Teaching materials are no longer limited to texts and documents. The development of technology provides people an access to a variety of resources like audios, games, and animations. Animated videos are a great tool for online educators to better the learner’s experiences, with exciting sounds and visuals, that are fun, engaging and motivating, which could result in significantly improved learning outcomes. And producing animation is not hard. In this article, you could find various educational animation software that is both beautiful and user-friendly for you beginner.
Best educational animation software in eLearning industry
A short Cartoon Network standard animated video could take months to produce. It involves plenty of work including script writing, storyboarding, designing, illustrating, and animating. All of them require different sets of skills that could take years to master. Obviously, if you are looking for a way to upgrade online courses with high-quality videos, you should contact a professional studio to get the work done nicely. However, if you want to do it yourself, there are various educational animation software for beginners that help people, with no design background, create their own animated videos. Here are our top 10 favorites listed in order of pricing. You can use these tools to create from a single animation video (internal communication animation, for example) to microlearning for employees and students.
Have a quick look at the best animation software for beginners (online and download)
|Animation software||Supported in||Price|
|Synfig||Windows, MacOS and Linux||Free|
|Pencil 2D||Windows, MacOS and Linux||Free|
|Opentoonz||Windows and MacOS||Free|
|TupiTube||Windows, MacOS, Linux and Android||Free|
Educational Animation Software online
VideoScribe is an amazing software specializing in whiteboard animated videos for education. It enables users to achieve a cleaner look than the traditional animations where narrators record themselves drawing.
- Full customization of font, images, canvas, hand drawing styles, and music track
- Enable users to upload and use their own content
- Easily export to PowerPoint
- 7-day free trial
Pricing: US $8/ month – US $17.5/month
One of the hottest animation software in 2020! Renderforest is free, online and an all-in-one design platform. Its cloud-based video maker is full of templates and easy-to-use features. Making animated videos for education is made super comfortable with Renderforest.
- Hundreds of templates to create animated videos
- More than 195.000 HD royalty-free stock videos
- Automated video creation based on AI and machine learning algorithms
- Voice-over is conveniently synced with every selected scene
- Music recommendations are hand-picked by Renderforest team
- Free plans are offered “forever”
Pricing: US $9.99/month – US $99/month.
If you don’t plan to use Renderforest regularly, the pay-per-product solution is definitely appealing.
Animaker is one of the easiest video editing software in the world. It is suitable for new creators who want to produce animated videos, video infographics, and series of animated presentations.
- Pre-designed templates to support all industries such as education, corporate training, business, entertaining and so on.
- Six different video styles available for users to choose in one tool (2D, infographics, handcraft, whiteboard, 2.5D and typography).
- Over 50 background music tracks and 175 sound effects to add more life into your videos.
- Exporting video in full HD quality to impress your audience on YouTube and Facebook.
- Free account is available with limited features
Pricing: US$19/ month – US$79/ month
With a mission “so everyone can animate”, PowToon is an intuitive educational animation software that enables anyone, even those with no designing background to create engaging animated videos.
- Huge library with different looks including modern edge, whiteboard, infographic, cartoon, and corporate styles.
- Various templates of characters, objects, backgrounds, and layouts.
- Unlimited royalty-free music
- Export to PDF and PowerPoint is available
Pricing: US $19/month – US $197/month
Image Source: Moovly
Moovly is a cloud-based digital media content creation platform that enables users to create engaging animated videos, presentations, and infographics. Moovly allows people to use a huge library of pre-built, pre-animated and editable groups of media objects with users’ own content to create stunning video projects.
- Huge royalty-free media library with over 500,000 videos, illustrations, photos, sounds, and music.
- Moovly Studio editor with a new and improved user interface for more flexible and intuitive experience.
- Video generator Moovly Bots automatically creates content based on templates and user’s data.
- Free use with basic features for beginners with no time-limited.
Pricing: US $24/month – US $99/month.
Their education plans are at reduced pricing, which is more available for students, teachers, or professors.
Recently GoAnimate has had its name changed to Vyond. It is one of the best cloud-based educational animation software in the market. It gives users easy drag-and-drop experiences with a large number of templates in design and animation. You could create your own high-quality animated video in just 5 minutes with this tool.
- Voice-over narration is automatic. Users just have to provide the words then the tools would sync the character’s voice.
- Various themes from all industries and occupations are available with more being added all the time.
- Full character customization is offered with hundreds of color shades and different styles.
- 14-day free trial for new users
Pricing: US $25/month – US $159/month
Educational Animation Software for PC
1. Synfig Studio (Compatibility: Windows, Linux, and MacOS)
Synfig Studio is cross-platform software, free to use and very beginner-friendly. There are 2 versions, development version and stable version. The stable version has fine-tuned features making it safer for amateur users. If you are an instructional designer, a teacher or a person try to make a simple explainer video, stable version is more than enough. If you have more complex concept, switch to the development version to try newly added features.
- Support multiple layers of content
- Create cut out animations from bitmap images by bone system
- Animation is easily done by simply pressing the record and manipulating your object.
