Discover the Top 10 2D Animation Software for Windows and Mac for 2024

Discover the Top 10 2D Animation Software for Windows and Mac for 2024

Giselle Lv9

Discover the Top 10 2D Animation Software for Windows and Mac

10 Best 2D Animation Software in 2024 [Free/Paid]

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Shanoon Cox

Mar 27, 2024• Proven solutions

When you are trying to make funny cartoons within seven steps , explainer videos, or informative shorts to post online, 2D animation software can come in handy. With access to a 2D animation maker, you can create intricate and interesting stories that will help you connect with your audience.

Whether you are turning photos into cartoons , teaching a group of kids , showing employees how to do their job, introducing a new product, or trying to elicit an emotional reaction from your audience, 2D cartoon animation can be very useful.

If you are new to the world of 2D animation as a beginner and want to be a professional animation maker, you will be interested in our review of the top 10 free download 2D animation software options that may prove useful to you.

Recommend free download animation maker Filmora

If you want to create a 2D animation video, we recommend using 2D animation software-Filmora.

It is a powerful and straightforward video maker for all levels from middle to advanced. With keyframing, you can make smooth 2D animation quickly. Auto color correction can save you a lot of time to make high-quality animation.

Now free download it on Windows and Mac to make 2D animated videos, and connect with other video creators in the Wondershare Video Community to get more creative ideas.

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A cross-platform for making videos anywhere for all creators


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Have a Quick Look at The Best 10 Free/Paid 2D Animation Software to Download

No. Product Name Supported OS Price Best for
1 Synfig Windows, Linux, and OSX Free Beginners
2 Opentoonz Windows and OSX Free Beginners
3 Maefloresta iPhone and Android Free Beginners
4 Pencil 2D Windows, Linux, and OSX Free Beginners
5 Toon Boom Harmony Windows, Linux, and OSX $109 per month Professionals
6 CelAction2D Windows, Linux, and OSX $1300 for one single license Professionals
7 Moho (Anime Studio) Pro Windows and OSX $399.99 for the full package Professionals
8 Stop Motion Studio Windows, OSX, Android, and iOS $59.99 for the full package Professionals
9 FlipBook Windows and OSX $19.99/$49.99/$149.99/$199.99 Professionals
10 Reallusion CrazyTalk Animator Windows and OSX $199 for the pipeline, $99 for pro Professionals

Part 1 Best Free 2D Animation Software for Beginners

### 01 Synfig

Price: Free

Compatibility: Windows, Linux, and OSX

Pro: It offers more than 50 layers to make simple or advanced animation, so you don’t need to worry about its limitation though it is free to use.

Con: Few tutorials are available in the market to start making an animation for beginners.

Synfig Studio is an open-source, free 2D animation software that is the perfect place for beginners to learn about 2D animation. There are two versions available for free download - stable and testing.

The testing version has some experimental features if users want to try those ahead of their introduction into the stable release.


  • Supports multiple layers of content
  • The bone system allows for the creation of cutout animations from bitmap images
  • Has sound support to allow for the addition and syncing of narration and/or music to the video

02 Opentoonz

Price: Free

Compatibility: Windows and OSX

Pro: You can use a plug-in to make beautiful animation effects automatically without further editing.

Con: The UI design is outdated compared with other animation software, but it won’t affect user experience.

Based on the Toonz software, Opentoonz is the best free alternative that will help you create 2D animated content. Anyone can use the software, free of charge, and download it.

And users can modify the source code to add specific features to this simple animation software.


  • GTS scanning tool
  • Ability to change picture styles
  • Add distortion and light effects
  • Compatible with black and white and colored scans

03 Maefloresta

Price: Free

Compatibility: iPhone and Android

Pro: It is free to use with easy to start introduction, even for kids.

Con: You need to email its staff to get the installer online, which is inconvenient sometimes.

The beauty of the Maefloresta app is that you can use your Android or iOS tablet and smartphone to create free 2D animated videos.

There is no need to pay for expensive software if you just want to create some fun videos to show your friends. It also offers school solutions for teachers and students.


  • The free downloadable app that works on smartphones and tablets
  • Easy animation software with tutorials
  • Intuitive interface that beginners can use with ease

04 Pencil 2D

Price: Free

Compatibility: Windows, Linux, and OSX

Pro: It offers English, Spanish, and Portuguese language tutorials to use.

Con: It doesn’t support the shapes tool. If you like to make shapes and draw something, you’d be disappointed.

