20 Best Tools for Creating Animation in YouTube Videos: A Comprehensive Guide

Master animated YouTube videos with our ultimate guide, covering essential steps, animation styles, and 20 top tools for creators of all skill levels.

How to Make Animations for YouTube Videos? An Ultimate Guide & Best Tools outline

Looking to learn how to make animations for YouTube videos? We’ve got you covered!

This is a comprehensive resource and actionable tips to help you out. Plus, we’ll introduce you to the top 20 tools for creating animations and explain how to use them.

Why Animated YouTube Videos Matter

Animated videos are a great way to capture your viewers’ attention and keep them engaged. Not only do they help your videos stand out, but they also allow you to tell your story in an entertaining way.

Engagement and entertainment value

Motion and animation have an innate appeal to people; animated videos help keep them interested and connected. Animations can be used to create an emotional bond with the audience, resulting in increased engagement and more effective promotion.

Versatility in conveying complex messages

Animated videos are awesome for getting tricky concepts across in an enjoyable way. With visuals, sound, and words, you can make hard-to-grasp topics easy to comprehend and help people digest the message behind your campaign.

Cost-effective marketing tool for businesses

Animated videos are cost-effective, making them a great option for small businesses and startups. They’re way cheaper than other marketing outlets, so you can get your message out to a broader crowd without spending a fortune.

Animation Desk

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  • Simple, intuitive, and fun!
  • Free for download

Animate and showcase your creativity.

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Planning Your Animated YouTube Video

From coming up with the right story to finding the right animator and perfecting the look and feel of the final product, there’s a lot that goes into planning your animation. Here’s how to create something that will capture your audience’s attention and keep them coming back for more in just 3 simple steps.

Define your target audience

One of the most important things to consider when developing your animated YouTube video is who your target audience is. If you want to create an animated video that is meant to entertain, you might want to appeal to a broad audience. However, if your video has a more specific purpose, you should create a video that targets a specific viewer type.

Establish your video’s purpose and goals

You need to know the desired outcome of your video. It’s important to keep in mind that the goals of your video may change as you progress through the process, so be prepared to adjust your strategy as you go.

Develop a compelling story or script

You should have a clear idea of what your video is about, and what you want to say. You should also consider what your audience will want from your video. These details will inform your script to make sure all of your efforts aren’t for naught.

Choosing the Right Animation Style

With so many different types of animation styles available, it can be difficult to choose the right one. Let’s discuss some of the most popular animation styles and how to decide which is the right one for your video.

2D animation

2D animated videos are cost-efficient since they’re easier and faster to make. That’s because they’re just flat images, so it takes less time and effort to create them. Since they’re two-dimensional, they can easily be changed into static graphic design elements.

Let’s face it, 2D animation can get dull compared to 3D animation. When you don’t get the full 3D experience, the visuals don’t have that same level of impact. Sure, you can make some pretty amazing 2D assets, but it doesn’t have quite the same “wow” factor as 3D animation.

3D animation

The use of 3D animation can turn your YouTube videos up a notch and help you deliver your message to your intended viewers. Seeing beautiful 3D animation may even encourage people to watch your video from start to finish.

That being said, 3D animation is a difficult art form, and not all animators have the skill to make it happen. You usually have a team of specialists focusing on different areas, like character animation, special effects, modeling, lighting, and texturing.

Whiteboard animation

Whiteboard animation is an engaging way to convey complicated concepts, as the viewer feels like they are a part of the video. Plus, since it’s all software-based, it’s easy to make changes if needed.

If the animation is too long, though, it can become visually dull. Unlike other forms of video production that use characters to communicate and involve the audience, whiteboard animation must express the message without a character that people can connect to.

Stop-motion animation

Stop-motion animation using toys can look cool since they appear to be almost lifelike! All you need to do is take pics of them, one frame at a time. Movies like “Wendell and Wild” use this style of animation, but it’s not popular in the industry due to the cost and the time it takes to make each frame.

Typography animation

Typography animation is a great way to get your message across, better than books or articles can. It’s perfect for trade shows and conferences since you don’t need to rely on a narrator or voiceover. However, it can be time-consuming to create and can be expensive to produce if you need professional assistance.

