Cartoon Maker Software: 2024 Edition

Did you ever dream of bringing your doodles to life? The world of cartoon making in 2024 has transformed this dream into reality with innovative software options.


Cartoon making has evolved dramatically, with new software making it accessible to everyone, from hobbyists to professional animators. This blog explores the top cartoon maker software of 2024, focusing on their features, usability, and how they cater to different skill levels.

Synfig Studio: The Open-Source Wonder


Synfig Studio, the open-source 2D animation software, has garnered attention for its ability to create high-quality animations using vector and bitmap artwork. Its major draw is the elimination of frame-by-frame animation, allowing for smoother and more efficient production processes.

Key Features

  • Vector Tweening: Transform any vector shape effortlessly. This feature allows smooth transitioning between different forms, making animations appear more fluid and natural.
  • Layers and Filters: Synfig comes equipped with over 50 layers, including geometric, gradient, filter, distortion, and fractal layers, among others. This diversity in layers enables creators to build complex and intricate animations.
  • Bones System: This feature allows for cutout animation using bitmap images or vector art control. It includes a Skeleton Distortion layer to apply complex deformations to bitmap artwork.
  • Advanced Controls: Link parameters of different layers either directly or through mathematical expressions. This facilitates the creation of sophisticated character puppets and dynamic structures.
  • Spatial Resolution Independence: Most elements being vector-based and all layers parametrically generated, changing the target resolution of a project results in minimal pixelation, mainly affecting imported raster images.
  • Temporal Resolution Independence: The software automatically interpolates animation keyframes, resulting in smooth motion.
  • High Dynamic-Range Imaging (HDRI): This feature uses floating-point math in image calculations, enabling a broader range of pixel luminance, which enhances lighting effects and color composition.
  • Pentablet-Friendly Tools: The software supports pressure sensitivity, which is essential for natural line weighting and other nuanced drawing inputs.
  • Path-Based Gradients: Unlike many vector-based software, Synfig supports gradient paths, allowing artists to add soft shading without the need to manually paint every frame​​​​.

Ease of Use and Accessibility

Synfig Studio stands out for its artist-oriented design, focusing on an intuitive animation workflow. This makes it accessible to both beginners and professionals. The software is compatible with Windows, Linux, and MacOS, catering to a wide user base. Additionally, its open-source nature makes it a cost-effective solution for those seeking a powerful animation tool without the financial burden often associated with high-end software​​.

Practical Application and Learning

Synfig offers an easy way to animate objects. By entering the record mode, every movement of an object is recorded as a keyframe in the timeline. The software automates the tweening process, wherein key character positions are defined, and Synfig figures out the intermediate frames. This significantly reduces the workload compared to traditional animation methods.

Synfig also supports various layer types and effects, enabling more complex animations like speech animation through mouth shape swapping. For instance, animating mouths for speech can be efficiently managed by swapping mouth shapes rather than animating the transition for each phoneme, which is especially useful in sprite-based animation common in Synfig​​.


Synfig Studio's blend of user-friendly features and robust capabilities makes it an excellent choice for those venturing into the world of animation or professionals seeking an efficient, cost-effective solution. With its comprehensive suite of tools and features, Synfig Studio stands as a formidable player in the 2D animation software landscape of 2024.

Inkscape: Vector Graphics Made Easy


Inkscape, a renowned open-source vector graphics editor, provides a viable alternative for those averse to subscription-based software. With its free and comprehensive feature set, Inkscape appeals to designers at all levels.

Interface and Usability

  • Interface Design: The interface of Inkscape, while functional, has been critiqued for being somewhat dated and less optimized on high-DPI screens, particularly on Macs where it faces additional anti-aliasing issues. However, Windows users might find the interface smoother, albeit without support for touch or stylus input​​​​.
  • Customization: One of Inkscape's strengths is its customizable interface. Users can hide or display panels and tools as needed, making the interface adaptable to individual preferences and workflow needs​​.

Node Editing and File Formats

  • Node Editing: Inkscape excels in node editing, offering tools for moving nodes and Bezier handles. This allows for precise manipulation of vectorized objects, making it a powerful tool for detailed graphic design work​​.
  • File Format Compatibility: Its native SVG file format ensures compatibility across various platforms. Inkscape also supports major image formats like PNG, JPEG, TIFF, and professional formats like EPS, making it a flexible tool for diverse design tasks​​.

