Free 3d Cartoon Animation Software For Mac

  1. Free 3d Cartoon Animation Software For Mac Free
  2. Free Mac Animation Software

Computer animation has come a long way since inception in the year 1960. The fundamentals of animation software or animation tool can be traced back to the time when William Fetter, a computer graphics designer made a diagram of a human body inside an airplane cockpit. Although the intention was to maximize the efficiency of Boeing’s cockpits, it paved the way towards more sophisticated process flows and thus, towards animation generated by computers. The credit for the first animation software, however, goes to Ivan Sutherland, an MIT graduate. His program Sketchpad (developed in 1963) drew lines that looked like recognizable figures. Little did he know that his idea would become a multibillion-dollar industry in the years to come.

Slowly and steadily, more progress was made in the field. The movie Tron which was released in the year 1982, was one of the first movies to use computer-generated graphics. Movies like the Terminator, Jurassic Park, Toy Story, the Matrix, and Avatar further refined the process, adding more details and sophistication to computer animation. The animation software industry grew to great heights within this period.

Fast forward to 2021, we have a plethora of examples to celebrate the genius of CGI or computer-generated imagery. There are a variety of animation software available in the market, widely used by professionals at animation studios. Depending on the medium you choose —hand-drawn or 2D, 3D, or stop-motion and the price range, there are plenty of options to get started. A well-built animation software provides intuitive controls and flexibility that can be easily understood by a beginner but also has vastly superior tools for an experienced user.

Browse through this list of quality animation software, and select the one that best suits your requirement. We hope it will help you hone your foundation skills, practice animation styles, and help you get professional results.

Adobe Character Animator

This animation software comes from one of the biggest development companies in the world and serves up to the hyped expectations. One of the recent additions to the Adobe family, this simple animation software uses facial recognition, gesture recognition, etc to animate cartoon characters. The Character Animator is a real-time animator that uses your facial expressions, hand movements, full-body motion capture, and various other inputs to animate characters. It is extremely smooth and fast and you can live stream your development process to share work with team members or your audience. Just plug in your microphone, web camera and start animating! You can also create a character from your artworks in a few mouse clicks using the built-in Adobe Sensei.

Adobe Character Animator is one of the best animation software and is used by many Hollywood film houses. The software offers a huge variety of options for animating. You can also use the built-in puppets to begin animating as soon as you open the software. Animation options include breathing, walking, blinking, behaviors, etc. It is a great animation software for beginners as well as experienced professionals.

The free trial lasts for 7 days after which you can buy the paid versions of this simple software for animation. You can buy all the Adobe applications (creative cloud) for around 52 USD per month, billed annually. Adobe has created different packages for individuals, businesses, schools, and professionals. You can check this link out for more information on pricing.

  1. 3D Cartoon Videos, Done Right! There are hundreds of online templates available for your fast video creation. Animation projects, business, education, technology, food & drink, diverse free 3D templates will help make your stories presented differently and innovatively.
  2. Blender is the free and open source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, video editing and 2D animation pipeline.
Cartoon

Toon Boom Harmony

Blender is a popular free 3D animator that experts, scientists, video game developers, studio artists and other professionals use around the world. This open-source software has been around for some time and evolved into a sophisticated application. This is the first free animation software for Mac under this list. The toon boom animate pro is a Canadian software company that specializes in the production and storyboarding software. The software can be used for the storyboarding for television, web, films, mobile phones, animation, games etc.

Toon Boom by Harmony is a cartoon animation software for beginners as well as for professionals. The software allows the user the flexibility, fluidity, and the smoothness of traditional animation. The learning curve is moderate since the software is meant for newbies as well as for professionals. The software has been used by leading animation studios for more than 25 years.
GitHub illustrator and animator, Tony Jaramillo writes in his testimonial, “Harmony makes it possible to level up our animation productivity without sacrificing quality..we're big fans”. Some of the most famous users of Toon Boom are Universal Studios, Fox Studios, Cartoon Network, Ubisoft, and Lucas Film.

New features that came with the latest update include a stabilizer for lines, stylus pressure responsiveness, and tilt and angle responsiveness. Standard features include a brush engine, traditional paperless animation, deformers, cut-out animation, 2D/3D integration, export to game engines, and pipeline integration. It is also easily integrable with software such as Adobe Illustrator, and extensions such as PSD, PSB, PDF, and Bitmaps.

