Have you ever thought about speeding up your work using animation apps? We know that making an animation takes time, a lot of time, and there are so many ways to make one, that choosing a good way to start will take you more hours than planned.
That’s why we’ve created a list of the best animation apps that will help you optimize your workflow, and you can use them on your computer, smartphone or tablet, depending on your requirements.
They will certainly guide you a lot if you don’t have much previous experience in animation. how about trying them out, we’re sure you’ll love them!
Pencil 2D: a program to animate in 2D
Devices: Windows, macOS, Linux
Pencil 2D is a very intuitive tool to create 2D animations, it is simple in interface and timeline. It is characterized by having the option to work in vectors or raster, as well as to implement sketching and inking.
Although it is a very friendly app to make animations, it limits many options of brushes or advanced elements that you can find in other platforms.
In conclusion, if you are a beginner or want to animate simple strokes such as phrases, words or any gesture, it is a good option.
Rough Animator: an animation app that you must try
Access: paid, free (trial version)
Devices: iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows
If you have an iPad the best thing you can do, is to download Rough Animator, this app encompasses many features that will make you a great animator.
We can use onion paper, previews, unlimited layers, the incorporation of audio for lip syncing, the use of rotoscoping and custom brushes. In addition, this animation app is compatible with other software such as Adobe Animate/Flash, After Effects and Toon Boom Harmony, which we will talk about in more depth later.
FlipaClip: start animating with this app on your cell phone
Access: free, pay (to add more options)
FlipaClip is an animation app for smartphones that can be a good option to get started in animation. It features various drawing tools, the option to add audio and export your project in various formats.
However, its features are reduced in the free version and you must pay an extra price to unlock other tools such as using more than 3 layers or adding your own audio files. It limits you a bit, but it can be a starting point for your first creation.
After that, if this is your career, it will be worth investing in your working tools, so it’s a good idea to jump on the FlipaClip boat and learn how to animate with this animation app.
Krita: an intuitive app for creating animations
Access: free, paid (for Windows Store and Steam) and there is an option for donations.
Devices: Windows, macOS, Linux
Krita is one of the programs to make animations that best manages the balance between complexity and intuition.
Among the options presented by this animation app are:
The use of onion paper.
Manage your own shortcuts.
Add music to your timeline.
Tools to paint what you are animating.
Apart from Krita, do you use Premiere to reinforce your animations? If so, do you struggle to find your favorite tools in Adobe Premiere? There’s a way to stop that from happening again: Try these Adobe Premiere shortcuts!
Animation Paper: a complete app to create animations
Access: free (beta version) and $79 USD final version (No release date)
Devices: Windows, macOS
Created by Niels Krogh Mortensen, Animation Paper is a very complete animation app for creating characters frame by frame.
Unlike other applications, it presents an infinite number of options that perfectly shows you that it is created by an animator for other animators.
If you are looking for a different and original option, this animation app can come in handy for impeccable creations. give it a try!
Aseprite: an app to make Pixel Art animations
Access: free (beta version) and pay $19.99 USD (for Microsoft Store and Steam)
Devices: Windows, macOS, Linux ( limited features)
Aseprite is an application to create pixel art animations with which you can create sprites and animated graphics.
In addition, this program to make animations has a community where you can consult or solve any doubt that another user has.
Houdini Apprentice: make your first creations with this animation app
Devices: Windows, macOS, Linux
Houdini Apprentice is an unpaid version of Houdini FX, which can be used by students, artists and amateurs to create non-commercial personal projects.
With this animation software you have access to virtually all the features of Houdini FX to develop your skills and work on personal projects as a 3D animator.
In addition, Houdini Apprentice allows you to save to disk and render with a name brand. You can complement all your productions by learning how to make a homemade chroma key, which is sure to help you create unique animations.
MakeHuman: create 3D characters with this animation app
Devices: Windows, macOS, Linux
MakeHuman is an excellent animation app for creating realistic 3D characters. Initially, it was just a Blender add-on and then became a standalone animation app.
Maybe modeling your own character is better, but it will take you a long time to finish your project. For example, what if your client asks you to make an animation with some characters in a week? Or you want to do a concept very fast. There are several reasons why you should use an animation app like Make Human.
Combined with Blender you can create a game character in the easiest way possible. how about giving it a try? it’s free!
Smartbody: the animation app to give shape to your creations
Devices: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOs
Smartbody is one of the free animation software that helps you perform locomotion, direction, object manipulation, lip sync, gaze, non-verbal behavior and retargeting actions in real time. Yes, you can do many functions in one app.
And the best thing about this animation app is, without a doubt, the auto-rigging tool, which allows you to auto-rig a 3D scan; moreover, it has a library of silhouettes to give a natural look to your creations.
