18 Best FREE 3D Animation Software (2022 Update)

3D animation stands for three-dimensional animation, meaning characters and backgrounds in these types of projects are created in a three-dimensional space. 3D Animation Tools help you to create models, backgrounds, storyboards and apply effects. You can use these tools to animate characters for commercials, movies, and television.

Following is a handpicked list of Top 3D Animation Software, with their popular features and website links. The list contains both open-source (free) and commercial(paid) software.

Top Pick
Adobe 3d Animation Suite

1) Animate 2) Character Animator 3) Illustrator 4) Illustrator Draw, and 5) Photoshop Sketch are Adobe 3d Animation Suite. These comprehensive bunch apps cover all aspects of modern design, layout, animation, and film­making. 

Visit Adobe 3d Animation

BEST 3D Animation Maker Software for PC (Free & Paid)

#1) Adobe 3d Animation Suite

1) Animate 2) Character Animator 3) Illustrator 4) Illustrator Draw, and 5) Photoshop Sketch are Adobe 3d Animation Suite. These comprehensive bunch apps cover all aspects of modern design, layout, animation, and film­making. These are one of the best 3D animation software to collaborate quickly and effectively with integrated apps as well as online cloud storage and sharing.

Let’s see the features of all of Adobe 3d Animation Suite tools:

Features:

Adobe Animate:

  • Allows you to stretch your 2D artwork into the distance and create natural depth.
  • You can add, subtract, and combine artwork with building up detailed 3D drawings.
  • You can define the spatial placement of the artwork layers and camera
  • You can use parallax effect to create a sense of space and depth
  • Enables you to accentuate or reduce the apparent depth of your animation by adjusting the Perspective Angle.

Adobe Character Animator:

  • Allows you to add textures, designs, labels, or other surface effects to your 3D objects.
  • Adobe Character Animator allows you to add, subtract, and combine artwork with building up detailed 3D drawings.
  • Animate or Character Animator through your shared Creative Cloud Libraries.

Adobe Illustrator:

  • Allows you to make functional groupings of your artwork to speed up animation.
  • It helps you to export your animation in real time to Facebook Live, YouTube, or another third-party app.
  • You can add, subtract, and combine artwork with building up detailed 3D drawings.

Adobe Illustrator Draw:

  • It allows you to quickly build up sophisticated vector designs on your mobile device.
  • It helps you to convert your gestures into editable vector artwork and share it using online libraries.

Adobe Photoshop Sketch:

  • You can work in oil paint, watercolor, charcoal, or marker.
  • You can use preset, customized brushes and an unlimited palette to create spontaneously.

Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS

Visit Adobe Suite >>


#2) D5 Render

D5 Render is a real-time ray tracing rendering software that speeds up your architectural, interior, landscape, product design, and other CGI visualization workflow. It allows you to turn ideas into amazing animation in a snap with its intuitive interface, real-time preview, self-explanatory animation tab, and amazing render speed. For an 8 second video in 4K resolution, it usually takes only minutes to render. You’ll still get the work done in less than 20 minutes, even when the scene gets huge, complex, and heavy on resources, according to D5 Benchmark. D5 not only saves your valuable time for reviewing, refining, and editing, it also offers photorealistic renders that can beat offline renderers.

Features:

  • Livesync with 3ds Max, SketchUp, Revit, Cinema 4D, Blender, Rhino, Archicad.
  • Video rendering resolution up to 4K with no watermarks.
  • Output with a sequence of frames and channels: Material ID, Ambient Occlusion, RT Reflection, Alphamask, Trans Mask
  • Built-in post-processing effects: LUTs(custom LUT files also supported), Color Grading, Lens Flare, Bloom, Vignette, Chromatic Aberration, AO & Outline styles.
  • On-click weather system of rain, snow, fog, cloud, and wind.
  • Ease of setting up shots and camera movement.
  • 8000+ ready-made assets: PBR materials, dynamic plants, furniture, exterior models, animated 3D people, particles, and more.
  • Handy tools to quickly place multiple models, especially plants: Brush, Scatter, Path
  • Custom HDR, LUT, IES files import
  • Saving models/materials to local asset library

Visit D5 Render >>


#3) Daz 3D

Daz 3D is a figure posing, animation, and rendering application that is designed for animators and designers. It enables them to create human models in 3D. The latest version of this tool allows you to add light and texture to the image.

Features:

  • It provides 3D motion pictures, posing, and animation.
  • Models are hand-painted with details.
  • You can import content into other 3D software tools such as Maya, Mudbox, and 3DS Max.
  • It enables you to export the output in COLLADA, Universal 3D, BVH, and FBX format.
  • You can customize character types.
  • It automatically syncs lipsing to the character.
  • This tool provides virtual lights.
  • You can transfer figures to Maya software with a few clicks.

