Choosing 3D animation software is a difficult task for artists. With a lot of options available now, it is both a blessing and a curse. I would call it a blessing because you will get a lot of options to choose from. However, at the time, choosing the best one can be really confusing.

Besides, three-dimensional animation has emerged as one of the powerful communication tools for businesses. It is also employed in various industries for a wide range of applications. A few of its applications include creating models, storyboards, visual effects, characters, etc.

In this post, we will mention nearly 10 3D animation software, which I think is also a lot but it is better than choosing from hundreds or thousands. So, with a little bit of patience, go through all the software we have mentioned and select the best one.

How do 3D Animation Software works?

3D animation software uses computer graphics to bring 3D objects to life. It can make the still images, drawings, or graphics move in the three-dimensional space just like in real life.

The animation process mainly begins using the software to create a three-dimensional model or polygon mesh. After that, colors, textures, and designs are added. The next step is rigging, where an internal structure is given to the model. Rigging allows you to control the meshes, thereby creating movement.

Another way to create movement is through motion capture. Here, the live-action of actors are recorded and then animated digitally.

Finally, light and camera settings are adjusted along with the addition of few finishing touches and the final output is rendered.

Top 10 Easy to Use 3D Animation Software

Now that you have a basic understanding of how 3D animation software is used, let us now discuss the different software that you can work with. Even if you have got the skills to animate, it is very important that you use the best 3D tools to produce high-quality results.

  1. After Effects

    This software is preferred by most organizations offering 3D animation services. It is one of the best software when it comes to adding visual effects and motion graphics.

    Pros:

    • Provides 100+ options for adding effects
    • Allows animating titles
    • Can remove objects from the video clip
    • Supports combining images and videos for animation creation
    • Possesses Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) to preview playback
  2. KeyShot

    The 3D rendering tool can run on MAC and Windows and is best for creating three-dimensional visuals. It supports more than 35 file formats.

    Pros:

    • Offers free plugins with one-click loading
    • Contains 750+ present with advanced features
    • Allows easy applying of textures, variations, and labels
    • Support with creating both still pictures and animations
    • Allows creating, editing, and refining the designs and concepts
  3. Adobe Character Animator

    The software is a product of Adobe. With this software, you can transform any art into character animations using a webcam.

    Pros:

    • Offers keyframes to create movement
    • Provides close-up and zooming of different functions
    • Allows syncing audios to animation
    • Enables animating heads, arms, and legs
  4. Blender

    The software application is widely used for creating games, animated movies, visual effects, and more. This 3D computer graphics software is also available for free.

    Pros:

    • Easy importing and exporting of videos in AVI, MPEG, and QuickTime formats
    • Possesses a path tracer to offer realistic 3D renderings
    • Supports scripting and customization with Python API
    • Supports creating, transforming, editing, and sculpting of models
    • Can transform still characters into high-quality animations
  5. Houdini

    The software is developed by SideFX. It can help animation artists to create animations freely and share their work with their friends and colleagues.

    Pros:

    • Allows 3D sculpting and rendering
    • Helps with creating complex three-dimensional models like cityscapes
    • Can create quick curves
    • Offers subdivision surface 3D modeling tools
  6. CrazyTalk

    The 3D tool is mainly used to animate facial images with text and voice. The voice intensity helps in driving the animations in real-time.

    Pros:

    • Allows three-dimensional editing by modifying sliders, expression templates, muscle control, etc.
    • Supports popular image and video file formats
    • Enables controlling selected parts
    • Supports fine-tuning facial behaviors
    • Can transform an image into real-time 3D heads
  7. iClone

    The real-time 3D animation software is employed for a wide range of applications. It includes creating animations for education, video games, films, content development, and more.

    Pros:

    • Has a simplified interface
    • Offers drag and drop features
    • Make a normal 3D scene look photorealistic
    • Allows animating motions, accessories, and characters
  8. Unity

    This software is basically a fully integrated game development engine. It is widely used to create games and all types of interactive three-dimensional content.

    Pros:

    • Fast and intuitive user interface
    • Allows assembling of assets and arts into 3D scenes and environment
    • Supports the development of both 3D and 2D animations
    • Allows easy collaboration with other designers and animators
  9. Maxon

    Maxon computer designed this 3D modeling and rendering software. Apart from three-dimensional animation, the tool can be also used to work with 3D graphics.

    Pros:

    • Supports lighting and texture
    • Can be used to create both abstract and realistic three-dimensional models
    • Allows easy selection of fonts through the drop-down menu
    • Enables high-quality product visualizations with customizable models
  10. MotionBuilder

    This is mainly 3D character animation tool and is developed by Autodesk. It has a huge implementation in virtual cinematography, traditional keyframe animation, and motion capture.

    Pros:

    • Produces realistic movement of characters
    • Can exchange data with other 3D animation tools
    • Allows manipulating of motion picture information
    • Can edit, capture, and playback character animation

The increasing use of animated videos has led to the higher demands of 3D animators and artists. If you have just stepped into the animation domain or already working in a 3D design studio looking for the best software for your project, then this article is surely going to help you.

With a closer look at each of the 3D animation software discussed here, I am sure you will reach your destination. However, I would also like to say that if you are an absolute beginner, it is better to choose a free one from the list to practice. Gradually, you can choose the more advanced ones once you are acquainted.

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