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
This amazing 2D animation software is one of the best free animation software for beginners. Many professional animators use this software to make amazing animated videos and movies. It has traditional animation techniques along with new video modifying tools in it. Part 1: Best Free Animation Software for Mac. Listed below are free animation software on Mac. Synfig Studio - Mac Software to Animate Video. Difficulty Level: Easy. Pro: You can create many layers once a time and sync audio for your animation. Con: This one needs much time to learn, especially for beginners.
- Synfig is an open source, free 2D animation software with the power of a professional one. Available for Windows, Linux, and Mac, this program can make beautiful animations in an easy and fast way. The community behind this animation program is one of the best, with hundreds of tutorials and videos to learn from.
- OpenToonz is another open source 2D animation software for Mac and Windows. This program supports Microsoft Windows 7/8.1/10 and Mac OS X 10.9 or a later version. CreaToon is a free animation software for Windows PC to create 2D animation in cut-out style. Its main advantage is very user-friendly.
- A Free Modeling software - SketchUp. Sketchup.google.com Free 3d modeling software; PC and Mac compatible; Modeling yes, Animation - no, not really. OK, so some animators sneer at this, b ut if you need a 3D modeling tool, this is a great choice. Because you don't need to know anything, just drag and drop.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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 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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Motion is the powerful motion graphics tool that makes it easy to create cinematic 2D, 3D, and 360° titles, fluid transitions, and realistic effects in real time. And with its Metal engine, Motion lets you build and play back effects at incredible speeds.
Your graphics in Motion.
Designed with editors in mind, Motion’s streamlined interface and incredible performance lets you create and play back titles, transitions, and effects in real time. Take the guesswork out by seeing your designs without the need to render.
Design in a modern interface that matches the look of Final Cut Pro and puts the focus on your work. Easily locate assets using visual content browsers, then build motion graphics with a logical layers list, full-length timeline, and keyframe editor. It’s simple to customize the interface to match the way you work.
Motion is the best way to build effects for Final Cut Pro projects, including titles, transitions, generators, filters, and more. Save any effect to make it immediately available in Final Cut Pro, where you can apply adjustments right in the video editor. And instantly jump back to Motion at any time for more advanced changes.
Create Smart Motion Templates that include USDZ 3D objects and use them in Final Cut Pro. Publish any parameter to a template, or create rigs that let you control a group of parameters with a simple slider, pop-up menu, or checkbox. If you set up templates with multiple aspect ratios, Final Cut Pro automatically uses the correct layout based on your footage.
Motion boasts an enormous ecosystem of third-party plug-ins and templates that complement the power of the app. Download tools for enhanced tracking and 3D object creation, or choose from thousands of templates with gorgeous titles, transitions, and effects to use as is or customize to fit your project.
With its modern Metal architecture, Motion uses the power of today’s high-performance GPUs to speed up tasks throughout the app and play back motion graphics in real time as you create them. Combine 3D objects, cameras, lights, and emitters with other complex elements, and view your results instantly. And since Motion shares a render engine with Final Cut Pro, you’ll get consistent speed and quality across applications.New
Quickly import USDZ 3D models, then easily and precisely adjust their position, rotation, and scale using Behaviors or the Keyframe Editor. For even more stunning results, add cameras to a scene or combine objects with emitters, replicators, cameras, and more.New
Easily outline the edges of any video, image, or text element with the Stroke Filter. Create a custom look by choosing from a solid or gradient color, or add multiple strokes using a gradient outline.
Advanced Color Correction
Fine-tune hue, saturation, and brightness with the same advanced color wheels available in Final Cut Pro. Target and adjust specific color ranges by using the eye dropper with color, hue, and saturation curves. Then, view your pristine graphics in stunning HDR on Mac or Pro Display XDR.
Optimized for Mac Pro
Design and create faster than ever before with Motion on the new Mac Pro. Motion takes advantage of all the GPUs in your Mac and uses up to 28 CPU cores in processor-intensive ProRes workflows. Motion is also optimized for the Afterburner card to accelerate ProRes projects, so you can design motion graphics and watch your results instantly in groundbreaking 8K resolution.
Powerful design tools.
Motion features a real-time design engine that lets you see your work immediately, along with a deep set of tools and content for creating and animating complex motion graphics.
Build brilliant 2D, 3D, and 360° compositions by choosing from more than 1,900 Apple-designed, royalty-free graphics — including vector artwork, high-resolution images, animations, and 60 USDZ 3D models that come pre-installed in Motion.
Control the timing and position of elements in your animation using intuitive keyframe tools. Use flexible curve interpolation for smooth parameter changes. Draw curves using a freehand tool, or move, stretch, and condense groups of keyframes using the Transform box.
Create natural-looking motion without the need for complex calculations using preset behaviors like Gravity, Throw, and Vortex. Use Text behaviors that animate letters, words, or lines across the screen. Or apply the Overshoot behavior to easily create spring-loaded animations. You can even combine behaviors for more advanced motion animations.
Create high-quality animated backgrounds with built-in generators — each with parameters to customize the look and style of the animation. Choose from a collection of standard shapes or unique designs. All generators can be used as bump maps or textures on other objects — including 3D text.
