7 Top-Rated Affordable Animation Software

By: Saumya Srivastava on January 8, 2024

Content creators and graphic designers are often challenged by how to bring their ideas to live with captivating visuals, especially in competitive industries. But by investing in animation software, they can bridge the gap between idea generation and execution of complex animation, creating captivating and engaging visuals. 

Fortunately, you don’t have to burn your pockets with this investment. This article highlights seven top-rated affordable animation software based on their pricing as found on vendor websites and verified software reviews. Based on our research, we've considered products priced less than $66.90 per month as affordable software and have arranged them in ascending order. Read more about our methodology at the bottom of the article.

The software listed in this article can be categorized as animation software, focusing on creating animated characters, text, or music visualizers.

1. VistaCreate

VistaCreate assists you in engaging your audience with video posts by adding animated text effects, transitions, and objects. The tool lets you create animated videos for social media, banner ads, and logo designs. You can choose from an array of 10,000 animated graphic templates to create content for various platforms. Opt for the square format for social media posting, horizontal for banners and covers, and vertical format for stories and reels. The tool also offers a static design template to animate its objects, backgrounds, text, and effects.

Product features of interest:*

  • Sticker maker: Create stickers based on the content topic and add them to your videos. The tool offers a sticker library to explore or create new ones and save them in the library for future use.

  • Version history: Save all the design changes with the timestamp and user names. The feature allows restoring the design to the previous versions at any time.

  • Post scheduler: Plan your social media content by scheduling posts for specific dates and times. The feature allows canceling a scheduled post at any time or making changes to its content.

Starting price: $10 per month

Billing cycle: Annual

Customer support options: Tutorials, blog, and help center

Who should consider VistaCreate?

Social media managers and content creators can use VistaCreate to generate a variety of animated content, from posts to ads. Utilize the diverse templates and formats optimized for different social media channels and the sticker maker to add a creative element. Plus, the post-scheduling capabilities help save time and ensure that you do not miss out on time-sensitive posts.

**Analysis performed December 2023

VistaCreate

VistaCreate

4.61 out of 5 stars

417 reviews

2. Renderforest

Renderforest lets you create animated images and videos with custom text, objects, voiceover, music, and transitions that match your brand voice and clearly communicate the intended message. The tool also specializes in text and logo animations, enabling you to create visually appealing intro and outros for videos. You also get a library of music tracks to add to the animated content and enhance the viewing experience.

Product features of interest:*

  • Customizable video template: Select from product launches, logo reveals, or YouTube video templates and customize them for the animation degree. The customized templates are stored in the tool’s media library for users to repurpose at any time. 

  • Text to speech: Type in the text and select the preferred language from 10 available options in male and female voice, and generate voiceover. The feature allows adjusting the voiceover speed to sync with the video. 

  • Custom watermark: Create a new branding logo for your videos or images instead of the vendor logo to brand the videos.

Starting price: $10 per month

Billing cycle: Annual

Customer support options: FAQs, how-to videos, animation tips, blogs, calls, and query forms

Who should consider Renderforest?

When looking to animate videos or images for marketing initiatives, portfolios, or client presentations to highlight your product or service, consider utilizing Renderforest. Explore various scenes, text placements, and transitions to effectively convey your message. Plus, you can incorporate copyright over the image or video with custom logos, fostering brand recognition and establishing a visual identity across diverse channels for your audience.

**Analysis performed December 2023

Renderforest

Renderforest

4.77 out of 5 stars

402 reviews

Pro tip

Opt for animation software that provides upfront information about its features, add-ons, templates, and cloud storage without any hidden costs. These costs can significantly increase the total cost of buying a tool, deviating from your idea of affordability.

3. Videobolt

As an animation tool, Videobolt allows you to create reactive animations, also known as visualizers, for up to two hours. Reactive animation refers to animations that respond to user interactions such as clicks, taps, scrolls, or hovers. They enhance the user experience by providing visual feedback in response to their interactions. Additionally, the tool lets you animate logos and text for branding images, videos, and other marketing materials.

Product features of interest:*

  • Google fonts: Explore over 1000 Google fonts to select one based on your topic and apply animation. The feature allows creating custom fonts and saving them in the media library for future use. 

  • Social shares: Generate animated videos with reactive elements, text, or logos and share them on social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. 

  • Adobe extension: Use the tool add-on (extension) to extend its capabilities to Adobe Effects and Premiere Pro. You can download the extension and use it with the mentioned tools for animation and video editing. 

Starting price: $10 per month

Billing cycle: Annual

Customer support options: FAQs, chat, blog, design community, and online forms 

Who should consider Videobolt?

Consider Videobolt when wanting to focus on improving the video visuals using text or visualizers. You can create animated videos and sync with the voiceover or background music. Plus, the tool lets you download the videos in MP4, WEBM, and MOV formats and share them on social media platforms as marketing campaigns. This enhances your social media presence and also saves time from creating additional graphic design elements for posts.