Pricing options come in different packages that include this animation software. Harmony Essentials cost 16 Euros per month, billed annually. You can also choose to purchase the package for a one-time cost of 400 Euros. Similarly, Harmony Advanced is a 1,030 Euros one-time purchase (41 Euros per month if not purchased) and the Harmony Premium is a 2,085 Euros one-time purchase (78 Euros per month if not purchased). You can use the software for free for 21 days; a duration that is good enough to understand and explore this amazing animation software.

DigiCel FlipBook

This 2D animation software is easy-to-use but don’t let the simplicity fool you. You can do a lot of things with this animation software although it is intended for beginners. Developed by DigiCel, FlipBook runs on both Windows and macOS. You can also call this a frame by frame animation software since the method it employs deals with designing one frame at a time. Since the learning curve is smooth, you can directly dive into animating. The software lets you easily scan your artworks from paper directly onto the software. You can also make stop motion videos if you want.

Some of the features of FlipBook include a multiple-frame work desk, lip-sync support, pan, zoom, rotate, blur options, import and export capabilities, and scanning options. The software is efficient and super-smooth. The speed is amazing as well. You can make changes while the animation is running and the changes are visible the next time the loop runs! As aforementioned, the animation software is simple to use. However, some big names have complimented the software and recommended it to their followers. Disney’s Animation Director, Eric Goldberg calls it a great program and praises the draw tool provided by the software.

DigiCel’s Flipbook is priced according to four different packages that are Lite, Studio, Pro, and ProHD. If you use the free version of this animation software, all published exports are watermarked. The Lite version is listed at 98 USD but is currently at a sale price of 19 USD! The package offers 2 columns, 300 frames, and 800x600 screen capabilities. As the packages advance, so do their features. A complete pricing list can be seen here.

Moho Debut by Anime Studios

The Moho Debut is an animation software suitable for beginners interested in learning the art of animation. The interface is easy to understand and allows you to animate real fast. The simplicity does not, however, undermine the strength and the robustness of this software. The tools offered by Moho Debut are powerful and can be used to convert your strangest imaginations into an animated story. The software comes with multilingual support and has the capability to handle English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese, and Japanese.

The software runs on both macOS and Windows and offers advanced and sophisticated freehand tools. Features such as bone rigging, pen pressure support for tablets, animated effects for shapes and layers, brushes that can be used to easily edit and animate, PSD support, and keyframe options are available. Advanced masking options and an auto freeze tool are also available. The software is priced at 69.99 USD. The free trial can be availed for 30 days.

Moho Pro by Anime Studios

The Moho Pro is the advanced version of its lighter version, the Moho Debut. The user base is more professional and advanced. The software is costlier but has more features that can be used to create better animations. This 2D animation software includes all the features of Moho Debut. The latest version Moho Pro 13 integrates the best animation technology with the most sophisticated tools. The software runs on both macOS and Windows and requires a minimum RAM of 4GB and 2.0 GHz Intel i3 processor.

Moho Pro offers a bone rigging system, physics engine, dynamic bones, and smart bones to control complex movements, frame by frame capabilities, vector tools with Bezier handles, accurate SVG, AI, and EPS import, 4K video export, vector export, motion blur, and multilayer and multi-channel control. The newest update adds bitmap frame by frame capabilities, bitmap freehand drawing tools, custom bitmap brush creation, 3D objects light manipulation, 3D objects material properties support.

You can also purchase add-ons to improve the experience. The 100 Brush Pack, for example, is priced at 39 USD. Other add-ons include the Retro Space Pack, School Days Pack, Content Pack, and the Puppets Pack. This animation software is priced at 399.9 USD with a free trial that lasts for 30 days.

Pencil2D

This is a great free animation software for people who are into traditional hand-drawn animation. The software allows you to work with both raster as well as with vector graphics. The minimal design of the interface makes it easy and smooth to work with. The clutter-free UI/UX experience is one of the selling points of this free software. Pencil2D is a cross-platform software that runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux. The software is open-source which has allowed a great and helpful community to develop around this product.

