Best Digital Drawing Software with Animation Capabilities

Best Digital Drawing Software with Animation Capabilities

When it comes to digital drawing, many people think of Photoshop.

It is a popular choice for designers and photographers, but the choices are more varied when you’re looking for the best software with animation capabilities. Whether you need a tool to create vector graphics or something that can make 3D animations, there’s an app out there that will suit your needs! In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the top options on offer today.

Adobe Photoshop

Although Photoshop is certainly not the only app on this list, it’s a great place to start. This well-known and highly respected software package has been around for decades and remains one of the most popular available programs.

If you’re familiar with other Adobe products such as Illustrator or InDesign, then you’ll feel right at home here too. As you would expect from Adobe, Photoshop offers an extensive range of features and capabilities. It’s great to work with vector graphics (using the Pen tool) and bitmaps (working on pixel-based images). You can use it to work on multiple layers at once or make precise selections using paths.

There are also numerous effects available, such as Gaussian blur filters, that allow you to change the appearance of your image in subtle ways. In terms of animation, this program supports several different formats, including GIFs and MPGs, so it should be possible to meet most requirements here even if simple animations aren’t supported out-of-the-box.


This Mac OS-only software is a little different from the rest of the apps on our list. It’s targeted at people who make prototypes and does not offer all the features you might expect from a full drawing app such as Photoshop.

While it uses vector graphics, it doesn’t have tools that allow you to create paths or shapes yourself but instead lets you draw freehand lines, which users can then use in your prototype designs. As well as its prototyping capabilities, Sketchpad also offers animation support, allowing designers to animate their work directly within the program rather than exporting images for separate processing elsewhere.

It could be beneficial if you want simple animations without learning how they are created using more traditional methods (such as Adobe Flash, which has been used for many years). Depending on what you need to create, Sketchpad could be a good option. It’s certainly not the only one on our list, but it ticks some of the right boxes, such as providing support for multiple layers and allowing users to add animations directly within the app itself.

  • Layers: Yes (up to 100)
  • Animation: MPGs, GIFs, and PDFs supported; timeline-based editor with keyframes; frame rate setting; onion skinning function available (allows visualization of previous/subsequent frames); “play once,” or loop playback modes
  • Vector Graphics: No – built-in line tool allows freehand drawing without using vector objects like the Pencil tool in Photoshop does.

Autodesk Sketchbook Pro 

Another Mac OS-only app, Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, is a good choice for using bitmaps rather than vectors. Some tools allow you to create paths and shapes from scratch, but this isn’t the primary purpose of this program, which has been designed purely as a digital drawing tool with animation capabilities.

This software includes all the features you’d expect, such as layers and filters (including Gaussian blur), plus a wide range of brushes available, including paintbrush types, along with several different pencils, etc.

Like many apps on our list, it makes use of “smart” objects—these can be used in combination with vector graphics if required, or simply raster images instead, depending on your needs. In addition, there’s an assortment of shapes and stamps to help you create exciting effects within your digital drawings.

As for animation, this app supports MPGs (one of the most popular formats) and GIFs. It’s possible to add animation directly on top of existing layers, so there are no limitations here either, which is excellent news if you want something more complex than simple looped playback using one image after another in a sequence.

There’s also an option for adjusting the speed at which images playback or even layering them up against each other with one playing over another – ideal if you’re looking for a specific effect that isn’t available out-of-the-box. But it would be easy enough to achieve by adding several different animations together.

This app is available for Windows and Mac OS. It’s designed to be easy-to-use so anybody can pick it up without too much effort, even if they’ve never used digital drawing software before.

ArtRage Studio Pro

Some tools allow you to create vector shapes (tho this isn’t the main focus), while brushes include paint, pencils, etc., like many other apps on our list, do. There’s also a range of features such as layers or filters, making ArtRage Studio Pro one of the complete options.

As well as these capabilities, this program uses animation presets, allowing users to select an appropriate option depending upon what sort of animation. They want to add to their images (they’re not limited by anything either, so you don’t need to worry about anything here). This program is ideal if you want something reasonably easy to use and provides everything you’d expect from a digital drawing program.

However, the main downside is the price tag, which means it only makes sense to purchase ArtRage Studio Pro if this sort of software has been purchased before or specific features (such as animation) make it worth buying in the first place.

  • Layers: Yes, up to 100 layers are supported; each layer can be given its name and opacity setting for better administrative control within your projects.
  • Animation: Animated GIFs (multiple export options available); timeline editor with frames (more advanced editing capabilities).

Clip Studio Paint EX (free)

Our final app is the accessible version of Clip Studio Paint. It’s an excellent option if you’re looking for a program that provides everything you need without any limitations at all.

As mentioned, it’s possible to import both bitmaps and vectors while also including several different brush tools and effects such as filters, etc., so there are plenty of features on offer here which will be more than enough for beginners.

Or anyone who needs some extra specialized functions in their digital drawing software.

However, graphic designers should note that this software doesn’t have animation capabilities, although users can instead create still images using multiple layers (more advanced editing options are available). If these aspects aren’t required, this might not matter, but keep it in mind before purchasing the full version of Clip Studio Paint EX.

  • Layers: Yes, layers can give each layer its name and opacity setting for better administrative control within your projects.
  • Animation: No, although it is possible to create still images instead of using multiple layers

This concludes our list of the best digital drawing software with animation capabilities and a few other features such as vector graphics, etc., so there should be something here for everyone regardless of their skill set in this area.


All programs are capable enough to provide those who don’t know where to start when looking into this program. While also providing. Some artists will also require all the more advanced options, which means they’re sure not to disappoint even if you’re experienced in this area.

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog post. We hope that it has been helpful and informative! If you have a question or comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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