2D Animation Software choices?

Hi Folks,

Just a quick post to try and get some information on what 2D animation software is good and worth checking out and i’d be great to get some pro’s and con’s.

Ive tried…

Photoshop - Time line crappy and sucks adding or removing frames in the middle of anims

Blender - Drawing experience is not great and a bit clunky

ToonBoom looks great bit it has a big price tag :frowning:

Much else out there thats worth trying?

Flash was/is user friendly, widely adopted when Adobe bought it, and is still popular at 20$/mo

Clip Studio ($2.50/mo) you can buy the EX version outright for $220

Krita : free and open source so you can check it out right now, it is okay

Moho Debut is $60 (looks great, but no idea)

synfig (no idea no experience)

open toonz - (no experience)

SVGator (no idea, seems less drawing oriented and more about motion gfx)


Clip Studio Paint: it goes on sale about every 3 months or so (next one should be around March), EX version (the one not limited to 24 frames; yes, that’s right - 24 frames total, not 24 frames per second) will cost you $129 while on sale. I bought it in 2015 when it had no animation tools and still getting free updates.

If you’re into japanese style animation, you’ll find a lot of information and videos about using CSP in anime pipeline (kinda useless for game vfx, but general CSP setup and tips can be useful).

There’s also TVPaint, but the price is too high if you ask me.

For something less known: Plastic animation paper (old version is free, beta is free), old-school DigiCel FlipBook, CACANi with automatic in-betweening, and a bunch of open source tools like Enve and Pencil2D.


Plus take a look at Keyframe Pro for studying reference material.


If nothing has worked for you so far, and you have an iPad, I would really recommend Procreate. It’s cheap, no subscription cost, and it supports animation pretty decently. It’s also an excellent illustration tool.

Hello Stormy!

There are already great software mentions (I can’t even add another rn). But I wanted to chip in on how to approach this list:

In my experience it is best to just take a look at each software (some are free or at least have a trial) and use the one that “makes click”. There is no right or wrong imo as all have their pro and cons.

I personally use CSP and Krita. Depending on what I want to do I take which one I am more comfortable/quicker with for the task. But both actually do not have a sprite sheet exporter built in (at least right now).
For CSP I also use Free Texture Packer after exporting each frame of the animation.
For Krita there is a plugin called kritaSpritesheetManager.

I dipped my toes in OpenToonz and there where some things to set up before hand, but it was also really nice to use. But I stuck with the before mentioned programs.

I hope you find something that resonates with you! :slight_smile:

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If you are still looking for help: Jason Keyser made a video all about software for 2D animation.

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