solutions and let us know how they worked in your case.
Frequently Asked Questions
The most popular option among animators is that Adobe or Autodesk have the best high-quality video animation tools. And we can’t disagree.
DP Animation Maker is our top choice when it comes to animation software for beginners. However, you should consider going after more complex tools like Adobe Animate CC as the reward will be much higher.
Animation is not hard to learn, but the process from being an average animator to a professional one can be pretty long and tiresome.