The dance performances seem entertaining on stage, but have you tried to look at the hustle and bustle backstage?

If yes, you must understand precisely what efforts have been put in for days or even months to showcase the beautiful act in front of the audience.

Similarly, animated videos, such as 2D, 3D, and many more types, seem attractive and captivating to viewers. Still, they need to find out what efforts the animators, artists, and marketers put into presenting the eye-catching magic in front of you, the audience.

However, we still need the king of all that is animation software. It has active participation along with the designers to create presentable animations. This being a broad topic, today we will focus on 2D animation software.

With the list of 11 best 2D animation software options of 2023, you will learn how to quickly produce your 2D video without technical skills or investing much in expensive professionals and equipment. Join us on this journey and find the hidden gems of animation.

11 Best 2D Animation Software: Free and Paid

You can't stand out amid the competition if you publish some crappy videos online. Many factors affect your launch's success of video on website, including the software you use for video production.

Here are some free and paid 2D animation software used in industry you can use to boost the quality of your videos, either made for fun or video marketing

1. Toon Boom Harmony – 2D Animation Software

Toon Boom Harmony is a professional 2D animation software for beginners and professionals. It has even managed to clinch an Emma award because of its class features. You can try it for free, as it offers a free trial to start your animation journey without risking anything.

Features of Toon Boom Harmony

  • A comprehensive set of vector-based drawing tools to easily create and edit professional video animations.
  • The online tool is available in several languages, including English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Japanese.
  • Node-based animation workflow provides for the easy creation of complex animations.
  • It has advanced cut-out rigging tools for polishing the created animations.
  • Bone Deform feature, which enables you to deform cut-out figures on the border of their bones for coming up with realistic movements.

Pros

  • Toon Boom Harmony's tools let the users make high-quality animations along with the frame-by-frame animation technique.
  • Its straightforward interface quickly accesses the tools needed to create animations.
  • The program's collaborative workspace helps the animators work together on real-time projects.
  • Toon Boom Harmony allows users to deliver their animations in several formats, including full HD, 4K, and 8K.Audio editing

Cons

  • The program can be challenging to learn.
  • Toon Boom Harmony requires a system with a high-end graphics card and much RAM to run smoothly.
  • Its price is a barrier for independent animators and small studios working with limited budgets.

Pricing

Essentials plan – USD 27.00/month (USD 219.50 annual billing)
Advanced plan – USD 67.50/month (USD 525.00 annual billing)
Premium plan – USD 123.50/month (USD 1,001.50 annual billing)

Supported by

  • Windows and mac

2. Blender – 2D Animation Software

If you are looking for free 2D animation software, Bender is your pick. This free animation software includes tools primarily used to create 2D, 3D, or even mix 2D and 3D objects in your video.

Here is a video that walks you through creating powerful 2D animations with Blender.

Features of Blender

  • It has a jaw-dropping rendering feature to smoothly process the video's layers, characters, backgrounds, and other objects.
  • You can also use its amazing video-editing tools for cutting, slicing, adjusting layers, and more.
  • Character Animation
  • Nonlinear Animation for independent movements.
  • 3D modeling, 3D Scene Creation, and Lighting
  • PBR Material And Texture Creation
  • Image And Video Compositing
  • Python Scripting

Pros

  • It is a powerhouse for creating 2D and 3D animation projects, which include 3D modeling, Animation, physics simulations, compositing, and video editing.
  • It has a vibrant user and developer community that assists with hints, guides, and plugins to make the most of the tool.
  • It is simple to import and export data due to its compatibility with various file types.
  • It can be run on most PCs, has quite a low system need, and is great for beginners.

Cons

  • You need to spend a little time learning the features of Blender before you can fully harness the power of this powerful software.
  • Its user interface may be improved compared to commercial options.
  • Some users require assistance with particular topics, such as motion graphics.

Pricing

It is free and open-source. 

Supported by

  • Windows, macOS, and Linux 

3. Moho (Anime Studio) Pro – 2D Animation Software

Moho Anime Studio is a design software for those willing to use advanced digital animation tools but without money to spend on expensive software. Moho is affordable for many users and one of the world's most preferred 2D animation applications by animation companies.

Features of Moho (Anime Studio) Pro

  • It is beginner-friendly.
  • You can easily import and export vector files in this application.
  • You can use multiple layers to carry out complex animated tasks.
  • Its amazing bone-rigging capability lets you skip frame-by-frame animation, allowing you to add skeletons to characters easily.
  • You can have complete control over the timeline and other interpolation modes.

Pros

  • Active community to learn and share.
  • Simple to use 2D animation tool.

Cons

  • There is limited support for FBX files.
  • It demands a high-configuration system for stability.

Pricing

30-day free trial version with the following paid versions
Moho Debut – $59.99
Moho Pro – $399.99

Supported by

  • Windows and macOS

4. PowToon – 2D Animation Software

PowToon is an easy-to-use software that allows you to create 2D animation videos online without investing much time learning new skills and spending money on video equipment. You can make a 2D animation for free with PowToon.

