(Last Updated: July 21, 2021)

Nowadays, the rapid development of technology has made animations available to the masses. As a result, there is a diverse range of animation software for beginners and professionals in the market. As a beginner with basic design skills, you need to find suitable animation software to start your journey. Let’s take a look at the best animation software for beginners in 2021 – Free and Paid that you can consider using.

3 Paid Animation Software
Saola Animate 
Adobe Character Animator
MOHO
3 Free Animation Software
Pencil2D
Synfig Studio
Blender

Before diving deeper into the notable features and functionalities of the six best animation software for beginners, let’s see a brief overview of them.

No.SoftwareSystem SupportedHighlight
1Saola AnimateWindows, macOSPowerful tool to create HTML5 animations & interactive web content.
2Adobe Character AnimatorWindows, macOSAnimate 2D cartoon characters in real-time.
3MOHOWindows, macOS2D animation software with massive features and options to create high-definition artwork.
4Pencil2DWindows, macOS, Linux, FreeBSDStraightforward and easy-to-use 2D animation software.
5Synfig StudioWindows, Linux, OS X2D vector and timeline-based animation software.
6BlenderWindows, macOS, LinuxPowerful 3D animation creating software equipped with thousands of templates and features.

1. Saola Animate

Saola Animate by Atomi Systems is a powerful tool to create HTML5 animations and interactive web content. So, if you are looking for an animation tool to enrich the interactive responses of your website, Saola Animate is for you.

Integrated with an easy-to-use editor and intuitive user interface, Saola Animate requires no coding skills for HTML5 animations. Moreover, it’s easier than ever to create animations with Saola Animate as the software operates on a keyframe-based animation system. Keyframes define the starting and ending values of a property animation. Through these different values, Saola Animate creates a smooth transformation of that property over time. Saola Animate also offers Preset Effects and Auto-Keyframes that automatically generate keyframes when creating animations. These features help save time and speed up your work. Besides, Saola Animate is one of the few 2D applications that support making 3D animations. Responsive banners, animated e-cards, mini-web games, and interactive presentations are among a ton of things that you can create with Saola Animate.

animation software for beginners

Last but not least, in comparison with other paid animation software mentioned in this article, Saola Animate offers a 30-day free trial with all the features enabled.

Main Features of Saola Animate

Price

The price for the Saola Animate Pro version is $79/license. The license is perpetual and the price is a one-time cost. 

2. Adobe Character Animator

Adobe Character Animator, developed by Adobe Inc., is a powerful tool that allows you to animate a character in seconds. The software is easy to use and comes in handy for beginners that would like to make intuitive 2D cartoon characters and live animations. After importing art from Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, or start with built-in templates (called a puppet), turn your microphone and webcam on. Then, the application matches your expressions from lip-syncing to eye-tracking to animate in real-time. Your performance can bring the character to life. 

Adobe Character Animator

Image by Adobe.com

Main Features of Adobe Character Animator

  • The timeline search filter helps track items. Besides, you can hide or isolate tracks, create groups for better organization. 
  • Control your puppet using your webcam, microphone, and mouse. 
  • Built-in triggers and functions make the character move, react, hold objects, and more.
  • Lip sync is more accurate thanks to improved Adobe Sensei machine learning.
  • Ground detection makes your character jump, dance, bend more naturally.  
  • Easily integrate with other Adobe applications, for example, to export a scene or puppet. 

Price

Individuals plan costs $69.72/month/all apps.

Business plan starts at $50.50/month.

Students and Teachers plan costs S$26.30/month the first year and S$39.46/month after that.

Schools and Universities plan costs $51.99/month/all apps and $22.27/month/single app.

3. MOHO

MOHO is a powerful 2D animation software that helps bring your imaginations to life. The software offers you two editions which are MOHO DEBUT and MOHO PRO. MOHO DEBUT, including an intuitive user interface, ready-to-use features, is aimed at first-time animators. MOHO PRO inherits all features from MOHO DEBUT, and it also comes with amazing features that can help you create professional animations. It is beneficial for making brand anime and logos, cartoons, and films.

MOHO

Image by Moho.lostmarble.com

Main Features of MOHO

  • A wide variety of premade character options, scenes, stock audio & video clips, and scatter brushes to save your time.
  • Timeline, Audio Recording & Sound Effects, Automatic Lip Synching. 
  • Edit multiple layers simultaneously.
  • Frame-by-frame animation techniques let you change the character stage in every frame.
  • Draw freehand tools to auto-convert illustrations & sketches into editable vector drawings.

Price

MOHO PRO 13.5 costs $399.99/license. (One-time purchase)

MOHO DEBUT 13.5 costs $59.99/license. (One-time purchase)

4. Pencil2D

If you are into traditional hand-drawn animations and looking for a free animation tool, Pencil2D is for you. This software is simple for beginners. Equipped with a friendly user interface and minimal design, Pencil2D lets users quickly figure out all its features. Besides, you can find a wide range of video tutorials helping you start using the software more efficiently. This software is beneficial for making cartoons using traditional techniques, managing vectors, and bitmap drawings.

Main Features of Pencil2D

  • Lightweight and minimal design make it very easy for beginners to focus on animations.
  • Provide hand-drawn tools such as pencil, pen, and brush for those who want to create 2D hand-drawn animations.
  • You can use both raster and vector graphics and easily switch between them.
  • Allow you to work with layers, adjust keyframes in the Timeline pane, and rearrange toolbars and panes according to your preference. 

5. Synfig Studio 

Synfig Studio is an open-source software based on vector. Known as one of the newest animation tools on the market, Synfig Studio is used to create 2D animations. It allows you to control over editing the vector artwork and options to make your puppets. Synfig is used to create animated films or other kinds of videos such as cartoons and marketing initiatives. 

Image by Synfig.org

Main Features of Synfig Studio

  • Professional interface with a convenient workspace.
  • Calculate vector shape to animation automatically.
  • It specializes in vector graphics, so you can create both simple and complex animated objects. 
  • Provide over 50 layers, filters, bones, and advanced controls to create artwork and animation of any complexity.

6. Blender

If you are looking for an open-source 3D animation software, look no further, Blender is here for you. It is the most popular free animation tool used to create 3D animations. Blender is developed by many contributors all over the world according to the needs of users. Therefore, the software is well-equipped with massive effects and features for newbies and professionals to make stunning animations. Besides, it’s among the few 3D animation tools that can create 2D animations. The software is used for creating animated films, visual effects, art, 3D printed models, motion graphics, interactive 3D applications, virtual reality, and computer games.

Image by Blender.org

Main Features of Blender

  • Have a great collection of tools for modeling, sculpting, and more.
  • Full animation support with Onion Skinning and layers.
  • Grease pencil allows you to draw in 3D space, make traditional 2D animations, cut-out animations, and motion graphics.
  • Built-in video editor allows you to perform basic actions and more complex tasks.

Conclusion

In short, differences in animation usage lead to a diverse range of animation tools in the market. Therefore, deciding what purposes you use animations for is the key factor in choosing the right software to begin. Hopefully, our list of the best animation software for beginners will help you find the most suitable one. 

Read more:

Top 5 easy-to-use web animation tools that bring your website to life.