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How to Choose the Best Animation Apps to Transfer Ideas in your Head out onto the World

Charmaine Cheung

If anyone has ever told you that you can’t draw, don’t believe it because drawing is a skill that can be developed! You just need to ignore this misconception and labeling, and start practicing. To help you kick off your drawing adventure, we have gathered the most important tools and best animation apps to get you translate your imagination into actual drawings! It’s time to ignite your inner fire of imagination and creativity!

Key in-app features you need

When looking for the most important features in an animation app, we would recommend:

  • Onion skin is incredibly useful for checking the key frames and the in-betweens (the frames between the key frames), that helps you ensure your animation flows smoothly.
  • Layers can be helpful even for simple animations. It helps you separate the background and different characters on each layer for easy drawing and revising.
  • Adding photos and videos onto your animation will give you a jump-start, as you can easily capture the movement and have a template to develop from.
  • Instant preview gives you the chance to quickly preview your existing work and you can quickly switch back to working on it.
  • Adjusting the duration of each frame is another must, as the speed of your frames plays a big role in the overall effect of your animation. If you have fewer in-betweens or a lower FPS (frames per second), your animation is likely to look choppy. Being able to adjust the length of each frame easily can help you make your animation fluid.

ffBest app for strengthening your overall animating skills:

Animation Desk

Animation Desk is a very intuitive app with an extensive collection of features. It includes all of the above mentioned key features and over 20+ brushes that let you experiment with different styles and textures. It offers a very useful tool, rotoscoping, so you can draw and develop from the existing template without the fear of not knowing where to start.

Additionally, Animation Desk enables you to view your animation in the form of a storyboard that gives you a quick overview and you can make any annotations on the side. This is great for noting down a particular animating technique that you want to improve on or that you are particularly fond of. You can simply jot down all your thoughts throughout the creation process!

Although Animation Desk doesn’t include tools to help add multiple audio clips to an animation but it is great for making GIFs and the landscape view gives you a bigger surface to draw on.

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ff3Download Animation Desk:

Animation Desk iOS

Animation Desk for Android

Animation Desk UPW

Best app for parents and kids:

Folioscope

This app has a very straightforward interface that is very suitable for kids. It is ideal for those who are new to animation drawing and want very simple tools to get a taste of how the traditional animation works. If you are a parent, you can introduce animation making and get your children into drawing and animating using Folioscope. But if you are looking for a solution that offers advanced functionality, Folioscope may be too basic for you.

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Best app for animation beginners:

Animatic

If you are new to animation drawing and want a basic app, Animatic is ideal for you. It supports onion skin, various brush options and flexible adjustment of the animation speed. However, the lack of color palette results in very limited selection of colors. .Animatic also doesn’t offer layering or instant preview that makes animation creation a drag rather than an enjoyment. Nonetheless, it has an easy-to-use frame editor that’s perfect for beginners!ff8

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Best app for precise drawing:

Flipaclip

Flipaclip is ideal for those who like to be very accurate with their drawings, especially when it comes to drawing in proportions and shapes. It offers a grid as a visual assistance so you can feel a lot more in control when drawing free-hand. Flipaclip supports video and photo inserting, audio adding, multiple layers of drawing, as well as onion skin.

The biggest downsides to Flipaclip are the limited brush options and advertisements that pop up from time to time, which can be quite disturbing when drawing.

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As Van Gogh has once said: “If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced”. You’d definitely be able to find something that gets your creativity going with these many drawing applications on the table. Start today!


Also published on Medium.

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About the author

Charmaine Cheung

As a graduate in languages from the University of Bristol, England, Charmaine is currently working in Hong Kong, specialised in marketing and corporate communications. She has a strong international background, is fluent in English, Chinese and German, and has lived and work in the UK, Germany, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

She has been doing some projects and blogging for Kdan Mobile since 2015.

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