Best Photo Animation Software Mac

06.08.2020by

Jul 07, 2020  Video-editing apps needn't be costly. Plenty of free alternatives exist for both Windows 10 and MacOS. Here's our list of the best free video-editing software. Dec 19, 2019  Plastic Animation Paper (PAP) is a free animation software for PC, Mac, and Linux. Though its interface is outdated, the software is completely free to download and use. Beggars can’t be choosers, right? With PAP, you can create hand-drawn 2D animations, while seeing your edits in real time. List of Best Photo Editing Softwares in 2020: 1. GIMP or GNU Image Manipulation Program is one of the best premium quality free photo editing software packed with several kinds of image-enhancing tools such as drag-and-drop, crop, blur effects, 180-degree panorama view, and more others. Jul 05, 2020  12 Best Photo Organizing Software For Mac Options (Paid and Free) By Meghan Boilard / Updated July 5, 2020 / Photo Software. It’s not easy to master photography. Learning your way around the camera is one thing, and finding out how to take great images can take years of practice. Pixelmator is a photo enhancer beloved by many Mac users, as it offers a good combination of a modern and simple interface, the ability to work on multiple layers, and powerful features that take photo editing to a whole new level. With so many editing tools, brushes,.

Animated Videos have become one of the signature tools of marketers worldwide for telling a story and creating effective marketing campaigns for the future.

Depending on your purpose and skills, you can choose from different types of software available both offline and online, for professionals and amateur users, 2D, 3D, whiteboard or stop motion animation tool, etc.

Below are our picks for the best animation software for mac of 2019. For more background information, see a more detailed buying advice below the picks.

Part1. Whiteboard Animation Tools
Part2. 2D Animation Tools
Part3. 3D Animation Tools
Part4. Stop Motion Animation Tools
Part5. Motion Graphics Software
How to Choose the Right Animation Software for Mac

Part1. Whiteboard Animation Tools

#1. Best Whiteboard Animation Software for Mac: VideoScribe by Sparkol

This program is produced by Sparkol and it remains one of the best whiteboard animation software programs for both Mac and PC. You can also use it on a number of mobile devices including devices that run android. There are elements of the program that works through the cloud making it very simple to upload and edit video wherever you might be.

Best Photo Animation Software Mac

Videoscribe works quite intuitively for building business presentations, TED talk style videos, tutorials, creative marketing solutions and more. What is produced out of this program looks hand-drawn and extremely professional for any type of marketing campaign. The best part is that you can use many of these tools to create these effects with very little animation knowledge.

Even children enjoy using this program because of its ease of use. There is a full library of stock images, animation and more as well as an extensive voiceover soundtrack that can be used with the solutions here.

The yearly and monthly subscription also ensures that there is a flexible use for the program. It also comes with a seven-day free trial with features to try before you buy.

#2. Best Free Animation Software for Mac: PowToon

This is a fantastic online presentation maker for academic use, presentations and infographics.

The program is completely free to use and has a number of animation effects on board that can make anything exported out of the program seem extremely professional.

The free templates available in the program as well as the quality of the animations that are presented within the platform make it a true favorite amongst many brands.

A number of major companies now almost exclusively trust their creative tools to Powtoon and it can be used almost anywhere where there is an Internet connection with mass compatibility.

As a fully cloud-based system there’s no use for installation or downloads to take full advantage of it. Its available for free use on any Macintosh computer as long as you are willing to use the watermark.

Part2. 2D Animation Tools

#3. Best 2D Animation Software for Mac: Toon Boom Harmony

This is a program that actually deserves some surprising recognition. The company has partnered with major film companies like Warner brothers, Disney, and Nickelodeon and it’s currently one of the best and most powerful 2-D animation suites for commercial use.

With the use of this program you can build anything from traditional animation all the way to amazing drawing tools that can produce the future of 3-D animation. The 3-D cameras and integration available in this platform can provide fundamental solutions for drawing, rendering and building beautiful projects.

There are tools and tasks available here that can suit small hobby animators all the way up to professional uses. The premium version delivers the top tool professional solutions that you might expect at of any major animation suite. The essentials level of the harmony program is designed more for hobbyists and it delivers a scaled down version of some of their more high and customization techniques.