The software has a variety of handy animation tools and options. You can also upload your Pencil 2D project to aid in the development of the software; one of the plus points of being open-source. You can import GIFs and export them as well. The latest version, v0.6.4 released last year with several new tweaks and adjustments. Bug fixes and patches were also part of the update. Upcoming features may include a new undo/redo system, x-sheet support, new layer manipulation operations, etc.

The biggest disadvantage of using Pencil2D is that the software requires you to fill in your preferences every time you open it.

Synfig Studio

Another open-source 2D animation software that comes free of cost. If you are not comfortable with a frame by frame animation software, this is the perfect tool for you. You can run this free animation software on Windows, Linux, and macOS. Since the software is open-source, you can make changes to the source code and submit enhancements and upgrades.

One of the main features of Synfig Studio is vector tweening; you can convert any vector graphic into another form easily. The software offers powerful tools to help you achieve that. Synfig also provides more than 50 layers to make artworks and animations. Some of the layer types are geometric, transformations, gradients, filters, distortions, fractals, etc. The bone system is also full of options and is a powerful tool on its own. The software also provides an additional skeleton distortion layer. Finally, you can connect different layers via mathematical expressions. With the help of this, you can make characters, puppets, and complex dynamic structures. The software has a steeper learning curve for beginners.

Cartoon Animator 4

Cartoon Animator 4 is a 2D animation software intended for both beginners as well as for professionals. You can design characters and digitally animate them via expressions and lip-sync capabilities. The Cartoon Animator 4 community is a strong one and materials for learning the software are easily available. Much like Adobe’s Character Animator, you can use your facial expressions and your voice to make animations. A few examples of videos made using this animation software are given here; The Curious Child, a TV series by Eon De Bruin, and an Animated comic by Fransesco.

Key features of this amazing animation software include webcam and iPhone facial mocap, hand tracking and digital puppets, full-body motion capture, sprite-based facial system, audio lip-syncing, precise FK/IK system, smart motion retargeting, stretch animation, and so much more. If you want to explore all the features of this superb software, head to this link for a detailed view. The software also lets you integrate your work with Adobe Photoshop and allows you to use PSD templates for designing. Pipeline features include capabilities to import 3D motions into 2D artworks and to create custom and unique elastic motion libraries. Finally, you can work with a huge number of file extensions without any trouble. It supports up to 4K resolution monitors.

The free trial is for 30 days after which you can buy the pro edition for 99 USD, the pipeline edition for 199 USD, or avail special bundle discounts.

Stop Motion Studio

An animation software for beginners, Stop Motion Studio helps to create high-quality stop motion videos. Adopting the frame by frame animation technique, this software can help you make 4k stop motion videos with ease. The software is cross-platform and cross-device and can run on Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows. Your projects are accessible from all the devices where you have your account.

You can use your phone camera to click the single frames or you can even hook up your digital camera to your device. You also have the option to use a second phone to add more perspective to your videos. Editing these images is also easy and just requires a few touches or clicks. You can add audio clips, titles, credits, and filter effects to your videos as you click the frames. There is also the option to add looping to your videos using in and out set points. The software has built-in sound clips that you can use in your videos and you can directly record our voice and apply it on the video as you work your way through the project. Other features include grid and onion skinning options, paint tools, magic eraser, and import of images, audio, video files, etc.

This animation software costs just a dollar and 99 cents on Windows. The mobile application costs 4.99 USD and the macOS version costs 9.99 USD.

Blender

Probably the best free animation software on this list and one of the most recommended software for animation by professionals, Blender is an open-source software that runs on different platforms with ease. It is one of the few 3D modeling and animation software that is free of cost, yet it does not lack any power or robustness of its paid counterparts. In fact, it might just have a slight edge over them. This animation software is suitable for beginners as well as for professionals. With the help of Blender, you can develop animations, games, animated models, renders, and other types of 3D projects. It is available on macOS, Linux, and Windows.

Blender is a pretty good animation software when it comes to the features it offers. Blender provides real-time viewport review as well as CPU and GPU rendering. With Blender, you have PBR shaders and HDR lighting support. Other features include VR rendering support, advanced modeling, sculpting, and UV tools, advanced rigging and animation tools, powerful visual effects, auto-tracking, manual tracking, camera reconstruction, drawing in 2D mode оnto the 3D viewport, onion skinning, etc.

