In the present times animation has come a long way from being a mere mode of entertainment. Now it has become one of the most powerful marketing tools for all kinds of businesses irrespective of their size.
Animation involves making use of tools or software for creating both 2d and 3d videos. However, finding the right software for yourself is not so easy especially when there are so many options available in the market. But fortunately, we have done the research for you and created this list of best animation software for Windows.
If you are someone who is new to this field of animation then there is also animation software for beginners. However, if you don't want to do animation yourself you can find professional animated video production companies that will do it for you.
All the animation software mentioned below have both free and paid versions. So, you can try their free version and then if you like get their paid version.
Best Animation Software for Windows [Free & Paid]
- Synfig Studio
- Plastic Animation Paper
- Maxon Cartoon Animator 4D
- Stop motion Studio
- Moho Anime Studio
- Toon Boom Harmony
- Autodesk Maya
Blender is a free animation software for Windows that is also cross platform. One of the main reasons for the popularity of Blender is OpenGL which ensures a steady performance. With Blender you can transform even the most ordinary stills into catchy 3d animations. There are walk cycles that are automated along the path of animations.
A special editor available in Blender lets you change the animated poses of your animated character. Blender also features non linear animation that lets you create independent character movements. There is a mirror functionality that lets you work on both the front and back of your animated character.
- For a free animation software, it is really powerful.
- There is an option to export external objects.
- The lighting and shadow functions are at a professional level.
- Animating images can be a bit tricky.
Synfig Studio is an open-source 2d animation software for Windows 10. This software allows you to change vector artwork into any shape that you want. There are over 50 layers that you can choose from for the purpose of animation.
For the purposes of cutting out animations, you can use a featureful system of bones with the help of bitmap images. You can also use this feature to regulate all your vector artwork. By adding an extra skeleton distortion layer you can add deformation to your bitmap artwork that appears pretty complex.
You can use mathematical calculations or add direct structures and character puppets that are very dynamic by linking parameters of various layers.
- Being an open-source program, it can be accessed by anyone irrespective of experience.
- Even with fewer tools, you can create amazing and attractive 2d animations.
- When you make any changes in the resolution there will be no effects in the resolution.
- Some users have the issue of the interface shutting down suddenly or slowing down.
- Synfig is difficult to install in 32-bit programs.
PLASTIC ANIMATION PAPER
With a really fast response, time Paper Animation Paper is one of the best free animation software for windows. Even in this software, there will be no difference in the animation lines when you change the resolution.
You have a large variety of frame formats to choose from that range from small to big. Further, you can zoom in or rotate your point of view in real time.
Animation Paper has a customizable onion skinning feature that is on a pretty advanced level. For the purpose of your animation, there are a number of layers that you can choose from.
You can easily reposition, scale or rotate your entire artwork or some part of it.
- Perfect for traditional hand drawn animation.
- Natural and easy to use interface.
- Slow releasing schedule.
Stykz is another free animation software for windows 7 and 10. Here you can make attractive 2d animations using your vector artwork. Most animators use Stykz as a base for their bigger animation projects.
Stykz is the favorite software of those who have experience in using Pivot Stick Figure.
Stykz also offers several layers for the purpose of animation. It also has an onion skinning feature that helps in creating transitions that are really smooth.
- Suitable for kids too, as it has an easy to use interface.
- Even though it is simple it is still powerful.
- You can use it for only basic stick figure style animation.
MAXON CARTOON ANIMATOR 4D
Maxon Cartoon Animator is one of the best free animation software for windows. It is really easy to get started with animation on this software due to its user-friendly interface. Even if you are confused as to the use of any of its features, you will find an ample amount of tutorials and guides that will help you.
This software has managed to even impress the professionals with its ease of usage. Its layout is arranged in such a manner that even a new user shall not take much time to get used to it.
Maxon is popular for its stability. All of their latest features or functions are released only after being tested in beta version. It covers several aspects of animations including texture. You can also customize its layout to suit your requirements.
The developers of this software release free service packs on a regular basis. This helps the software to adapt to the various changes that are being made to the drivers and operating systems.
- Both experts and beginners can use it easily.
- Interface is really smooth.
- One of the most stable animation software.
