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 thier popular features and website links. The list contains both open source(free) and commercial(paid) software.

1) Crazy talk

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

Features:

  • It enables you to transform a photo into real time into 3D heads.
  • You can synthesize 3D head 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.

Link: https://www.reallusion.com/crazytalk/


2) 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 to work on both 3D graphics as well as animation.

Features:

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

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


3) After Effects

After Effects is a motion graphics and digital visual effects application developed by Adobe. This tool helps you to easily remove elements in the film.

Features:

  • This tool provides more than 100 options for selecting effects.
  • You can preview your playback using GPU (Graphics Processing Unit).
  • It allows you to animate titles.
  • You can combine images and videos to create animation.
  • This tool provides more than 100 options for selecting effects.
  • You can remove an object from a video clip.

Link: https://www.adobe.com/products/aftereffects.html


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 webcam.

Features:

  • It helps you to create an animation that matches with your facial expression.
  • You can animate with arms, legs, and heads.
  • 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 a Keyframes to create a moment.
  • You can sync audio to your animation.

Link: https://www.adobe.com/products/character-animator.html


5) 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 tool allows you to create, iterate, and refine your designs and concepts.
  • You can apply textures, labels, and variations to any photo.
  • 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


6) Mari

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

Features:

  • This tool support for 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 texture into a Mari material.
  • You can mix paint with the adjustment layer to build shader.
  • This tool supports Ptex format to UV based texture.
  • It allows you to manage color transforms.

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


7) 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 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


8) iClone

Iclone is a tool for creating real-time 3D animation. This tool helps you to produce animation for films, video games, education, content development, etc. It allows you to create realistic or stylized animation without any hassle.

Features:

  • You can assign and manage materials via a simplified interface to control textures.
  • This software provides a tool for the face and body to animate any character instantly.
  • It offers drag and drop facility to light any interior or exterior scene.
  • You can turn a normal 3D scene into a photo-realistic world.
  • Iclone provides ready to animate motions, characters, and accessories.
  • You can extend IClone by using Python API.

Link: https://www.reallusion.com/iclone/default.html


9) 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.

Link: https://www.autodesk.com/products/motionbuilder/overview


10) 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.

Features:

  • You can use it for Windows, Linux, as well as Mac.
  • This tool can be used for 2D as well as 3D development.
  • It helps you to create user interfaces intuitively and fast.
  • You can extend the unity editor with numerous other tools to match your team workflow.
  • It enables you to collaborate with others.

Link: https://unity3d.com/unity


11) 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/


12) Blender

Blender is a 3D computer graphics software application for developing visual effects, animated movies, games, and more. This tool 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.
  • It 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


13) 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.
  • You can map 2D image texture onto a 3D structure using the UV technique.
  • It offers shading and rendering characters.

Link: https://www.newtek.com/lightwave/2019/


14) 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 the range of third-party rendering applications like Redshift, RenderMan, OctaneRender.
  • Houdini offers a better way of building, sculpting, and rendering cloud formations.

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


15) Daz 3D

Daz 3D is a figure posing, animation, 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:

  • Is 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 transfer figures to Maya software with few clicks.

Link: https://www.daz3d.com/daz_studio/


16) 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 dots images.

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


17) Poser

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


18) Moviestorm

Moviestorm is a real-time animation app. You can use this tool to make movies on your computer. It provides many tutorials and documentation to learn and make 3Damimation.

Features:

  • This application allows you to modify props, textures, animations, environments, etc.
  • You can also use models made in third party software like Google Sketchup, Autodesk's 3D Studio Max, Blender, etc.
  • Moviestorm enables you to customize elements that suites your project.
  • It helps you to create compelling presentations and stories.
  • You can use this tool to make commercial and training videos.

Link: https://www.moviestorm.co.uk/hub/home


19) Planetside

Planetside is the best 3D animation solution for building, rendering, and animating realistic natural environments. This tool allows you to fine-tune your scenes quickly and easily. You can use it to give visual effects in movie.

Features:

  • You can design a cloud with realistic shading.
  • It enables you to add lens effects in the image.
  • Planetside contains all animation-oriented tools for making better animation.
  • It provides realistic ozone simulation.
  • This software includes shaders to add shades to your image.

Link: https://planetside.co.uk


20) Muvizu

Muvizu is a software application that lets you make 3D animated movies on your desktop. This tool offers a better way to describe any story using animation. You can drag and drop customizable characters and sets to make animation.

Features:

  • You can customize character types.
  • It automatically syncs lipsing to the character.
  • This tool provides virtual lights.
  • Muvizu offers special effects.
  • It helps you to create high-quality 3D animation effortlessly.
  • Muvizu allows you to color any character with textures.

Link: http://www.muvizu.com

 

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