Toon Boom not only remains one of the best 2-D animation programs for mac but it is a regular fixture in the animation world today.

#4. Runner-up, Best 2D Animation Software for Mac: Adobe Animate

Adobe is one of the successors to perhaps one of the most popular 2-D animation software is available. At the core of Animate are the flash tools that have been working to create high-quality animations since the early days of the Internet. Today the program uses vector-based publishing to produce intuitive and inexpensive animation results.

Although it may not have all of the professional animation tools that you would find in some major production suites, it’s possible to get very professional looking results.

#5. Best Free 2D Animation Software for Mac: Pencil

This is a simple and open source vector-based program that’s designed for the Mac OS X platform. It’s also available on Linux and Windows and it was originally created for producing digital comics. The platform allows animators to use the basic hand-drawn techniques that were experimented with long in the past. Pencil is an ideal program for beginners that don’t want to invest in expensive license for a program. It can teach the basic principles of animation and with a timeline feature it’s possible to add new layers to arrange fun effects.

This is one of the best programs for beginners and sketching characters as well as setting keyframes can all be done using the pen tool, fill tool and the vector layers tool. The interface on this is actually based off of some of the original Adobe flash platform’s and it produces some good quality graphics even on a tablet device. Perhaps one of the best parts of using this program is that it automatically exports everything in.FLV which gives it mass compatibility with a number of online sources. The videos that you export here will be easy to embed or upload in video sharing sources and more.

Part3. 3D Animation Tools

#6. Best 3D Animation Software for Mac: Maya

Autodesk Maya remains one of the best 3-D modeling software programs that’s designed for Mac, Windows and Linux. The program itself has migrated many of the tools away from Autodesk Mud and now has features that you would normally find in several different pieces of software for creating highly detailed 3-D models. Autodesk Maya is a 3-D modeling software that is designed mostly for professional artists but with the templates that are available for download and the massive amount of tutorials online, it is possible to see quite a difference with this software when you are working with it over time.

#7. Runner-up, Best Free 3D Animation Software for Mac: Blender

Blender is a program that is designed with open source technology for 3-D modeling and it’s made mostly for beginners that want the option to learn how to play and get comfortable with reading modeling on their Mac computer. This open-source program does feature many of the basic features that you can expect to find including rigging, animation, architectural support and even the option to create full games. The philosophy that’s behind it allows for the inclusion of many different templates and it is very well suited to use by a number of creators. Blender remains some of the best 3-D modeling software for creative artists with its completely free use.

Part4. Stop Motion Animation Tools

#8. Best for Making Stop Motion Videos: Dragonframe

Dragonframe remains one of the best stop motion software solutions for mac today. It’s one of the top choices for many of the world’s largest studios like Laika and Aardman. It can produce high-quality masterpieces in stop motion animation and it is a perfectly suited set of professional tools. The program allows for easy capture of a number of precise movements and you can also compose in light various angles using the camera controls on board. Editing images as well as performing advanced image review techniques can all be done through the program as well.

The process of inserting and editing audio can be done according to a characters needs and based off of the animation that you want to create. The advantage to using some of the precise movements and controls in this program is that you can have a wide array of improvements at your fingertips for professional products.

#9. Runner-up: Stop Motion in Movavi Video Editor

We selected this is our runner up because with this program there’s no need to pay for a dedicated piece of stop motion software. This is an open source piece of technology that delivers a full-featured video editor that suitable for many beginners.

The program itself is perfect for getting all of the features that are often teased in many full license software programs. Because it’s open source there are also a number of templates that can make it easy to use. The full-featured video editor is excellent for its features and for the newest features that are being added by the community regularly to keep up with the stop motion technology of today.

Part5. Motion Graphics Software

#10. Best Motion Graphic Animation Software for Mac: After Effects

With a number of motion graphic animation software programs available for Mac, after effects sets itself apart.

Adobe After Effects is truly one of the most masterful programs for any motion graphic artist. Of course many of the features of aftereffects can be found in other Adobe programs, but there is no other piece of software that can be so versatile for the creation of motion graphics. The way to the menus are set up and the way that the program behaves makes it an intuitive leap for 3-D modeling and 2.5 D animation.

