Animation is a vast part of cinema. A whole other genre of films is made because of animation. If you want to seek a job in animation that will pay your bills, then definitely have to you have to study animation in detail.

Animation is the future of cinema. Thus it plays an essential role in the film industry. There are several steps you have to go through, such as- you have to decide what type of animation you want to learn at first because each style has its territory in the animation world. Even if you study animation thoroughly, you have to know different tools and their uses to work in this field.

So, here are some of the best tools for animation that will help you understand energy better:

1. OpenToonz

You will find all the features you want in OpenToonz

OpenToonz has all types of features that every animator needs. And this tool is free of cost to explore the features and learn more about animation quickly.

I know that every animator looks up to studio Ghibli for its beautiful and unique animation. So, if you want to animate like them, OpenToonz is an appropriate platform to practice your skills. Though we can’t promise that level of animation, we can at least introduce you to such animation tools used in films like Spirited Away, Jujutsu Kaisen, Totoro and Howl’s Moving Castle, The Wind Rises and customized along the way.

Studio Ghibli started utilizing Toonz during the making of Princess Mononoke, and in 2016 this robust animation tool was made open-source. It was named OpenToonz  (there’s still an advertisement version –  Toonz Premium which is available easily, but you have to pay for the premium package.

It has all the tools you’re likely to need, from drawing tools through to filters, scripting, effects, tweening, and more, and new tools are added regularly.

The newest version, 1.4, was released for Mac and Windows the previous year, having a new feature- a new stop-motion panel with the help of Canon DSLR cameras and many more. And as well as OpenToonz, there’s a tremendous open-source version, the Morevna Edition. It also works on Linux and includes additional tools such as assistant guides to make it simpler to add perspective to your working hours, environments, integration with the MyPaint brush engine, an eraser covering a larger area, a horizontal timeline, and a higher color selector. If you are unsure which version of OpenToonz to go with, we would advise you this one – mainly due to the documentation for the actual OpenToonz seems to be only in the Japanese language.

best tools for animation

02. Piskel

Piskel is also a handy tool that’s easy to use, and it is free of cost for the users to explore their skills independently. It is an online tool for making animated sprites and pixel animations. It’s easy to utilize, and you don’t have to sign-up to use the tool. However, if you’re interested in building a gallery, whether indoors or outdoors, you can do so by logging in with your Google account.

With Piskel, you get an on-spot preview while you’re making your image. You also have the feature of importing PNGs, PDFs, JPGs, BMPs, and cartoon GIFs. Or you can import pickle documents, the proprietary layout for Piskel. You have features for animated GIFs, PNG sprite sheets, or an opening with each frame given out as a PNG on the export side. Though it is an online tool, there’s also an install option available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

03. Aseprite

This animation tool is everything that you need to explore your skills. Though the app is not free, it allows you a free trial that lets you think over whether you should purchase this app.

Aseprite is beautiful pixel art and animation app. This tool has everything you’d expect from a more fabulous publisher, including layer support, alpha channel control, onion skins, playback modes, shading modes, and custom paintbrushes. Like the Piskel tool, you can import and export different formats, like PNGs, sprite sheets, JPGs, and animated GIFs.

best tools for animation

04. Spine

Spine has a beautiful feature of letting you animate your existing artwork or animation so that you can add more details and technicalities to it. This app is not free but allows a free trial for users to understand it’s working and finally whether you should purchase it or not.

Coming out of the realm of pixel art, Spine lets you animate your already existing animation or artwork. It is very accurate that there are no illustration apps included in Spine. However, as it’s such a robust animation tool, it’s worth a chance. So, if it is in your budget, definitely buy. It will not let you down.

Spine gives you all of the tools needed to animate your characters, including a dope sheet and a Free-Form Deformation (FFD) app. The dope sheet allows you to have a detailed look at the timeline to build tweaks to the animation’s timings. And with the FFD app, you can transform particular mesh vertices and deform your picture.

05. Pencil2D

Pencil2D is a free app that allows the user to explore its features independently. This cross-platform 2D art and animation app is excellent for changing your hand-drawn animations to life. Pencil2D lets you focus on the artwork and energy, not the interface, thanks to its lightweight configuration. It gives support to both raster and vector and has ways for importing and exporting various formats. 

06. FlipBook

This app is not free but gives a free trial to all its users.

Like Pencil2D, FlipBook is another app you can easily use if you’re looking for a graphics tool to create traditional 2D animation. FlipBook allows you to draw, scan, and import things like backgrounds, overlays, cells, and even movies. You can also include sound. When you have finished it, you can export the still pictures or the whole animated film.

7. Synfig Studio

Synfig Spine is a free app that gives you a platform to explore your skills and know the app properly, and it also gives you extra control over your animation skills.

It is a beautiful, cross-platform, powerful, open-source 2D animation drawing and animation app Synfig Spine. Although more confusing than most other graphics tools, Synfig lets you control almost every aspect of your artwork or energy, and provides you with similar tools like paintbrushes, fills, masking, erasers, layers, and more.

08. Moho Debut and Moho Pro

Moho Debut is a vector-based 2D animation app for beginners, early birds (Debut), and professionals (Pro). Both come loaded with many pre-made content and features to help get you started or spark your creativity or imagination. 

With the Debut version, you can utilize a character wizard to dial in elements like body proportions and designed 2D components. Or you can import your pictures and use the auto-trace option. For Pro animators, you get features like FBX support, and motion blurs frame-by-frame features and more. 

09. TVPaint Animation

TVPaint Animation is not a free app but gives you a free trial to know the app’s features properly.

Moving on to the more pro set of tools, TVPaint Animation allows you to render fully animated scenes from the very beginning to end. It uses bitmap tech so that you can animate basic renderings, like gouache, watercolor, pastel color, oil painting, crayon, and pen, traditionally, with images.

TVPaint Animation is one of the expensive options included in this round-up, but it does give you a trial version, and from what we’ve observed so far, it’s pretty fantastic and well worth the price.


All the apps mentioned in this essay are suitable for creating animated videos, GIFs, and extra, for different purposes such as social media, advertising, animated videos, explainer videos, whiteboard videos, small presentations, and more. The tool is perfect for animators of all levels, as well as big and small companies. Easy to work with, most devices provide a library of templates and pictures, video, and audio documents to choose from.

I hope I have been helpful with this choice of animation tools. The best thing is, most of the software products are free or offer free trials. So, you will be able to try the specific tool before you purchase it.

Editing or Animating is very difficult as it tests your patience; it takes hours to make the anime characters move or run at speed. So, the more you practice, the more you learn about the different tricks and schemes of animation. So, work hard if you want a career out of your animation skills.

I hope my article has all the information about the best animation tools for you to use.

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