Want an open-source and free 2D animation design software to help you create videos? Pencil2D animation is the type of program that can help beginners.

You can get to grips with how 2D animation works, and you can create some very fun and interesting videos along the way.


  • Minimalist design to let you make animation easily
  • Raster and vector workflow switching
  • Cross-platform compatibility to free download

Part 2: Best Professional 2D Animation Software

05 Toon Boom Harmony

Price: The first 21 days of using the product are free. After the 21 days are up, you will need to pay $109 per month.

Compatibility: Windows, Linux, and OSX

Pro: You can make 2D and 3D animation, both with models.

Con: It may take some time to learn how to make 2D animation for beginners.

Whether you are trying to create an art piece, showcase a story through 2D images, or craft a unique message for your audience, Toon Boom Harmony will help you immensely.

This professional 2D animation software may take time to learn, but it is worth using. It has bitmap and vector tools for creating art, 3D imported models for hybrid productions, and the option to create multiplane scenes with Z-depth.

You can also check the Toon Boom Harmony Advanced Review from the TopTenReview website for more information.


  • Revolutionary vector and bitmap drawing technology - Brush Engine
  • Advanced color palettes and paint options
  • 2D and 3D integration to make professional animation
  • Cut-out animation tools
  • Traditional paperless animation.

06 CelAction2D

Price: If you go with the Studio Edition, it costs $1,300 to obtain a single license to use the product for a lifetime. Studio Edition is $1300 for one single license

Compatibility: Windows, Linux, and OSX

Pro: It is fast to use with low system requirements.

Con: You can draw animation in itself, so you need to import all words from third-party software.

Want to create unique and complex 2D animations for your upcoming projects? CelAction2D is the type of product that is going to help you create wonderful and professional animations.

While getting a full license is a financial commitment, you are getting a product that has all the features that you could need.

You can create a palette using up to 16 million colors, and you will have a very easy time getting to grips with the way the software works.

It is designed for beginners and intermediate users, but still has all the advanced features that a pro would want.


  • Easy and fast to use for professional users
  • Features ergonomic controls
  • Easily handles complex projects with thousands of layers
  • Works with all modern Windows machines - 32 and 64-bit Also work with Macs through Boot Camp
  • The multiplane camera features let you have more controls

07 Moho (Anime Studio) Pro

Price: $399.99 for the full package.

Compatibility: Windows and OSX

Pro: Its update is regular with advanced and newest features to use.

Con: It is not user-friendly for beginners as the functions are too advanced a little bit.

Anime Studio Pro is a fantastic option for anyone who is looking to get into professional 2D animation creation. It is affordable and designed for Flash-style animations.

While you cannot create frame-by-frame animations using this program, you will be able to create some fantastic videos nonetheless.

There is an Anime Studio Debut - simple animation software, which is targeted towards the beginner user and free download. But if you want all the features of a high-end 2D animation software, you will want to go with the Pro version.


  • Enhanced freehand drawing tools
  • Beizer handles to make it easier for you to design your videos the way that you want
  • Smart warp feature helps create custom meshes to bend and twist your animations
  • Realistic motion blur
  • Animation for multiple layers at the same time

08 Stop Motion Studio

Price: $59.99 to download the software onto your PC.

Compatibility: Windows, OSX, Android, and iOS

Pro: You can use a built-in sound to make your animation unique. You can also record voice and use it in the video.

Con: You can only use it to make 2D stop motion animation.

Want to create fun, 2D animated videos? Hoping to impress your bosses with a 2D animated presentation to highlight a product’s features?

Using Stop Motion Studio will help you achieve all that you want in the world of 2D animation.

You can capture content with ease, whether you change up the focus, exposure, or white balance. There is DSLR support, so you can use your high-end camera in conjunction with this professional software.

And with a unique, frame-by-frame editor, you will be able to get the result that you want for your 2D stop animation movie.


  • Onionskin allows you to view previous frames through a transparent overlay, which helps you create your next frame
  • Comes with Chroma key and audio recording to better narrate and add voice effects to your videos
  • Easy one-click uploading to YouTube and Facebook
  • DSLR camera support for creating perfect 1080p recordings

09 FlipBook

Price: $19.99 for FlipBook Lite, $49.99 for FlipBook Studio, $149.99 for FlipBook Pro, $199.99 for FlipBook ProHD

Compatibility: Windows and OSX

Pro: From drawing, scanning to sound, this 2D animation software can make you powerful video.

