The 10 Best Animation Video Software Options for 2020 [Free/Paid]

The 10 Best Animation Video Software Options for 2020 [Free/Paid]

Animation Video Software

You’ve probably noticed that animation has gone way beyond the cartoon characters we all grew up with. It’s become a fun, creative approach to all sorts of videos. Here are some software options that can help you if you’re considering creating animated videos of your own.

1. Vyond

Vyond is a cloud-based video-animation software created by GoAnimate that can help you create compelling and professional videos, regardless of your skill level. Vyond’s tools let you create characters in a casual setting or a workplace environment—and even assign individual job roles to those characters.

Creating MP4s and animated GIFs is a breeze. Although you can’t integrate real pictures and videos, the pre-built templates, sounds and props, not to mention helpful drag-and-drop tools, offer plenty to work with. The lip-sync feature even synchronizes words with your character’s lip movement.

Vyond is great for e-learning and training purposes, as well as marketing promotions and just plain fun. Bonus: First-time users can take advantage of Vyond’s 14-day free trial.

2. After Effects

Created by Adobe, this is one of the most innovative, sophisticated and reliable video-animation solutions out there. After Effects is often used in motion graphics and visual effects for professional filmmaking, and it can do some pretty amazing things.

You can bring just about any outrageous idea to life in video with After Effects. Combine, video, images and text in utterly inventive ways. Have fun with aspects like the lip-sync feature that lets you import or record your voice as it adapts the lip movement of your character to your words. And take your pick from around 60 million Adobe stock images, videos and graphics.

After Effects stores your data on the cloud, making it easy to access it whenever (and from wherever) you wish. There’s so much more to this powerhouse tool. Learn all about it with a free 30-day trial license for first-time users.

3. Toon Boom Harmony

This quality animation program specializes in helping you achieve intriguing storytelling through video. Harmony’s helpful templates are easy to navigate as you create unique 2D and 3D animations. But it’s also a favorite of advanced users like the professionals at studios like Fox and Dreamworks.

Develop and animate artwork, integrate audio and visual effects—even composite and complete your final production in one tool. Oh, and if creating video games is your thing, Harmony’s 2D animation exports easily to several game engines.

Harmony has endless specialized tools to play with, and the Harmony team is there to help if you get stuck. Start with 21 days free. And if you love it, explore the three premium packages.

4. PowToon

PowToon is the go-to video animation resource for big names like Coca Cola, eBay, Google, Microsoft, IBM and Unilever, to name a few. It gives you the tools for putting attention-grabbing visuals in motion, whether it’s for work, animation or personal use. PowToon promotes professional-looking results in just 20 minutes, so beginners are welcome here.

Choose from a variety of templates and visual effects. Work with custom images, voiceover and a whole lot more. Create everything from enjoyable animated explainer videos to engaging educational content on this cloud-based platform (no downloading or installation necessary). But if you do need to download, it’s easy to do. Beyond just tools, you’ll find plenty of tips and support with PowToon.

5. Pencil2D Animation

Don’t be fooled by its simplistic approach. This tool measures up in a big way due to its ability to create amazing 2D hand-drawn animations. Pencil2D’s minimalist design simply allows you to concentrate on your animation rather than fretting about over-complicated options.

Start with basic functions like sketching and make your way up to hand-drawn animations if you’d like. Pencil2D lets you seamlessly transition between vector and raster workflows as you explore your artistic abilities.

Compatibility with Windows, Linux, FreeBSD and macOS is a plus, as is the tool’s total simplicity for people wanting to focus on digital sketching. Pencil2D is open-source and free to use, and constantly improving with every new release. You can tell the team behind this tool really cares about what it’s doing.

6. Animaker

This software is great for pros and beginners alike who are interested in making live-action videos and free 2D animations. Big players like Google, FedEx, Deloitte, Walmart, Adidas and Uber have trusted Animaker with their animation needs.

Select already-created templates if you don’t want to build your project from scratch. Add text to the slides on your presentation template. Integrate 2D character animations, backgrounds and props for video. Also lighten up your video by adding superscript, effects and music. When you’re done, download your animation as an MP4 or upload it to Facebook or YouTube.

Animaker is an especially great tool if you’re not too concerned about customizing every single detail. You can become a solid Animaker animator in a few minutes flat thanks to the ease-of-use factor here.


7. Wideo

Wideo is great for creating animated marketing and advertising videos with ease. Once again, no previous video editing skills or knowledge are necessary. Wideo’s team has also created helpful tutorials for those less familiar with video editing. So get to know Wideo and you could be creating videos from scratch in as little as 30 minutes.

Start with an array of intuitive templates that make the whole process flow more smoothly. Work with your own images and audio, or choose from Wideo’s nicely stocked library. Import your favorite tracks to add to your animation and then simply export your video to YouTube.

Your available video length depends on your Wideo plan (basic, pro or enterprise). The 7-day free trial is helpful. Just keep in mind that you can only create 30-second videos during that time.

8. Toonly

Toonly is known for its click-and-drag ease of use that you can apply to your own explainer videos and beyond. Inform and educate your audience quickly and easily in an entertaining and shareable way thanks to this simple tool.

Toonly’s helpful library has dozens of characters, props and backgrounds to choose from. These options cover various niches, industries, and professions. Toonly also offers several pre-created scenes and templates.

With just one click you can add your own custom voiceover and sync it with your video. Choose from a small library of royalty-free music tracks to top it all off. Then download your masterpieces in whatever file size you need. Buy Toonly once and pay no monthly fees.

9. Moovly

Moovly lets you create anything from social media videos to doodled whiteboard presentations, and from explainer videos to simple animated ads. It helps that Moovly has a library of 175 million multimedia objects to choose from, including video, graphics, story blocks and more.

You can start from scratch or choose a template to build your video around. Easily upload your own media or pull from the abovementioned library. Once you’ve done your magic and made your video all you want it to be, you can easily download your work as an MP4 or export to your YouTube channel.

Moovly lets you do it all online without having to download or install anything to your laptop. The full-featured free version gives you plenty to work with. The more advanced pro and enterprise versions of Moovly broaden your video-making horizons even further.

10. Stop Motion Studio

Make your own stop-motion animations on a mobile device. Select images, audio and video from your own library or capture new content as you go. Stop Motion Studio lets you combine amazing 2D-style drawings and 4k stop-motion animations.

Record your own voice track directly into your video (with fun audio effects if you please). Add fades and layers. Erase unwanted objects. Choose a brush size and intensity and paint right onto the screen. Add incredible effects. Choose from dozens of sound effects and music clips. And adjust composition, colors, transitions and more as you perfect your video work of art.

View a chronological frame-by-frame timeline of your images and then move between them and adjust them in any way you’d like. The grid and onion skin controls let you carefully position animated objects. Plus you can choose from dozens of title cards or make new ones to enhance your video. We could go on and on about Stop Motion Studio, but we’ll let you explore it for yourself.

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