Visit Daz 3D >>


#4) Adobe Character Animator

Adobe Character Animator is a software product that helps you to animate characters in real time. You can utilize this software to turn any art into animated characters with a webcam.

Features:

  • It helps you to create an animation that matches your facial expression.
  • You can animate with arms, legs, and heads.
  • You can drag and drop customizable characters and sets to make animation.
  • It helps you to create high-quality 3D animation effortlessly.

  • This tool allows you to set up specific shots like a close-up and zoom.
  • You can design characters to convey movement and speed.
  • It provides Keyframes to create a moment.
  • You can sync audio to your animation.

Visit Adobe Animator >>


#5) MotionBuilder

MotionBuilder’s Auto Desk is a 3D character animation software developed by Autodesk. It can be used for motion capture, virtual cinematography, and traditional keyframe animation.

Features:

  • You can capture, edit, and playback character animation.
  • It helps you to manipulate motion capture data.
  • Characters.
  • This tool allows you to exchange data between other animation applications like Maya, 3ds Max, and Motion Builder.
  • It enables you to create a realistic movement for any character.

Visit MotionBuilder >>


#6) Crazy talk

CrazyTalk is a 3D animation tool that uses voice and text to animate facial images. This 3D animation software for PC enables you to use the intensity of your voice to drive animations in real time. This tool provides 3D editing with expression templates, modified sliders, and muscle control.

Features:

  • It enables you to transform a photo in real time into 3D heads.
  • Lets you make 3D animated movies on your desktop.
  • You can synthesize 3D heads by using both front and side photos for the right and accurate looks.
  • You can dress up and customize designs of accessories.
  • It allows you to control selected parts and fine-tune facial behaviors.
  • Crazytalk provides timeline editing with individual part control and motion clips.
  • It supports major image and video file formats up to 4K.

Visit CrazyTalk >>


#8) Maxon

Maxon is a 3D modeling, motion, and rendering software designed by MAXON Computer. It is capable of animating, lightning, and texturing. This tool helps you work on both 3D graphics and animation.

Features:

  • This 3D rendering software helps you to create both realistic and abstract models.
  • You can design a cloud with realistic shading.
  • You can create high-quality product visualization using customizable models.
  • It enables you to choose fonts quickly from the drop-down menu showing a preview.
  • This tool offers procedural objects and shaders make, which makes it easy to refine your ideas.

Link: https://www.maxon.net/en/


#9) Keyshot

KeyShot is a rendering software to create 3D visuals. It includes support for over 35 leading file formats. This tool provides free plugins that offer one-click loading. It is compatible with Windows and macOS.

Features:

  • It includes more than 750 preset materials having advanced capabilities to create your own style.
  • You can experience VR (Virtual Reality) with just one click.
  • This 3D rendering software allows you to create, iterate, and refine your designs and concepts.
  • You can apply textures, labels, and variations to any photo.
  • It enables you to add lens effects in the image.
  • KeyShot helps you to create still images as well as animation.
  • You can create visuals for the web as well as mobile.

Link: https://www.keyshot.com


#10) Mari

Mari is a 3D painting tool that enables you to add texture around any object. It is one of the best 3D animation apps that provides more than hundreds of HD textures. This tool has Python API to automates workflows and studios.

Features:

  • This tool support UDIM workflows.
  • You can make adjustments and changes to your paint before working on a photo.
  • It allows artists to import and convert your set of textures into a Mari material.
  • You can mix paint with the adjustment layer to build a shader.
  • This tool supports Ptex format to UV-based texture.
  • It allows you to manage color transforms.

Link: https://www.foundry.com/products/mari


#11) Toon Boom Harmony

Harmony is an all-in-one tool for efficient animation, from drawing to final production. It allows you to create artwork, animate, and add sounds and special effects into animation. You can import multilayer PSB and PSD files, Illustrator, PDF, bitmaps, and media files.

Features:

  • Stabilizer for smooth lines.
  • It provides 3, 4, and 5-point curved perspective guides.
  • This 3D cartoon animation software application allows you to create cut-out animation.
  • You can integrate it with software available in the production pipeline.
  • It offers 2D or 3D integration.
  • Harmony helps you to create 3D animation for the game.

Link: https://www.toonboom.com/products/harmony


#12) Unity

Unity is a fully integrated development game engine that gives functionality to create games and other interactive 3D content. It helps you to assemble art and assets into scenes and environments. It is the best 3D animation solution for building, rendering, and animating realistic natural environments.

