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 enables users to set up video animations based on 2D illustrations. 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?
Viddyoze 2.0 – best 3D animation tool for marketing (suggested)
We have chosen this tool for all people working in video marketing or who need to create videos for academic purposes. Viddyoze 2.0 is a versatile tool which 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, social actions.
Even if it 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 aspect. Its price is fair – you can create these short animations at a price starting from 50$ per month (compared to other expensive tools that have fewer templates and are not so user-friendly for novices). This price includes all Viddyoze 2.0 features so you can create amazing animations, have full support for any questions and the best export quality for your videos.
Maya is 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 as a one-year subscription for Maya will set you back $1,470 Blender might be better value alternative. Nevertheless, you can still try out a one month free trial for the software.
Maya comes packed with extensive tool sets for 3D modelling, 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. Maya 2017 includes the state-of-the-art Arnold renderer so that you can render high-quality images. In addition, the software enables you to add a wide variety atmospheric, liquid and other 3D dynamic effects to animations.
- Get now Maya from the official website (currently discounted)
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 multicore processor. Quadro M, GeForce GTX, FirePro W and Radeon R9 are among the required graphics cards.
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 retailing from $375 to $1,975.
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 video. 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.
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 12 and Debut 12 edition. The Pro 12 edition has more extensive options, but Debut 12 is a better program for beginner animators that’s retailing at $69.99. As such, Moho is much better value than Harmony.
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 a 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. With an intuitive UI this is ideal software for hobby animators.
Blender is 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 modelling 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.
Adobe Animate CC
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 website video. The program is retailing at just $19.99, which is great value.
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 that gives you cloud storage and access to Adobe Stock images, videos and graphics.
Animation Desk is one of the best video animation apps for Windows, Android and iOS mobile devices, which this Windows Report article previously covered. This app enables users to combine separate picture frames into a single animation. The Windows app is now freely available, and you can add it to your mobile or tablet from this page. There’s also an Animation Desk Pro version retailing at $15.99 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 traditional animation desk with separate frames that you can sketch on. It includes numerous paint tools such as crayon, fountain pen, pencil 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.
So those are six 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 tool sets and options, but Moho, Adobe Animate, Blender and Animation Desk offer better value.