A 2D and 3D view of your titles.
Easily create beautiful 2D and 3D titles that you can animate with drag-and-drop behaviors and intuitive text animation tools.
Create text using your favorite fonts and adjust its position, opacity, and rotation. Manipulate vector-based characters with pristine sharpness, and apply Text behaviors to add complex word and character animations easily. Motion is built on the CoreText engine, which ensures that glyphs, characters, and emoji render correctly every time.
Build 3D titles from scratch, design them with easy-to-use templates, or instantly convert any existing 2D title to 3D. Customize your 3D text with over 90 Apple-designed organic and artificial materials — or create your own — and see your results instantly. You can even choose from a variety of lighting rigs or create depth-of-field effects to give your titles an ultrarealistic look that matches the environment perfectly.
Quickly animate text on or off the screen by choosing from more than 100 behaviors including Type On, Blur Out, and Text-on-a-Path, which sets your text in motion on a trajectory that angles, bends, or twists. You can also create unique animations by moving letters just where you want them.
With text generators you can automate tasks that would take hours to complete by hand. Count up and down in sequence, change text randomly, add a timecode sequence, and more.
3d Computer Animation Software Free
Use Credit Rolls to set up a scroll in just a few steps — even for long lists of production credits. Import a text file or type the credits directly into a Motion project, then use the Scroll behavior to automatically animate the speed of the credits based on your project length.
Just drag and drop to assemble impressive animations, with a choice of more than 200 filters and effects built into Motion. Then fine-tune your work with precise controls.
Use realistic particle systems to create effects including smoke and sparkles — or add dazzling details to any animation. Choose from over 200 particle presets or design your own and see your creations in real time. Or, create stunning geometric patterns in 2D or 3D using replicators. Go to the next level by adding 3D objects to both particle systems and replicators.
Choose from over 140 paintbrush presets or design your own using color gradients or QuickTime files. Create pressure-sensitive brushstrokes that paint gradient colors or particle dabs. And easily make vector‑based strokes weave through 3D space.
Motion suggests the best tracking points so you can quickly create paths to track moving objects in any clip. You can attach images, particles, filters, paint strokes, or the control points of a mask to any tracking path.
Image stabilization lets you smooth a bumpy camera move or lock down a shaky shot, without time‑consuming setup. And SmoothCam eliminates jitters and bumps — so it looks like your footage was shot on a tripod while still retaining camera moves like pans, tilts, and zooms.
Create an accurate chroma key in a single step with the easy drag-and-drop Keying filter. If the green- or blue-screen background in your footage is unevenly lit, you can use advanced controls, including an intuitive color wheel, to fine-tune adjustments. Plus, you can play back the results without needing to render.
A new spin on your projects.
Motion features a robust 360 VR motion graphics workflow with real-time visualization for a VR headset, so you can design 360° titles, generators, and filters that perfectly map to your VR scene. Instantly apply those effects to your Final Cut Pro timeline or share to YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo.
Free Computer Animation Software For Mac Windows 10
Create 360° titles in 2D and 3D. View them in real time with a VR headset or use the Look Around view to pan across your project in the viewer. 360° titles resize automatically when you move them within your VR scene and can be keyframed to change their look and position over time. Save your work as a 360° Motion template to access it easily in Final Cut Pro.
Design custom 360° graphics or apply bundled effects like 360° blurs, glows, and particle systems to add realism to your VR scene. You can even create 360° generators and place any graphic, still, USDZ 3D object, or video into a 360° project — then reposition and resize to fit.
Create mind-bending effects with 360° video in non-360° projects. Adjust tilt, pan, roll, and field of view for spherical looks and animations. Then apply keyframes for perspective-inverting effects that change over time.
Instantly transition from 2D to 3D space by adding a camera or cameras to any 2D project while preserving your 2D groups. Animate and adjust the cameras to create smooth, realistic 3D movement.
Set up point lights and spot lights to cast shadows across objects. Fine-tune shadow appearance by specifying colors and edge types. When you set your elements in motion, shadows animate dynamically with the movement of objects and lights.
Turn any shape, video plane, or paint stroke into a reflective surface. Add blur to soften reflections and use the Falloff feature to fade reflections as the object moves away from the light.
Free Computer Animation Software For Mac Download
FxPlug is a powerful Apple‑designed plug‑in architecture for filters and effects. Choose from more than 130 built-in FxPlug filters and generators. And explore the thriving ecosystem of third‑party FxPlug effects that work in Motion and Final Cut Pro with custom interfaces and incredible real‑time performance.
Third-party tools to make your workflow flow.
Choose from thousands of custom transitions, titles, and motion graphics. Work directly with third-party applications through workflow extensions. Or use third-party tools for advanced tracking, EDL and AAF interchange, and more.
Five amazing apps.
One powerful collection.
Unleash your creative potential with the Pro Apps Bundle for qualifying college students, teachers, and education institutions. Get all five professional applications for video and music creation at a special price — including Final Cut Pro X, Motion, and Compressor, along with Logic Pro X and MainStage.