Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

Digital art isn’t any easier to create than manual art, contrary to popular opinion. You would not only need a creative mindset to produce imaginative ideas but also a complete skillset to run a software faultlessly. That is why we have split the list of best animation software into two categories according to the level of ease of usage they offer to users.

If you are a newbie in the world of 2D animation with beginner level experience and you’re aiming to be a professional animation maker soon, or start a 2D animation company, this blog can be helpful to you in choosing the best 2D animation software as per your level of expertise. 

This blog answers:

  • Where is 2D Animation Used?

  • List of 2D Animation Videos Types

  • How to Pick the Best 2D Animation Software for Video Making?

  • Top Free 2D Animation Softwares for Beginners

  • Top Free 2D Animation Softwares for Professionals

  • Wrapping Up

Where is 2D Animation Used?

2D Animation can be leveraged to create a very diverse set of creative art forms. From funny cartoon making to informative documentary making, 2D making has its roots deep in many parts of the digital industry. We love games made through 2D animation like Super Meat Boy, Hollow Knight, Braid, and Shank.

2D Animation Videos:

2D videos are made widely and used for several purposes. Whether you want to teach students by using explanatory videos or you’re aiming to address your employees by making an internal branding video, all such ideas can be executed using 2D animation. You can create intricate videos of different types to engage with your audience. These types include:

  • Cartoon Videos
  • Demo Videos
  • Explanatory videos
  • Corporate videos
  • Marketing videos
  • Advertisement videos
  • Informative short clips

How to Pick the Best 2D Animation Software for Video Making?

Maybe one software has a high ranking and lots of reassuring reviews and recommendations, but it might not be the right one for you. Before picking a software, you need to know about the factors and features they have like the ease of use, quality, and price. 

For example, one software can be stress-free to use, but its high-cost factor can make it a secondary choice. Whereas another option with a comparatively lesser easy-going approach but free of cost criteria can become your first choice.

Here we would discuss all of these factors about each such 2D animation software, making it easier for you to pick up the best 2D animation software for video making.

Top Free 2D Animation Softwares for Beginners:

If you’re a beginner, these software are for you.

  1. Synfig

  2. CelAction 2D

  3. Opentoonz

  4. Maefloresta

Synfig; Open Source 2D Animation Software:

  • Compatible for Windows, Linux, and OSX
  • Free of cost

Synfig is an open-source 2D animation software that is quite uncomplicated and effortless to use. Beginners can start using it without getting tensed about confronting anything complicated like a complex dashboard or difficult to use control tools. It offers more than 50 layers to your animation screen, eliminating limitations, despite being free to use. 

There are two versions available for free download. A testing version and a stable version. A testing version would allow you to experiment things out before you make up your mind and switch to the stable version.

Its unique point is that its bone system allows creating cutout animations from bitmap images. It also supports sound to add or sync narrations or music in videos.  

CelAction 2D – Low System Requirement 

  • Price: $1300
  • Windows, Linux, and OSX

If you are working for a client and need foolproof outcomes, you can trust CelAction for it, even if you’re a beginner. It can create brilliantly professional animations for you. 

By getting a full license for your work, you are showing your financial commitment, which would grant you access you all features you need. Its difficulty level isn’t that complex to get used to with.
It was created for beginners and intermediate users as it offers nearly all the advanced options. Like, you can create a palette using more than 16 million colors available. 

Opentoonz; Pro Effects for 2D Animation

  • Free of cost
  • Supports Windows. OSX

Opentoonz is the best free alternative based on Toonz software that helps in creating 2D animation craft. It is available for everyone to download and use without any charges. Users can also modify the source code to add more specialized features to this simple software. Using plugins can give you beautiful animation effects without any further editing. It has an outdated UI design, but that doesn’t affect the user experience at all. 

It has cool features like it offers a GTS scanning tool, which comes in handy at several points. It can help you change picture styles, add distortion and light effects, and is compatible with black and white or colored scans. 

Maeflorista; Easy-to-Use, Mobile-friendly Software

  • Available for Android & iPhone 
  • Free of cost

This software is quite easy to learn for beginners, even for those who are total newbies to 2D animation. The tutorials at the start can help amateur animators turn into professionals in no time at all. The unique point about Maeflorista is that you can use it with ease on your Android or iPhone smartphones to create 2D animated videos. 

It’s not for professional use, rather for learning or practicing purpose. For personal use, this app can be a great solution. Showing off to your friends or making videos for your school projects can turn easy with this software. 

Top Free 2D Animation Software for Professionals:

If you’ve crossed the beginner journey, go forward for professional options like:

  1. Toon Boom Harmony

  2. Moho

  3. Stop Motion Studio

  4. FlipBook

Toon Boom Harmony – Leading Animation Software

  • Price: $109 per month
  • First 21 days are free
  • Supports Windows, Linux, and OSX

Whether you’re up to creating an art masterpiece or want to create a story with 2D motion, Toon Boom is there to create that for you. It might take time to get the hang of it, but it is worth using. 

It has several useful tools for creating art like bitmap drawing and revolutionary vector tools in the brush engine and cutout animation tools. It also offers advanced color palettes and paint options to create multiplane scenes with Z-depth. It has a traditional paperless animation option, and 3D imported models for hybrid production, too.

Moho; Paid 2D Animation Software

  • Supports Windows, Mac OS X
  • Price: $399
  • 30 days free trial period

Moho is a comprehensive animation program that we recommend whole-heartedly. The reason is the level of outcome you get, which is not far down from your favorite animation creations. It helps you in making professional-looking animations with a very low level of difficulty. It’s for the animators who are past their learning phase and are now gearing towards honing their craft. 

The price factor can make first-time video animators step-back, but if you dig deeper and get the best out of it, it could be a great deal for you. The brilliant outcomes can cover the expenses soon enough. Also, there are constant updates in the software, improving it gradually.

Stop Motion Studio; A Well-Designed Software

  • Price: $59.99
  • Supports Android, Windows, OSX, and iOS 

Although it limits you to make 2D stop animations only, its compelling features are great to get acquainted with. You can use build-in sounds or recorded sounds to use in your videos. Since it supports DSLR, 1080p recordings, you can use your camera in conjunction with this software and capture content with ease. The unique, frame-by-frame editor can make it possible for you to get your desired results.

It comes with Chroma key and easy one-click uploading to YouTube and Facebook. There is another sound feature, Onionskin that allows you to view previous frames through a transparent overlay. This feature would help you in creating your next frame with ease.

FlipBook; Powerful Video Making Software

  • Price: $19 to 199
  • Supports Windows and OSX

Flipbook is perfect for beginners as well as pros who are still trying to enhance their animating repertoire. It allows you various features like syncing sound with animation, scanning cells, drawing, and 10 layers for extra touches. An important feature, bone rigging isn’t available, limiting you from making subtle changes. Let’s hope to get this feature in the next update.

It goes best with cartoon videos as the features it offers are perfect for the job. You are also allowed to use a scanner to import images for your projects. 

Wrapping Up:

You have a storyline in your mind, and you have a storyboard, you just had to choose the right animation software! After reading the blog, that decision has been made easier for you now. Start expressing your ingenious ideas on animated craft.

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