10 Best Animation Software for Mac (Free and Paid)

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Best Animation Software for mac

Animation has come a long way since the creation of the world’s first animation movie in 1908. Nowadays, it is used for movies, marketing, advertising, gaming, and a myriad of other purposes. Similarly, the market is flooded with numerous animation software for Mac – the preferred device for animation. Each app caters to a different type of animation and a different segment of animators. Choosing the proper animation software can therefore become confusing.

In this article, we have compiled a list of the best and free animation apps to help you in your animation journey.

Table of Contents
  1. Canva for Mac
  2. Adobe Animate
  3. Pencil 2D
  4. Blender
  5. Autodesk Maya
  6. Daz 3D Studio
  7. Toon Boon Harmony
  8. Cinema 4D
  9. LightWave 3D
  10. Synfig

FAQ’s On Animation Apps For Mac

Top 10 Animation Software for Mac –

1. Canva for Mac

Canva for mac

Canva for Mac is extremely simple and among the best free animation apps. Use their extensive collection of templates, stickers, and GIFs to animate, or make your own designs and animate them in a few clicks. The easy drag-and-drop interface simplifies the process. Even newbies can start their journey easily with Canva. This is the best animation software for Mac so far.

Compatibility: macOS 10.14 and above

Pricing

Basic version: Free

Pro version: $12.99 per month or $119.99 per year

Difficulty level: Easy

Pros:

Easy to use UI

Free version available with limited features

Available anywhere on the go

Cons:

Requires an internet connection

2. Adobe Animate

Adobe Animate for mac

No creative software list can be complete without Adobe’s product. When it comes to animation software, Adobe has Animate. It lets users create frame-by-frame animation with vector graphics using shapes, patterns, curves, etc. These can be used in games, apps, videos, TV shows, and online. It gives you ample features to help you with different types of animation projects which makes it one of the best animation programs.

Compatibility: macOS 10.12 (64 bit) or version 10.13 (64 bit)

Pricing

Animate, as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud (CC), is priced at $20. 99/month.

Difficulty level: Intermediate

Pros:

Powerful animation tools

Multi-platform publishing support

Adobe customer support

Free trial

Cons:

Costly compared to other options on this list.

Can consume a lot of your Mac’s memory

Steep learning curve

3. Pencil 2D

Pencile 2D for mac

Pencil 2D is among Mac’s finest free animation software for 2D animation – perfect for those entering this field solely focusing on 2D animation. Switching between workflows on the straightforward interface is easy. You can save your animations as bitmap or vector drawings. The app gets frequent incremental updates and has tremendous community support.

Compatibility: macOS 10.12 or higher

Pricing

Pencil 2D is free and open-source.

Difficulty level: Easy

Pros:

Simple user interface

Free

Great community support

Cons:

Limited options compared to other tools

Limited to 2D animations

4. Blender

Blender for mac

Like Pencil 2D, Blender is a free animation app for Mac. The open-source software supports 2D and 3D animation creation. It supports the entire animation workflow, from modeling to video editing. Its path-tracer engine offers ultra-realistic rendering. Its strong community base provides sufficient support to new users.

Compatibility: macOS 10.13 all versions and above

Price: Free

Difficulty level: Pro

Pros:

Supports the entire 3D pipeline

Open-source and free

Versatile and powerful

Cons:

UI may seem difficult for new users.

5. Autodesk Maya

Autodesk Maya

Autodesk Maya, a powerful animation software for Mac. It has even been used in movies like Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc. Its several features let you create characters, motion graphics, backgrounds, etc. It is among the best apps for rendering, simulation, and animation. As it is designed for experienced users, it is recommended for those well-familiar with animation software.

Compatibility: Apple macOS 10.13.x and above

Pricing

Free trial

Paid version: $1785 per year

Difficulty level: Pro

Pros:

Complete animation tool used by professionals

Can be used even for VR.

Great for animation, simulation, rendering, and motion graphics.

Cons:

Very costly.

Uses memory intensively.

