This article will cover everything from the best programmes for 2D and 3D animation and tips on how to get started in the industry.
There is so much software available. We’ll offer our top suggestions, but it really does depend on your personal preference.
Animation is easy to start, however it’s incredibly difficult to master. The learning process never stops.
Don’t be disheartened. As Maya Angelou said, “All great achievements require time.”
You can start to create simple (but awesome) 2D animations, then gradually develop your skills and personal style.
So where to start?
The first thing you should do is have a look at what’s around. Get inspired! What work do you like? Find out how they did it.
Researching into other peoples work can give you a good place to start from.
Animation can be done in many different ways and with multiple programmes, so our suggestion?…
Start low cost
Free or low cost programmes are always the best place to start. Most software will offer free trails so if you find one in your previous research that you’d like to try out. Make the most of it and see which works best for you.
Blender is a free software that allows you to create professional 3D animations and models with a well laid out interface equipped with a variety of tools.
The pros of Blender lay mostly with the range of features the software offers. There’s options for 3D shaping, unwrapping, real time 3D/game creation and more.
Some cons of the system are that even an experienced user won’t be able to jump straight in and get the desired results. Like anything worth learning, it takes time to master Blender.
The pro’s massively outweigh the cons, as once you’ve got your head around the system, the interface makes completing tasks convenient and efficient.
Moho Pro (formerly Anime Studio Pro) is a vector based 2D animation software. It’s suited for professions looking for more efficient alternatives to traditional animation.
This programme also has an intuitive interface and powerful features. Moho is a great alternative for people who show an interest in animation but aren’t ready to commit to monthly license fees a chance to get creative.
An easy to use software for many 3D modelling and rendering options. This programme offers a range of options for animating objects for games or videos. It was one of the first programmes to allow menu customisation.
Maya is great for beginners as you can develop your skills quickly, fast forwarding you into the professional world of 3D animation.
Maya is named the best in the industry by many. If you can get your head around it and make it work for you, you’re off to a good start.
If you’re a student, Autodesk Maya and Max offer licenses for free. Maya is pretty much considered industry standard for 3D animation.
The bottom line is that there are A LOT of different programmes out there and pretty much all of them should give you good results with practice.
Other recommended software includes of software suggestions –
3D: Max, Cinema 4D, Lightwave, EIAS3D, Softimage, Modo, Houdini
2D: Toonboom, After Effects, Flash (Adobe Animate)
There’s so many options, how do I know which programme to start with?
Our suggestion is to look for animation tutorials chose whichever software has the most. The more you can learn from people who already know the better. You can then transfer these techniques from one software to another.
If you aspire to work for a certain company, find out what software they use in house and practice with it. They’ll be more likely to take you on if they don’t need to train you on their preferred system.
Whatever software you end up with, the most important thing is to know it well. It’s better to know one software really well, than three or four fairly well.
Check out some of our animated videos here.