What Software Do Animators Use?

What software do animators use

Last Updated on July 14, 2022 by Markeyus Franks

What do you need to start Animating

To start an animation, you only need a few things: a creative vision, essential equipment and supplies, and a lot of patience. With more experience, you may want to invest in more sophisticated tools and software. But to create simple animations, you only need a pencil and paper (or a digital drawing tablet). The world of animations is vast; while you can start with almost nothing, as the process moves further, you may need several tools to perfect your craft.

Scroll through the article to gain insight into different forms of animation along with a bird’s eye view of different software and some famous animators until now. Hopefully, you will find precisely what you need to get a good head start in animations!

What are the 5 Forms of Animation?

Traditional Animation

Traditional animation is a technique in which each frame is drawn by hand on a physical medium. The medium can be either paper or celluloid, where the artwork is transferred. It is also known as cel animation or hand-drawn animation. This type of animation is labor-intensive, requiring a large team of artists and technicians to create a single film. Each film frame must be drawn by hand, often using specialized software such as Adobe Photoshop or After Effects.

The traditional animation process begins with creating storyboards, which are used to plan the film’s action and dialogue. Once the storyboards are complete, the next step is creating animatics and rough film versions to help the team visualize the action and timing.

Once the animatics are approved, the team can begin work on the final animation. This process starts with creating characters and backgrounds scanned into the computer. The animations are then created frame by frame, tweening to create smooth motion.

Finally, the completed animation is transferred to film or video and edited together with sound and music to create the finished product. Traditional animation is time-consuming and costly, but it can produce beautiful results.

2D animation

A 2D animation uses two-dimensional (2D) artwork. Artists who create 2D animations use vector graphics or bitmap images. These are often used to create characters and scenes that would be too costly or time-consuming to develop using traditional animation methods. You can also use it to create special effects, such as explosions or flying objects. This type of animation is often used in cartoons and video games.

3D animation 

3D animation is a form of animation that uses three-dimensional (3D) computer graphics to create animated images. You can use 3D animation to create both static and dynamic images. Static 3D images are typically used for backgrounds or images that do not need to be animated. Dynamic 3D images, on the other hand, are used for characters or objects that move or change over time. A 3D animation is a powerful tool that you can use to create stunning visuals. It is also used in many fields, including video games, movies, television, and advertising.

Motion Graphics

Motion Graphics is a form of animation that uses video and graphic design elements to create engaging, visually stimulating content. When creating motion graphics, designers use various techniques, including animation, typography, and visual effects. By combining these elements, designers can create visually appealing and informative videos.

Motion graphics is a relatively new field, and many unexplored possibilities exist. As more designers begin to experiment with this medium, we can expect to see even more innovative and exciting motion graphics in the future. It can be used for various purposes, from advertising and marketing to educational and informative videos.

Stop Motion

It involves taking individual pictures of a subject and then stringing those pictures together to create the appearance of movement. This technique can be used with any medium, including clay, puppets, paintings, and even people.

The film “King Kong” is the most example of Stop Motion. In this movie, a giant ape is brought to life by taking thousands of individual pictures and then stringing them together.

You can use Stop Motion for many purposes, including entertainment, education, and advertising. It is a versatile technique that can create any number of effects.

9 Best Software that Animators use

Adobe Character

Adobe Character and animation is a software application developed by Adobe Systems and is a powerful tool for creating professional-quality animations. It creates animated characters and illustrations in web, television, and film productions. The application uses vector-based graphics to create high-quality animations that you can export to various file formats. 

Adobe Character and animation have many features that allow users to create complex animations. It also offers a variety of tools for creating special effects, such as particle simulations and advanced lighting effects. However, it is also a complex application that requires significant time and effort to master.

Cartoon Animator 4

It is a 2D animation software that allows users to create animations from images. The software uses image morphing to animate the images that create the illusion of movement by warping or distorting the images. It also allows users to create animations using drawings or photos from scratch. Cartoon Animator 4 has many features that make it suitable for both beginners and experienced animators.