**Analysis performed December 2023

Videobolt

Videobolt

4.48 out of 5 stars

133 reviews

4. Animaker

Animaker lets you create animated characters based on the theme or the topic of your short and long recorded and live video. You also get a pre-designed characters library for different themes, such as business-friendly, educational, or entertainment, to select from and start editing. The animated characters can be customized for skin tones, hairstyles, clothes, facial expressions, lip sync, and accessories.

Product features of interest:*

  • AI auto subtitler: Generate subtitles for your videos automatically using artificial intelligence (AI) based on the entered text or voiceover. The feature allows translating subtitles in multiple languages.

  • AI text-to-speech: Leverage text prompts to instruct the AI assistant and generate videos based on your topic or theme. 

  • Animaker voice: Add voiceovers to animated videos without recording human voices. The feature offers an audio library to select the desired voices. You can also repair the existing voiceovers by replicating those voices and adding the missing words or phrases.

Starting price: $12.50 per month

Billing cycle: Annual

Customer support options: How-to videos, FAQs, training, and an online ticketing system

Who should consider Animaker?

Consider Animaker when creating engaging videos with rich-media elements, such as animated characters, music, and other audio/visual effects. Character animation provides flexibility in constructing scenes that may be challenging to achieve physically. Whether you are a novice or lack advanced video editing skills, this tool enables you to produce visually appealing content effortlessly.

**Analysis performed December 2023

Animaker

Animaker

4.2 out of 5 stars

213 reviews

Pro tip

Check if the tool is beginner-friendly or simple to operate for content creators with varied skill sets without feeling overwhelmed. As an affordable solution, your team should be able to adapt to the tool’s functionality without having to spend an additional cost on training. In some cases, the vendor may offer training videos and product demos at no extra cost.

5. PowToon

PowToon video maker lets you add scenes to your animated video, with each scene representing a segment of the video’s theme. You can add elements, including animated characters, text, and other graphics along with images and backgrounds to each scene. The tool allows you to animate each of these elements within the scene, set beginning and end animations, control the animation duration, and add transitions and effects to enhance the visual appeal.

Product features of interest:*

  • User management: Create individual accounts on PowToon to access the platform. Each account is associated with a unique email address. Users can collaborate with team members by sharing projects via email or chat. 

  • Camera movement: Use different transition effects to give the appearance of camera movement between different segments of your video. The feature allows the creation of a zoom or pan effect by adjusting the size and position of video elements within a scene over time.

  • Custom logos: Create custom branding logos for your videos. The feature allows designing a new logo using the video editor or uploading and animating images with the desired effects, fonts, and colors. 

Starting price: $15 per month

Billing cycle: Annual

Customer support options: Blog, knowledge base, tutorial videos and demos, and FAQs

Who should consider PowToon?

PowToon’s scene-based approach facilitates visual storytelling. You can use different schemes to tell a story in an animated video, explain a process, or present information. This thematic representation ensures that your content is presented in a logical and coherent manner, contributing to a more effective communication of ideas. This visual style enhances engagement as your audience can follow the narrative for each segment and consume information in an organized format. 

**Analysis performed December 2023

PowToon

PowToon

4.49 out of 5 stars

391 reviews

6. Adobe After Effects

Adobe After Effects motion graphics and visual effects tool is a part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite that allows setting keyframes to define the starting and ending points of an animation video. You can then make insertions between these keyframes to create a smooth motion graphic. The tool utilizes a time-based interface for you to arrange layers and create compositions. Each layer represents an element, such as text, images, or video footage, and can be animated independently. This Adobe character animator supports three-dimensional (3D) to create animations with depth. Layers are edited in 3D animation space, and camera angles are used to simulate realistic perspectives.

Product features of interest:*

  • Graph editor: Control the speed of your animated effects with the graph editor. The feature allows you to observe the change rate and adjust your video topic or theme.

  • Mask paths: Draw a path for your animated text. The feature allows you to create a mast path and run words across the scene along any line you choose. 

  • Custom transitions: Make dynamic transitions by animating shapes and colors. The feature allows the creation of masks that add sparkle to the scene changes.

Starting price: $21.99 per month

Billing cycle: Annual

Customer support options: Tutorials, user guides, chat, user community, and help center

Who should consider Adobe After Effects?

Adobe After Effects offers various built-in effects and presets applied to layers. These effects can enhance animations by adding visual elements such as glows, blurs, or color adjustments. For a more polished outcome, you can use masking, graph editor, and custom transitions to make intricate changes to your animated text, objects, or other elements. The composting feature allows you to blend visual elements to achieve realistic video effects.

**Analysis performed December 2023

Adobe After Effects

Adobe After Effects

4.76 out of 5 stars

404 reviews

Pro tip

Assess the file formats an animation tool supports to download and export animated videos, images, or GIFs. This assists with speedy and simple data export and import. Some common file formats include MOV, MP4, Wmv, TIFF, and FLV.

7. Adobe Animate

As an animation tool offered with the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, Adobe Animate lets you design cartoons, banners, and games. You can build start screens and integrate audio for game environments or create interactive web banners that respond to user interactions such as mouse movement, touch, and clicks. All these interactive web and mobile content materials are shared as augmented reality experiences on social media and other video hosting platforms. 