Once you start producing and uploading 2D animated videos with PowToon, you can switch to its paid versions to get more features and publish mind-boggling videos.

Features of Powtoon

  • It comprises a vast library of professionally-designed templates, characters, props, videos, and soundtracks.
  • It comprises options for uploading media, videos,  GIFs, images, professional voiceovers, and anything you need to connect with your audience. 
  • You can customize its themes and access its library to find relevant media files for your project.
  • There are also advanced animation tools to get into deeper parts of 2D animation.

Pros

  • It supports full 1080 HD quality videos, so you do not need to compromise simplicity and price with quality.
  • Presence of a wide variety of preset but customizable templates.
  • The program provides a fairly intuitive process for editing.
  • The free version has a watermark on the background.

Cons

  • Watermark remains in the background in the free version.
  • There is a limitation of 90 seconds for imported video.

Pricing

Pro – US$89/month
Pro+ –  US$197/month

Supported By

  • Windows, mac, Android, and iOS

5. Animaker – 2D Animation Software

Animaker is another popular animation software allowing amateurs to create dazzling animated videos without technical skills. You can set up a storyboard where you can organize the scenes of the video.

You only need to systematically organize various scenes after choosing and putting out the characters and adding texts, themes and other objects in the video. Even giant corporations like Pepsi, Verizon, and Google have used Animaker for video production tasks.

To capitalize on the market trend quickly, you should use Animaker to create, publish, and immediately promote videos.

Features of Animaker

  • Effective templates, pre-made objects, and animated characters show the magic of animation to your clients.
  • Productive storyboard creation for best results.
  • Voice Over, audio recording, and addition of audio track options are also available.
  • It has a characteristic of multi-track video production timelines. 
  • There is a presence of motion elements and animated icons.
  • The user can feel the power of customization with the handwriting animation feature.
  • Video and GIF Export is a plus feature that makes it an all-rounder.
  • Collaboration and Sharing Features let the user make the work public with easy movement.

Pros

  • Animaker's interface is user-friendly
  • One can make stunning animations with no need for advanced skills.
  • The tool gives a variety of animation styles and effects.
  • Collaboration with tools – Google Drive, Trello, and Dropbox for easy-to-go work and sharing.

Cons

  • A few animation options to customize some elements are available.
  • Limited pro characteristics for free users.
  • Restricted export options for free users.
  • Not appropriate for challenging animations.
  • Some users faced technical issues while using the software.

Pricing

Introductory – US$10/month ($120 / billed Yearly)
Starter – US$19/month ($228/ billed Yearly)
Pro – US$49/month ($588 / billed Yearly)

Supported By

  • Windows, macOS & Linux

6. CelAction2D – 2D Animation Software

With CelAction2D, you can create truly unique and magnificent animation videos. The process of understanding and using this software is straightforward, even if you are a beginner with no idea about animating.

Although simple, it has some potent tools inside it, so powerful that movie makers have used this application to edit some parts of TV shows. The price is higher than most animation software, but after looking at the features of CelAction2D, you will feel like the software is worth every penny.

You can create videos like short movies, music videos, student films, and more with the help of CelAction2D.

Features of CelAction2D

  • It uses bitmap and vector images to create attractive animations.
  • The tool comprises a skeleton library to make the character animations look real in terms of the skeletal structure of the characters.
  • Its advanced and easy rendering tool lets the users do the rendering process smoothly.
  • The movement of the skeleton can also be automatically mediated and deformed in several ways.

Pros

  • Lip-synchronization feature is much better compared to other tools.
  • Building a body in assemble mode is more accessible and effective for users.

Cons

  • Walk and run cycles can seem daunting to a user.
  • A source file needs to be found once in a while. 

Pricing

Studio Edition (Rental format) – US$850
Professional Edition –  $759/year
Animator Edition – $419/year
Education Edition is the same as the professional edition and can only be purchased by recognized educational institutions.

Supported By

  • Windows and Intel macs using boot camps.

7. Pencil2D – 2D Animation Software

If drawing is something you have always wanted to use in animation, Pencil 2D is here. It's a breezy software with a simplified interface and comprehensive tools for designing 2D hand-drawn animations. The software uses a clean workspace to animate their characters and objects.

Features of Pencil2D

  • The tool provides easy-to-go drag-and-drop tools.
  • The quick addition of multiple layers and keyframes, importing audio, and exporting animations to popular video formats.
  • You use various brushes to create your animations, including pencil, ink, and watercolor.
  • The program supports raster and vector images.
  • It also includes distortion and light effects.

Pros

  • Runs on Windows, Mac Osx, Linux & Free Bsd
  • Video format, you can save it in Avi, Mp4, Webm, Gif, or Apng format.
  • It’s an open-source application.

Cons

  • A user cannot access the advanced features at Lower OS versions.
  • The tools for painting and drawing are fundamental.

Pricing

It is free-to-use and open-source software.

Supported By

  •  Windows, macOS, Linux & FreeBSD.