Cartoon Animator 4 is a powerful and versatile 2D animation software suitable for both beginners and experienced animators. It has a wide range of features and is easy to use, making it an ideal choice for anyone interested in creating animations.

Clip Studio

Clip Studio is a software program used for creating digital artwork. It is commonly used by artists who wish to develop their comics, manga, or illustrations. Clip Studio has various features and tools that allow users to create high-quality artwork. It also has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to use for beginners.


Using bitmap and vector graphics lets you create traditional hand-drawn animation (cartoon). Pencil2D has a simple interface and easy-to-use tools. It offers various features that make it a good choice for both beginners and professionals. For example, it has a built-in onion skinning tool that lets you see the previous frame while drawing the current one. It helps create smooth animations.Pencil2D also supports layer-based editing. It means you can edit each frame or layer separately. It is helpful for complex animations with many elements.

Pencil2D is free and open-source software. It means anyone can contribute to its development.


Moovly is a cloud-based video creation platform that enables users to create engaging, professional-looking videos without any prior video editing experience. With Moovly, users can drag and drop various elements (including text, images, audio, and video) into a timeline to create their custom videos. Moovly also offers a library of ready-made video templates and stock footage that users can leverage to make even more professional-looking videos. Moovly is an excellent tool for creating marketing videos, product demonstrations, explainer videos, and more.


Animator software creates animations by adding and manipulating objects in the software. It provides various tools for creating the animation, including keyframes, tweeting, and vector graphics. The user can also add sound and export the animation to multiple formats.

With keyframes, the user can specify the object’s position, rotation, and scale at specific points in time. The software will then interpolate the motion between those keyframes. Tweens create smooth transitions between two states, such as from one frame to another. Vector graphics are used to create the objects in the animation. Moreover, the user can also add bitmap images.

Toon Boom

Toon Boom is a powerful animation software that enables animators to create high-quality animations. It offers a wide range of features and tools that make it easy to create professional-looking animations. 

Toon Boom is used by many professional animators and studios and has been used to create some of the most popular animated films and TV shows. The easy-to-use interface, wide range of features, and ability to export animations in various formats make Toon Boom an excellent choice for animators.

Moho Pro

Moho Pro is an animation software that allows users to create 2D animations. It features a bone rigging system that makes it easy to animate characters and various tools for creating backgrounds, props, and other elements. Moho Pro also includes lip synchronization and lip-syncing tools to help bring your characters to life.

Auto Desk Maya

Auto Desk Maya is a 3D computer graphics software for animation, modeling, simulation, and rendering. It is also used for creating visual effects and video games. Maya was initially developed by Alias Systems Corporation and was later acquired by Autodesk in 2005.

Maya has many features that make it a powerful tool for 3D artists. It has a node-based architecture makes it easy to create and edit complex 3D scenes. Moreover, a flexible modeling toolset allows you to create any 3D model. It has a comprehensive set of tools for animating your models accompanied by a powerful rendering engine that produces high-quality images.

Maya is a popular choice for 3D artists because it is a versatile and powerful tool. Maya is worth considering if you are looking for software to help you create unique 3D art.

What software do famous animators use? 

Each artist has their preferences when it comes to which software they prefer to use. Animators use a wide range of software to create their art. Some of the most popular programs have been listed above. 

List of Famous animators right now

Hayao Miyazaki 

Hayao Miyazaki is a Japanese animator, director, and producer who has created some of the most popular and beloved animated films. His movies often deal with nature, environmentalism, and childhood innocence themes. Miyazaki’s animation style is highly expressive, and his characters are often seen interacting with the natural world around them. 

Miyazaki began his career working for Toei Animation studio in 1963. He was soon promoted to key animator and worked on several popular anime series during the 1960s and 1970s, including Lupin III and Galaxy Express 999. In 1979, Miyazaki co-founded Studio Ghibli, an animation studio that would go on to produce some of his most famous films.

Miyazaki’s first feature-length film, Castle in the Sky, was released in 1986 and was an instant classic. Miyazaki’s next film, My Neighbor Totoro, was released in 1988 and followed the story of two young girls who meet a forest Spirit while living in rural Japan. 