Essential Steps in Making Animation for YouTube Videos

Making animation for YouTube videos isn’t always easy. Fortunately, we have the right steps you should take listed below and are giving you a comprehensive list of great tools to use so you can make animation for your YouTube videos with relative ease.


It’s important to know your story before you begin to animate, especially if you plan to upload your video to a series. Storyboarding will help you to think through your video’s script and make sure that your video will have a clear beginning, middle, and end.

Character design

Crafting a character that feels real and relatable is key. Think about their facial features and expressions, body language, clothing style, and other physical attributes. These small details are what make great characters that your audience will truly connect with.

Background creation

A background doesn’t have to be complicated to look good. Sometimes, a still image is all it takes to make your video stand out. But if you’re feeling creative, you can use a video editing program to create an animated background.

Animation process

This is where you bring the illustrations to life. Using cutting-edge software, give movement to your characters and other visuals that show up on the screen. Not surprisingly, this part of the animation process is one of the most complex, so it takes a while to finish.

Adding voiceover and sound effects

If you want to make a more aesthetic video, you can add voiceover and sound effects. As a result, your video will be more entertaining for your viewers and appear more professional.

Editing and final touches

Edit your YouTube animation to make sure it flows well and sounds natural. Be sure to add the right tags and titles to your video so it can be easily found.

Top 20 Tools for Creating Animated YouTube Videos

Trying to figure out which tools are the best for your project can be tricky due to the wide range of options. But some tools stand out from the rest, offering a bunch of features and functions to help you make the perfect video. Here’s our list of the top 20 tools for making animated YouTube videos.

Adobe After Effects

Adobe After Effects Logo

Adobe After Effects is a top-of-the-line tool for creating professional videos with its advanced features. It’s perfect for advanced animators and professionals seeking to enhance their projects with digital visual effects, motion graphics, and compositing. This powerful app is widely used in post-production for film, video games, and TV. 

Toon Boom Harmony

Toon Boom Harmony Logo

Toon Boom, renowned for its award-winning software, is the go-to choice for 2D animation and storyboarding, thanks to its user-friendly interface. They give everyone, from enthusiasts to professionals, the ability to create whatever they want in any style and share it with the world.

Animation Desk

Animation Desk Logo

Animation Desk is a powerful tool, perfect for both beginners and professionals, that offers a user-friendly and intuitive interface for creating spectacular frame-by-frame animations for any video project. It has drawing tools, onion skinning, and import options. You can draw, paint and sketch with layers, timeline, and the frame viewer and even preview and review your animation drafts on the go. 

Animation Desk

  • Animate on phone & tablet
  • Simple, intuitive, and fun!
  • Free for download

Animate and showcase your creativity.

Get Started


Blender Logo

Blender is an open-source 3D animation software with a powerful rendering engine. It’s a great choice for both beginners and experienced professionals. With it, you can create animated films, art, 3D-printed models, interactive 3D applications, and virtual reality.


Animakor Logo

Animaker is not just an animation tool, but also a versatile video editor that makes it simple to create animations with its user-friendly drag-and-drop cloud-based software.It offers a wide range of features, including a variety of music tracks such as background music and royalty-free options, along with an extensive collection of templates, pre-made characters, and design tools. Whether you’re a beginner, a non-designer, or an experienced pro, Animaker provides a seamless interface that enables you to create captivating animations with ease.

Vyond (formerly GoAnimate)

Vyond Logo

Vyond is a cloud-based tool for businesses. It has customizable templates, characters, and props to make it so easy to create professional-grade animated videos that engage and educate your audience.


Moovly Logo

Moovly is an online video animation maker that gives you access to a library of pre-made assets, enabling you to create captivating whiteboard, infographic, cartoon animations, and various animation effects with ease.


Powtoon Logo

Powtoon is an intuitive online video maker platform used for creating captivating animations, videos, and interactive video presentations. With its wide selection of templates, characters, and backgrounds, Powtoon combines the features of PowerPoint and cartoon animations, all wrapped in a simple and user-friendly interface.