8. OpenToonz – 2D Animation Software

Creating 2D animation is a stress-free job with OpenToonz. The software ‘Toonz’, is the parent of Open toonz, which offers various features to make your imagination a reality. The standout features of this tool are its intuitive interface which makes it easy to learn and work on, even if you have no animation experience. 

We have bought you some freshly baked features of this professional software.

Features of OpenToonz

  • Plug-in effect SDK feature available in the tool.
  • The option of changing picture styles can make editing easy for the users. 
  • The characteristic of Wavy distortion lets the users add styles to the animation.
  • GTS scanning tool for a smooth scanning process.
  • The tool is compatible with raster and vector images.
  • Interconversion between the sequence image of the colored binarized TGA and the OpenToonz format.

Pros

  • The tool is supported on Windows and MacOS.
  • It's the best animation software for beginners due to its open-source and free nature.
  • Free download of this software online.

Cons

  • Lack of tutorials for understanding the workflow.
  • A few options, like onion skinning, are hidden.

Pricing

It is the best free 2D animation software and is open-source.

9. Synfig – 2D Animation Software

Best 2D animation tool forever! Being costless, it never makes the user feel burdened compared to other paid tools. Synfig is an open-source tool that uses morphing and cutout animation techniques, giving impressive output as 2D animationslike a pro.           

Features of Synfig 

  • Single-Window mode UI
  • Advanced image distortion
  • Skeleton system
  • Options for the sound layer
  • Linux full-featured audio editors
  • Dynamics converter

Pros

  • Image painting engine with MyPaint brushes.
  • Preliminary support for frame-by-frame animation.
  • Plugin support.
  • It’s ideal for small projects.
  • It has simple navigation with a basic workflow.
  • The program consists of various brushes and tools for sketching and coloring.

Cons

  • Technical configurations are the primary demand of the software.
  • One needs to save work regularly on this animation tool.

Pricing

It is free of cost.

Supported By

  • It is open-source; thus, Windows, Mac, Linux, etc., support it.

10. Digicel Flipbook – 2D Animation Software

Guys, what to say about this amazing 2D animation maker? It has been used by Disney animators for more than 20 years, and guess what? “Looney tunes: Back in Action” was created with the help of this software. 

After reading about the fame of this 2D animation program, let us move towards its features, pros, and cons, if any, to know the tool's complete personality. 

Features of Digicel flipbook

  • Image window where you can draw, paint, and edit that acts like a media player for easy use.
  • Option Xsheet is the timeline in this software.
  • Other than these, there are characteristics of drawing, pan, zoom, and rotate, the addition of 3 soundtracks per scene, and many more.
  • Importing and exporting the outputs as smoothly as butter.

Pros

  • It can convert pdf files into HTML flipbooks.
  • The tool imports images directly from the scanner.
  • The smooth working onion skinning and despeckle option.

Cons

  • Watermark persists in the free version of the software.
  • There is a lack of bone rigging.

Pricing

FlipBook Lite – $19
Flipbook Studio – $49
Flipbook ProHD –  $99

Supported by

  • 2D animation software for Mac and Windows

11. Krita – 2D Animation Software

Krita is an open-source and free 2D animation maker designed for artists and animators. Never say no to this powerful tool to make 2D animations, illustrations, concept art, and more. Dive deep into the ocean of this software and get to know why it is right for you.

Features of Krita

  • Up-to-date brush engine for natural media painting.
  • Layer-based workflow for creating complex animations and illustrations.
  • Support for multiple video file formats, including OpenRaster and PSD.
  • Built-in vector tools for creating crisp lines and shapes.
  • Ability to add and edit audio tracks.
  • Keyframe animation and onion skinning options are also available.

Pros

  • Variety of brushes for great digital artwork.
  • Drag and drop tool for easy animation.
  • It is a simple 2D animation tool. 

Cons

  • The learning path can be challenging for new users.
  • There is limited 3Danimations support.
  • Keyboard shortcuts can be challenging for users.
  • It is not meant for complicated editing; some can even face crashing issues while editing this software.

Pricing

100% free and open-source 2D animation software to use.

Supported By

  • 2D animation software for Android, Windows, macOS, Linux, and ChromeOS

What’s your Pick?

With a wide range of tools in your arsenal, you can start producing amazing 2D animated videos to engage your potential customers and generate the desired results for your business. Remember that you may want to use more than one software mentioned in this list to get the best outcome for your business.

We hope you find this list of the best 2D animation software list useful. With all that said, you should first stick with one software. Which top 2D animation software for beginners will you choose for your next animation? Feel free to share your choice with our community.

Recommended Read: 

Frequently Asked Questions

There are many great options for 2D animation software, but some of the most popular ones include Toon Boom Harmony, Adobe Animate, and Powtoon.

Some of the best free 2D animation software options include Pencil2D, Synfig Studio, and OpenToonz.

2D animators use various software depending on their needs, preferences, and budget. Some popular options include Toon Boom Harmony, Moho Pro, Digicel Flipbook, and Krita.

Some easiest-to-learn 2D animation software options include Pencil2D, Krita, and . These programs have intuitive interfaces and plenty of online tutorials to help you get started.