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Animation Software For Creators On A Budget

Dying to set up your own animation studio…but on a tight budget? Think great software has to cost thousands of dollars? Actually, even if you're low on funding, there are plenty of animation software solutions to fit your needs, without emptying your account.

Google SketchUp Animation Software

What's a better fit for your budget than free animation software? Google SketchUp (as seen in Photo 1) is a fully functioning 3D modeling program that can be downloaded for free—no strings attached. It also has free self-paced video tutorials so that you can learn how to use the software quickly.

If you’re interested in more gadgets, SketchUp Pro may be more your speed. It includes a 2D presentation and documentation tool, professional grade 3D modeling tools, and more. While SketchUp Pro isn't free, at less than $500, it isn't a deal breaker.

Poser 8 3D Figure Design and Animation Solution

For around $200 you can get the phenomenal Poser 8 by Smith Micro Software, Inc. This animation and design software has all of the bells and whistles you'd expect from posing software, including photorealistic, fully-posable human characters, animal characters, pre-made props and hair, a cross-body part morph tool, 3D and 2D creation capabilities, lighting tools, and more.

3D Flash Animator

If you're into creating Flash animation, 3D Flash Animator (as seen in Photo 2) by is a free software download that you'll enjoy. For a freebie, it has a surprising amount of tools, including automatic script de-bugging, a sound lab, and spacing tools. This software is a great companion to more advanced animation software, but works well as a standalone, too.

Advanced GFI Animator

Advanced GIF Animator (as seen in Photo 3) by Creabit Development is a professional animation solution under $50. As its name suggests, it is used specifically for creating avatars and images in GIF animation. It is compatible with JPEG, ICO, BMP, TIFF, AVI, and Windows Metafiles, making it highly versatile. Plus, it has a built in image editor.

CrazyTalk Animator

Priced at less than $200, CrazyTalk Animator by Reallusion Inc. can turn any 2D image into 2D animation using automatic facial animation and puppeteering motion; there's no need to craft an animation from scratch on-screen. Thanks to the drag-and-drop scenery and props, you can also speed up the process of building environments.

Anime Studio Pro 7

Anime Studio Pro 7 by Smith Micro Software, Inc. is CrazyTalk Animator's main competitor. It also incorporates puppeteering animation and costs just under $200. Using the line points, animators can manipulate lines, and shapes can be automatically shaded and colored with innovative style tools.

No matter what your style, one of these animation solutions will fit your needs and your budget. For the best fit, mix free and low-cost animation software in order to create a suite of tools that will work for a multitude of projects.