Top 10 Best Drawing Animation Software For Desktop
Animation has become insanely popular in the digital marketing world. Animation is an effective way to convey a message or idea as it presents a complex concept in a much simplified manner. As a marketer, you can also use animation to promote your product or services to your target audience. Not to mention, it can also be used for entertainment purposes. The reason why so many animated movies are gaining popularity these days.
This article mentions the top 10 drawing animation apps that can also be used on a desktop computer for creating amazing 2D & 3D animations.
Take a look at the 10 best drawing animation apps that you can use on a desktop computer.
Blender is a free, open-source drawing animation app that offers a variety of features like modelling, simulation, video editing, compositing, motion tracking and rigging for creating realistic 3D animations. It also supports animation pipelines in 2D format.
Both beginners and advanced creators can work on Blender. The software comes with the Python API that customizes the user interface for a quick navigation while you’re working on multiple projects.
- Offers tools for panning, tracking tilting as well as for rotating camera at 360 degrees
- High-end production path tracer for realistic rendering
- Realistic simulation
- Customizable user interface
- It allows smoke simulation, fluid simulation, soft body simulation, skinning, rigging, particle simulation, etc
- Using its integrated game engine, you can develop video games quite easily
- You can customize the entire software
- Can be a little overwhelming with too many features
- Steep learning curve
Available on: Windows & MacOS
2. Autodesk Maya
Autodesk Maya is one of the leading 3D drawing and animation apps for PC to create high-quality animated videos. Autodesk Maya is used quite a lot in creating commercial films for adding special effects and animation. Besides, it's also used in creating video games.
- Offers inbuilt procedural effects
- Readymade graphs & Bifrost fluids
- Deep adaptive liquid simulation
- Interactive hair grooming
- Maya n Cloth
- Bifrost Simulation System
- Cached Playback
- Bullet Physics
- Offers Paint Effects that lets you draw 3D shapes free hand
- 3D modelling feature helps in the hassle-free application of modelling layers
- Facilitates easier modelling of organic characters with its built-in poly tools set
- Offers faster rendering
- Steeper learning curve
Available on: Windows, MacOS
Powtoon is one of the best cloud-based drawing animation apps used for creating animated videos for advertisements, video guides, presentations, informative videos, tutorials, etc.
The user-friendly interface allows users to create and share animations quite easily. You can also save your projects using Google Drive. Powtoon offers a wide range of tools and presets including images, clips, audio tracks, voice-overs as well as sound effects to help you create attractive animations.
- Allows you to download videos in MP4
- 24X7 Priority Support
- Privacy Control
- Commercial Use Rights
- You can upload custom fonts
- Third-party Resale Rights
- Offers royalty-free libraries full of images
- Advanced animation
- Easy-to-use interface
- Best for professional-quality animations
- You can easily create presentations, etc
- The free version has limited features
Available on: Windows, MacOS, Android, web-based
4. Toon Boom Harmony
Toon Boom Harmony is one of the most popular drawing and animation apps that suits both beginners and professionals for creating eye-catching animations, storyboards, etc. Although it might appear a little complicated in the beginning, the software offers a plethora of tools and features to fuel your creativity. It provides vector and bitmap tools for creating different animated clips.
- Advanced colour palette and a variety of paint options
- A wide range of vector and bitmap drawing tools including Brush Engine
- Cut-out animation tools
- Offers 2D & 3D integration for professional-quality videos
- Traditional paperless animation
- Offers a wide range of drawing and animation tools
- User-friendly interface
- There can be glitches if the software isn’t updated
5. DigiCel FlipBook
DigiCel FlipBook is an easy-to-use 2D animation tool that might be designed for beginners, but it has a lot of functionalities. It is a frame-to-frame animation software since it animates one frame at a time. It also allows users to scan their artworks from paper to the software. You can even create stop motion videos using it.
- It offers a variety of functionalities such as multiple-frame work desk, zoom, pan, rotate, blur, lip-sync support, import & export as well as scanning
- It allows you to make changes while the animation runs, and the changes will be visible the next time the loop runs
- Allows you to convert PDF files into flipping books
- Delete or insert frames
- Import overlays, movies and backgrounds
- You can add multiple music tracks too
- Shoot your pencil drawings in a single click
- Best for artists who’re looking for a drawing and animation app
- You can import images directly from the scanners
- Allows you to customize the toolbar itself
- The animator has to animate every single frame on his own
Available on: Windows & OSX
Animaker is a user-friendly animation software with a drag-and-drop interface. It allows users to create different types of animations using its modules for ads, tutorials and manuals.
