Top 17 Free Animation Software for Windows and Mac (2023)

Choose one of these free animation software, if you want to create a cartoon, video, infographic or 2D animation even without much experience. This list contains free animation programs for beginners and professionals, as well as top-notch 3D animation software that can be installed on Windows and Mac.

  1. Adobe Animate - Our choice
  2. Blender - Open source program
  3. Maya - For 3D applications
  4. Toon Boom Storyboard Pro - A complex tool
  5. Animation Desk - 46+brushes
  6. K-3D - Polygonal modeling tool
  7. Daz Studio - For 3D lovers
  8. Animaker - Drag-and-drop builder
  9. KeyShot - Rendering software
  10. Renderforest - An all-in-one software
  11. Toontastic 3D - Google’s flexible tool
  12. Powtoon - Presentation maker
  13. Pencil2D Animation - Easy to use
  14. Synfig Studio - For all platforms
  15. TupiTube - For kids and beginners
  16. OpenToonz - For 2D animation
  17. Plastic Animation Paper - For simple drawing

Here are 17 free programs for creating animated videos in 2D or 3D format, which will be useful to designers, photographers, marketers and brands that want to boost recognition.

1. Adobe Animate

Our choice

  • Straightforward, Adobe-style UI
  • Many tutorials to master the program
  • Works with all sorts of vector and bitmap photos
  • Amazing export capabilities
  • May be difficult for newbies
  • Limited trial period

Verdict: Adobe Animate is free animation software included in the Creative Cloud. The program is so feature-rich that you may need to spend several weeks to learn them all. For example, there is an interesting function allowing you to draw new frames on top of previous ones.

The program has an integration option with your Adobe cloud library. You can use Adobe Animate to create Flash games, movie animations, kinetic typography, cartoons, animated GIFs and more. Similar features are available in Character Animator, which is a serious ground for Adobe Animate vs Character Animator rivalry.

Adobe Animate is the best photo animation software for professionals and enthusiasts, as well as those, who are already actively using Adobe products.

  • Find out how to get Adobe Animate free.

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    2. Blender

    Open source program

    • An impressive number of features and add-ons
    • Powerful modeling tools
    • Simple importing of outside objects
    • Pre-defined keyboards shortcuts
    • Image-based animation may cause problems
    • Not beginner-oriented

    Verdict: Blender is one of the best free animation programs with open source and a high-quality motion graphics software. It is used for creating 3D animations, games, motion tracking, and more. The software allows artists to turn photos into 3D animations. In addition, Blender has a Rigging Tool for converting 3D models into animated characters.

    Users get access to basic, e.g. video cropping, and advanced functions such as color gradation and video masking.

    • Look through the list of the best free video editing software.

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      3. Maya

      For 3D applications

      • Performs complex animation tasks in a simple way
      • Profound color management
      • Suitable for creating realistic effects
      • Wonderful rendering technology
      • Once the free trial finishes, the price is $1,545/year
      • Steep learning curve

      Verdict: Maya from Autodesk is a 3D computer graphics and animation software that is especially useful for creating interactive 3D applications, movies, video games, TV shows, and more. By the way, this program was used when working on “The Lord of the Rings” and “Star Wars”, so it is definitely one of the best free animation software.

      Together with Maya, you can create animated pictures, video games and add 3D effects to moving images. Besides, you can use Maya as efficient storyboard software.

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        4. Toon Boom Storyboard Pro

        A complex tool

        (Video) BEST FREE 2D ANIMATION SOFTWARE IN 2020 ( TOP 6 )
        • Fast processing and switching
        • Cooperation feature
        • Many options for import and export
        • Tools for video editing
        • Impossible to record and edit audio
        • Not for beginners

        Top 17 Free Animation Software for Windows and Mac (7)

        Toon Boom Storyboard Pro

        Verdict: Here is an award-winning software, winner of Primetime Emmy. This is a comprehensive storyboard tool that boasts functions for drawing, creating scripts and animations, and controlling the camera and sound.

        Using this best free animation software, you can create frame-by-frame animation and edit frames. You get a pressure-sensitive pencil, texture brushes, and the Bone Deform function. Thanks to onion skinning, you can control the movement and time of each animation, which makes Toon Boom Storyboard Pro a great alternative to the best motion tracking software.

        • Send your footage to our video editing services and get amazing results.

        5. Animation Desk

        46+brushes

        • Multiple options for data export
        • Intuitive interface
        • Broad range of tools
        • Supports layers
        • Occasional crashes

        Top 17 Free Animation Software for Windows and Mac (9)

        Animation Desk

        Verdict: Animation Desk is a creative app for originating frame-to-frame animations and storyboards. It is catching in a wonderful way and is very quick at unleashing the user’s creative potential. It is valid that the app does feature multiple tools that turn it into a full solution for both the newbie and ambitious animators alike.

