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Top Animation Software for Beginners and Award Winners

Animation makers for your 3D, 2D, video, and Adobe projects, tailored to beginners and professionals.

Apps in this Guide

Dating back to ancient times, early hand-drawn animation created the illusion of motion and change with the quick succession of sequential 2D images. By the late 20th century, computer animationmore

Dating back to ancient times, early hand-drawn animation created the illusion of motion and change with the quick succession of sequential 2D images. By the late 20th century, computer animation opened the door for improved 2D -- and even 3D -- animation. While 2D animation concentrates on image manipulation, 3D techniques create virtual worlds in which seemingly real characters and objects move and interact. You, too, can create skillful animations with these Windows apps, whether you're a hobbyist or professional animator.

Frequently Asked Questions

When people talk about computer animation, are they typically referring to 2D or 3D?
Modern computer animation usually uses 3D computer graphics, although 2D is still used for stylistic, low bandwidth, and speedier real-time renderings.
What is the difference between 3D and 2D animation?
3D animation differs markedly from 2D as far as process and end result. 3D animation, of course, creates a more three-dimensional (height, width, and depth) lifelike character.

Best Animation Software for Windows recommendations

Maya

Maya

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Maya 3D animation, modeling, simulation, and rendering software provides an integrated, robust toolset for animation, environments, motion graphics, virtual reality, and character creation. ($1470 per year)

Blender

Blender

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Blender, the free, open source, and comprehensive 3D creation suite, handles modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing, and motion tracking -- even video editing and game creation.

3ds Max

3ds Max

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3ds Max 3D modeling and rendering software helps you create expansive worlds in video games, awe-inspiring scenes for design visualization, and engaging VR experiences. ($1470 per year)