Blender is one of the best free animation software that you can use at all levels. Blender has some amazing open projects where you can contribute. Ever since the year 2005, the Blender Foundation has tried to invite developers and animators to contribute to open projects to promote creativity and innovation in Blender. The first such project was called ‘Elephants Dream’, which won the best short film award. Here is the official link to all open projects started by the Blender Foundation. If you are an advanced animator, make sure to check these out.

Some of the drawbacks are that the learning curve is very steep and it would take beginners a lot of time to learn to use this software. It is also not easy to make image animations since the software aims more at 3D animation.

Animaker

Animaker is a browser-based animation software that can be used by beginners, professionals, and animation enthusiasts. It is a great tool for making handcraft videos, whiteboard videos, short marketing bits, animated infographic videos, and educational videos. Used by huge brands such as Amazon, Nokia, Siemens, and Dell, Animaker’s buffed-up client base speaks for itself. With Animaker, you can make 2D and 2.5D videos via a variety of tools and features. You can choose from different plans based on your needs.

Animaker supports full HD and both horizontal and vertical layouts. Animaker provides great features for animation such as record, curve, camera in/out, multimove, transition effects, and enter/exit effects. Along with these, the animation software also has a deck feature that allows users to use animations as videos or presentations. The software also has some amazing audio features such as text-to-speech, preloaded background tracks, sound effects, voice recording, etc. You can also use libraries for pre-defined templates.

With the free package, you can download your animations with a watermark. The free package also lets you work with HD support. The starter pack is priced at 19 USD per month and is intended for individuals and startups. The starter pack supports full HD and you can download 6 premium animations without the watermarks. The business pack is priced at 39 USD per month and has all the features that this great animation software has to offer.

OpenToonz

OpenToonz is a free animation software that you can use to make cartoon animations. It runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux. OpenToonz was customized by Studio Ghibli and is in use by the same for many years. It was first used in the making of the famous film, ‘Princess Mononoke’ by Studio Ghibli. Since it is open-source, you can contribute to its source code as well.

OpenToonz has all the features required to make a great animated film. Its unique features have been specifically customised to meet those requirements of the production staff. The scanning tool or 'GTS’ for instance, that specializes in animation. OpenToonz also comes with an effects development kit developed by Dwango. The SDK is a plug-in effect for image processing. Other features include digital drawing tools such as vector and bitmap drawing tools, indexed color palettes, animated special effects, and composite scene, scripting, motion tracking, frame-by-frame animation, motion tweening, bones character animation, particle systems for dust, rain, and similar effects, etc.

It can be used free of charge for both commercial and non-commercial videos. In case you face any issues, you can post your query in the developers’ forum or any community blog. The plug-in effects of this animation software are, however, very limited.

Powtoon

Another browser animation software that is free to use, Powtoon is intended for beginners but can also be used by more advanced animators. It can be used to make dynamic video presentations. Used by brands such as Microsoft, IBM, Google, Adobe, Coca Cola, eBay, Cisco, and Starbucks, Powtoon is a trusted software that can be used to develop engaging infographic videos and marketing bits. The official website describes Powtoon as a platform for visual communication. Hopping on the visual communication description, the animation software is a great means to talent acquisition, change management, internal communications, and marketing. Schools and universities can also use Powtoon to make infographic videos and educational tutorials to teach their students. In fact, during times such as these when the world is fighting against COVID-19, such a tool can come in handy to reach out to colleagues and team members.

With Powtoon’s free version, you can export YouTube videos, Facebook videos, Vimeo videos, and PDFs, and Powerpoints. The version also offers customs styles and you can change the aspect ratio as well as sizes. You can implement image files and animate and make GIFs. Once you get past the beginner level, you can choose from the various packages based on your requirements. Powtoon is one of the best animation software that you can use to learn about animation. You can import themes from Microsoft Powerpoint as well in case you don’t want to start working from scratch.

