Before Walt Disney, went on to find one of the most successful animation companies in the world, he was once fired from a newspaper company because he was not creative enough. Needless to say, he was a pioneer and a legend who gave us characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. If only he had access to mobile computing power… think of the possibilities!
In our previous article, we handpicked some of the best Android apps to create stick figure animations and text animations. But what if you want to create an actual character animation on your Android?
Animation Apps for Android
While it makes sense to use dedicated desktop apps for pragmatic animation, but if you just want to do small animation on your Android tablet to sketch out ideas, here are some of the best animation apps for the Android platform that will help. These apps are also super useful for your kids helping them channelize their creative energy.
1. Animate It
Animate It is a cool little app that I would recommend for your kids. It comes with a number of scenes and props that you can use to create your animations. My personal favourite was Yoda.
Each scene will hold up to 4 clips and each clip will hold up to 32 key-frames and 20 files. There is a ghost mode in the app using which you can see characters of the previous and next frame in a translucent state.
Animate it follow a freemium model. That’s in the free version, you can create only 1 character in each scene. The pro will allow you 3 characters.
How it works: When you launch the app, you directly land on a stick figure animation of monster that is ready to do your bidding. You then begin with making the figure move, adding characters and props, and finishing the demo animation. Play around to get a hang of the different buttons and options.
Pros: The app comes with a lot of options and props to help you create different characters and scenes. The free version is itself good and pro is not at all expensive.
Cons: It is hard to learn and navigate around with no tutorials to guide you.
Verdict: The app is feature-rich but it is also hard to use, at least initially. The fact that there are no user guides to help navigate doesn’t help either. After spending some time playing around, I did found my way around, but some kind of tutorial would have been nice.
Download Animate It (Free)
2. Toontastic 3D
The graphics are really good, almost realistic, which justifies the name. There are pirates and ships and monsters to choose from. While you are creating your stories and moving around your characters, you can also record your voice. These voiceovers can be a fun way to teach your kids a lesson or two.
You can also add your own face, like your real face, on top of the characters to make it more appealing and fun. You can choose from three different story arcs and add any song or music to the background.
How it works: When the app launches, you can choose between three different story modes. Short, classic, and science report. The app will guide you nicely through the process. Choose a setting, background, props, characters, and so on. I liked the spooky camp. Comes with strange and funny looking monsters and robotic dogs. You can move around characters while everything is being recorded. There are different moods with their respective intensity. When you are done, save and share.
Pros: Ability to add your own face or pics, do voiceovers, and add songs to narratives. Animations are beautiful to look at. It’s a game really.
Cons: You can only create 7 characters in a story which is more than Animate It app but still limiting.
Verdict: Toontastic 3D is an animation app that is like a game. You create your stories, characters, voices, and then you play it like you are in it.
Download Toontastic 3D (Free)
The name was derived from flipbook, something we all used to carry in our school days. Drawing stupid simple cartoons trying to make them walk and run by flipping the pages. I was never good at it, until now.
FlipaClip allows you to create an animation frame by frame with layers. There is the familiar ghost mode available. I like the pen feature which is pressure sensitive so it draws thinner and thicker lines as I apply pressure on the screen. It’s relatively easy to share your animations using the built-in social function, unlike some other animation apps which make it unnecessarily hard.
The app supports SPen from Samsung which is easier to draw with when compared with fingers which I found difficult even though I have thin fingers. The developers behind the app, Visual Blasters, hold contests every now and then which is a great way to get your name out in the world of animation.
How it works: The app will ask for your age, not sure why. It comes with a sample project of a dog and a bouncing ball at 12 FPS. There is a large plus button you will click to begin your first animation.
Pros: The app is feature-rich and rather easy to understand and use, unlike the apps I reviewed above. You can choose canvas size based on YouTube dimensions which is why a lot of YouTubers use this app for their channel.
Cons: Using fingers to draw animations might prove to be a challenge. A pen is recommended but at the same time an expensive investment.
Verdict: FlipaClip is a nice app with a lot of features and a thoughtful UI. It is easy to use, especially with a pen. The customer support is great and developers held contests which are always fun. It could use more built-in props though.
Download FlipaClip ($0.99)
PicsArt takes a slightly different approach with more stickers and emojis on offer. If you are looking to mix and match animation with your real life images and clips, PicsArt is a cool app.
You will find all the usual tools like frames, timeline support, ghost mode, layers, voiceovers, and a cool collection of artwork to choose from. You can also control the speed and length of the animation.
How it works: The app will launch with a tutorial that will guide you on your first animation. There are 5 premade templates or scenes that you can use. It will then ask you to add stickers, track its movement, and show you how to save your finished work in either GIF or video format.
Pros: PicsArt is an easy to use app with a tutorial to guide you in making your first animation. It has all the features we discussed in the previous apps.
Cons: You cannot import images from the gallery into frames.
Verdict: PicsArt is a fun to use app with a lot of features and animations to choose from. Saving and sharing your animation is a breeze. Really good for mixing animation with real photos.
Anitales, one of the best animation apps for Android, will let you tell animated stories with avatars. Here, the developers have focused on story-telling using avatars, custom voiceovers, and text messages. You can create up to 3 avatars with more than 1 million animations to compose.
There is no dearth of choice when it comes to props, scenes, and backgrounds. You will be spoilt for choice. It’s a social app which means you can use your friend’s avatar in your story too. While a lot of stuff is freely available, you can buy additional animation packs.
How it works: The app will launch in landscape mode with an animated truck moving towards its destination, the settings menu. Register a new user with email or Facebook or a guest user. You will see recommended profiles of other animators that you can follow, create and update your own profile or begin with a new animation. Once done, you can begin working on your portfolio.
Pros: Anitales allows you to create personalized avatars and share it with friends and family members to use in their stories. Offers a lot of props.
Cons: You can only add 3 avatars.
Verdict: Anitales is an amazing little animation app that will help you create new animations with custom avatars on the fly in no time. The app is fun
Download Anitales ($0.99 onwards)
Wrapping Up: Animation Apps for Android
There are so many animation apps on the Play Store. I liked Anitales for its wide selection of props and the ability to create custom avatars.
I liked PicsArt because I can use it with my selfies to get creative in my free time while FlipaClip brought back fond memories of my childhood.
I guess there is no perfect answer, so choose the one that catches your imagination and brings out the creator in you.