The Mac has long been a premier platform for many artists, and these six apps from the Mac App Store are powerful tools for creating all kinds of animated content
Eye on Apple
By Jim Lynch, CIO
Macs have been a favorite of artists for many years, and have long been used to create all kinds of animated content. Everything from cartoons, to movies, to animated illustrations have been done in OS X on all kinds of different Mac computers.
But finding the right animation app can be a chore if you don’t know where to start. In this roundup I’ve included six of the best animation apps that you can get in the Mac App Store.
While this is by no means an exhaustive list of what’s available in terms of animation tools for the Mac, it will serve as a good place to start, and it might save you a lot of time poking around in the Mac App Store.
Each page in this roundup contains the original Mac App Store description, along with a screenshot of each animation app. Prices of these apps ranges from free (with in-app purchases) to $49.99. Be sure to read through the description of each app before you decide to buy it.
You can also click through to see user ratings and reviews for some of the animation apps in the Mac App Store.
iStopMotion is the award-winning standard of computer-aided stop motion animation (also known as claymation) and time lapse photography for your Mac. It is equally loved by many thousands of parents, kids, teachers, brickfilmers, pro animators and anyone with an interest in this fascinating movie making technique.
To create the best stop motion animation and time lapse movie making package, we have consolidated all previous versions into one iStopMotion with all the features at a new, vastly
lower, much more affordable, rock bottom price.
New in iStopMotion 3
Support for the iStopMotion Remote Camera – Turn your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch into a versatile HD camera for iStopMotion with the iStopMotion Remote Camera app, available free of charge from the App Store. iStopMotion Remote Camera transmits a live video feed and supports 1080p remote capture with the iPhone 4S and the iPad (3rd gen.), and 720p with iPhone 4, iPod touch (4th gen) and iPad 2.
Also new: gorgeous new UI optimized for the Retina Display, export to Final Cut Pro X, support for OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, signed with DeveloperID and sandboxed for enhanced security and more. Check the website for a complete version history.
See what the animation is going to look like before you capture the frame.
Watch your animation before it’s finished to see if it worked out the way you wanted.
Speed up slow processes, like a flower blooming or the sun setting.
Print your animations in a format that easily folds into a flip book to take them with you.
Tilt Shift Filter
A popular effect as of late, make your scene look like a miniature.
Animate dinosaurs into real background pictures or movies, or put an actor into an animated scene.
Overlay your animation with a picture or video with transparency to achieve amazing effects.
Use another movie as a guide for your animation to get the movements just right.
Use a pre-recorded sound track and animate to it, for example to create a music video.
Export to Final Cut
iStopMotion focuses on and perfects the art of capturing images. Use any video editing software like iMovie, Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere to edit, add titles and sound effects.
iStopMotion can use many video cameras, video capture devices and digital photo cameras with support for OS X capture technologies and the iStopMotion Remote Camera app via WiFi for iPhone 4/4S, iPad 2, new iPad, iPod touch (4th gen.)
iStopMotion focuses on and perfects the art of capturing single frames. Export to iMovie, Final Cut Pro X or another video editing app to edit, add titles and sound effects.
iStopMotion records and stores each frame individually for maximum quality and can export to any format supported by OS X, including Full HD.
Create perfect title art animations for your YouTube videos, iMovie or Final Cut projects, showcase videos and even TV broadcasts. Animationist brings everything you need for professional intro and title art animations. Animationist comes with many presets, samples and tutorials and an easy to use yet flexible user interface.
Animationist offers an easy to use sequencer displaying all keyframes of all properties in your canvas. All properties are grouped by layer in order navigate without getting lost in even large projects.
Every change is being displayed in realtime and even playback of your movie is rendered instantly. Animationist can adjust the quality to accomplish a live preview without having to wait until rendering is done.
Built on the same foundation as Logoist, Animationist comes with a great variety of different filters, shaders and borders. All these effects can be completely animated using keyframes. Assign as many effects as you like, for example inner and outer shadow, glow, blur or borders to layers. Create presets from your effect configuration to easily apply them to other layers. Combine effects with shaders in any way you like.
Export your movies with a single click using many different codecs. Animationist can compress your movie to save space or export it with a lossless video codec in order to use it in Final Cut or iMovie without degrading quality.
Animationist brings many sample documents and tutorials for you to use and learn from. Even video tutorials are included offering step by step guides on how to get the most out of Animationist.
Nearly every property of every layer or effect in Animationist can be animated using keyframes. Animate the light source of the shaded material filter to create stunning effects, even animate kerning and other font properties with ease!
Animationist comes with many animation presets, ranging from simple order out animations to complex animated effects. Presets are easily accessible from a preset browser below the canvas.
Distort Text and Clipart with animatable path distorters. Every property of the distorter is fully animatable. For example, apply a fish-eye distorter to text and animate the strength over time using keyframes.
Mesmerize your audience by creating flixels with Cinemagraph Pro.