        No animation skill can be required on your behalf. Each scene has to be drawn frame-by-frame and put together by the app thereafter. You can export animations as Photoshop layers, a PDF sheet, or big size GIF. Users are allowed to edit animation sequences further, across different devices such as Android, iOS, and Windows 10.

        Top 17 Free Animation Software for Windows and Mac (10)

        6. K-3D

        Polygonal modeling tool

        • Simple undo/redo functions
        • A node-based visualization pipeline
        • Straightforward interface
        • Handles procedural and parametric tasks with ease
        • No tutorials
        • May be confusing for novice users

        Top 17 Free Animation Software for Windows and Mac (11)

        K-3D

        Verdict: K-3D is free 3D animation software aimed at polygon modeling. According to this approach to digital graphics, the surface of objects is represented with the help of polygons. The program contains a complete set of tools and plug-ins for such a task.

        In addition to powerful polygon modeling functionality, K-3D has handy undo/redo features, which all together make it one of the best free animation software.

        Top 17 Free Animation Software for Windows and Mac (12)

        7. Daz Studio

        For 3D lovers

        • Tools for 3D animation, rendering and modeling
        • GPU-accelerated real-time rendering
        • Realistic characters
        • Motion features
        • Resource demanding
        • For pro users

        Top 17 Free Animation Software for Windows and Mac (13)

        Daz Studio

        Verdict: Daz Studio is a free tool for creating 3D animations and short videos. The main emphasis in this good free animation software is on 3D effects. Make models, visualize them and create animations at the level of skin texture.

        Other advantages of this program include fast real-time rendering and interactive tutorials to help you become the best 3D artist.

        • If you want to work more productively, choose the best graphics card for video editing.

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        (Video) Best FREE Video Editing Software (Mac & Windows PC!)

          8. Animaker

          Drag-and-drop builder

          • Drag-and-drop mechanism
          • Large library of animated templates
          • 6 different animation video styles
          • Supported on multiple devices
          • Previewing causes lagging
          • Limited number of animated characters in the library

          Top 17 Free Animation Software for Windows and Mac (15)

          Animaker

          Verdict: Animaker is a free online program for creating animations of various types: 2D, infographics, handcraft, whiteboard, 2.5D, typography. You can also work with audio: convert text into audio, add background music, sound effects, and voice.

          I liked the drag-and-drop function, which helps create animations on the go.

          • Check out more free audio editing software.

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            9. KeyShot

            Rendering software

            • Understandable interface
            • Quickly switching between different model sets
            • You can view changes in real time
            • May be legally used on several computers
            • Rendering could be faster
            • Occasional crashes

            Verdict: KeyShot is a handy free animation software for beginners with 3D rendering capabilities. Developers have added the physically correct render engine to the program to accurately copy materials from the real world and create photorealistic visualizations.

            I liked the rendering quality and a simple interface. As for the minuses - the process takes a little longer, when compared with other programs.

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              10. Renderforest

              An all-in-one software

              • Intuitive user interface
              • Create animation in a few clicks
              • Top-quality graphics and logos
              • Advanced AI technologies
              • 3-min free video limit
              • Watermarks added on all outputs

              Top 17 Free Animation Software for Windows and Mac (19)

              Renderforest

              Verdict: Renderforest is a universal online video, animation, logo, and website maker. To create an easy animation, you have more than 50,000 unique graphic files to choose from and more than 100 ready-made templates for mobile devices.

              Here you have hundreds of animated video templates at your disposal to suit your needs, including slide shows, splash screens, explanatory videos, logo displays, corporate presentations, and animated infographics.

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                11. Toontastic 3D

                Google’s flexible tool

                • Compatible with several platforms
                • Easily exportable
                • Ads-free
                • Works online
                • Limited settings and characters
                • Available only on mobile devices
                (Video) 5 Free Animation Apps That Are Really Good | Top 2D Animation Software for Windows, Mac & Linux

                Top 17 Free Animation Software for Windows and Mac (21)

                Toontastic 3D

                Verdict: Toontastic 3D is a free mobile application from Google, originally created for children, but the functionality is also enough to generate corporate animated 3D-videos. A nice bonus – this free animation software for beginners also works offline, so you can create videos on the go or when Wi-Fi is off.

                According to Google developers, you can create a one-minute video with six scenes in just a minute, excluding the time spent on creating characters.