Con: You can’t use it to make subtle changes as bone rigging is not available.

FlipBook is easy to use for beginners and pros who want to improve the editing experience. It is a powerful video editor that you can make 2D animation with various functions like syncing sound with animation, scanning cells, and more.

If you like to make a cartoon video like a pro, this 2D animation maker is best for you. It is free to download.


  • Changes will be made while you change the animation, so FlipBook is fast to use
  • You can use the shift key to make speed painting once you select one color
  • Ten layers in animation for adding extra touches
  • You can use a scanner to import images

10 Reallusion CrazyTalk Animator

Price: USD199 for the pipeline, USD99 for pro.

Compatibility: Windows and OSX

Pro: You can always find the feature you like for beginners and professionals. You can control characters even in expression levels.

Con: It integrates with PhotoShop to import and export video.

CrazyTalk is a 2D animation maker for professional users, so you can use this one if you don’t know which one to use. It supports controlling characters with your expression and lip-syncing. It is popular among YouTubers, educators and marketers.


  • Capture real-time facial expression with precise changing
  • Black magic to turn the image into a moving cartoon
  • For advanced users, you can make 2D visual effects

Price: USD199 for the pipeline, USD99 for pro.

You may also like: Best Free Animated Logo Makers >>

Part 3: How to Make 2D Animation

Step 1 Put forward an idea

A story ides is priceless. It is always important to build an essential story frame. Sometimes it is in a blink to have come up with an idea.

It will help if you decide the gist of your 2D animation because the whole process of making animation is evolving. You may need to add or cut some scenes, but the overall concept and story ideas are always the same.

Put forward an idea

Step 2 Make a storyboard

After all the ideas are fixed, you need to make a storyboard for animation . You don’t need to produce every scene, but it is suggested to make a storyboard in some crucial scenes. Storyboarding is probably the best way to show 2D animation to other people and get feedback.

Thus, it is a step that you should not neglect during the preliminary.

make storyboard

Step 3 Produce materials

At this stage, you need to prepare all the 2D animation materials, including characters, background, and props. One thing you need to know is all the preparations in steps 2 and 3 should be ready before proceeding to step 3.

Produce materials

Step 4 Animation

After all, materials are ready, and you need to make animation alive. In this step, you need to make sure all the movements are natural. Stiff moves are not liked by the audience, so you need to think about how to design gestures, movements, and facial expressions.


Step 5 Animation editing

In this step, the software is the key to relive the 2D animation. Background audio is essential and needs to be added to the video. Color correction and grading are also necessary. Besides, scene transition, voiceover, and even text credit need to be added.

Above are the five 2D animation steps. If you think there are extra steps, you are free to add them according to your needs.

Bonus tip: Create an Animation Video with Anireel

Anireel provides a faster and smoother animated video creation experience with customizable elements to bring anyone’s imagination to life. All you have to do is choose your script, input the content, and Anireel will instantly match your script to rich animation explainer scenes, convert the text into voice-over, and generate a vivid, complete animation video.

anireel animation software

Download Win Version

Part 3 FAQ about Professional 2D Animation Software

01 What is the best 2D animation software?

It is hard to directly give you an answer and tell you which is the best 2D animation software. However, we can give you some recommendations based on your needs. If you are a beginner, Pencil 2D is a great start. You can use it to make minimalist animation to give you a quick-to-start 2D animation experience. If you are in the middle level, Stop Motion Studio is what we recommend. The interface is intuitive with powerful features like voiceover and Chroma key.

02 What is the best 2D animation software for beginners?

For 2D animation software for beginners, Pencil 2D would come to mind for many people. It is an excellent animation software for beginners. If you also want to try other tools, Synfig and FlipBook are also great choices. It is your call for the final decision.

03 Is there any free animation software?

For beginners, free animation software includes Synfig, Opentoonz, Maefloresta, and Pencil 2D. For advanced users, you can use Blender and Maya.


Creating a 2D animation video is a lot easier when you have the right software available to you. You already have a script and storyboard in mind, but now you can realize your vision in intricate and unique ways.

If you want to make 3D animation, there are also various 3D animation software options for you. If anyone of the products above will serve you well, you could use Filmora.

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Shanoon Cox

Shanoon Cox is a writer and a lover of all things video.

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  • Title: Discover the Top 10 2D Animation Software for Windows and Mac for 2024
  • Author: Giselle
  • Created at : 2024-07-15 23:58:15
  • Updated at : 2024-07-16 23:58:15
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  • License: This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.