● Apple Design Award 2014 Winner & App Store Best of 2014
Cinemagraph Pro is the only professional tool specifically designed for the creation of flixels. With its unique “live-masking” technology, artists can preview their living images in real time and output HD (1080) and UHD (4K) quality hybrid photographs.
The free version is full featured and exports with a Flixel overlay. You have two options to buy and remove the overlay:
(1) a one-time payment for a license for v1.x, or (2) a Flixel Cloud Web+Apps plan (payments are monthly or yearly).
An intuitive interface enables swift navigation amongst a full suite of editing modes; with just a few clicks, your flixels are shared with the world. It’s never been easier to create beautiful, professional grade Cinemagraph images.
Intuitive Creation. Fast Results.
● Shoot: Capture a short video and import it into the app.
● Trim: Identify your ideal sequence and easily set the still frame to create a more seamless loop.
● Still Frame: Customize your work or fix blemishes by easily exporting the still frame to other image editing apps.
● Mask: Select a specific area within your photograph to animate by simply “live-masking” the motion right into the image.
● Loop: Select a repeat or bounce loop style, then crossfade, and adjust speed. For a surprise effect, add a delay between loops.
● Adjustments: Adjust exposure, brightness, contrast, saturation, and vignette of your living photos
● Effects: Instantly preview almost 30 custom built-in filters.
Render in HD:
● Output as a HD or UHD video or go old school and create a GIF.
Share with the World
● Whether it’s creating ads for an online marketing campaign or beautiful cinemagraphs of a wedding – upload your mesmerizing flixels in high resolution to flixel.com, or share on a variety of social networks.
Flixel Cloud: A subscription service that helps you make money from your flixel images. Embed your flixel into your blog or website – the Flixel player provides a seamless experience that auto-plays and auto-loops your cinemagraph on all browsers and platforms, including mobile.
4 Key Benefits:
Share and stream your flixels at the highest possible quality. GIFs are so yesterday.
Remove or replace the Flixel watermark on any of your flixels.
Control the target URL that each flixel is associated with.
License the use of your flixel for a set period of time and then easily revoke it. You are in control of your creative.
Flixel Cloud Subscription Plans:
Web: $10 monthly, $100 yearly
Web+Apps: $20 monthly, $200 yearly
Flixel Cloud subscriptions will be charged to your credit card through your iTunes account. Your subscription will automatically renew unless cancelled at least 24 hours before the end of the current period. You will not be able to cancel a subscription during the active period. Manage your subscriptions in Account Settings.
System Requirements: OS X 10.9 or later, 4GB of RAM (8GB recommended for 4K), OpenCL-capable graphics card or Intel HD Graphics 3000 or later, 256MB of VRAM (1GB recommended for 4K), 500MB of disk space.
Loved by families and educators around the world, Smoovie is the fast and fun way to make stop motion animations on the Mac. And now, Smoovie 2 doubles the fun with a sleek modern look, live effects, time-lapse recording and lots more!
CAPTURE WITH LIVE EFFECTS
Whatever you’re animating, you’ll have a blast capturing the action with Smoovie. Use SmoovieCam on your iOS device or plug in any compatible camera, and Smoovie shows you what the camera sees. Onion skinning overlays the current live feed from the camera with the last image you captured so you can quickly compare positions between the two, helping to get each shot just right.
But that’s just the beginning – Smoovie includes 18 stunning live effects including Chroma Key (for green and blue screen), Toon, Color Splash and so much more. Live effects work in realtime on the feed from your camera so you can see exactly what you’ll capture. You can customize each effect and make changes – subtle, or otherwise – as you build your movie, so that effects themselves can be animated too!
But the creative power of Smoovie’s live effects doesn’t stop there! You can chain effects together to build your own, wildly amazing, never-been-seen-before special effects!
SIMPLE, POWERFUL EDITING
Making a stop motion animation should be fun. You move your objects little by little, capturing each frame and, with growing anticipation, you press ‘play’ to see everything magically come to life. Smoovie instantly plays back what you’ve captured without pausing to render. Then you can capture more frames or jump in and edit what you’ve got so far.
Smoovie’s unique editor lets you arrange your content in scenes. Each scene has an independently adjustable playback speed (from 1 to 30 frames per second) allowing you to vary the pace and mood of your animation. You can add new scenes, cut unwanted scenes, reverse scenes, capture new frames into existing scenes and drag scenes around to change the running order – all with full undo support so you’re safe to experiment!
If you need a little more control, Smoovie’s virtual filmstrip shows you all the individual frames in each scene. The filmstrip gives a surprising amount of editing power, yet this simple concept helps children quickly grasp the basics of making movies.
Smoovie plays well with the other creative apps on your Mac. You can copy and paste frames between Smoovie and your favourite image editor, drop in a music track from iTunes or export your animation as a movie file for editing in iMovie or Final Cut Pro.