System Requirements and Performance

  • System Requirements: Inkscape runs on a wide range of hardware and operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux. Its modest system requirements (1 GHz processor, 512 MB RAM, 500 MB storage space) make it accessible to users with various computer configurations​​.
  • Performance: Users have noted Inkscape's efficiency in vector design tasks and its ability to handle complex projects without overburdening computer resources​​.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Free, full-featured, cross-platform compatibility, strong community support, and effective tools for route and positioning tasks.
  • Cons: Issues with the Mac version, interface visuals needing improvement, and a potentially steep learning curve for new users​​.

Practical Applications and User Feedback

  • Versatility: Inkscape is used for a wide array of graphic projects, from creating logos and diagrams to scrapbooking and web graphics. Its SVG support is particularly praised.
  • User Reviews: Users appreciate its value for money, ease of use, and functionality. While some find it less intuitive compared to paid alternatives, its price and capabilities for SVG editing are highly regarded​​.

Final Thoughts

Inkscape is a robust and versatile vector graphics tool, well-suited for graphic artists, illustrators, and hobbyists. Despite some interface challenges, its comprehensive feature set, cross-platform availability, and strong community support make it an appealing choice for those seeking a free yet powerful vector graphics solution.

Adobe Animate CC: The Industry Standard


Adobe Animate CC, a front-runner in the 2D animation software space, is known for its robust features that cater to a variety of creative needs. From creating animated shorts and explainer videos to designing interactive web content, Animate CC has positioned itself as an indispensable tool in a digital artist's toolkit.

Key Features and Functionalities

  • Native Apple Silicon Support: Starting from 2024, Adobe Animate runs natively on Apple Silicon Chipsets, delivering significant performance gains in common workflows such as faster application launch, publishing, and timeline playback.
  • 2D Character Animation: Known for its bone rigging and inverse kinematics features, Adobe Animate facilitates the animation of 2D characters with realistic movement and expressions. This capability is particularly valuable for creating animated shorts, explainer videos, and interactive games.
  • Interactive Animation: With its support for HTML5 Canvas and WebGL, Adobe Animate enables the creation of interactive animations that can be played on web browsers without any plugins. This feature is beneficial for interactive infographics, ads, and web games.
  • Web Banners and E-learning Content: Adobe Animate excels in creating animated web banners and interactive e-learning content. Its ability to export animations in HTML5 format allows for the seamless integration of interactive and animated content into web pages.
  • Sleek User Interface: The 2024 release of Adobe Animate CC introduces a sleeker user interface, along with important bug fixes and stability improvements​​​​.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: High-quality graphics and easy import/export functionality. Effective for vector illustration and animation. Supports a wide range of formats and offers effective warp tools.
  • Cons: The interface may be complex for beginners. Limited support for the HEIC format and 3D animation functionalities. Certain features like the Envelope Deformer may not always yield satisfactory results. Requires high-end graphic systems for optimal performance​​.

User Feedback

Adobe Animate CC has received positive reviews for its high-quality graphics and ease of use. Users have particularly appreciated its ability to handle vector illustrations and the use of AI in animation. However, some have pointed out the lack of support for HEIC format and the occasional difficulty in navigating the layer panel​​.

Final Thoughts

Adobe Animate CC continues to be a powerful tool in the realm of 2D animation, with its advanced features catering to both professional and amateur animators. Its commitment to enhancing user experience with each release, along with its robust functionality, makes it a go-to choice for those seeking to create high-quality and interactive digital content.

Adobe After Effects: For Advanced Animation and Visual Effects


Adobe After Effects, known for its prowess in advanced animation and visual effects, continues to be a leading software in the digital arts industry. The 2024 edition has brought significant updates, particularly in 3D animation and compositing.

Key Features and Enhancements

  • 3D Model Import: Users can now import 3D models directly into After Effects in formats like glTF and GLB, eliminating the need for third-party plugins for basic 3D tasks.
  • Advanced 3D Renderer: This new renderer enables high-fidelity, GPU-accelerated rendering within After Effects. It's hardware-agnostic and suitable for final-quality rendering, making it possible to render less demanding shots directly in After Effects without exporting to other applications.
  • Image-Based Lighting: The software now supports image-based lighting for photorealistic work, using HDRI environment maps to light objects in the workspace.
  • 3D Snapping Options: New 3D snapping tools have been introduced to allow more precise positioning of layers in 3D space.
  • Updated Animation Presets: The animation presets have been refreshed to incorporate more modern design elements​​.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Strong capabilities in motion graphics, animation, compositing, and VFX. The software allows for detailed control over animation aspects like speed, rotation, and scale. Compatibility with other Adobe Creative Suite products, enhancing workflow efficiency.
  • Cons: The interface can be complex for beginners. High demand on computer processing power and RAM, which can lead to delays in project workflows. Limited audio editing capabilities within the software​​.

