Comprehensive List of Animation Programs (2D & 3D)

3D Animation Programs

3D Movie Maker

Often abbreviated as 3DMM for amazon pay per click lovers, 3D Movie Maker simplifies the process of creating animation. By default, 40 actors/actresses each with four different costumes, a number of actions, and 20 different props are all available. 12 different scenes are also available to the user, each with several different camera angles. 3D Movie maker also contains many MIDI music clips and sample voices.


Anim8or is a freeware OpenGL-based 3D animation and modeling program developed by R. Steven Glanville. It is compact with several animation tools which would normally be expected in paid, high-end software. To date, every version of Anim8or released has been under 3MB, despite the fact that it doesn’t make full use of the windows native interface; it carries some graphical elements of its own.

Autodesk Maya

Commonly shortened to Maya, Autodesk Maya is a 3D Animation program that runs on Windows, Linux, and OS X. Originally developed by Alias and currently owned and developed by Autodesk Inc, Maya creates interactive 3D applications, including TV series, animated film, video games, or visual effects.


Developed by MAXON, CINEMA 4D was initially developed for Amiga computers in the early 90s and the first 3 versions were available exclusively for that platform. MAXON later began to develop CINEMA 4D for Windows and Macintosh computers as well following the instability of Amiga market and citing the wish to reach a wider audience. Today, the program runs on Windows and Macintosh systems.

Daz Studio

Unlike most 3D programs for amazon search engine optimization, DAZ Studio allows users to manipulate many “ready to use” figures and models. The program is perfect for users who are interested in posing human and non-human models and figures for animation and illustrations, but who don’t wish to incur money expense of the higher-end 3D and CAD software.


This is a software package used for rendering both static and animated 3D images. LightWave supports advanced features such as radiosity, caustics, unlimited render nodes, and realistic reflection and refraction for free. The animation component of LightWave has features such as particle systems, dynamics, and reverse/forward kinematics.


Modo is a rendering package and 3D animation program developed by Luxology LLC, currently known as The Foundry. Modo incorporates features such as edge weighting and n-gons, and runs on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux platforms.


Published by Moviestorm Ltd, Moviestorm is real-time 3D animation program that enables users to create animated videos using machinima technology. The program takes the user from initial concept to finished, distributed videos. It allows creation and customization of sets and characters, as well as filming of scenes using multiple cameras.


Formerly known as Google Sketchup, SketchUp is a 3D modeling and animation program for applications such as video game design, architectural, and interior design. It has both freeware version (SketchUp Make) and paid version (SketchUp Pro) which has additional functionality.


ZBrush is a digital sculpting tool that combines 3D and 2.5D modeling as well as texturing and painting. It creates high-resolution models (up to 10 million polygons) for use in games, animations, and movies.

2D Animation Programs

Ajax Animator

Ajax is a free, web-based general-purpose animation tool whose development began in early 2006 by Antimatter15, then a 6th grader. Contrary to its name, Ajax Animator uses almost no Ajax in its code. The program is primarily written using the Ext JS framework, JavaScript, and HTML5-related technologies.


This is a free open-source 2D animation program available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. It uses a bitmap/vector drawing interface to produce simple animation and 2D graphics. The Pencil2D license is GNU General Public License.

Flipnote Studio

Flipnote is a free downloadable 2D animation program developed by Nintendo EAD Tokyo. The program allows users to create both picture and word-based notes with the stylus and sound put together to create frame by frame flipbook-style animations.


Stykz is a multi-platform stick-figure freeware animation program developed and maintained by Sons of Thunder Software Inc. Stykz version 1.0 for Windows and Macintosh was recently released, and a version for Linux is still being developed.


DrawPlus is a 2D vector graphics editor and animation program developed by the UK-based software company Serif. The program provides realistic, natural-looking brushes that allow users to paint with oils, watercolors, and other media while retaining vector editing capability. DrawPlus is also able to produce Key frame and Stop frame animations, including support for ActionScript and output to Adobe Flash swf file format.


SWFTools is an Open Source tool suite for creating and manipulating SWF files. SWFTools may be compiled from C source to run under Microsoft Windows, Apple OS X, and Linux. The program is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License.


Tupi, formerly KTooN, is a program for designing and creating 2D animation. Tupi is inspired by and for animators and is being developed by an open community. The program is free and open-source software covered under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

Synfig Studio

Synfig is a timeline-based free and open source 2D vector graphics computer animation program developed by Robert Quattlebaum and Adrian Bentley. Synfig was released in 2005 as free and open source software under the GNU General Public License.

Pivot Animator

Pivot Animator is a freeware application that allows the user to create 2D animations, and save them in the AVI format and the GIF format for use on web pages. Pivot Animator provides an easy to use interface with few features. Pivot Animator is widely known for its “pivot” animations which are being uploaded frequently to YouTube.


Cacani (Computer Assisted Cel Animation) is a 2D animation program that automatically generates frames from key frames. Sometimes written as CACANI or CACANI, the program is still being developed and was started by the Computational Arts Group (CAG), Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>