In fact, this animation application is widely used for game and simulation engines. It is compatible with Unity, GameBryo, Ogre, Panda3D and Unreal engines without having to add a plug-in.
Boats Animator: a program to animate on all levels
Devices: Windows, macOS, Linux
Boats Animator is a free and open source stop motion animation program for Windows, macOS and Linux. With its intuitive interface, it can be used by animators of all levels, even if you are a beginner.
It is an animation app that offers many powerful features. You can instantly preview your captured frames with Boats Animator. Unlike other programs, you don’t need to wait for the frames to be processed.
In addition, it supports high-resolution frame capture, even 1080p and more! It’s also easy to switch between multiple connected devices for multi-camera shots.
Source: Charlie Lee
Folioscope: an app to make animations in minutes
Folioscope is a program to make easy animations, which is available only on devices with the iOs system. It is a great animation app that allows you to bring your ideas to life quickly and share them with friends.
In addition, in this animation app you can view animations created by other users, according to timeline, ratings or featured. And the best thing is that you can participate in contests organized by Folioscope, such as Epic Fight, Superheroes and 3D.
Adobe Spark: the favorite app for making animated videos
Access: free, paid (with more unlimited features)
Devices: iOs, Android, Windows
Adobe Spark is a must-have animation app for anyone looking to make animated videos. This free animation maker syncs seamlessly between your mobile device and your computer or tablet so you can work whenever “inspiration strikes”.
looking to create interactive social media content? maybe for a new startup idea or for your own personal account, this photo animation software lets you bring your text and images to life for featured social media posts and stories.
Without a doubt, it is a complete animation app that makes it easy to create social graphics, short videos, and even animate web pages.
GIFmob: the animation app that you need on your smartphone
Devices: iOs, Android
have you seen movies made with stop motion? If you’re looking to make something in that style, this animation app is what you need. In fact, the creators of GIFMob claim it’s the easiest animation app on the market and friendly for all levels.
Animation Desk: add motion to your ideas with this animation app
Access: free, paid (with more unlimited features)
Devices: iOs, Android, Windows
Animation Desk is an ideal alternative if you like making pencil animations and sketches, as it has a friendly user interface and several painting tools, all of which include pressure sensitivity: from fountain pens to crayons and pencils. Amazing, isn’t it?
want to transform your ideas into great stories? with this animation app you can create creative storyboards, give movement to your photos and make animated videos.
Source: Kdan Mobile
LookSee Animator: create interactive videos with this animation app
LookSee Animator is another animation app that gives you the power to make animated videos using your phone’s main camera. You can even turn a video into a series of still images that can then be reused in other animations.
An awesome free animation maker that gives you full control over animation effects such as exposures, balance and focus, while allowing you to add some special effects.
Synfig Studio: a favorite 2D animation app
Synfig Studio is an open source 2D animation application that allows you to transform any vector shape into another using its vector interpolation function.
In addition, this free animation program provides you with more than 50 layers to design and animate artwork of any degree of detail. You can have access to gradients, distortions, filters, fractals and many more.
Opentoonz: free animation option for all audiences
Devices: Windows and OSX
Opentoonz is one of the most popular animation applications on the market. why? Easy, it is a free alternative, which works on the most common operating systems and with the possibility of downloading… It would be strange if it were not one of the most popular.
Among its main features is the fact that you can modify the source code, to insert specific details in this software. In addition, it is a very easy to use software, so you should have no problems if you already have some knowledge about apps for animations.
One of the main advantages of this app to make animations is that you have the option to use a plugin, with which you can design good animation effects, without the need for any additional editing.
But as all that glitters is not gold, it is also important to highlight a great detail: its interface design can look a bit old-fashioned, especially if we compare it with other applications to make animations.
Among the final features of this product we find the following:
It is a GTS scanning tool.
You can add light and distortion effects.
You have the possibility to vary the different image styles.
It is compatible with different scans, both black and white and color.
Maefloresta: the educational resource for young people
Access: Free of charge
Devices: Android and iOS.
One of the applications to make animations for cell phones that can get you out of trouble is Maefloresta. Not only because you can use them on mobile devices (smartphones or tablets), but also because they save you from having to buy expensive software, when maybe you just want some simple videos.
For this reason, it is one of the most used resources to educate children and young people on how to make applications. Free, very simple to use and with additional tutorials, in case you get lost in understanding some concept. The perfect didactic combo.
With so many wonders we talked about this application to make animations, what is the disadvantage? Not many, only that you must send an email to the team, to be able to have the online installer, which can be problematic for the consumer.
Toon Boom Harmony: the software that every pro needs
Access: Free, but only for the first 21 days of using the product. After that trial period, it becomes a paid app.