John Lasseter

John Lasseter has had a profound impact on the art form. A native of California, Lasseter first became interested in animation as a child when he would watch his favorite cartoons on television. He studied animation at the California Institute of the Arts, earning his bachelor’s degree in 1979.

Lasseter began his career working for Walt Disney Productions, where he worked on various projects, including the 1984 film “The Fox and the Hound.” He left Disney in 1983 to join Pixar, a computer animation company just starting. At Pixar, Lasseter wrote and directed some of the most beloved animated films of all time, including “Toy Story” (1995), “A Bug’s Life” (1998), and “Finding Nemo” (2003).

Today, Lasseter is the chief creative officer of both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. He has won numerous awards for his work in animation, including two Oscars, and he remains one of the most influential figures in the world of animation.

Seth Woodbury MacFarlane

Seth Woodbury MacFarlane is an American actor, writer, producer, and director. He is the creator of the animated sitcom Family Guy and the live-action sitcom The Orville, both of which he also stars. 

He studied animation at the Rhode Island School of Design, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1995. After several years of working on various animated television series such as Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken, and Dexter’s Laboratory, he created his series: Family Guy.

MacFarlane has won four Emmy Awards, three Annie Awards, and one Grammy Award. He has also been nominated for three Golden Globe Awards. In 2009, he won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature for his film “Up”. 

Brad Bird

Brad Bird is a two-time Academy Award-winning director, animator, and screenwriter best known for his work in animation. He first rose to prominence for his work on The Simpsons, serving as a writer and director. He later co-wrote and directed the animated feature films The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille.

Bird has been praised for his innovative approach to animation and ability to evoke emotion and create memorable characters. He has frequently been cited as one of the greatest directors working in animation today.

Pete Docter

Pete Docter is an American animator, director, and screenwriter. He has worked for Pixar Animation Studios since 1995. He has been a key creative figure behind some of the studio’s most successful films.

He studied character animation at the California Institute of the Arts, where he first met future Pixar colleague John Lasseter. After graduating in 1990, Docter began working as an intern at Walt Disney Feature Animation, where he worked on several films, including Beauty and the Beast (1991) and Aladdin (1992). Pixar then hired him in May 1995, where he would work as a supervising animator on Toy Story (1995), co-writer and supervising animator on A Bug’s Life (1998), writer and director of Monsters, Inc. (2001), and co-writer and director of Up (2009).

Matt Stone

If you’re a fan of animation, then you’ve probably heard of Matte Stone. For those who don’t know, Matte Stone is an American animator, director, and producer best known for his work on the television series Adventure Time and The Powerpuff Girls.

You may not know that Matte Stone has also worked on several feature films, including Superman: The Movie, Batman: The Animated Series, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. In addition to his work in animation, Matte Stone has also directed several live-action films, such as the cult classic Donnie Darko.

Matte Stone has a unique visual style that is immediately recognizable. His use of color and lighting is particularly striking, and he has a knack for creating atmosphere and mood. In addition to his visuals, Matte Stone’s stories are often very emotional and thought-provoking. He has a way of getting to the heart of his characters and making them relatable to audiences.


Do Animators get paid well?

As with any profession, animators’ salaries can vary greatly depending on experience, skill level, and location. A highly experienced and sought-after animator working in Hollywood on a major motion picture could earn several hundred thousand dollars or more. On the other hand, an animator just starting in the industry may only make $30,000-$40,000 per year.

So, while there is no one-size-fits-all answer to how much animators get paid, it is safe to say that most animators can expect to earn a decent wage. And, as with most professions, the more experience and expertise an animator has, the more they will be able to make.

Can you teach yourself animation?

Yes, you can teach yourself animation. However, it will take a lot of effort and determination. Many resources are available online and in libraries that can help you learn the basics of animation. You will need to be patient and consistent in your practice to improve your skills. While you may not become a professional animator, you can still create animations that are enjoyable to watch.

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