Top 6 Best 2D Animation Tools

The animation is ubiquitous: it is used in games and films, advertising and educational materials, business presentations and web design. Despite the fact that now seemingly three-dimensionality is taking over the world, two-dimensional animation is still relevant.

It has come a much longer way than its counterpart has, and continues to actively develop. In particular, this is facilitated by the appearance of more and more advanced professional 2D animation software, which allows to gradually blur the boundaries between different animation types.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most common 2D animation tools. Knowing them will help you both delve into the subject matter and better understand the work principles of various 2D animation services. Perhaps they will come in handy sometime.

Best Free 2D Animation Software

The free options are essential: they are great for beginners. They also have a simple interface and the most basic tools that do not confuse a person who is just starting their creative path. So, grab the list of the best 2D animation software, for which you will not need to pay a dime.


This is a rather old program, released back in 2005. We decided to call it the first since it is simply impossible to come up with something more suitable for beginners.

The tool specialization is a 2D vector animation. With the ability to add a huge number of layers, you can create both simple and more complex projects with sound. And this will not affect its freeness in any way. And despite the fact that there are not so many instructions, there is no special need for them: the instrument is more than clear at the intuitive level.

Read also: 20 Best Free Animation Software for Beginners


Our next free candidate works with not only vector but also raster animation. Due to a large number of effects and the ability to edit code, this program is considered more complex than the previous one.

On the other hand, beginners will definitely appreciate the image scanning function with different settings. After that, it’s easy to make the animation. There is also an option to add a software development kit, allowing you to expand the range of styles and effects.

Pencil 2D

A great cross-platform option that won’t scare you with its complex interface or intimidating features. There are both raster and vector workflows.

The program supports the TIFF format. Working with animations is very easy thanks to the ability to optimize the process using keyboard shortcuts

Best Paid 2D Animation Software

Nobody says that beginners should in no case approach the paid tools that are considered professional. It’s just that it will be much more difficult to work with them: they have more advanced functionality and sometimes a very confusing toolkit, which will take a lot of time to learn. We have selected three best 2D animation programs that allow you to create incredible projects of any complexity.


Most likely, you have already heard about Anime Studio. If not, for $ 399 you can get a comprehensive animation tool that does world-class projects. Secret: take advantage of the 30-day trial version.

If you love freehand drawing, then this is exactly what you need. In addition, tweening technology is available here, as well as the ability to add music and great blur to give realism to movements.

Toon Boom Harmony

It is a tool often chosen by animation schools as their main program. This is no wonder: despite the advanced functionality, it is much easier to master it than the same Moho. The first three weeks of use are free. Then you can choose from several options (starting from $ 109), paying for the program monthly or purchasing perpetual access.

Raster and vector options, scanning, great color palettes and coloring possibilities, advanced tools for puppet and cutout animation: this program also supports 3D capabilities.

Stop Motion Studio

As the name suggests, this program is designed to create 2D stop motion animation. Spend $ 59 and get a great frame-by-frame editor, voice recording, and DSLR connectivity.

The built-in capabilities of the tool allow you to instantly upload the created projects to YouTube or social networks.


So, you can see that there are many different good 2D animation software out there that will be able to find admirers from experts of all levels. If you are going to get down to business on your own, then you just have to choose your tool. And if you are looking for a good studio, then it makes sense to pay attention to this software: here you will see the main two-dimensional projects of the studio and can form an independent assessment of the team’s level of expertise.

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