Devices: Windows, Linux and OSX.
Briefly mentioned before, Toon Boom Harmony is one of the most recognized animation applications in the industry. It doesn’t matter if you want to create a majestic work of art or you just want to show a video to your friends at school. This tool will teach you everything possible to be part of the animation world.
The most important thing we rescue about this product is that it is a software for pros. why do we say this? Because it can take some time to learn how to handle it and use it in the most appropriate way (which could be seen as a pro and a con at the same time).
Among its many features, we highlight its bitmap and vector tools, with which you can create both art and imported models in 3D productions (perfect for hybrid-type creations), as well as the option to create a wide variety of Z-depth multiplanes.
Stand out and make creations like a pro. Its color palette and advanced painting options will help you a lot.
CelAction2D: useful for all occasions
Access: You pay but, if you get the Studio edition, you can get a special license to use this product for life.
Devices: Windows Linux and OSX.
Thanks to CelAction2D, we find the possibility to generate unique animations of its kind, endowed with great dynamism and professionalism. It is a very easy to use software and, best of all, its system requirements are very low. So you will have no problem getting familiar with this type of application and you will be able to have at your disposal a wide palette of up to 16 million colors!
It is also designed for beginners as well as for those who aspire to a higher level of quality. If we must find a flaw, it is the fact that you must purchase a license to use this software to make animations whenever you want. Although this is a high financial commitment (its license exceeds $1000 USD), we recommend that you make use of it if you are going to use the program constantly or if you are going to make a living out of it.
Whether you are a beginner or a pro, you will appreciate all that this animation application has to offer.
Moho (Anime Studio) Pro: advanced tools at your fingertips
Devices: Windows and OSX.
Another of the applications to make animations that we could consider more for professionals in the world of animation (or for those who aspire to become pros). Usually designed for Flash style creations, we found Moho (Anime Studio) Pro to be one of the most affordable options on the market.
While it can be a real challenge for animation beginners (as it has more advanced features than other software), it is constantly being updated, so new functions and useful features are always being added.
Some of the features we should highlight about Moho (Anime Studio) Pro are the following:
It has advanced freehand drawing tools.
Its Intelligent Warp function allows you to create custom meshes, which will be very useful if you want to twist and bend your animations.
It has realistic motion blur, while you can make animations for multiple layers at the same time.
FlipBook: make powerful 2D animation videos
Devices: Windows and OSX
Here’s one of the many animation making apps that cater to beginners and professionals alike. As long as you want to improve your editing experience, you will have an amazing tool like FlipBook at your fingertips.
FlipBook’s main strength is that from a drawing, a sound or a scan, you will have the ability to make a masterful video with this animation software. That’s how powerful this video editor is.
A 2D animation tool with which you will be able to execute functions such as:
Synchronize sound with animation.
Use 10 animation layers with which you can add extra touches.
You have a scanner with which to import images.
Now, if we must point out a drawback of Flipbook is that it is not possible to use this 2D animation program to make subtle changes, as the bone rigging is not available.
Otherwise, you have the world at your feet with this animation application.
how to make simple animations?
If what you need is to make quick and simple animations, you just have to download one of the many apps for creating animations to your cell phone. Most of them have an easy and friendly interface, so making 2D animations will be easier than blowing up a balloon.
Download an easy to use animation app. do a search on Google Play and Apple Store. Make sure it’s an app with a bank of characters and elements that allow you to make quick animations.
Explore the app and its features: formats, layers, frames, drawing tools, etc. If it offers tutorials, check them out.
Define the goal of your animation or animated video: what do you want to achieve with this animation, attract more customers or generate interaction, is it a video that you will use to post on social networks or for an advertisement?
Make a script. No matter how short your video or animation is, it is advisable to write a text where you explain the details of its content.
Select the character and the elements that go according to the objective and message of your animated video. Try them out, until you find the style you are looking for.
Add a music track, but make sure it is copyright free. There are several platforms that offer music for free use. Facebook itself has a bank of songs that you can use without any problem. Remember that a video with audio is more attractive.
Export your animation in the format you want and that’s it. It’s time to publish it on social networks.
Applications to make simple animations
Devices: Windows, iOS, Android
An app for creating animations and cartoons, PicsArt Animator is characterized by being easy to use and offering several functions. These include: recording sounds and voiceovers, creating your own emojis, animating frame by frame, duplicating, inserting and deleting frames, etc. All these functions are free of charge.
use it to create cartoon videos, animated GIFs and funny sketches in just a few steps. You don’t need to have animation notions to take advantage of it.
do you want to create animated GIFs for Instagram? If so, learn how to make a GIF for Instagram and make it viral.