The three paid packages that come with this animation software are Pro, Pro +, and Agency. At 19 USD per month, you can buy the Pro package which gives you access to free content and 2 GB of storage. The Pro + is priced at 29 USD per month and gives you access to all the content and 10 GB of storage. With Agency, the cream package, you get all the features of Powtoon and 100 GB of storage at 99 USD per month.

Tupi

Here’s a treat for Mac users; a free animation software with amazing features and lots of content. The software was developed by animators who wanted to allow people to make and edit videos without having to pay for them. The learning curve of this software is moderate and you can create quality 2D videos once you get the hang of it. You can contribute to the Tupi source code as well and tweak it in case you require specific customizations or would like to help the community.

Features of Tupi include support for vector illustrations, adding shapes, filling areas, import raster images, export all your finished images into different file formats, support for tweeting positions, etc. You can also make lip-sync animations using Tupi. The software also supports vector illustrations and different file formats. The official website contains lots of resources for animators of all levels. It features an extensive resource base of examples and tutorials. One of the drawbacks of Tupi is that it cannot be used to make 3D videos.

Terragen

Terragen is a free animation software for Windows. You can use it to make CG animation. It is meant for moderate level users but can be used by beginners who are interested in learning animation. The learning curve is moderate and it requires some time to get the hang of it. The newest feature, the ray-traced preview is great for animation. It can be installed on all Windows devices and is an amazing animation software for 3D animation. Developed by Planetside Software, Terragen 4.4, the latest update is feature-rich.

Besides ray-traced preview, some of the other features include photo-real clouds, ozone simulation, faster rendering (almost double), lens effects, and new shaders and enhancements, etc. Terragen Pro comes with FBX, render layers and AOVs, spherical cameras, full 3D motion blur, and stereo cameras. The price list of Terragen can be found here. The drawback of this animation software is that its interface looks very complicated. However, with use and understanding, you can work on it effortlessly.

Animation


Although the list of animation software is exhaustive, we have tried to put together the best intuitive software programs, and we hope it'll give you a good start. You might want to check out our list of the best graphic design software. Tech-savvy creatives would also like our feature on the best drawing and art apps.

As you get creative with your animation portfolios, do remember to create your portfolio website to showcase your work. Here’s a great article on how to create a portfolio website. Your design portfolio represents a window for the world to view your work and judge your talent, skills, and experience. So, if you haven’t built a website to showcase your design portfolio, start today with Pixpa. Here are some great examples of graphic design portfolios created on Pixpa for your inspiration. Explore all features that make Pixpa the perfect choice for creative professionals. Get ready to express yourself in stunning new ways and create awesome animation clips with ease and efficiency!


Liked this post? Share it now.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you buy something we get a small commission at no extra cost to you(learn more)

From action scenes to snappy dialogue, everything can be captured in a great storyboard.

The entertainment industry needs quality storyboard artists and those artists need great software. If you search around you’ll find plenty of options but they each have a range of features, benefits, and prices(some free!)

So what kind of software is best for storyboarding? And which programs offer the best features to support your creative projects?

I’ll go through all the best options in this post and get you started on the path to magnificent digital storyboards.

Storyboarder

Price: Free
Platforms: Mac, Windows, Linux

The team at Wonder Unit has developed some really cool stuff for filmmakers. One of their coolest projects is Storyboarder, a free app made for visualizing stories.

This runs on all 3 major operating systems and it’s 100% free to download and use forever. At that price who can complain?

I’d think if you’re a newbie to storyboarding then you’d want to save money at every turn. That is why Storyboarder makes such a great choice for beginners who need a simple application to practice their boards.

From a single screen you can draw each shot, add dialogue/stage directions, and even port the entire thing into Adobe Photoshop if you need a larger toolset.

Also Storyboarder comes with a play feature so you can demo your boards in a slideshow preview much like a real animatic for animation.

An excellent program for presenting to clients, or just for mucking around and practicing on your own. And you can’t beat that price tag.

Toon Boom Storyboard Pro

Price: $60/mo or $999 one-time fee
Platforms: Mac, Windows

Looking at the complete opposite of free we’ll find Toon Boom Storyboard Pro. To my knowledge this is the most expensive storyboarding software on the market and it’s also the industry standard.

A good majority of studios use Toon Boom for boarding & animating so this is something you may want to learn if you want to break into the industry.

