The Most Popular Animation Software, Ranked

Choose the animation software you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on May 24, 2024 08:54
When animators and designers are faced with the task of choosing software, the sheer number of options can be overwhelming. Each software package offers unique tools, workflows, and community support levels that cater to different styles and expertise levels. Having a clear, community-driven ranking of the most popular animation software can assist both newcomers and professionals in making an informed choice that best suits their project needs and personal preferences. This site provides a dynamic ranking based directly on user votes, reflecting real-world preferences and experiences. By participating, users contribute to a more accurate representation of what tools are currently leading in the animation industry. This not only helps others in their decision-making process but also encourages software developers to continuously improve their products in response to user feedback.

What Is the Most Popular Animation Software?

  1. 1

    Adobe Animate

    A multimedia authoring and computer animation program developed by Adobe Systems, used to design vector graphics and animation for television programs, online video, websites, web applications, rich internet applications, and video games.
    • Developer: Adobe Inc.
    • Initial Release: December 1996
  2. 2

    Toon Boom Harmony

    A powerful animation software allowing users to create animations and drawings for all kinds of projects. It's used by top studios all over the world and is known for its rich feature set.
    • Developer: Toon Boom Animation Inc.
    • Initial Release: 1994
  3. 3

    Autodesk Maya

    A powerful software used for 3D modeling, animation, visual effects, rendering, and composition.
    • Developer: Autodesk
    • Initial Release: February 1998
  4. 4


    A free and open-source 3D creation suite supporting the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing, and motion tracking.
    • Developer: Blender Foundation
    • Initial Release: January 1995
  5. 5

    Cinema 4D

    A 3D modeling, animation, motion graphic, and rendering application developed by MAXON Computer GmbH in Germany.
    • Developer: MAXON Computer GmbH
    • Initial Release: 1990
  6. 6

    TVPaint Animation

    A 2D software based on bitmap technology. It's especially effective for traditional animation and has been widely adopted by individual animators and studios.
    • Developer: TVPaint Développement
    • Initial Release: 1991
  7. 7


    An open-source animation software that allows for both bitmap and vector graphics. It's designed to be intuitive and easy for beginners.
    • Developer: Pencil2D Community
    • Initial Release: 2006
  8. 8

    Adobe After Effects

    A digital visual effects, motion graphics, and compositing application used in the post-production process of film making, video games, and television production.
    • Developer: Adobe Inc.
    • Initial Release: January 1993
  9. 9

    Moho (Anime Studio)

    A proprietary vector-based 2D animation software for animators. Moho is a tool for creating anime-style animations or cutting-edge professional animations.
    • Developer: Lost Marble LLC
    • Initial Release: 1999
  10. 10

    LightWave 3D

    A 3D computer graphics software developed by NewTek. It's used in film, television, motion graphics, digital matte painting, visual effects, video game development, product design, architectural visualizations, virtual production, music videos, previews, and advertisements.
    • Developer: NewTek
    • Initial Release: 1990

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular animation software. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or program is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 198 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each program once every 24 hours. The rank of each program is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Popular Animation Software

Adobe Animate
Rank #1 for the most popular animation software: Adobe Animate (Source)
Animation has become a popular field in recent years, with more and more individuals and businesses seeking to create engaging and visually appealing content. As a result, animation software has become a crucial tool for animators of all skill levels. There are a variety of animation software options available, each with their own unique features and capabilities. From 2D animation software such as Toon Boom Harmony and Adobe Animate, to 3D animation software like Blender and Maya, there is no shortage of options for animators to choose from. In this article, we will explore the most popular animation software options and what makes them stand out in the industry.

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