Stick Nodes: Stickman Animator
One of the best apps for creating stick figure animations on mobile devices, Stick Nodes allows users to create their own stickfigure-based animations and even export them as animated GIFs and MP4 videos.
This animation making application has a variety of features: frame interpolation, a camera that allows you to zoom and rotate around scenes, duplicate objects within the animation, a variety of shapes and colors, etc.
In addition, a community has been built around this app to create animations. On YouTube there are several examples of the animations that users have created. Search for them with the word “sticknodes”.
Access: free of charge
Devices: Android, iOS
Another app to make quick and easy animations is Anime Maker. This app gives you the possibility to create animations in the style of a flipbook (a book with several images that when you pass them quickly seem to animate, giving a sense of movement).
Anime Maker allows you to draw by touch, create flipbook animations, configure the brush and colors; as well as undo, delete, adjust animation speed and add, delete and duplicate animation frames, etc.
But although it has no audio functions and does not allow exporting files and its zoom is limited, it is an app to create animations very popular among animators of animation applications. In addition, it invites you to publish your creations on its website.
Stickman: draw animation, creator & maker, drawing
Access: free, pay (to add options and remove advertising).
It is an app to create easy and fun animations, so it is ideal for beginners, children or people who are not so demanding with drawing. As its name says, Sitckman allows you to create flipbooks and animations in frames based on a stick figure.
It has the necessary drawing and coloring tools to create simple animated stories in a matter of minutes. However, its free version has many ads and does not offer many brush options.
Access: free, pay (to add options).
If you’re interested in animation, but don’t know where to start, Animatic is a good option for beginners looking to make simple 2D animations. With this app you’ll be able to create animations in no time thanks to its frame editor and drawing tools (pencils, crayons, markers, etc).
When you are satisfied with your animation, you can export it as a GIF or video and share it on social networks.
Access: free, paid.
Pixel Animator is an app for creating GIF-like animations. If you are a fan of pixel art, you will like to try it. Thanks to its features you can create a pixel art from scratch (based on an existing photo or cartoon) and then convert it into a GIF.
Like the previous apps, it also works by frames. The free version of this animation app allows you to add up to 10 frames. Remember that the speed of the frames is the speed that the GIF animation will have at the end.
Another of its features is that it allows you to edit existing GIF files.
how to make better animations?
If you have some experience with some animation programs like After Effects and you want to know how to make better animations, we leave you with these animation tutorials that will help you improve your technique.
did you know that Procreate also allows you to animate? Here’s how
Websites to make animations online
Nowadays there are a variety of apps to create animations on mobile devices and animation programs of all levels. But there are also several websites that allow you to make simple animations with preconceived elements. Here is a list:
These are some of the apps and pages that will help you when creating free animations. There are many more, remember to focus on the software where you feel most comfortable and with which you don’t get complicated while animating.
Trends 2021: where is animation heading this year?
The world of animation has been changing steadily over the last few decades.
It used to be that the best animated series and movies were intended for a child audience. then they moved on to a more adult audience and now we have very diverse films with themes suitable for all audiences.
In this context, animation programs have adapted to new needs in order to follow current production and consumption trends.
An example of the big leagues of animation is Pixar, which uses new animation methods that allow to distinguish minimum details such as clothes and hair, very realistic.
In this section we will look at some of the animation trends that are coming for 2021 in terms of technology and concepts. Let’s see what they are about.
Animations with more inclusion
Just as animation technologies have mutated, so have the people who work with them.
New campaigns to include people of all races and genders are increasingly seen in animated products.
Soon it will not be uncommon to think about how to design animated characters that have characteristics much more similar to real people.
More animated productions
As is already well known, the big behemoths of the film and television industry are increasingly looking at how to break into the market.
Animations are no less in these companies that produce more and more and better ones to become competitive all the time.
Sony, for example, bought Crunchyroll making the American anime become a strong competitor.
Everything seems to indicate that we will see many more animated movies in the coming years.
Releases on streaming platforms
Streaming platforms started to position themselves better and better since last year as, in the wake of the pandemic, the big releases came online.
The world of animation has jumped on this bandwagon and is starting to be present in on-demand content sites.
It remains to be seen what monsters like Netflix or Amazon Prime will surprise us with in 2021.
Interactive content for the public
The content produced by design and animation applications has become very interactive, allowing the public to participate and follow trends on social networks.
Virtual reality not only for video games
Many of the programs for animation serve to introduce you to the world of virtual reality that was previously only exclusive to video games.
This 2021 brings a wave of virtual reality and augmented reality ready to catch the public.
Free resources to make your animations
If you thought you were going to leave this post without a gift from us, you’re wrong. We bring you the best downloadable resources for you to design the best animations.
These tools will be a blessing for you to make the best creations. you can’t miss them!