6. Daz 3D Studio

DAZ 3D Studio

Daz 3D Studio is a feature-rich, free animation software for Mac for creating stunning, realistic character production, 3D animation, modeling, and rendering. It provides GPU-accelerated real-time rendering to give natural, photo-realistic results. Its large product library and interactive tutorials make it one of the easiest-to-learn animation apps for Mac.

Compatibility: macOS 10.7 and above.

Pricing: Free

Difficulty level: Medium

Pros:

Easy learning curve.

Free to use.

Cross-platform compatibility.

Cons:

Customer support is not very good

Many glitches are present in the app

7. Toon Boom Harmony

Toon Boom Harmony

Harmony is a professional 2D animation software for Mac for creating animations easily with several drawing and animation tools. It supports color control, recoloring, HD to 8K rendering, vector drawing, and bitmap support. It offers plenty of control over your designs. Harmony has been used in creating The Simpsons series and several other animated TV shows.

Pricing

Price: $25.50 -$117.50 per month

Free trial available

Compatibility: macOS 10.13.6 and higher

Difficulty level: Intermediate

Pros:

Easy UI

Cost-effective and offers a free trial

Bitmap support

Cons:

Learning curve

8. Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D is a long-standing, popular tool among Mac users. It helps create complex 3D animations, motion graphics, and illustrations. Although it is professional software, even students can master it easily thanks to its easy-to-understand user interface. The app developers have also provided numerous tutorials and quick tips to help newbies.

Pricing

Price: $999/year

Trial: Free for 14 days

Compatibility: macOS 10.14.6 and above. 10.15.7 is the recommended version for smooth operation.

Difficulty level: Easy

Pros:

Easy to use

Support from developers and community

Excellent rendering engine

Cons:

Expensive

Limited features in the free version

9. LightWave 3D

LightWave 3D

LightWave 3D is a fully-fledged animation software for creating animations, motion graphics, product designs, etc. It has been used in films, TV shows, and video game development. It combines a state-of-the-art renderer with powerful animation and graphics designing tools.

Pricing

LightWave 3D will cost you $995.00. There is also a 30-day free trial.

Compatibility: macOS 10.12 and above

Difficulty level: Pro

Pros:

Powerful, professional animation tool

Can be used for various animation tasks

OpenGL support for real-time visual feedback

Cons:

Very expensive

Can seem complex to new users

10.  Synfig

Synfig - Animation Software for mac

Synfig is an advanced 2D animation tool and one of the best animation software for Mac for 2D animation. Its numerous features include the ability to create animations with Bitmap images, multiuser support for group projects, filters, distortion, and transformations.

Pricing

Synfig is free and open-source.

Compatibility: macOS 10.8 or above

Difficulty level: Pro

Pros:

Free to use

Easy UI

Great community support

Cons:

Steep learning curve

FAQs on Animation Software for Mac

 

1. What is the best animation software for Mac?

This choice will vary from person to person, depending upon their needs, familiarity, and preferences. Based on our research, the ones discussed in this article are the top ten animation programs suited for this purpose. Many others may be more suited to your requirements and level of comfort.

Adobe Animate is a good software to begin your animation journey. However, if you are already experienced, you can upskill with Autodesk Maya and create complex 3D animations.

 

2. Is a Mac good for animation?

Mac is a good choice compared to Windows devices when it comes to animation. The seamless integrity and ecosystem of the hardware and software make Mac a powerful and preferred device for animation.

 

3. Do Macs have animation software?

Mac does not have an inbuilt animation software per se. But, you can create simple animations with the inbuilt Keynote app.

 

4. What is the best 2D animation software for Mac?

This choice will vary from person to person. However, we would recommend Pencil 2D and Blender for 2D animation.

 

Conclusion

Choosing the right animation program seems like a difficult job. But, if you know what you want, the task becomes relatively easy. These are some cutting-edge animation programs compatible with Mac, as per our research.

Canva and Adobe Animate are the leading apps for lightweight animation tasks, in our opinion. If you want to do heavy-duty work, Autodesk Maya and Lightwave 3D are your best bet.

Which app is the best animation software for Mac, according to you? Is there any other app you are using for animating on your Mac? Let us know.

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