What 2D Animation Software is Industry Standard?

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Are you an aspiring animator looking to break into the industry? Or perhaps you’re already a professional seeking the best tools to enhance your 2D animation skills? In either case, finding the right software is crucial for success. In this article, we will explore the world of 2D animation software and uncover the industry standard options that can take your creations to new heights.

In today’s fast-paced digital world, animation has become an integral part of numerous industries, from entertainment to marketing and education. With its ability to captivate audiences and convey complex ideas, 2D animation has taken the spotlight. However, to create stunning animations, you need the right software that caters to industry standards.

What is 2D Animation Software?

Before we dive into the realm of industry-standard software, let’s have a brief overview of what 2D animation software actually is. 2D animation software enables artists to create two-dimensional moving images using a variety of tools and features. These software applications provide a platform for artists to bring their imagination to life, whether it’s for animated films, television shows, video games, or explainer videos.

Importance of Industry-Standard Software

Using industry-standard software offers numerous benefits for both aspiring and professional animators. First and foremost, industry-standard software is widely accepted and recognized within the animation community. This means that collaborating with other artists, sharing files, and seeking help or resources becomes much easier when everyone is using the same software.

Moreover, industry-standard software is often backed by a dedicated community of users who actively contribute to its development, ensuring regular updates, bug fixes, and access to a wealth of online tutorials and resources. By utilizing software that is widely used in the industry, you can tap into this knowledge base and stay ahead of the curve.

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Comparison of Popular 2D Animation Software

Now, let’s explore some of the top industry-standard 2D animation software options available. While there are numerous software applications to choose from, a few have emerged as industry favorites due to their robust features, user-friendly interfaces, and compatibility with different operating systems.

1. Adobe Animate

Adobe Animate (formerly known as Flash) has long been considered a standard in the animation industry. It offers a wide range of tools and features tailored specifically for 2D animation, including frame-by-frame animation, vector drawing, and advanced timeline editing. With its seamless integration with other Adobe Creative Cloud applications, such as Photoshop and After Effects, Adobe Animate provides animators with a comprehensive suite of tools.

2. Toon Boom Harmony

Toon Boom Harmony is another powerful software widely used in the animation industry. It offers an extensive toolset for creating frame-by-frame animations, rigging characters, and applying advanced special effects. With its robust 2D animation capabilities, Toon Boom Harmony has been the go-to choice for many professional animators and studios worldwide.

3. Moho Pro

Formerly known as Anime Studio, Moho Pro is a feature-rich software that caters to both beginners and professionals. It provides a range of tools for creating 2D animations, including bone rigging, automatic lip-syncing, and powerful motion tracking. Moho Pro’s user-friendly interface and affordable pricing make it an attractive option for those starting their animation journey.

4. OpenToonz

OpenToonz is a free and open-source software that has gained popularity due to its professional-grade features. Developed by Studio Ghibli and Digital Video S.p.A., OpenToonz offers a wide array of tools for traditional and cut-out animation. With its extensive support for various file formats and compatibility with industry-standard workflows, OpenToonz has become a favorite among independent animators and small studios.

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5. Pencil2D

If you’re a beginner or on a tight budget, Pencil2D is an excellent option. This free and open-source software provides a simple and intuitive interface for creating traditional hand-drawn animations. While it may not offer the advanced features found in some other software, Pencil2D is a great starting point for aspiring animators.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What factors should I consider when selecting industry-standard software?

A: When choosing industry-standard software, consider factors such as the software’s feature set, compatibility with your operating system, ease of use, community support, and your budget. Additionally, think about your specific animation needs, whether it’s frame-by-frame animation, rigging, or special effects.

Q: Can I use industry-standard software for personal projects?

A: Absolutely! Industry-standard software is not limited to professional use only. Many animators use these software applications for personal projects, hobbyist animations, or even educational purposes.

Q: Are there any free industry-standard 2D animation software options available?

A: While some industry-standard software options require a paid subscription or purchase, there are also free and open-source options available, such as OpenToonz and Pencil2D. These software applications offer a range of features and can be a great starting point for animators on a budget.


In the ever-evolving world of animation, using industry-standard 2D animation software is essential to stay competitive and produce high-quality work. Software options like Adobe Animate, Toon Boom Harmony, Moho Pro, OpenToonz, and Pencil2D have all established themselves as industry standards, each with its own unique features and benefits.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional, selecting the right software that aligns with your needs and goals is crucial. So, dive into the world of 2D animation software, explore the possibilities, and let your creativity shine with the industry standard tools at your disposal.

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