Adobe alternative: replacement for Animate (app for 2D animation)

Adobe Animate is a program that can be used to create 2D animations. These can be used as videos on YouTube, as GIFs on websites, as moving images in apps and in other places. However, Adobe Animate is not the only app that can be used to animate graphics. In addition to the cost-intensive app in the subscription payment model, there are also much cheaper or even free alternatives. If you are looking for Animate alternatives for macOS, Windows and/or Linux as well as iPadOS, then you will find them here.

In the Adobe Creative Cloud, Animate is the main app for 2D animation. But it is by no means the only animation software. There are numerous alternatives outside of Adobe, some of them free and even open source.
In the Adobe Creative Cloud, Animate is the main app for 2D animation. But it is by no means the only animation software. There are numerous alternatives outside of Adobe, some of them free and even open source.

Previous posts on Adobe alternatives

Note: Adobe alternatives are not 1:1 clones

If you're not just looking for an Adobe Animate alternative, but want to switch directly from this app to another, then you should be a little patient. Most replacement programs offer their own user interface and therefore require a lot of training. To achieve the same result, a completely different workflow may have to be used. So don't expect that the only difference between the Adobe program and its alternative is the price. This note is not intended to scare anyone away; rather, it is intended to prevent comments on the topic.

Animate alternatives: Cheap and free apps other than Adobe

  • OpenToonz, Blender, Sozi, Krita and Pencil2D: Three years ago I showed you five free programs for 2D and sometimes also 3D animation on the Apple Mac and Windows PC. In the article linked below you will not only get a description and download link for each program, but also a video that shows you how to get started: 2D animation on Mac and PC - 5 free apps in comparison.
  • Glaxnimate: Glaxnimate is a comparatively simple, but completely free and open source software for 2D animation. Especially if you don't want to create complicated anime projects, cartoons or the like, but just short animations, you should take a look at Glaxnimate. You can also expand the app yourself thanks to its open source character and adapt it with various plug-ins or your own Python scripts.
  • Clip Studio Paint: The Clip Studio Paint app, which is primarily designed for digital drawings, can also be used to create 2D animations. When used on a Mac or PC, the animations from the ex version can even be output in OpenToonz scenes. The ex version costs 186 euros; while the Pro version, which is also equipped with animation functions, is already available for 42 euros. On the website you will not only find a comprehensive functional comparison of all versions, but also demo versions that you can download and use for free.
  • Mold: The Moho animation software can also be purchased in different versions. Moho Debut is recommended for creating cartoons and simple animations, i.e. for getting started in the field of 2D animation. Moho Debut costs a one-time fee of $59,99, and you can choose between a download and a physical version. Moho Pro, on the other hand, is aimed at professional users, digital artists and studios. The purchase price of Moho Pro is $399,99. Here too you can choose between a download and a physical storage medium. Among other things, the TV+ film “Wolfwalkers” was made with Moho Pro. There is a free demo version.
  • TVPaint: The TVPaint app only found its way into this list for the sake of completeness. Instead of a subscription, it is offered with a one-off payment. However, it is not a cheap alternative to Adobe Animate; Depending on the version and license model, you can spend up to 1.250 euros on the software. The target group is primarily studios, training centers and the learners there. The latter can use the standard version from just 250 euros. The website doesn't offer much insight into how to use it, but I recommend searching for YouTube tutorials.

Alternatives to Photoshop, Premiere Pro, After Effects and Co.

As already shown above, there is a series of articles here in the Sir Apfelot blog for individual Adobe programs and the corresponding alternatives. We have already shown replacement programs for Photoshop, Firefly AI, Illustrator and now also Animate. There will also be articles on alternative apps for Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition and the like. If you don't want to miss any of it and also always want to receive fresh Apple and tech news, then download the Sir Apfelot app and subscribe to our newsletter. 

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