Animation has made video creation more interesting. With the help of various software tools and apps, you can animate anything; be it real life photo, sketched drawing or 3D objects. All you need is the right tool to help you achieve your aim. In this article, you will learn the various types of animation, animation apps for mobile android and iOS devices (both free and paid), animation software tools for desktop devices (online and offline), both for beginners and professionals.
What are the various Types of Animation?
Before you can choose the right animation tools, you need to know the various type of animation. This will help you know the best tool to achieve your target. There are 4 main types of animation:
1. 2D Animation
This is the oldest type of animation and it is also called hand drawing animation. Here, to create a movement, an animator need to draw the characters with its background over and over again (frame by frame) in a two-dimensional space.
In 2D animation, frames are usually animated here on 12 fps (frames per second) or 24 fps for faster movement. But with the introduction of digital puppet (or character rig) feature in some recent 2D animation software tools, an animator does not need to replicate the whole character and its background in order to create a movement. All you need to do as an animator is to individually move the body part of the character. And you no longer need to be a professional artist to animate in 2D.
2. Stop Motion Animation
This type of animation, real-life objects which are usually photographed after every single move, are slightly moved (one frame at a time) in order to create a special transition effect when the frames are played back at a normal speed on an animation stand, and then projected onto a screen. It is also called Stop-frame animation, and the concept was first developed in 1898 by Émile Cohl, a French filmmaker. With the introduction of 3D animation, stop motion animation became less popular, and no more frequently used.
One of the disadvantages of stop motion animation is that it is very difficult to correct a mistake made in any of the frames. Most times, you have to afresh. So a lot of patience is required in this type of animation.
3. 3D Animation
This is the most popular type of animation, and it is mostly used in 3D video games and movies. It is also called Computer Animation or CGI. The working concept of 3d animation differs from that of 2D animation.
Special controls are used to move the individual parts of the character, so as to create and set new keyframes for each movement. The 3D app now does the rest of the job so as to create a swift and realistic transition of the characters between the various keyframes created by the animator.
4. Motion Graphics Animation
This type of animation requires the combination of the techniques of 2D and 3D animations. You can use it to animate texts, images, logos and video clips. It is usually used in sports events, animating film titles, news editions, promo videos, explainer videos, etc.
One of the most popular features that motion graphics animation software apps offer is whiteboard animation. Here, an illustrated story is smartly drawn with a digital pen on a digital whiteboard.
Now that you have known the various types of animation, let’s go ahead with the main aim of this article, which is to reveal the best animation apps and software tools for both mobile and desktop devices.
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Best Animation Apps for Android & iOS Mobile Devices (Free & Paid)
If you are looking for a nice app for creating stop motion animation or movies, then check out Stop Motion Studio. It is a simple, but powerful animation tool with amazing features. It supports 4K quality images, and also allows you to use a second camera (remote camera) for capturing images.
Also, you can edit the images the way you like, copy, cut, paste, insert audio clips, titles, filter effects, credits, delete, etc. Stop Motion Studio also helps you to mark specific portions of your movies easily with the Set In and Set Out features.
Some other amazing features of Stop Motion Software tool include:
- Various painting tools that allows you to paint as you like, with full control of your brush size and strength.
- Masking tool, to magically remove any unwanted object in your movie.
- Dozens of beautifully designed titles and credit cards ready for use.
- Easily add facial expressions to your characters (LEGO figures).
- Quickly share your animated movies to platforms YouTube, Dropbox, Facebook, etc.
Stop Motion Studio is available to use on iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android, Chromebook and Amazon Fire for $4.99. It is also available for use on Windows and Mac OS for $9.99.
You can watch this Stop Motion Studio animation YouTube tutorial video: Free Stop Motion Studio App (All Settings Explained).
VideoScribe is the best online animation tool for creating whiteboard animation videos. You can easily create your animations with the easy drag and drop video maker. Whether you are a beginner or a professional, VideoScribe will help turn your imaginations into reality with its easy to use animation tools. You have access to tons of quality animated video templates for any topic. Freelance animators also use VideoScribe to make money by making whiteboard animation videos for their online clients.
The animation tool offers a 7-day free trial plan with access to all features, but your animation videos will be watermarked when you download them. Paid plans include: Monthly plan ($39 per month) and Annual plan ($14 per month, billed annually).
You can watch this VideoScribe animation YouTube tutorial video: VideoScribe Tutorial 1 – Getting Started.
If you are looking for a free 3D cartoon animation software tool that you can use both online and offline, then check out Toontastic 3D by Google. Anyone who wish to turn their ideas into 3D animated cartoons can use this free tool. Toontastic 3D allows you to draw, animate and narrate your ideas, news, reports and stories, and then export the video file easily.
