Here’s a list of different software packages out there for animators. I might review some of these more in depth in the future but for now here’s just a general list of things I’ve found so far.
Pencil 2D – Cross platform open source program that does bitmap and vectors as well as sound. Still in beta and kinda buggy. I stopped using it when it started crashing my Wacom driver.
Plastic Animation Paper – Windows-only (though there was a Mac beta floating around) program that went totally free when the development schedule went up in the air.
Synfig Studio – Cross platform open source program, does bitmap and vectors as well as sound.
MonkeyJam – Windows-only pencil test/stop motion program and supports sound.
Blender – Cross platform open source 3D content creation suite.
3D Studio Max – 3D modeling, animation, and rendering package.
Maya – 3D modeling, animation, and rendering package. Fun fact: South Park is made with it since they’re able to simulate cut out stop motion with textures very quickly.
LightWave – 3D modeling, animation, and rendering package.
messiah:studio – 3D bone rigging, animation, and rendering system.
iStopMotion 3 – Mac/iPad stop motion/time lapse program.
Toki Line Test – Mac/Windows pencil test/stop motion program that supports sound.
Moho (Formerly Anime Studio) – Vector and puppet animation with bone rigging, simulated physics, and auto lip-syncing. You can do some nice South Park-like animations with it.
Stop Motion Pro – Used in films by Aardman Animations like Wallace & Gromit and Pirates! Band of Misfits.
AnimatorHD – Windows-based stop motion and time lapse program.
Dragonframe 3 Stop Motion Software – Windows/Mac stop motion software and keypad. Used in films like Frankenweenie
Adobe Flash Professional CC [Digital Membership] – Vector animation and web interaction interface software. Most commonly used for it’s motion/shape ‘tweening and scripting capabilities. Traditional animators can also achieve some very impressive results with it.
TVPaint – Designed to mimic traditional art techniques. Cross platform and supports paper as well as paperless animating. Looks both awesome and totally intimidating.
Toon Boom – Various vector-based animation systems. Everything from the hobbyist up to huge studio workflows.
Digicel Flipbook – Designed from the ground up with the traditional animator in mind. Supports scanning/photographing