Best Animation Software for Beginners

Gone are the days when animators need to painstakingly draw every frame for every character movement. These days, computer animation has taken over the industry and beginners have a wide range of options to choose from.

We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, DiscoverGeek may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. This helps us to keep the lights on at night ;)

Gone are the days when animators need to painstakingly draw every frame for every character movement. These days, computer animation has taken over the industry and beginners have a wide range of options to choose from.

Whether you are just starting out or just curious about animation or maybe even looking to brush up your skills, there’s an animation software that is just right for you. Here are some of the best animation software for beginners.

Free Animation Software for Beginners

Animators who are just starting out have a hard time finding the right software as they can be quite pricey. Luckily, there are a few animation software for beginners that are actually free.


An open-source and free 3D creation suite, Blender offers comprehensive software for animation. This includes everything from animation and rendering to modeling and motion tracking plus video editing. Blender is also not just for 3D animation but also for the 2D animation pipeline.


The free Synfig offers two types of animation software: a stable version and a development version. The former is an ideal choice for beginners whereas the latter is for those who have more experience. You will be able to toggle layers, filters, bones, and vector tweening on Synfig. There are also more advanced controls once you move past the beginner’s stage.

Pencil 2D

The open-source Pencil2D animation software has a minimal design so as not to overwhelm beginners. The software is easy to use and also has an intuitive tool. Whether you are using a Mac computer, a PC laptop, or even a Linux, Pencil 2D will work on it. This software also has both vector and raster workflows.

graphic designer working with design tablet

Paid Animation Software for Beginners with Free Trial

Now, if you are looking to get animation software but it comes with a fee, don’t worry. Most of the time, paid animation software offers flexible payments (such as monthly or yearly) and they have free trials.

Autodesk Maya

A good base if you plan on using animation software for professional purposes, Autodesk Maya offers an industry-standard animation package. There are a lot of video tutorials included with the software, making it easier for beginners to get a hang of things.

3ds Max

The all-around 3ds Max is ideal for animators who want to do more than just cartoons. With the 3ds Max, you can create worlds for games, design detailed furniture, objects, and interiors, and visualize architecture renderings. Of course, 3ds Max is also perfect for creating your characters and bringing them to life.

Harmony 20

Harmony is just one of the many animation software from industry-giant Toon Boom. Designed specifically for 2D animation, Harmony 20 allows users to create animation with excellent details. The software has excellent sensitivity and color control when it comes to animating styles, textures, markings, and more.

Choosing the Best Animation Software for Beginners

With so many options on animation software for beginners online, you might have a bit of trouble choosing which one to use. Apart from choosing between paid or free software, here are some other factors to help you consider getting the right one:

Level and Progression

Everyone starts out as a beginner but not everyone would go the same way after. If you think of animation as something you would like to do more of in the future, whether as just a hobby or a professional, then maybe opt for animation software that is designed for progression. Choose the software that will suit your goals when it comes to animation.

Requirements and Purpose

Now, there are many types of animation so you have to think about that when choosing software. There are some animation software options that are designed specifically for developing cartoon characters while others are more for architectural builds and designing. There is also software that can offer support for various animation applications.

Device Used

Because of the complexity of creating animation, most animation software requires a lot of memory and a good CPU. The best laptop for animation should have an excellent processor with a high RAM and hard disk drive. Although you can do away with computers or devices that have lower system specs, the experience of using the animation software can become harrowing. If you want a smooth animation experience, opt for a device that can meet the software recommended or best requirements of your choice.


The best animation software for beginners depends entirely on you. This includes your own requirements as well as the computer you will be running your software on. Again, there are many animation software available on the market. Opt for paid animation software only if you are looking to do animation in the long run. But if you are simply trying something or are still a little unsure, you can always choose free animation software.

There are even online animation software options available just in case your computer can’t handle installing a new software right away. You might also be interested in using apps on mobile devices before you dive into animation software for your computer.