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                  12. Powtoon

                  Presentation maker

                  • Variety of styles and designs
                  • Flexible customization of text layers
                  • Lots of ready-made templates
                  • There is a function to share the presentation
                  • A 3-minute video limit
                  • Presentations with a watermark

                  Top 17 Free Animation Software for Windows and Mac (23)

                  Powtoon

                  Verdict: Powtoon online application is mainly used for creating short videos and dynamic video presentations. There are some limitations in the free plan: you can create HD videos lasting up to 3 minutes, and the storage capacity is limited to 100 MB.

                  In Powtoon, you can choose your own style, change the proportions and sizes of the animation, export videos to YouTube, Facebook, Wistia, and Vimeo. There are also handy Powtoon tutorials, which makes mastering the app even quicker.

                  • Address our corporate video editing for fast and professional services.

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                    13. Pencil2D Animation

                    Easy to use

                    • Simple restarting
                    • Cross-platform program
                    • Smooth switching between raster and vector files
                    • Step-by-step instructions
                    • Setting preferences aren’t saved between sessions
                    • The program doesn’t support video export

                    Top 17 Free Animation Software for Windows and Mac (25)

                    Pencil2D Animation

                    Verdict: Pencil2D Animation software free is used for creating 2D animated videos. It allows users to create more traditional, hand-drawn scenes.

                    Animator artists will like a clean, non-cluttered timeline, where it’s quite simple to add new frames on different layers, duplicate them, change the frame rate and quickly create animations with minimal effort.

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                      14. Synfig Studio

                      For all platforms

                      • Timeline-style interface
                      • Bone system for complex editing of bitmap images
                      • Lots of top-level technical features
                      • Layering support
                      • Easy to learn
                      • Lacks some standard functions

                      Top 17 Free Animation Software for Windows and Mac (27)

                      Synfig Studio

                      Verdict: Synfig Studio is another free online 2D drawing animation software. Here you use vector graphics to create timeline animations.

                      To make the movements of the drawn characters more natural, the developers integrated a bone system. Thanks to the parameters of the layers, you can create dynamic characters.

                      (Video) 17.Best 2D Animation software FREE | Beginners Tutorial | Step by Step | Wondershare Anireel

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                        15. TupiTube

                        For kids and beginners

                        • Clear UI
                        • Free open source program
                        • Supports vector illustrations
                        • Compatible with many file formats
                        • Only for 2D animation
                        • Limited functionality

                        Top 17 Free Animation Software for Windows and Mac (29)

                        TupiTube

                        Verdict: TupuTube is a free 2D animation program. You can use a mobile application or a desktop version.

                        The program supports vector illustrations. You can add rectangles, lines, polygons and other shapes. You can also import bitmap images and export finished pictures to different file formats.

                        • Read more about the best video format.

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                          16. OpenToonz

                          For 2D animation

                          • Open source animation software
                          • GTS scanning tool
                          • Unique Xsheets & Timelines functions
                          • Audio/Soundtrack Implementer
                          • Limited plug-ins effects
                          • Learning the program requires some time

                          Top 17 Free Animation Software for Windows and Mac (31)

                          OpenToonz

                          Verdict: OpenToonz is open source 2D animation software. Users can enjoy vector and raster drawing tools, quick painting and color changing, blurs, lighting, keys, masks, warps, and more than 100 other effects. You can also combine animation with video, create frame-by-frame animation, motion tweening and bones character animation.

                          • Check out the best free drawing software.

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                            17. Plastic Animation Paper

                            For simple drawing

                            • User-friendly interface
                            • Quick drawing and flipping
                            • Simple video and frame stacks import
                            • Full-frame reference on the 2nd monitor
                            • Only for 2D animation
                            • Limited functionality of a free version

                            Top 17 Free Animation Software for Windows and Mac (33)

                            Plastic Animation Paper

                            Verdict: Plastic Animation Paper is one of the best 2D animation software, where you can create drawings in black and white, and make them color.

                            You can quickly switch from one screen to another and check the drawing that you’ve created. The advantage of PAP is that the program works well with frames of any size.

                            FAQs

                            Which is the best free software for animation? ›

                            The best free animation software available now
                            1. Blender. An impressive set of free rigging and modelling tools. ...
                            2. Synfig Studio. A powerful and open-source animation software. ...
                            3. Open Toonz. This professional animation tool is free and open-source. ...
                            4. Pencil2D Animation. This free software is ideal for 2D hand-drawn animations.
                            13 Sept 2022

                            Is Mac or PC better for animation? ›

                            If you want the absolute best laptop for animation you can buy right now, then you won't get better than the new MacBook Pro 16-inch. Powered by a choice of Apple's new M1 Pro or M1 Max chips, the MacBook Pro can easily handle even the most complex animations.