Additionally, it offers an extensive collection of animated objects and templates. Besides 3D animations, it also allows users to create 2D cartoons, whiteboard animations, as well as infographics.
Moreover, if you wish to create long videos, you can go for the business account with extra features.
- Offers a huge library consisting more than 100 million stock photos and videos
- Offers around 200 sound effects to pick for the videos
- You can create animated videos in six different styles - whiteboard, handcraft, 2D, 2.5 D, typography and infographic as well
- Wide range of music tracks
- Allows you to record voiceover within the software
- Drag and drop interface
- You can export videos in full HD
- Varieties of infographics to choose from
- The software is easy to customize
- Pre-designed templates
- Pre-viewing can be difficult sometimes
Available on: Web-based
7. Synfig Studio
Synfig Studio is one of the most popular free drawing animation apps that can be used by both experienced professionals and beginners. It offers two versions - Stable and Development; where Stable version offers all necessary features that are required for performing basic animation projects.
Whereas, the Development version offers some highly-advanced experimental tools and features for those who wish to be more innovative.
- Offers over 50 layers to create different types of animations
- Provides Vector Tweening which allows you to convert a vector graphic into another form
- The bone system allows you to create cut-out animations from bitmap images
- Link different parameters of the layers using mathematical expressions for creating various types of characters, puppets and other dynamic structures
- Add and synchronize narration as well as background music to the video
- It is completely open-source for anyone to change the source code and make upgrades or enhancements
- The free version is good enough for both basic and advanced animation
- Offers less tutorials for beginners to learn the software
Available on: Windows, MacOS, Linux
Toontastic is an excellent option for animators who’re looking for a 3D animation software that runs on Android and iOS platforms. With a user-friendly interface, it allows users to create amazing animations on their smartphones or tablets.
- Wide range of photos and customizable characters
- 3D drawing tools for character-designing
- Three Story Arcs - Classic, Short Story & Science Report
- Hundreds of pre-loaded songs or music tracks
- You can share videos with others from the photo library
- Easy to use app
- Supports imaginative play
- Best drawing app for creating engaging animated stories for children
- Allows you to share your finished videos on different platforms online
- Animating & editing the characters needs some improvement
Available On: Android & iOS
9. Pencil 2D
With a minimalistic user-interface, Pencil 2D is a free and open-source platform that is used for creating both vector and bitmap animations. It allows users to create stunning animated videos using the pen, brush and colour tools.
One of the best features is that the user-interface is lightweight and intuitive. Therefore, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced user, you’ll be able to easily understand the tools and features.
- You can review your work using rolling or flipping techniques
- Offers a wide variety of tools like layers, colours, keyframe, onion skinning along with workplace toolbars and panels
- You can easily switch between raster and vector workflows
- Supports Tagged Image File Format (TIFF)
- Offers a clean and organized timeline layout to seamlessly create new frames
- You can import images on different frames as new layers
- Clean & easy-to-use interface
- Offers tutorials in multiple languages like English, Portuguese and Spanish
- Allows you to use paint & sketch ink at various places
- Doesn’t offer a shape tool for drawing shapes
Available on: Windows, MacOS, Linux
OpenToonz is an excellent 2D animation tool that provides all essential features & functionalities for creating eye-catching animated videos. It is an open-source software, and therefore allows animators and developers to customize it as per their requirements.
All you need to do is scan for animating the drawings. The program is compatible with four types of scanning - black, white, coloured and with binarization & without binarization.
- Allows you to scan various types of images within the software
- It is compatible with TWAIN standards
- Creates wavy distortion
- You can paint with provisional colours
- Allows you to animate vector and raster images
- Change picture styles by using deep learning technology
- You can synthesize effects using Graphic User Interface
- Creates affected incident light
- Offers a variety of 2D animation tools
- Users can customize the software as its open-source
- Best for image processing and changing picture styles
- It can take some time to learn the software
Available on: Windows, MacOS, Linux
I hope the above list helps you find the perfect animation drawing app for your projects. Some of them are 2D animation software, while others are perfect for creating 3D animated videos. Though there are other animation tools available in the market, these are some of the best ones to opt for.
“What we love most about animation is, it’s a team sport, and everything we do is about pure imagination.”