The whole goal of aftereffects is to help you produce almost any type of animation that you may want without having to involve 3-D modeling. After effects remains one of the primary pieces of software for motion graphic work in storyboards, motion comics and more. There are elements in this program that are close to Photoshop and illustrator but they have been optimized for the purpose of creating motion graphics here.

How to Choose the Right Animation Software for Mac

When it comes down to choosing the program that you may want to purchase a license for or download on your computer, you need to be very focused into the types of animation that you are looking for and what you need out of any program. The first thing you need to understand is the various styles and techniques for animation and what you might want out of a program:

2d animation

This is the traditional style of animation that comes from the idea of cell shading or digital cell shading. In the past animators would draw images on transparent pieces of paper and then later than one frame at a time to create motion. Today drawings can be rendered and layered on top of one another using a digital timeline and computer vector animations.

3d animation

This is a completely new and different way to look at traditional animation that requires understanding the basic principles of composition, movement and 3-D modeling. Creating 3-D graphics can involve scanning objects or even piecing together various 3-D models to create characters, share complex ideas and then animate all of the items along a storyboard.

Motion graphics

A motion graphic is considered to be one of the newest forms of animation. These motion graphics are fairly common in items like banner ads, short comics and more. Usually these types of graphics are designed for commercial purposes.

Stop motion

Stop motion involves taking photos of an object and manipulating it ever so slightly to eventually produce a storyboard of motion. Completing and repeating this process over and over eventually gives the full allusion of movement. This is a very time-consuming process that often involves manipulating objects slowly over hours of movement to create just a few seconds of animation.

Presentation or whiteboard style

This is a popular style of animation that has taken off over the past few years. The online marketing videos that are produced and the specific programs that have been created for building whiteboard videos are proving that this is a format that truly keeps people engaged and remains a trend for school projects, business presentations and more.

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85 percent of internet users watch video content at least once a month. And people want more.

In fact, 54 percent of folks think brands should be putting more video content out there.


Putting out video content isn’t always easy. Maybe you’re running low on ideas. Or maybe you’re camera shy. Or you don’t have the necessary equipment — not to mention the budget to acquire it.

Luckily, there are some handy free tools you can use.

Yep, you can make animated videos for free (minus your time investment, of course).

Check out some of the best free animation software for beginners and experts, and everyone in between.

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Animaker

Platforms: web browser-based

Animaker is a free animation software for beginners, with easy drag-and-drop functionality and an intuitive interface to match. There are six core types of videos you can make with Animaker:

  1. 2D
  2. Infographics
  3. Handcraft
  4. Whiteboard
  5. 2.5D
  6. Typography


Including full HD support, both horizontal and vertical video layouts, and pre-made graphics to choose from, you can create fun, animated videos in no time.

Audio features include text-to-speech, the option to add background music and sound effects, and voiceover. You can choose from Animaker’s library of sounds or upload your own tunes.

If you want to pay for the pro version, you can also get advanced features: in-app camera, multimove, curves, transition effects, and enter/exit effects. It’s like all those PowerPoint animations except cool and not so cheesy.

Blender

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

Use Blender if you’re looking for the best video animation software for pro editors and creators. The free open-source 3D animation tool supports the “modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, video editing, and 2D animation pipeline.” The platform is a public project, and creatives from all over the world contribute to its ongoing maintenance.

Let’s talk features.

  • Rendering: Cycles is Blender’s ray-trace based production render engine, FreeStyle is an edge- and line-based non-photorealistic (NPR) rendering engine, and real-time feedback speeds up the editing process.
  • Modeling: Blender’s modeling tools include sculpting, retopology, modeling, curves, and more to help with editing models.
  • Sculpting: Digital sculpting tools flexible for each stage of the digital production pipeline.
  • Animation and rigging: These tools include a character animation pose editor, Non Linear Animation (NLA) for independent movements, IK forward/inverse kinematics for fast poses, and sound synchronization.
  • Grease pencil: Draw directly in 3D and combine 2D/3D art.
  • VFX: From camera and object motion tracking to masking and compositing, there are lots of fixes you can make in post-prod.
  • Simulation: Create simulations for fog, smoke, rain, fire, liquid, and more.
  • Pipeline:Choose from a long list of import/export options.
  • Video editing: A built-in video editor allows for basic actions like video cuts and splicing and more complex tasks like video masking or color grading.