Synfig Studio

Synfig Studio Logo

Synfig Studio is a free, open-source platform that uses vector graphics, making it ideal for creating frame-by-frame animations. While it offers a wide range of features, it’s worth noting that Synfig Studio has limited export options.


Pencil 2D Logo

If you’re looking for an effortless 2D animation program, Pencil2D is the perfect tool for beginners. With Pencil2D, you can easily engage in traditional cartooning while efficiently managing both vector and bitmap drawings. Moreover, it offers the convenience of exporting your creations in various export formats.


Opentoonz Logo

If you’re a pro animator looking to create captivating marketing videos or any other animation project, you should check out OpenToonz, an open-source 2D animation software. With its extensive range of features, OpenToonz can elevate your animation game to the next level.


Maya Logo

Maya is the go-to 3D animation software with all the features you need. Professionals rely on it to create realistic characters and stunning effects. Bring your characters to life with its great animation tools, shape 3D objects and scenes with its intuitive modeling tools, and create realistic effects.

Cinema 4D

Cinema-4D Logo

Cinema 4D is the perfect software for 3D modeling, animation, and simulation. Its fast, powerful, and stable tools make 3D workflows easier and more efficient for design, motion graphics, game development, and other types of visualizations.


Doodly Logo

Doodly is a whiteboard animation software, with a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface. It’s the perfect tool to create explainer videos and presentations – even if you don’t have any technical or design skills!


Video Scribe Logo

VideoScribe is an easy-to-use animation software that’s well-known for its signature hand-drawn whiteboard animation style. You can create 2D and mixed media animations, and no animation, design, or video editing skills are required.

Adobe Animate (formerly Flash)

Adobe Animate Logo

Adobe Animate is an amazing program for creating multimedia, animation, and computer graphics. You get many tools for drawing, animating, and coding – making it a great choice for 2D animation.


Krita Logo

Krita, a free raster graphics editor, is perfect for digital art and 2D animation. This open-source software has awesome brush engines and animation tools. So, if you’re into digital painting and animation, Krita is the way to go!

Clip Studio Paint

Clip Studio Paint Logo

Clip Studio Paint is a set of programs created by Celsys. It’s an all-in-one solution for digital art, illustration, and animation with a variety of drawing and animation features.

Stop Motion Studio

Stop Motion Studio Logo

Stop Motion Studio is an animation tool that makes creating stop-motion videos a breeze! Whether you’re into claymation, LEGO, or just plain old stop-motion, this app has got you covered.


RoughAnimator Logo

RoughAnimator is the perfect app for hand-drawn animation on your smartphone or tablet. It has a range of awesome tools, like a timeline with unlimited layers, adjustable exposure length, and onion skinning.

Tips for Promoting Your Animated YouTube Video

It’s no secret that YouTube is a great way to showcase your creativity and reach a wider audience, especially when it comes to promoting your animation video. However, given the daunting task of competing with the thousands of hours of content being uploaded every day, it can be tough to stand out in the crowd. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of tips for promoting your animated YouTube video.

Share on social media platforms

If you want your animated video to be seen by millions, you should start sharing it on social media platforms. Make sure you share the video on the right platform, otherwise, it could reach an audience you’re not targeting.

Collaborate with influencers and other content creators

Influencer marketing campaigns have been a great way for animators to get more visibility. It’s essential to pick influencers that fit your brand, no matter their size. If you’re on a budget, you can always opt for working with nano- or micro-influencers.

Utilize YouTube SEO strategies

Remember to use the right keywords in your title, description, and tags. This will help your video rank higher in the search results. Also, be sure to include your YouTube channel name in the video’s description, as well as your website and social media profiles.

Engage with your audience through comments

If you want to build relationships with your audience, you need to engage with them through comments, likes, and shares. Reply to any questions and make sure to thank those who take the time to leave a comment.

Start creating your animated YouTube videos!

Animation Desk is the perfect animated video creator to get started with creating awesome animated videos for YouTube. Check out our blog post about onion skinning – it’s a great complement to this guide and it’ll put you on the path to creating amazing content for your viewers.

So, what are you waiting for? Download Animation Desk and get started!

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