It is free to download and use, no ads or in-app purchases, no login or password required, works offline, and also supports Android and iOS.
You can watch this Toontastic 3D animation YouTube tutorial video: Toontastic 3D Tutorial: Create Amazing Animated Cartoons Quickly and Easily.
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Other Animation Mobiles Apps (Online & Offline)
- PicsArt Animator – picsart.com/animation-maker: Online motion graphics animation tool.
- Werble – werbleapp.com: Photo and video animation app for iOS.
- Animation Desk – kdanmobile.com/animation-desk: Stop motion animation app for Android, iOS and Windows.
- Animaker – animaker.com: Web-based, user-friendly animation tool for creating 2D cartoons, infographics and whiteboard animation (motion graphics). Available for web and iOS.
- FlipaClip – flipanim.com: Free, easy to use 2D animation app for web, Android and iOS.
- Animate Free – play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.Stenson.AnimateIt: Amazing free animation app for Android.
- Animation Creator HD by miSoft – apps.apple.com/us/app/animation-creator-hd/id363201632: Free animation app for iOS.
- Animation Studio by miSoft – misoftstudios.com: Easy to use animation app for iOS.
Best Animation Software Tools for Desktop Devices
- Toon Boom Harmony – toonboom.com/products/harmony: Popular 2D and 3D animation tool for Windows and Mac OS.
- Cinema 4D – maxon.net/en/cinema-4d: 3D animation tool with modelling, simulation and rendering features for Windows, Mac and Linux OS.
- AutoDesk Maya – autodesk.com/products/maya: Professional, high quality 3D animation tool for Windows, Mac and Linux OS.
- DragonFrame – dragonframe.com: 3D time lapse (stop motion) animation tool for Windows, Mac and Android OS.
- Powtoon – powtoon.com: Cloud-based animation tool for Windows, Mac and Android.
- DigiCel FlipBook – digicel.net: 2D animation software tool for beginners. Available on Windows and OSX.
- Synfig Studio – synfig.org: Popular animation software tool for Windows, Mac and Linux OS.
- Adobe Animate – adobe.com/products/animate.html: Vector graphics and bitmap interactive animation tool for making cartoons and banner ads. Available for Windows and Mac OS.
- Adobe After Effect – adobe.com/products/aftereffects.html: Top animation software for video editors and producers. Available for Windows, and Mac OS.
- Crazy Talk – reallusion.com/crazytalk-tools: Popular 2D, basic animation software program for facial and speech animation in cartoons. Available for Windows and Mac OS.
- TVPaint – tvpaint.com: Easy to use, 2D animation software program for short video animation. Available for Windows, Mac, Linux and AmigaOS.
- Moho (Anime Studio) – moho.lostmarble.com: All-in-one 2D animation software tool for creating animations in video games, TV shows, etc. Available for Windows and Mac OS.
- Houndini – sidefx.com/products/houdini: Top 3D animation software tool for YouTube content creators. Available for Windows, Mac and Linux OS.
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Best Free Desktop Animation Software Programs (Online and Offline) for Beginners
- OpenToonz – opentoonz.github.io/e: Free 2D animation software tool for beginners. Available for Windows, Mac and Linux OS.
- Blender – blender.org: Free, open-source 2D and 3D animation software tool for desktop (Windows and Mac OS).
- Pencil 2D – pencil2d.org: Free, open-source, 2D animation tool for creating vector graphics and bitmap animations on Windows, Mac and Linux OS.
- K-3D – k-3d.org: Free, open-source 3D animation and modelling software tool, for Windows, Mac and Linux OS.
- DAZ Studio – daz3d.com: Free 3D animation software program for Windows OS.
- Seamless 3D – seamless3d.com: Free, open-source 3D modelling and animation software tool for Windows OS.
- Terragen – planetside.co.uk/free-downloads/terragen-4-free-download: Free software tool for making computer generated (CG), 3D animations on Windows OS.
- Stykz – stykz.net: Free, easy to use 2D animation tool for Windows OS.
You have now seen different animation software tools for different platforms (Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, AmigaOS, etc.), free, paid, online and offline. Feel free to check them out and then choose the one that best suits your specifications.
- For 2D animation tools, you can check out: Pencil 2D, Toon Boom Harmony, OpenToonz, Stykz, Moho, FlipaClip, Animaker, etc.
- For stop motion animation tools, you can check out: Animation Desk, Stop Motion Studio, DragonFrame, etc.
- For 3D animation tools, you can check out: Toontastic 3D, Houdini, DAZ Studio, Terragen, Seamless 3D, Synfig Studio, K-3D, Blender, Cinema 4D, etc. Check: 5 Best Free 3D Video Animation Apps for Android and iOS.
- For motion graphics animation tools, you can check out: Powtoon, Animaker, PicsArt, etc.
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