Now with that said, it does offer a cheaper monthly fee that most people could afford compared to the upfront cost.

This monthly fee gives you a chance to test the waters and see what you think of Toon Boom without committing to a massive single use license.

So what exactly does this program give you?

Really it’s a combo of both sketching and animating together. It’s a way to sketch your boards and see how they’d animate, all while tracking your script to make sure your scenes are on target.

Toon Boom is definitely more of an animator’s program.

It can work well for ad agencies or for board artists doing small skits. But the Story Flow tool makes it a breeze for writers to switch between board & script to follow each sequence, each scene, and each act.

How to download clean my mac. After downloading and installing Clean My Mac X app, launch the app and in the main interface, you will find the option to clean hard drive from junk files, which will be selected by default. You can start cleaning by clicking on the clean cache on Mac now button. Download CleanMyMac X here, click the.DMG package in Downloads to install the app. Drag CleanMyMac X to your Applications and then click the icon to launch it. Update macOS and other installed Software. To optimize and cleanup Mac you first need to.

You can also create dynamic camera movements along with some experimental 3D features that work nicely for 3D animators. Easily import scripts from Final Draft or export your layered panels for Photoshop. Plenty of support across all the typical art industry programs.

To put it bluntly: Toon Boom Storyboard is really the professional’s program. It is not necessary to buy this in order to create a pro-level board. However it would be worth learning if you want to work in animation someday.

Adobe Photoshop

Price: $9.99/mo
Platforms: Mac, Windows

Good ol’ Photoshop.

It’s been around for 20+ years and I don’t see it going away anytime soon.

Although isn’t it funny how much Photoshop gets used for other things besides photo editing? We see it used for digital painting, pixel art, and of course for storyboarding.

You can draw digitally just as well in PS as you can in other programs. In fact, I’d argue there’s even more support now with tons of brushes for the PS environment.

Not to mention all the free storyboard templates you can get in PSD format specifically for Photoshop.

I don’t think there’s much to say about this program because every artist knows about it already.

The biggest downside is the lack of support for Linux users.

But in general Photoshop is well-supported and managed by a trusted brand. Not to mention if you already use Photoshop for digital painting then you’ll know how to use it for boarding.

Storyboard Fountain

Price: Free
Platforms: Mac

Storyboard Fountain is a newer program that I found just recently. It’s exclusive to MacOS only so it’s not an option for Windows or Linux users.

That said, if you do wanna give it a shot you’ll be impressed.

You can download the program totally free of charge from the main website. It’s currently in beta so there are many features still being worked out and smaller bugs in the process.

Once it does reach its v1.0 release I think it’ll stay free because the entire project is on GitHub. This means the source code is freely available and I doubt the creators would end up charging for it.

I really like the interface and the sidebar flow works incredibly well at presenting scenes in a linear fashion. You can quickly spot scenes that need work and rearrange them without messing up the rest of the story.

Take a peek at their preview video to see this software in action.

Considering it’s limited to Mac users this will have a smaller audience. But I’m really pleased with the GUI and the many complex features of Storyboard Fountain—especially given the $0 price.

Boords

Price: $12-$24/mo
Platforms: Mac, Windows, Linux

Online SaaS products are quickly becoming “the norm” for software. I don’t think desktop programs will go away but we are seeing more web-based programs like Boords that offer great solutions.

Boords works as a native storyboarding platform that gives you tons of free templates and collaboration tools.

If you’re working with clients they can log into your project space and drop comments on the work right from their computer.

Free 3d Cartoon Animation Software For Mac Free

You can also setup team accounts with multiple users if you’re working on a group project.

Boords has flexible frame sizes, tons of free templates, and a really cool animatic tool for presenting your storyboards before animating.

The monthly price is definitely affordable and this can work on every major operating system. Not many programs can offer this much functionality for so cheap.

Anyone looking for a collaborative solution should check out Boords. It may not suit your needs but it does offer a free trial period to see if you like it or not.

FrameForge

Price: $199
Platforms: Mac, Windows

Typically I see FrameForge referenced more in the live action world. It’s still a great program but may not be the #1 choice for animators.

Still, the art of storyboarding is not explicitly for animation. Plenty of marketing agencies need storyboards for commercials or small teaser videos. Same goes for complex movie scenes or indie filmmakers.