- Every function has a solid support.
- Limited period free trial but no free version.
- It is a bit expensive.
STOP MOTION STUDIO
Stop Motion Studio is an animation software compatible with Windows and also other types of computers. This software allows you to upload your single files on all devices where you use it.
Beginners can easily use this software to create stop motion animation in 4K. If someone wants to get more creative they can combine it with 2d style drawing that can be painted directly on it.
You can use high quality images as this animation software supports all major types of cameras. This software can be used on any device without compromising on the standard or quality of the result. You can playback or loop your animations with its in and out point feature.
There are onion skin controls and grids so that you can position your animated objects perfectly. A library full of audio tracks is at your disposal to be used in animation. A masking tool can help you remove unwanted objects from your animations.
- Compatible with a number of devices and operating systems.
- It is also compatible with all popular cameras.
- No free trials.
MOHO ANIME STUDIO
Moho anime Studio is an animation software for windows 7 to 10 that has a free trial of 30 days. Its 2nd rigging system is one of the best in the industry.
This software offers you not only the latest features but also some of the traditional tools of animation. SmartBones Technology is one of the latest features available in Moho Anime Studio.
Unity™ have been receiving FBX support from Moho Anime Studio for their game development project.
Now you will be able to create characters that are more complex and powerful. This is because of an update to this animation software's bone technology. Even when you import your images or files from photoshop the layers of animation will remain intact. You can further connect with your media files in real time.
- Developers regularly update the software so you will be able to experience the latest and advanced features.
- Beginners will take some time to get used to all of its features.
TOON BOON HARMONY
This animation software for windows is considered to be a professional software.
There is advanced bitmap and vector art technology known as brush engine in Harmony animation software. You can also make use of advanced painting tools and palettes to make changes in the texture and color of your artwork. This software along with the advanced functions, also has traditional style frame by frame animation.
In Harmony animation software there is an option to integrate both 2d and 3d elements into your artwork. There are further special effects of lighting and volume that can be used to add tone to the animated characters. You can have control over the composition while viewing from different camera angles.
You can easily integrate other software with Harmony animation software. This software also allows exporting finished animations to game engines easily.
- 2d and 3d animations with models can be created.
- Beginners cannot understand the software without going through the tutorials first.
Autodesk Maya is a world famous animation software for windows 10. It has been used for animation in popular Hollywood feature films.
With Maya software, you get really fast playback. A nonlinear animator lets you create high-quality animation. You can also easily create or modify your animation curves with the help of graphical representations.
In Maya software, the movement and position of animated objects can be viewed with the help of a ghosting editor. You can also increase the animation of your characters with the help of its deformation effect. It can be used to capture high-quality images directly from the software.
- Easy to use interface.
- The creation process is fastened by the numerous tools.
- Need to keep the software updated otherwise you will experience lots of glitches.
The Houdini animation software is compatible with Windows computers. It also was used for animation in major Hollywood productions.
Houdini has a procedural workflow that can generate animations in real time. Again there is a node based workflow that will help you make animation in a flexible and cost effective manner.
Houdini has features and functions that are really smooth. There is a non commercial version that can be used for free.
- Make quick and easy changes anywhere in the pipeline with the help of procedural workflow
- Its rendering capacity is really powerful.
- You get built-in particles and dynamic systems.
- New users may take time to get used to the interface as it is a little cluttered.
We hope you are able to find the right animation software for Windows computers. There are some free and some paid software in the above list. You have to decide on the right one for yourself depending on your animation needs and budget. If you have a simple animation project then you don't need to get Maya or Houdini as they are very advanced. You can use Blender or Stykz. But if you are animating for a feature film or your project involves some complex detailing you should go for Maya. Get your animation software for windows and get animating!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Which is the best free animation software for windows or mac?
Ans. There is no single animation software that is best for windows or mac. You have to choose the right one for yourself based on your skills, requirements, and budget.
What are the types of animation software?
Ans. There are basically two types of animation software, 2D and 3D animation.
What program is used by Disney to animate?
Ans. Disney mainly makes use of Autodesk Maya along with other add ons for animation.
“What we love most about animation is, it’s a team sport, and everything we do is about pure imagination.”