2. Pencil 2D (Compatibility: Windows, Linux, and MacOS)
This is a cross-platform open source animation software for beginners. Pencil 2D allows the use of sketch and paint. Somehow, this software is more like horse and wagon style since the first version came out over 10 year ago. The software has grown a lot since then, more modern interface, more features including color options. However, Pencil 2D still keeps the minimalistic user interface and flexible style. When you have mastered the keyboard shortcuts, you can make an animated educational video in no time.
- Minimalistic user interface, keep you concentrate on animating
- Sketch ink and paint simultaneously by raster and vector workflows
- TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) supported
3. OpenToonz (Compatibility: Windows and MacOS)
Opentoonz is the best free animation software. The paid version of this software, Toonz, has been used in Princess Mononoke of Studio Ghibli and many other big projects.
Opentoonz combine both traditional drawing and 2D animation with many features. To animate drawing, you just have to scan it. Adding effects and changing picture styles is easy too thanks to artificial intelligence. This software is more suitable if you have a good sense of color and art.
- Open-source and free to use in commercial and non-commercial projects
- Work with both vector and raster images
- Allow 4 types of scanning
4. TupiTube (Compatibility: Windows, MacOS, Linux and Android)
Maefloresta’s TupiTube is a free animation software that compatible with both PC (Windows and macOS) and smart devices (Android). Fun and easy to use is the selling point of it, not thing much to say.
- Free downloadable app works on smartphones, tablets, and PC
- Easy to animate with tutorials
- Beginner-friendly interface
Watch out for the limitations of Do it Yourself Animation Software
Thanks to the technology innovation, we can make almost everything all by ourselves, including educational animation videos. However, there are many downsides which the software companies don’t want you to know so that you will purchase their products. Here are several disadvantages of DIY animation worth to consider before you make one by yourself.
Lack of expertise
This is the first and main issue when you make a video by DIY animation softwares. Have you ever made an explainer video before? Or have you ever witnessed the whole process of making a 3 minutes animation?
To make a good animated video, you need to have a strong script, good characters and appealing visuals. Generating the ideas for those elements is really challenging and critical. Moreover, adding professional voiceover, fit into the visual is a key to success.
You might be really struggle when making animation by using DIY tools. Professional creative team can execute strong scripts, stunning visual to hook and hold your learner attention. In addition, an agency can have an outsider’s view that you might not see, so that they can deliver your content, messages more comprehensible. Take a look at one of our animated instructional video examples, feeling different, right?
This is the result of the previous limitation. When you are lack of designing knowledge, you will make a video that fit to your taste but it can be not good for other. Your video can be too colorful or too bland, too many transitions or too lack of them. An article from European Journal of Psychology of Education pointed out that extraneous details in the animations can distract students from the relevant messages. The main source of distraction may come from the lack of context in the videos.
In addition, DIY animation softwares have less control over objects and illustrations. Repeat a movement over and over again can turn off your learner and destroy their attention.
Time-consuming (really, really much)
Educational animation is quick, fun and easy to deliver the content comprehensible. But sadly, it takes really, really long time to make. The term “Do-it-Yourself” stuff sound so easy and quick, but it’s not. The promotion videos of some animation softwares show you that you just need to drag and drop to make an educational animation, but they don’t show you what you have to do before and after that drag-and-drop step. And let me tell you, there are a lot!
- First, you need to learn how to use it. It will take a few minutes or sometimes several hours
- Come up with the topic, content and concept and write a script for that
- Create the storyboard. It doesn’t take a lot of time, but when you are a newbie, it does. Therefore, get ready to be overwhelming
- Record the voiceover for your video
- Pick suitable styles, elements for your videos
- Animate what you have done
Look like make an animated video all by yourself is not a rainbow unicorn after all.
Bugs and lag (rarely but really annoying)
Running an animation software is not like you open Microsoft Word. It requires a decent hardware that can handle the load. If you only have a computer for office work, chances are it can be really lag. Even worse, your PC can crash at anytime and you may not save your work yet. If you are working with online tools, one more thing effect your experience is the Internet. Unstable internet connection can be really annoying when you can’t work offline then save like Google Drive.
Again, this problem can be fixed if you have a strong device and connection. But making your own animation without it will be really challenging and might not worth your time and effort.
No uniqueness and damage brand identity
You might not care about uniqueness and brand identity if you just want a better demonstration for your students in class. However, in term of eLearning, when you can’t distinguish your course with other, how can you get people to enroll? DIY animation by free animation software means you have to use pre-made templates, which eventually hurt your brand since every other business can use the same elements as you do. Moreover, the number of the pre-designed templates are not infinite, it can impose limitations on your teaching content.
Instead of taking the risk of DIY Animation, you can look out for animated training video production companies. For the long term, it would save you more.
This checklist will guide you through the process of making stunning animated educational videos for your online courses.
Ebook: Ultimate Guide to Make Animated Educational Videos for Online Courses
Animation software is really handy and affordable. If you are restricted by the budget and are ok with average animation quality, these 10 best educational animation software above are really good. However, it seems that these tools are best for general ideas or presentations. If you can spend a bit more, finding an educational animation studio like us, F Learning Studio for a partnership will be much better.