User Feedback

Adobe After Effects has received positive reviews for its ability to create high-quality motion graphics and animations. Users appreciate its depth of features and the ability to integrate third-party plugins and scripts. However, some users find the software's heavy demand on system resources and the steep learning curve to be challenging aspects​​.


After Effects 24.1 is available on a rental-only basis, with single-app subscriptions costing $34.49/month or $263.88/year. This pricing reflects a recent increase in Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions​​.

Final Thoughts

Adobe After Effects remains a powerful tool for professionals in motion graphics and visual effects. Its latest updates, especially in 3D capabilities, further cement its position as an industry standard. While it requires a substantial investment in terms of both learning and system resources, its capabilities make it a worthwhile choice for serious professionals in the field.

Toon Boom Harmony: Full-Featured Animation Studio


Toon Boom Harmony is celebrated as the industry's leading animation software, offering a comprehensive toolset for creating high-quality animations from concept to final production. Known for its powerful features, it caters to a broad range of animators and studios.

Key Features

  • Comprehensive Toolset: Harmony offers an all-in-one solution for creating artwork, animating, adding special effects and sound, compositing, and final production.
  • Advanced Functionalities: Key features include import/export database, image library, customization options, customizable templates, dashboard, templates, support for audio/images/video, audio file management, video support, high fidelity auto-meshing, HD format export, privacy control, 24×7 priority support, and the ability to upload custom fonts and publish to the web.
  • Flexibility and Compatibility: The software supports a range of deployment types and is compatible with desktop platforms like Windows. It offers customization and mobile support, making it versatile for different working environments.
  • Subscription Plans: Harmony offers various subscription plans, including monthly and yearly options, providing flexibility for different user needs and budgets.
  • Diverse Business Applications: It caters to startups, SMEs, agencies, and enterprises, demonstrating its adaptability across various scales of animation projects​​​​.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Harmony is known for its robust set of tools that are essential for professional-grade animation. The software's integration capabilities with other tools and platforms enhance the workflow. Its broad range of features makes it suitable for a variety of animation styles and techniques.
  • Cons: The comprehensive feature set can make the software complex and potentially overwhelming for beginners. The software may experience glitches if not properly updated or if there are issues with file naming.For some, the controls and functionalities might have a steep learning curve​​.


Harmony's pricing starts at $25 per month for the Essentials package, with more advanced options like Harmony Advanced and Premium available at higher price points. This tiered pricing structure allows users to choose a plan that best fits their needs and budget​​.

User Experience and Feedback

Users have praised Toon Boom Harmony for its extensive capabilities in animation, particularly praising its tools for rigging, drawing, and integrating with other software. However, some users have noted that due to its many features, Harmony can be complex and may require a more powerful computer for optimal performance​​.


Toon Boom Harmony stands as a top choice for professional animators and studios, offering a powerful and comprehensive suite of tools for 2D animation. While it may present a learning curve for beginners, its capabilities are well-suited for producing high-quality animations across various applications.

Overall Conclusion

The landscape of animation software in 2024 presents a diverse range of powerful tools, each with unique strengths catering to different aspects of animation production. From Synfig Studio's cost-effective, open-source solution for 2D animation to Adobe After Effects' prowess in advanced animation and visual effects, the options available meet a wide array of needs and preferences.

  • Synfig Studio stands out for its affordability and comprehensive feature set for vector-based 2D animation.
  • Inkscape excels in vector graphics and node editing, offering a user-customizable interface suitable for a variety of design tasks.
  • Adobe Animate CC is a go-to for interactive 2D character animations, especially for web-based projects.
  • Adobe After Effects is the industry standard for motion graphics and visual effects, ideal for professional animators and studios.
  • Toon Boom Harmony provides a full-featured animation studio experience, catering to high-end professional animation projects.

Each of these tools has evolved to address specific industry demands, making it easier for creators to bring their visions to life with greater efficiency and artistic freedom.

Keep in mind

Whether you are a budding animator, a professional in the field, or a content creator looking to expand your skill set, the world of animation software in 2024 offers something for everyone. Consider your project requirements, budget, and skill level to select the tool that aligns best with your creative aspirations. Remember, the right software can not only streamline your workflow but also unlock new possibilities in your storytelling and visual expression.

Embark on your animation journey with these dynamic tools and unleash your creative potential. The digital canvas awaits your imagination – it's time to bring your stories to life!

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