Blender is an open source free animation software that allows users to create 3D and 2D animations. Available on both Mac and PC, Blender offers photo-realistic rendering, fast modeling, game creation and simulation-based animation features.
Blender is free for independent or commercial use and offers a wide variety of features. Blender allows the import of models and animations from other 3D animation software. In addition to a motion tracking engine that allows for 3D effects in video footage, Blender also allows users to create games.
Toon Boom Studio 8, another animation program, provides a 2D animation feature for beginning animators. Offering powerful effects and a clean, easy-to-use interface, Toon Boom Studio 8 is a well-rounded program.
Alternatives include Maya, a 3D animation suite offering top-of-the-line features. Maya includes fluid simulation, bullet physics, character animation and rigging. This program is available on both Mac and PC.
Apple Motion lets users create motion graphics and animations. This software is available exclusively for Apple computers and can be purchased through Apple's app store.
Pencil2D is an open source animation suite allowing users to create 2D animations. Although development on Pencil2D has stopped, its user base is still active as of 2015, with many veteran users willing to assist beginning animators.