Features:

  • You can use it for Windows, Linux, as well as Mac.
  • This tool can be used for 2D as well as 3D development.
  • This application allows you to modify props, textures, animations, environments, etc.
  • It helps you to create user interfaces intuitively and fast.
  • It provides realistic ozone simulation.
  • This software includes shaders to add shades to your image.
  • You can extend the unity editor with numerous other tools to match your team workflow.
  • You can also use models made in third-party software like Google Sketchup, Autodesk’s 3D Studio Max, Blender, etc.
  • This tool allows you to fine-tune your scenes quickly and easily. You can use it to give visual effects in movies.
  • It enables you to collaborate with others.

Link: https://unity3d.com/unity


#13) Mixamo

Mixamo is a tool that allows developers and artists to customize and create 3D character animations. It has a collection of high-quality 3D ready-to-use characters.

Features:

  • It can automatically set custom characters according to a full human skeleton.
  • You can transfer readymade characters into your own characters.
  • It allows you to download animations in multiple formats.

Link: https://www.mixamo.com/


#14) Blender

Blender is a 3D computer graphics software application for developing visual effects, animated movies, games, and more. This free 3D animation software allows you to import or export videos in MPEG, QuickTime, and AVI file formats.

Features:

  • This tool provides a Python API for scripting and customization.
  • You can customize shortcuts.
  • It has a path tracer for realistic rendering.
  • You can create, transform, sculpt, and edit your models.
  • This 3D rendering software offers a real time preview of the 3D scene and tracked footage.
  • It helps you to turn still characters into impressive animations.

Link: https://www.blender.org/features/animation/#animation-toolset


#15) LightWave

LightWave is a 3D computer graphics software application developed by NewTek. It can be used for both animated and static 3D images. This software provides independent scaling options for a multi-monitor setup.

Features:

  • It provides metamorphic animated sculpting or painting.
  • You can work with FBX (Filmbox) data.
  • This tool kit allows for live Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG) operations and grid filtering.
  • Using the UV technique, you can map 2D image texture onto a 3D structure.
  • It offers shading and rendering characters.

Link: https://www.newtek.com/lightwave/2020/


#16) Houdini

DescriptionHoudini is a 3D animation software application developed by SideFX. It helps artists to work freely, create multiple iterations, and share workflows with colleagues. It provides a grooming tool to create quick curves.

Features:

  • Houdini is a tool that helps you to create complex models like environments and cityscapes.
  • It provides a wide variety of polygons, Subdivision Surface modeling tools.
  • You can choose from a range of third-party rendering applications like Redshift, RenderMan, and OctaneRender.
  • Houdini offers a better way of building, sculpting, and rendering cloud formations.

Link: https://www.sidefx.com/products/houdini/


#17) Clip Studio

Clip Studio Paint is a tool that allows you to paint and draw with a natural brush. It helps you to capture every detail in your drawing. This tool has inbuilt rulers for drawing lines.

Features:

  • This tool allows you to edit thickness, shapes, and more with layers.
  • You can customize a pen to draw a stroke.
  • It has a built-in stabilizer for smoother lines.
  • You can add finishing strokes with starting and editing effects.
  • It provides more than 1000 customizable brushes.
  • Clip Studio enables you to set your own brush shapes and texture for unique brushes.
  • You can convert layers to dot images.

Link: https://www.clipstudio.net/en/


#18) Poser

Poser is a 3D computer graphics program distributed by Bondware. It provides ready-to-use 3D human figures, clothing, hair, and lighting to quickly start project.

Features:

  • You can easily create animation and art with 3D characters.
  • It helps you to create the human for illustration, art, animation, comics, and more.
  • This tool enables digital artists to access numerous third-party digital content.

Link: https://www.posersoftware.com

FAQs:

❓ What is 3D Animation Software?

A 3D Animation software is an application that helps you to create three-dimensional models, backgrounds, storyboards, and apply effects on them. You can use 3D animation software to animate characters for commercials, movies, and television. It also allows you to transform images into real-time 3D models.

💻 Which are the Best 3D Animation Software?

Below are some of the best 3D animation software:

✅ How to use 3D Animation Software?

Here is how you can use 3D animation software:

  • Step 1) Download and install any software from the above-given list
  • Step 2) Open the software; once installed
  • Step 3) Go to File>New Project to create a new project to work on
  • Step 4) Now, create a 3D object using given tools or you can also import pre-built 3D objects to your existing project from File>Import or by drag and drop the object
  • Step 5) Once imported, give effects and animation to your 3D model
  • Step 6) Go to File>Save as and name your project to save your project work for future