                            Which software is best for animation of in Windows 10? ›

                            Let's have a look:
                            • Moho Pro: On top of the slit, we have Moho Pro, a dual-dimensional animation software. ...
                            • Krita: Krita is a 2D animation tool used for Windows 10. ...
                            • WPS: ...
                            • Pencil: ...
                            • Blender: ...
                            • Autodesk Maya: ...
                            • Animaker: ...
                            • Creatoon:
                            5 Aug 2022

                            Is Animaker full free? ›

                            Animaker is a Do it Yourself professional-quality video maker! It's absolutely free!

                            Will FlipaClip be on PC? ›

                            It is free to download and use; it offers a variety of tools to make videos. But mind that FlipaClip pc download is only available after Android emulator installation.

                            Is FlipaClip available on Mac? ›

                            FlipaClip is not available for Mac but there are plenty of alternatives that runs on macOS with similar functionality. The best Mac alternative is OpenToonz, which is both free and Open Source.

                            Is 8GB RAM enough for animation? ›

                            You want a minimum of 8GB really. 16GB will do you nicely. This is where you'll be storing your projects and other files.

                            Does Pixar use Mac or PC? ›

                            Pixar Uses Apple's Mac Pro to Make Films.

                            Is Mac good for 3D animation? ›

                            The best Apple computer for 3D animation, the MacBook Pro is not an inexpensive computer, but for its performance, beauty and overall quality it's easily one of the best values on the market today, and receives my highest recommendation.

                            How do I remove a watermark from Animaker? ›

                            To remove the watermark, you need to select the watermark in the video and then drag a small box that is present in the toolbar over this watermark. This will remove the watermark from the desired video.

                            Is Krita good for animation? ›

                            Is Krita good for animation? Yes. It's a fan favorite and is perfect for frame by frame animation techniques. Overall, it is an invaluable resource for any budding animators or 2D painters.

                            Which is better Animaker or Powtoon? ›

                            Reviewers felt that Animaker meets the needs of their business better than Powtoon. When comparing quality of ongoing product support, reviewers felt that Animaker is the preferred option. For feature updates and roadmaps, our reviewers preferred the direction of Animaker over Powtoon.

                            Is Toonboom free? ›

                            It is an all-in-all 2D animation software, and aside from its storyboard feature, it also offers stop-motion capabilities. Additionally, it has post-production and FX tools, allowing it to be your go-to creation tool from conception to publishing. However, it is not free.

                            Is Adobe animate free? ›

                            First of all, it is not free — you will have to buy a subscription plan (plans start at $20.99 in the United States, though prices can vary by region) to use Adobe Animate. In addition, you may be frustrated with the lack of brushes, or perhaps you simply don't like the layout of Adobe Animate.

                            Is FlipaClip good for kids? ›

                            The Let's Get Started tutorial is thorough and provides enough information for kids, regardless of experience, to feel confident in trying their hand at animation and navigating the app. Kids can find additional tutorials and examples of others' work by connecting with the FlipaClip: Cartoon Animation online community.

                            Is FlipaClip completely free? ›

                            You can download FlipaClip for free. Flipaclip is available to download for free on iOS (iPad and iPhone) and Android devices.

                            How do I get rid of the FlipaClip watermark? ›

                            Once you purchase this feature you will be able to toggle on/off the FlipaClip watermark. To turn-off the watermark go to “Make Movie” screen and switch the button to off.

                            How do you animate on a Mac? ›

                            Animate a drawing
                            1. Click to select the drawing you want to animate.
                            2. In the Format sidebar, click the Drawing tab, then select the Animate Drawing checkbox.
                            3. Do any of the following: Adjust how long the animation plays: Drag the Duration slider. Repeat the animation in a loop: Select the Loop checkbox.

                            How do you FlipaClip? ›

                            Intro to FlipaClip - YouTube

                            Can I animate for free? ›

                            Powtoon is the first company to offer a free animation studio for video editing and creation. With Powtoon, you can easily create 2D animations in just a few hours.

                            Is Blender animation free? ›

                            Blender is the Free and Open Source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, sculpting, rigging, 3D and 2D animation, simulation, rendering, compositing, motion tracking and video editing.

                            Is Toonboom free? ›

                            It is an all-in-all 2D animation software, and aside from its storyboard feature, it also offers stop-motion capabilities. Additionally, it has post-production and FX tools, allowing it to be your go-to creation tool from conception to publishing. However, it is not free.

                            Is Cartoon 4 animator free? ›

                            Try Cartoon Animator 4 FREE for 30 Days.

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