The nice thing with FrameForge is that you can work just like any other program, but with a heavier focus on the script.

It supports importing from the most common script writing programs like FadeIn and Final Draft. Plus you can easily jump back & forth between scenes to get an overview of the whole story.

I’d recommend this program more for artists with an interest in directing and cinematography.

It’s also fantastic for indie artists or aspiring filmmakers who want to get a new project off the ground without a huge budget.

Prolost Boardo for After Effects

Price: $29
Platforms: Mac, Windows

So this isn’t technically a piece of software, but rather a complex add-on to the Adobe After Effects program.

Yet I think Prolost Boardo still belongs in this list because it almost feels like its own program. Not to mention plenty of TV & film artists will know the After Effects interface so it’s one of the best programs to work with.

This add-on lets you easily tilt, pan, zoom, and handle many other camera directions with a few presets. And you have the power of After Effects to alter anything else you place on the screen.

Add life to your boards with shaking motions and export everything into one final animatic, all from AE. Pretty cool!

This add-on does cost money but it’s a one-time fee of $29. That does not include the price of the After Effects software but if you already have a license for that you won’t need to worry.

Clip Studio Paint

Price: $49
Platforms: Mac, Windows

Many artists use Clip Studio Paint for drawing their comics and custom manga pages. These work well because CSP has tools that help you structure pages with boxes in a comic-esque style.

This also works nicely for storyboards since they take on a very similar look.

You can design a CSP template page and use that many times over to design your storyboards quickly. Or you could download a PSD template and import that into the software.

We recently covered a bunch of tutorials on Clip Studio Paint and it’s pretty easy to learn if you already do some digital artwork.

It also comes at a reasonable price considering it’s one of the better digital drawing/painting programs out there.

Will this work for everyone? Probably not.

But I do think it’s a viable option similar to Photoshop where you have one piece of software that gives you everything you need: drawing, painting, sketching, and boarding.

Free 3d cartoon animation software for mac download

StoryboardThat

Price: $9.99/mo
Platforms: Mac, Windows, Linux

I want to include Storyboard That even though it’s not made specifically for artists.

This free web-based program is made for quick informative boards and organizing stories fast. It does not directly support drawing beyond their pre-existing library of graphics.

Or at least, I didn’t see a way to draw judging from their free plan. To use this program you’d need to pay a monthly fee and that grants you unlimited boards with far nicer tools.

All that said I’d like to restate that I do not think this works well for animators. At least not in the serious scripting phase.

Use this more for planning compositions quickly or just getting ideas down. Even if you don’t have any artistic ability, Storyboard That can work well.

But I’d really recommend this program for anyone designing webcomics or small tidbits of visual information in a frame-by-frame format.

Certainly a nice program for marketing agencies or anyone working with an ad company that requires storyboards.

OpenToonz

Price: Free
Platforms: Mac, Windows

The more I look around the more impressed I get with free art software. It seems like the open source movement really has grown rapidly with no end in sight.

OpenToonz is a very nice open source program for storyboarding.

I still personally like Storyboard Fountain a little more if we’re talking about free options, but with OpenToonz you can run Mac or Windows which is nice.

The software is based on an original 2D drawing program Toonz which was used and customized by Studio Ghibli. OpenToonz is the free open source alternative to that.

It’s still under active development but it does have a lot of neat features. I specifically like the visual story mapping that lets you connect different scenes together and organize your storyline in a flow chart.

With that said, I do think the painting features need some work. OpenToonz doesn’t even come close to a powerhouse like Photoshop in regards to digital painting so it may not suit all your needs.

But for a free program it works very well. Especially if you’re just sketching boards and organizing a small story from scratch.

Krita

Price: Free
Platforms: Mac, Windows, Linux

Totally free, open source, and surrounded by a loving community of artists. What more could you ask for?

Krita has to be the fastest-growing open source painting program on the market. It’s got hundreds of free brushes along with tons of handy tutorials for beginners to learn the ropes.

That said, Krita is not really a storyboarding program. It’s a digital drawing & painting program.

But here’s why Krita makes the list: it’s totally free and easy to learn!

