Animation Softwares

  • On July 17, 2012 ·
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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.

Commercial Software

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