Yeah, that’s a lot. Blender is a comprehensive tool. And it’s all free.

Editor’s note:We also review Blender, along with 21 other video-editing tools, in this review.

K-3D

Platforms: Windows, Linux

K-3D is a free 3D animation software specializing in polygonal modeling, an approach to digital graphics that represents and approximates object surfaces using polygons. Designed for artists, the software combines plugins with a visualization pipeline architecture — it adapts to the look and feel of the tools you integrate it with.

Get started with their Wiki tutorials, showing you how to master features like texturing, shadows, and symmetric modeling.

One of its best features? Easy undo/redo functionality, so you can quickly fix a mistake. Most programs only offer the option to undo an action.

With both procedural and parametric workflows, you can make adjustments and see the change immediately. A node-based visualization pipeline means editors can create connections and combinations for different elements within the video. You can work on one side of a model and mirror the other side to see what it looks like welded together.

K-3D is an advanced tool for true creatives.

Free Image Animation Software

OpenToonz

Best Animation Software Mac

Platforms: Windows, Mac, and Linux

OpenToonz is one of the top free animation software for 2D videos. The open-source software is free for both commercial and non-commercial use, so you can use it to create marketing videos for your brand.

It’s also packed with features, such as:

  • Digital drawing tools: vector and bitmap drawing tools
  • Indexed color palettes: quick paint and color changing
  • Effects and compositing: animated special effects and composite scenes — choose from blurs, lighting, keys, masks, warps, and more than 100 other effects
  • Scripting: automations via ECMA-compatible scripting engine
  • Motion tracking: combine your animation with video footage
  • Scan and cleanup: create vectors from paper drawings
  • Frame-by-frame animation: with configurable onionskin
  • Motion tweening: link objects or use motion paths to execute complex movements
  • Bones character animation: with IK support and mesh deformations
  • Particle systems: for rain, dust, and similar effects

You can make some pretty advanced animations with this tool.

COULD MAYBE EMBED AN EXAMPLE HERE https://twitter.com/hashtag/opentoonz some ideas:

If you run into issues using the free animation software, you can always turn to the user community or developer forum.

Pencil2D Animation

Platforms: Windows, Mac, and Linux

Pencil2D is a simple animation software you can use to create hand-drawn 2D videos. The open-source software is free for both personal and commercial use, so you can use it just for fun or to create videos to promote your products.

The interface is simple and easy to use. That, along with tons of tutorials on the website and forums you can join, makes it a great option to start with.

Other features:

  • Image and audio import
  • Switch between raster and vector workflows so you can sketch, ink, and paint
  • Adjust frame rate
  • Add distortion and lighting effects
  • Onion skinning
  • Toolbar customizations
  • Pressure sensitivity
  • Multiple export formats

Plastic Animation Paper

Platforms: Windows, Mac, and Linux

Plastic Animation Paper (PAP) is a free animation software for PC, Mac, and Linux. Though its interface is outdated, the software is completely free to download and use. Beggars can’t be choosers, right?

With PAP, you can create hand-drawn 2D animations, while seeing your edits in real time. The editing experience itself can be clunky, but it’s easy for beginners to learn and become familiar with. It’s a sufficient tool for basic animated videos.

Feature highlights include basic drawing tools, zoom, rotation, cutouts, layers, and more.

Soon, PAP’s creator will release a new, more advanced program for $79, Animation Paper.

Best suited for skilled animators, Animation Paper will help animators create 2D graphics from hand-drawn illustrations, along with a long list of features:

  • Small and large format frames
  • Real-time, smooth rotation and zoom, along with multiple options for flipping
  • Advanced and customizable onion skinning
  • Layers and lasso
  • High-quality lines and stabilization
  • Coloring and paint
  • Real-time full frame reference on a second monitor for quick editing

When you’re done creating your animated video, export options include .mp4, .mov, and .png or .svg frame stacks.

Powtoon

Platforms: web browser-based

The next video animation software that’s free is Powtoon, meant for dynamic video presentations. While there are paid options with advanced features, Powtoon also has a stripped-down free tool for videos up to three minutes long.