Many storyboard artists like to draw or paint their work in color. And most storyboard artists enjoy just being artists, whether that’s drawing their own characters or doing some digital paintings for fun.

Krita lets you do all of this from one program with one set of tools, all at no charge.

And it runs on every operating system so there’s plenty of support for everyone. If your drawing tablet has working drivers you’re good to go.

As of this writing I have not found any Krita storyboard templates that match the dozens of PSD templates out there. But you can export a PSD into a PDF file and import that into Krita yourself.

Not the simplest option but it’s a great way to bring templates into a Krita workflow.

In general I’m a huge fan of Krita and really do recommend giving this a try if you need a free painting program. This software will be around for years and it’s only getting better with time.

Plot

Price: $10/mo
Platforms: Mac, Windows, Linux

Plot makes visual storytelling super easy. For $10/mo you get unlimited boards, unlimited projects, and unlimited add-on users.

It’s basically the web-based equivalent of a beginner’s storyboarding app with some nice features that apply to animators too.

With this program you can run any operating system and still get access to a drawing pane. This way you can easily draw your frames and import them directly to your project, along with added dialogue and stage directions.

Since the app is visual you can easily change scenes just by clicking and dragging different pieces around the page. Easy peasy.

I also think the collaboration features are exquisite and far beyond other programs of this price range.

Now if you can work out your drawings in a desktop program you’ll definitely have more control. Then you can always import those drawings into Plot and organize them accordingly. This way you’ve still got collaboration features with very detailed drawings all managed online.

Free Mac Animation Software

You can try Plot’s free demo if you visit the homepage and click “create free storyboard”. Might be worth a quick test run.

Mischief

Price: $25
Platforms: Mac, Windows

Mischief is custom art software made for drawing and sketching. You can find out more on their homepage and in this piece published by ArtStation.

Free 3d Cartoon Animation Software For Mac

Suffice it to say this program is pretty darn cool. It is not designed explicitly for storyboarding, however it is designed for continuous drawing and rough sketching without excessive tools getting in the way.

Because of its simplicity you can easily dive into Mischief and start boarding ideas fast. Almost no learning curve here.

I’d consider Mischief more of an idea program for artists. This is the best way to get your ideas down onto a page and see how they work in visual form.

No messing with templates or worrying about formalities. Also this program has a really cool feature infinite canvas which lets you just keep drawing onwards into infinity.

Your boards may feel a bit messy in this format but you won’t be hindered by any square borders or edges on the page. Keep on drawing to your heart’s content and get those ideas down!

Best of all Mischief offers two plans: one totally free with limited features and a pro upgrade for $25.

Creative Bloq published a review of this program if you wanna check out their opinion. But really it’s just a neat drawing program without limits on your creativity.

TVPaint

Price: $600
Platforms: Mac, Windows, Linux, Android

TVPaint is a fairly common program within the entertainment industry. However it does not have the same market share as Toon Boom so it’s not as well known or as powerful(in my opinion).

Yet many animators do enjoy TVPaint including veteran Disney animator Aaron Blaise. He publishes online art courses for animators and most of them feature TVPaint.

This program is incredibly versatile and it works exceptionally well for storyboarding. It can also be used as a true-blue animation program just like Adobe Animate or Toon Boom Animate.

Anyone who wants to do professional storyboarding would do well with TVPaint’s many awesome features geared towards boarding & animatic creation.

So why is this so far down on the list?

Mostly it’s an issue of price. For the same $600 you could basically buy Toon Boom which is, in my opinion, more powerful and a preferred choice in the animation world.

Yes there are major differences between the two programs and TVPaint does feel more like a “complete” animation package. It’s just tough to justify the price considering there are so many alternatives, even with limited features.

Now TVPaint still made the list and for good reason. It’s a great piece of software! So it’s totally worth checking out if you’ve got the scratch or if you like what you see on their website.

If you’re interested in serious 2D animation work or professional storyboarding then it’s worth looking into TVPaint. But if you’re a newbie to storyboarding I wouldn’t make this your first choice.

Absolute newbies would do better with free programs like Storyboarder, Storyboard Fountain, or even Krita if you can find some templates.

And no matter what stage you’re at with storyboarding I guarantee there’s a program in this list that’ll fit your needs.

Related Posts: