Best Motion Graphics Software

The Best Motion Graphics Software

Whether you are planning to get into the business of motion graphics or you are new, there are several options that you can resort to. These will not only make your work easy but also boost your creativity.

In fact, it seems that there is a new piece of motion graphics software every week. With so much to learn, you’ll feel that you need a lifetime to learn and experiment with all of them.

While every motion graphics software is important, you need to utilize all of them to improve your creativity.

Apart from juggling between different types you need to be informed about the several advances that have been made worldwide.

You also need to equip yourself with a good artistic eye and master some of these tools in the best way possible. This will allow you to choose the right option.

Without wasting time, here are some of the best motion graphics software that you need to know about.


1. Adobe Photoshop

As one of the best Photoshop and editing software in the market, Adobe’s groundbreaking application has continued to improve throughout the years.

Whether you need Photoshop, 3D editing or image editing this is among the best software out there. Both photographers and designers have found that it features everything that they need.

With Adobe Photoshop you can do several applications with relative ease. Ultimately it will help you create designs and graphics that are important for your work.

As compared to other software out there one thing that you’ll realize is that it has more customizable interface.

You can either create your own custom layout panels for windows or choose among targeted workspace layouts such as Web, Graphic, 3D motion among others.

If you like, you can re-arrange its tools bar button to suit your taste. Since its interface normally adapts to the purpose that you have, you can decide to use it the way you want.

From adding to removing objects with content tools to histogram adjustments and lens profile based geography, this software has everything that you need.

How Much Does Adobe Photoshop Cost

  • Photography plan 20 GB is $13.14 per month
  • Photography plan 1TB is $26.30 per month
  • Single app plan is $27.62 per month
  • All app plan is $69.72 per month

Pros

  • Several photo creation and manipulation tools
  • Tools for mobile and web design
  • 3D design capability
  • Cloud documents and Synched library

Cons

  • Premium assets are not cheap
  • No perpetual asset option

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2. Cinema 4D

Invented by Maxon Computer and debuted in 1996, Cinema 4D has increasingly become very popular. This can be attributed to the number of people who are getting into digital arts.

When it comes to rendering, VFX or motion graphics this is one of the best software out there. Although it’s a little bit expensive it comes with almost everything that you need for motion graphics.

Whether you are a professional or beginner it will help you to create amazing artworks.The best part is that it comes with 42 day free trial that you can download to see whether it’s the best.

You can also use this time to familiarize yourself with the software and practice what you’ve learned before committing to it.

With several 3D applications it there Cinema4D is still the go to option for beginners. As compared to others it features a very friendly user interfaced. This means it’s quite easy to use if you are using it for the first time.

You can also use it to iterate and edit your work very quickly. Overall if you are looking for something that will make your work easy it’s the right choice

How Much Does Cinema 4D Cost

  • Free plan is free
  • For quote based plan you need to contact the vendor

Pros

  • Robust software for artists looking for superb results
  • Wide range of features and tools
  • Features four variants to cover designers, artists and architecture needs
  • Build for both professionals and beginners
  • Its highly stable

Cons

  • It’s a bit expensive as compared to others

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3. Nuke

If you are looking for cutting edge toolkit for editorial, node based composition and review then this is among the best software out there.

Consisting NukeX, Nuke and Nuke studio it will provide you with a flexible workflow to ensure that you get the best results faster.

As one of the best tools out there, it’s being used all over the world in major television and motion pictures. It’s also the most preferred software by professional motion graphic companies.

As robust software it will also allow you to use node system when coming up with your compositions.

Unlike other tools, it has a very powerful capability. With this mind, it’s mostly used by high end MoGraph artists and studio houses. It’s very easy to get used to its style.

One thing that you’ve love about this software is that its workflow is very simple once you’ve gotten used to it. You just need to bring in media and then add different nodes.

Nuke also comes with tools that you can use to combine computer generated elements and live action footage.

So, if you are looking for one of the leading tools then Nukes is the right choice. You therefore, need to try it out and see whether it meets your needs.

How Much Does Nukes Cost

  • Nuke flexible compositing toolset is $4,988
  • Nuke advanced compositing toolset is $9,298
  • Nuke render license cost $559
  •  Nuke Hiero’s editorial timeline cost $10,000

Pros

  • Nuke is node based hence allows for easy iteration
  • Connect up to 10 different nodes to the viewer
  • True 3D environment
  • Lots of powerful tools to use

Cons

  • It’s a bit expensive
  • Not very perfect when it comes to graphics

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4. After Effects

Commonly known as AE, this is very good motion graphic software worth considering. Featuring a number of things, it allows you to change, animate and use media in both 2D and 3D Space

This means the 2D designs created in a program such as illustrator can be manipulated in such a way that they create motion graphics piece.

Because it’s been developed by Adobe it has a lot in common with the other tools.

So if you are looking for the ultimate tool for creating slick motion graphics and incredible animations, then this is the right choice.

As an all encompassing application, it’s designed for jobs such as character animation, titling and much more.

Also, its node based and timeline approach makes it very easy to create or animate anything that you intend to do.

This is perhaps the reason why it’s the most preferred tool among artists and animators.

Coming with several new data driven tools you can animate charts, infographics, and graphs by using imported data.

Another interesting feature is that it allows you to create Nulls from the Paths Panel. This enables you to build expression driven animations thereby giving a more dynamic control.

How Much Does After Effects Cost

  • Single app monthly plan is $29.99 per month
  • Single plan annual plan is $19.99 per month
  • Single plan annual plan prepaid $239.88 per year

Pros

  • Comes with new tools
  • Seamless compatibility with Premiere Pro
  • Improved performance
  • Great for motion graphics compositing
  • Extensive plan in support
  • 3D camera tracker

Cons

  • Costly
  • No real time features

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5. Adobe Illustrator

As compared to Adobe Photoshop that performs well at pixel based imagery, Illustrator is an advanced motion graphic software that features a range of design tools.

Featuring a sophisticated and powerful vector drawing tool, illustrator can significantly help you create graphics for your motion design

Compatible with windows 7, 8.1, MacOS and windows 10 this is among the best software out there. However, for you to install it in either platform you need to have string internet.

Although you can use it offline if you want to get the most from it you need to have an internet connection.

With the Adobe Illustrator software you can use all its tools for color settings, drawing, and texting. Moreover, you can even use it t create different pictures.

The best part is that everything that you create will be in vector pictures. These include magazine covers, logos and website among more.

With this mind you can easily modify the scale of the picture without losing the quality. For instance, you may increase or reduce the size of logo.

Further since this is software is meant for drawing vector graphics it has several tools to help you with the task.

Even if you want to add something exclusive to your project you may draw it by hand. Once you are done you may modify the pictures the way you like.

How Much Does Adobe Illustrator Cost

  • Single app plan is $20.99 per month
  • All apps plan is 52.99 per month

Pros

  • User friendly workspace
  • Professional and powerful finish
  • Affordable price for very little use
  • Remarkable zoom
  • Simplified vector paths

Cons

  • May be a bit complicated for a newbie
  • Designed for Windows and Mac only

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6. Premiere Pro

If you are looking for the best video editor then Adobe Premiere Pro might be the right the choice. Whether you are an amateur or a professional this tool can greatly come in handy.

One thing that makes it popular is that it has powerful feature set and non-liner video editing interface. This software allows you to turn unprocessed shots into some of the best products.

With its set of tools you can do more than just video editing. Whether you want to add sound, color or much more it comes with everything that you need.

To ensure that its interface is responsive, it’s constantly being updated. This means you can work conveniently with maximum efficiency and performance.

More so, for a smoother workflow it can be integrated with other Adobe products.

As home video editing software, it allows you to open up multiple videos at the same time. With this in mind switching between movie clips and difference scenes from one project to anther is quite easy.

It has also been designed in such a way that it can support more original formats so as to prevent slight distortion or frame loss.

You can even add clips directly without going through the other process.

How Much Does Adobe Premiere Cost

  • Individual price plan is $29.99 per month
  • Business price plan is $359.88 per year
  • Students and teachers price plan is $239.88 per year
  • Schools and universities price plan is $179.88 per year

Pros

  • High quality audio and video editing
  •  Convenient work with various MacOS and Windows OS
  • Built in non-liner video editing
  • Support for different formats
  • Video content editing real time

Cons

  • The software is free for only 30 days

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7. Houdini

Designed for artists working in VFX for film and 3D animation, Houdini is a special effects animation that combines everything to give you with a very powerful platform.

As compared to other animation tools it applies a procedural workflow to ensure that you work is as refined as possible.

Its approach allows for several iterations that allow you to make the kind of changes that you want with relative ease.

Although it’s majorly used for particle and dynamic environments, it features toolset that will help in areas such as animating, modeling and rendering.

With its advanced dynamic tools you can create some of the best visual effects. Since it’s designed for individual artists and small studies alike it provides a very efficient workflow.

As matter if fact, what sets it apart from others is its procedural nature. Houdini also provides standard geometric modeling and has all the tools that you need for your 3D project.

With this software you can warp characters into one single asset node. It also features a node based lighting system to give you one of the best workflows.

Although it has all the editing tools needed from 3D software it’s mostly known for its node based procedure workflow. If you are just starting out you need to know that there is a lot to learn

With this in mind, if you want to succeed you should have an intimate knowledge in algorithms and mathematics

How Much Does Houdini Cost

  • Houdini Engine Workstation licenses is $499 annually
  • Houdini Floating Licenses for single facility is $795 annually

Pros

  • Stronger tools for animating the characters
  • Flexible features
  • Faster rendering
  • Enhanced Hair and fur framework

Cons

  • Steep learning curve

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8. ZBrush

ZBrush is a professional 3D modeling software used in characters to give them a realistic and smooth effect.

Unlike other 3D modeling software, the ZBrush will allow you to drag and pinch your animation until it takes the form that you are looking for.

Whether you’ve done this for a while or you are newbie this is one of the best tools. This is especially true if you want to get hands on experience in character animation and 3D modeling.

Since it works quite well on both Apples OS X and Windows, once you’ve launched the software you’ll get an option importing your model or load one of the stock models around.

Featuring an attractive and a large interface it has every tool that you need.

Once thing you’ll realize is that it has a completely different menu structure. Although this is not an issue you must take you time to master its user interface and know how its workflow works.

While you can paint in 2D if you are looking for real power you need paint with geometry.One of its best features is the ZSketch which provides you with something equivalent to the clay modeling techniques.

This feature allows you to paints strip of geometry that you can easily attach to a ZBrush skeleton. You can also use it to model free form

Another good thing about it is that it has unified Skin that will give you the power to control how it creates them.

Apart from creating smoothing groups it will also give you the ability to create edge loops. Simply put, these amazing features will allow you to sketch well in 3D

How Much Does ZBrush cost

  • ZBrush perpetual license is $895
  • ZBrush monthly subscription is $39.95
  • ZBrush 6 months subscription is $179.95

Pros

  • Allows lots of creativity
  • Best for hi-poly modeling
  • Can simply mesh topology
  • Always innovating and evolving
  • Best support system

Cons

  • User interface is not user friendly
  • It’s a bit expensive

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9. Blender

Blender is free motion graphics software that’s currently used by many artists in the video. Just like others one thing that you need to know is that there is a lot to learn before you can master how to use it.

Equipped with a variety tools Blender will allow you to create [professional 3D models.

The best part is that whether you are just starting out or you’re experienced enough it has everything that you need.

With their comprehensive program you can start using it within no time.

Since it has so many things some of the features that you’ll find include option for shading, real Time 3D, 3D Un wrapping and much more.

Apart from these it also comes with tools for both 2D and 3D collision Simulation, Edge rendering among others.

With its nice user interface it does well by packing number if features that you need. For instance, the main screen has the tools that you’ll use frequently.

You can also access other tools through its drop down menu from the top of the screen. And to make everything even better it has several extensive help options.

But as compared to others, this software tends to favor gamers or programmers. For instance, it majorly uses the keyboard.

With this tool you can even model with preset basic mesh object. The good thing is that if you commit and have the time there are a number of online tutorials that you can use.

How Much Does Blender Cost

  • Free plan which is free
  • Blender cloud renewal type plan is $17 per month
  • Cloud renewal automatic plan is $11 per month

Pros

  • It does incredible work
  • Its free hence you don’t have t pay anything
  • It allows you to do a lt of things
  • Nice user interface

Cons

  • Lack of proper motion capture support

Get it Here


10. Maya

If you are looking for a fully functional 3D application to create 3D assets for television, film and video games then Maya is perhaps the best.

For many years now it has been among the best 3D motion software out there. Although it’s mostly used for creating television and video games, it can also work well as graphic motions software.

It not only has the ability to process high end animation but can also lead to great success.  However, if you are not used to 3D software you may find its user interface a bit daunting.

Currently owned by Autodesk, it’s useful for creating applications such as TV series, video games, motion pictures and much more.

This is perhaps the reason why it’s among the most acclaimed software in the market today.

The best part is that you can comfortably use it with Mac, Windows and Linux. It also features paint effect feature that you can use to make free hand drawing tools.

Plus, with its free form approach to modeling you can add as many layers as possible.

In fact, for better customization, you can create your own plug-ins and scripts.

How Much Does Maya Cost

As the most affordable software out there it cost $1,545 per year or even $195 per month

With its 30 day free trial you can also test it out to see whether it’s the best software for your needs.

Pros

  • It makes complex animation work easy
  • Efficient color management
  • Create realistic effects including cloth simulations
  • Excellent rendering technology
  • Has a 30 day free trial

Cons

  • Its interface can be a bit daunting

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11. Apple Motion

Featuring a number of features, Apple Motion has been a very good option for some time. Since it connects quite well with Final Cut Pro X, it’s one of the best software worth trying out.

Apart from that it also has plug-ins and other features that you really need.

Whether you want to create realistic effects, fluid transitions or cinematic 2D this tool has it all. If you add these to its new metal engine, you can use it to create back effects at incredible speeds.

Designed specifically for editors, it has a very good user interface that allows you to easily create transitions, titles and different effects.

If there is a tool that puts all the focus on your work then it’s this tool.

With this amazing software you can easily locate assets and then create motion graphics with key frame editor and full length timeline.

If you like you can even customize the interface to match what you want.

You can also use it to design your motion graphics in stunning high dynamic range motion.

Plus you can improve your experience with its new pro Display XDR that connects to reveal a very good HDR effects.

Whether you want to adjust the hue or use color curves it will provide you with everything that you need. It’s also optimized to accelerate your projects and ensure that your results come out instantly.

How Much Does Apple Motion Cost

Apple Motion is $49.99

Pros

  • It’s by far the easiest software to use
  • It’s easy to learn solution for motion graphics
  • Very simple default settings
  • Beautiful modern design
  • Many third party templates and stock graphics to use with it

Cons

  • It can be a bit tricky to figure out layering
  • It often crashes

Get it Here


12. NATRON

Available for Linux, Windows and MacOS X, Natron is also motion graphic software worth considering. Influenced by software such as Nuke this is not only a free but also an open source node based tools

With many of its features and concepts derived from After Effects, Natron comes with a range of efficient and robust tools to ensure that the job is done and give you the best results.

The best part is that it’s portable and cross platform. As one of the best software, Natron has enough nodes that will get you through your video compositing and editing needs.

Apart from using shortcut similar to that of Nuke it also works in almost the way. One thing that you’ll love about this software is its user interface. Its UI is not only intuitive but also quite easy to use.

As a multitask platform it can also simultaneously render multiple graphs.  If you are looking for software where you can add plug-ins to then it’s one of the best options out there

Plus, it has a community that can help you learn everything that you need to learn about the software. For instance, the nodes can easily be grouped together.

Once they’ve been grouped they can easily be shared. Whether you have issues with motion graphics or VFX, this software will definitely solve all your issues.

How Much Does Natron Cost

Natron is free and open source software.

Pros

  • Intuitive user interface
  • Support multicourse architecture
  • Can render different graphs at the same time
  • Autosave system that saves your work when it detects inactivity
  • Fast and interactive viewer

Cons

  • Since it’s free open-source software it might not be having all the features that you need

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13. Filmora9

Whether you are a skilled editor or you want to get started in the world of video editing and motion graphics, Filmora9 is among the best editors to learn and use.

One of the things that you’ll love about it is that it comes with a very easy learning curve. This means you don’t need to have great knowledge or skills for you to use it.

To start out you only need the project that you want to work on and then try out what you’ll find in the editor.

As compared to other software it comes with a number of filters, titles, and text that you can choose from.

This software will allow you to have fun while learning and testing everything that you need to learn.

Once you are through with your project you can save it on the PC or upload it directly to YouTube or burn it to the DVD.

With its clean and simple to use interface you can comfortably work on it for hours without getting tired.

It also features extra editing elements that you can use to edit any kind of sound effects, different texts and others such as drawing by hand.

If you don’t mind a bit of learning curve then it’s the best software to start with as a beginner. Plus since it produces some of the best results, it’s worth taking its free trial to see whether it’s the best software for you.

If you are pleased with it you can upgrade to the paid version.

How Much Does Filmora9 Cost

  • The annual plan is $39.99 per year
  • A lifetime plan cost is a one-off fee of $59.99

Pros

  • A very good piece of software
  • High-quality transitions and effects
  • Very advanced option for the paid version
  • Eye pleasing interface
  • Really easy to use

Cons

  • Finding the transition can be a bit hard

Get it Here


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What do we mean by motion graphics?

Motion graphics refers to an infographic meant to process complex data and present it in a fashion that can easily be absorbed.

Since it has animated elements it tends to provide traditional infographic in dynamic interaction and movement

When done well it will ensure that your project is a lot more engaging and compelling.  But when you add interactive elements to your work then it becomes an interactive visualization.

2. What is the difference between motion graphics and animation?

While motion graphics have animating graphical elements where every detail is used to convey a message, the animation is more objective and literal.

Motion graphics, therefore, come in handy when you want to create representations of the ideas, keep your audience interested and make them more effective.

This allows them to absorb everything you are passing across.However, if you want to create entertaining and commercial content, using animation is the best thing to do.

While the story is important in both motion graphics and animation it plays an important role in animation.

Although motion graphics is more carefree, animation must be done with a set of laws to ensure that it’s believable and consistent.

3. When should I use motion graphics instead of static graphics?

If your audience is learning about the topic for the first time then motion graphics can provide the details in a more engaging way.

This is why it’s mostly used at the start of the presentation to ensure that the audience is drawn into what’s being put across.

But if it’s not a live presentation, viewers are likely to become restless especially if they have to sit throughout to watch the video.

In addition, when you present it several times motion graphics may become boring and stale.

If you want to make a point and give your audience an idea about a topic then using motion graphics might the best.

But if you want to present data that need deeper examination then static or interactive visualization is a better option.

4. What do we mean by motion graphics templates?

Motion graphics templates refer to a file type template that you can create in Premiere Pro or After Effects.

It allows you to encapsulate complex after effects project into a single file that can be customized and consumed in Premiere Pro.

5. What do we mean by visual effects?

Visual effects refer to any change made on the video footage. These may include editing and removing elements, adding elements, color correction, making elements responsive and 3D tracking.

As opposed to the visual effects, special effects can be described as what’s implemented manually during filming.

6. How can I create the best motion graphics?

Just like making an animated movie, there are some steps that you need to follow if you want to create motion graphics.

a. Come up with the story.
First, you need to come up with the story that you want to put across. This means you should already have known where your story will be coming from.

b. Develop a script.
As compared to static graphics, which is used to focus on the main points, motion graphics should concentrate on the whole story and not just part of it.

This means you should know the beginning and the end of your story. You should also know what you expect your audience to derive from the story.

c. Come up with a storyboard.
Once you have outlined your story script you need to start your design. You should ensure that your storyboard is based on visuals that you intend to use to back it up.

Instead of going for longer production using shorter production is much better.

d. Production.
Once you have planned everything you need to create the final visuals and then mix everything to come up with the final product.

7. What makes a good motion graphics?

A good motion graphic is one that tells a good story while using several visuals to reinforce and back it up.

On the other hand, a bad motion graphics refer to one that includes several skips, gaps, breaks, unnecessary data, and confusing messages.

Apart from these it also includes unmatching headlines and other things that may prevent what’s being passed across

If you want to avoid issues with motion graphics you need to engage people you trust to analyze your graphics and give you an honest review.

If they see any part that’s confusing they should ask you to do it again or edit it accordingly. But since motion graphics are a bit hard to rework you need to take your time.

8. What makes motion graphics templates so great?

Whether you are professional or you are just starting out motion graphic templates are the best tools to use.

They will provide you with a very easy way of adding graphics to your projects. They are also the ultimate tools to give you the perfect workflow.

The best part is that you can use one template a number of times on different projects. As some of the fastest tools they have also been specifically optimized for your work.

If you are a premiere user you can enjoy a simplified edit controls. In a nutshell you’ll definitely enjoy working with them.

9. Do I need to have knowledge about Adobe After Effects for me to use motion graphic templates?

Well unlike other files motion graphics are separate files. Although they were previously created together it’s not a must to have that knowledge.

To edit the templates you just need to go to essential graphics panel use the basic checkbox controls.

10. How should I use motion graphic tools?

Although the delivery method generally depends on the tools you are using and how you want to communicate to your audience, the best thing t use is video.

You should therefore use sites such as Vimeo, YouTube, and HTML5 Video plug-ins.


Conclusion

There you have it. The top 13 best motion graphic software that you need to consider. Whether you are new or you are expert choosing the best software to use might be overwhelming.

In fact, it seems as if a new software being developed every month. Although every tool comes with its own advantages it’s important to try them out and see the best one for you.

The more you learn them the more you’ll realize that they are quite easy to use after all.

But one thing that you need to know is that it takes time and dedication to learn motion graphics software.

The best way to learn more about motion graphics is to check out the articles, tools, and tutorials.

But since you already know about some of the best software to start with, why don’t you choose one, start from that point and enjoy the journey.