In addition to what’s listed above, Powtoon’s free software also has:

  • Custom styles
  • Change aspect ratios and sizes
  • YouTube, Facebook, Wistia, Vimeo, PowerPoint, and PDF export
  • Full video, animation, GIF, and image file implementation

It’s a great tool for beginners, with several professional-looking templates to choose from, including animated explainer and infographic-style videos, as well as templates built specifically for product promotion. You can also start from scratch or import a theme from PowerPoint.

Stykz

Best Photo Animation Software Mac Free

Platforms: Windows, Mac, and Linux

Stykz is one of the easiest animation software to use. With it, you can make basic 2D stick figure animated videos, like this one:

And this one:

Pretty basic, but totally free.

Stykz is frame-based, meaning you work on one individual frame at a time. It uses onionskins so you can see the previous frame and how to two flow together.

All edits are done within the “Stage” — in other words, you make your edits and view your changes within the same window. No toggling between views needed.

Edit one or multiple stick objects, fill shapes, and import your own stick figures. Everything will auto-save as you go, so you don’t need to worry about losing all your hard work.

Synfig Studio

Platforms: Windows, Mac, and Linux

The next free video animation online is Synfig Studio, an open-source platform for creating 2D animated videos. With it, you use vector graphics to create timeline-based animations.

Like OpenToonz, it offers a bone system for animation controls so you can create natural movements. Create cutout animation using bitmap images or control your vector artwork, and use the additional Skeleton Distortion layer for complex deformations to bitmap artwork.

Advanced features include linking parameters for layers, allowing you to build character puppets and other advanced dynamic structures. It’s certainly not made for beginners, so turn to an easier option to get started before upgrading to Synfig’s advanced feature set. There are plenty of video tutorials to help you get used to the program.

Here’s an example of a fun animated short created with Synfig Studio:

Toontastic 3D

Platforms: Android, iOS

Google’s own free animation software for Android, Toontastic 3D is meant for kids, but brands can also use it to make animated 3D videos. Ideal for storytelling, you get started with Toontastic by creating your own characters, either from scratch or based off an uploaded photo. Then it’s time to insert your characters into a story.

Best Photo Animation Software

Toontastic is meant to encourage budding storytellers to get create with their narratives, and brands can do the same. Plan your storyline, animate, add narration and music, and then export it to share it with the world.

Your storyline is based on Toontastic templates, each with a different number of scenes. Toontastic also has premade scenes to choose from, so the only “drawing” you need to do is when it comes to the characters.

If it sounds like a lot of steps, Google says you can create a one-minute video with up to six scenes in just a minute — though that doesn’t include the time it takes to create your characters upfront. It also works offline so you can create videos on your daily commute or when the WiFi’s out.

If you’re looking for more control and creative flexibility, Toontastic isn’t the best option. It’s best-suited for those who are very new to the world of animated videos. Soon you’ll graduate to one of the others on this list!

Honorable Mentions

  1. DigiCel FlipBook (note that the free version includes watermark)

Summary

The best free animation software really depends on your skill level, your hardware, and the types of videos you want to make. In sum:

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  1. Animaker: simple, browser-based animation software for beginners, with paid upgrades available
  2. Blender: advanced open-source 3D animation software for people with video experience
  3. K-3D: 3D animation software with polygonal modeling
  4. OpenToonz: 2D animation software with a long list of features for proficient or expert video folks
  5. Pencil2D: hand-drawn, 2D animated videos with a simple interface that’s beginner-friendly but loaded with features
  6. Plastic Animation Paper: helpful for incorporating hand-drawn characters into 2D animated videos
  7. Powtoon: great for creating simple, three-minute explainer or infographic videos in presentation-style format
  8. Stykz: beginner-friendly, stick-figured based 2D animation software
  9. Synfig Studio: robust software for creating vector-based animated videos with advanced character control
  10. Toontastic 3D: for people who are very new to creating animated videos; meant for kids but can create simple, storytelling- and character-based videos for brands as well

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Alexandra is a B2B copywriter and content strategist whose work has earned awards from the Content Marketing Institute and Custom Content Council. She writes about retail, ecommerce and business for brands like Shopify, Wave, and Vend POS.
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