Product features of interest:*

  • Envelope deformer: Change and deform the edges of vector animation graphics or bitmaps in your videos using the bezier handles offered by the video editor.

  • Flexi bone: Adjust the hand gestures and body postures of the created animated characters for your desired actions. 

  • Video publishing: Export the animations in multiple formats, including HTML5, Canvas, WebGL, Flash/Adobe AIR, and SVG. The feature allows the inclusion of code in the video projects for publishing.

Starting price: $21.99 per month

Billing cycle: Annual

Customer support options: Tutorials, user guides, chat, user community, and help center

Who should consider Adobe Animate?

Adobe Animate game, banner ads, and cartoon animator benefit content creators focusing on enhancing engagement or creating an interactive environment with augmented reality. You can use the tool’s diverse design features to play with effects and transitions, creating life-like and expressive animations. The generated animated videos can be downloaded in multiple formats and published across a variety of video hosting platforms for enhanced reach and engagement. 

**Analysis performed December 2023

Adobe Animate

Adobe Animate

4.55 out of 5 stars

38 reviews

How much does animation software cost?

Animation software solutions can cost as low as $10 per month or up to $125+ per month, depending on various factors—features, number of users, animation types, templates, business size/type, training availability, deployment options, integrations, and storage. Most animation solutions typically include the following pricing plans:

  • Free trial: No-cost trial plans ranging from 7 to 30 days, giving users access to all or limited software features. These are ideal for businesses that wish to try out a tool before purchasing it.

  • Free version: Free software plans offer basic features and limited premium features access. These are ideal for small business owners or freelance animation service providers with a limited budget.

  • Entry-level: Starts at $10 per month and offers limited features, such as design templates, cloud storage, and custom branding. These are ideal for small businesses with basic animation needs.

  • Mid-tier: Range from $20 to $70 per month and offers advanced features such as custom logos and fonts, custom transitions, camera angles, and AI animation. These are ideal for businesses that have outgrown basic animation solutions but don’t require the full range of functionality offered by enterprise-level tools.

  • High-end: Advanced animation software plans going up to or over $125 per month offer unlimited entry-level and mid-tier features with unlimited cloud storage, video duration, and design templates. These are ideal for larger businesses spread across the globe.

Hidden costs associated with affordable animation software

Besides the software license, additional costs may be associated with the best animation software, including

  • Implementation and training: These include data migration, customization, and employee training, which are substantial for complex systems.

  • Cloud storage: Animation projects can be data-intensive, and some software may integrate with cloud storage services. Users might have to pay additional fees if they exceed the free storage limit. 

  • Premium templates: Some animation software offer premium templates for an additional cost. These are exclusive of the template library offered to you with the paid plan.

Frequently asked questions when selecting animation software

Here are some questions to ask animation software providers before making a final purchase:

  • What type of animation does the software support?

Animation can be applied to text, images, and vector graphics. You can also create animated avatars to include in your videos. However, these capabilities differ for every software. You must check the type of animation your selected software offers, including 2D, 3D, or motion graphics. Understanding the supported animation features helps you align your investment with the business's needs and goals. 

  • Does the software support audio integration?

For videos that require voiceovers or background music, you must look for a tool that supports audio integration. Check if there is a limit on the video duration with integrated audio, the types of audio available, and if there is a media library to select and integrate audio. For voiceovers, see if the software allows recording them within the application and their supported file formats for export and import. 

  • Are there any built-in animation templates?

Most animation software offer pre-built templates to simplify the video creation and save time. These templates include avatars/characters, backgrounds, fonts, motion presets, music visualizers, and more. You must ask about the availability and variety of these templates and whether they can be customized for specific themes and topics.


Methodology

To be considered for this list, products had to:

  • Have at least 20 unique product reviews published on Software Advice’s animation software category page within the past two years, with an average rating of 3.0 or higher (as of Dec. 12, 2023). 

  • Include animations and transitions, and media import as core features.

  • Must meet our market definition for animation software: “Animation software allows for the creation of moving graphics on a frame-by-frame basis. Each frame is the equivalent of a single drawing or image. Depending on the particular program, users can animate some variation of 2D animation, 3D animation, hand-drawn, or computer-generated graphics.”

  • We assessed all products that met the first three criteria for their monthly pricing and considered the products with publicly available pricing information. Based on the assessment, the average price was calculated to be $66.9. Products with a monthly subscription price lower than $66.9 were then shortlisted to be included in this list and arranged in ascending order.

*Our research team identified these features from vendor websites (as of Dec. 12, 2023) based on their analysis of what users find valuable in or expect from animation software. This list is not exhaustive. For additional features, refer to the vendor's website. 

**We selected products for this article based on their average ratings as of December 2023; however, the article displays each product's current average rating, which may differ if more reviews have been left since our analysis.

Editorial Independence: We select and rank products based on an objective methodology developed by our research team. While some vendors may pay us when they receive web traffic or leads, this has no influence on our methodology.

Note: Products evaluated for the pricing calculation were taken from Software Advice’s animation software directory. The pricing ranges exclude freemium versions of the products. The features highlighted were identified based on their relevance and the percentage of products in the Software Advice directory that offer them.