WATCH & SHARE
Sit back and enjoy watching your animations in Smoovie’s virtual movie theatre – they’ll look especially good in fullscreen mode. All you need to bring is the popcorn!
And when you’re ready for the world premiere, Smoovie lets you share directly to Vimeo, YouTube and your iTunes library so you can show off your creations to the world.
**Anyone can be an animator. Any idea matters.**
Building upon the success of Animation Desk for iPad and iPhone, Kdan Mobile has taken a step forward to migrate the Animation technology to Apple’s Mac platform.
*Share your works with friends on Facebook
*Upload animations to YouTube
*Transfer animations between different iDevices and enjoy animating anytime, anywhere.
With the new Mac version, everyone can enjoy the fun of creating their own animated pieces of art. You don’t need to be an expert in the complex field of animation, all it takes are your own creative ideas and you will be surprised at how easy Animations Desk allows you to “breath” life into your creations.
Animation Desk for Mac makes a perfect platform for anyone who desires to bring creativities to life, in providing users an easier and cleaner environment than the traditional way to produce animations without lacking any essential animation creating element.
Sharing your work couldn’t be easier with Animation Desk for Mac since it allows you to upload your work to either Facebook or YouTube in no time. Animation Desk for Mac is not only a drawing app, but it is about inspiring, creating and sharing.
Become a part of the fantastic and surprising world of animations and discover the power of unlimited creativity now!
*FRIENDLY AND GORGEOUS USER INTERFACE
Realistic scene for creating animation
*SHARE YOUR MASTERPIECE WITH THE WORLD
Upload your animations directly to YouTube and Facebook
*SEND ANIMATED E-CARDS
Send your animated work as email attachment to wow your friends
Use our patented stamp features to add shapes, insert pictures, or copy and paste selected area on a frame
Ability to repeat target frames and take control of your animations
Foreground and Middle Ground supported
*DYNAMIC AND STATIC BACKGROUND IMAGES
Animate your ideas with ease by applying a dynamic background, or insert your favorite picture as the static background
*POWERFUL FRAME MANAGER
Editing, coping, moving, deleting frames is like a summer breeze
*VARIOUS PAINTING TOOLS WITH PRESSURE SENSITIVITY
Bucket fill tool, pencil, crayon, fountain pen, three types of brush and eraser
*ADJUSTABLE SIZE AND OPACITY FOR THE BRUSHES AND ERASER
Manage every stroke to your liking
See an overlay of adjacent frames
*VARIOUS SETS OF FREE AND PAID STAMPS IN STORE
Decorate with different stamps to make your animation more abundant.
CrazyTalk7 is the most popular facial animation tool that uses sound and text to vividly animate facial images. With this groundbreaking Auto Motion technology, you just need to import images, specify the facial feature points and record your own voice to automatically generate lip-syncs to create 3D life-like, talking videos.
Upgrade to PRO version to get advanced auto animation functions and custom settings.
•Casual: Anyone can animate talking pets, sketch drawings, baby photos or inanimate objects to create fun and interesting videos in minutes.
•Social: Communicate in a fresh way with visual messages, animated holiday greetings, or lively presentations that grab everyone’s attention.
•Education: Students and educators greatly benefit by conveying information, arousing interest, and participation, in a fun and natural way.
•Media: The powerful editing tools allow professional animation for music videos, storytelling, comic/cartoon generation and more!
1.Turn Any Images into a Talking Head
•Import JPEG, BMP, TGA, and PNG formats.
•Follow the facial fitting and 3D orientation process to create life-like characters with Vivid Eye technology.
•Auto-detection system for instant background removal.
2.Auto-lipsync with your Own Voice
•Import WAV, MP3, record your voice audio, or use TTS.
•The audio lip-syncing engine animates character’s mouth with the built-in phoneme library that distinguishes a wide range of vocals.
•Morph your voice or add spatial effects to it.
•Manually refine your lip-syncs in the Timeline, and adjust the strength of the lip shapes with flexible controls.
3.Auto Motion Technology
•This feature analyzes the tones in your voice to auto-generate head and facial movements while you apply different styles to any voice scenario.
•IDLE: Set a animation foundation.
•FUNCTIONAL: Choose basic head movements.
•SCENARIO: Fit any motion styles like singing passionately at an opera, or crying out loud with fear.
•Adjust the strength, threshold, smoothness and spring effect.
4.Custom Facial Puppeteering
•Use a mouse or handheld device to puppet your avatar in real-time to set a personality.
•Choose specific facial muscles to control, create expressions and head movements while you record live.
•Create motion clips that can be layered and edited for later projects.
•Get started quickly and be inspired with beautifully-crafted projects, actors, voice scripts, and audio which can be further customized.
•Auto Motions and backgrounds can be used to fit particular scenarios, or combined, edited and layered with studio-made Motion Clips for intricate expressions.
6.Timeline Editing and Refinement
•Use specific facial expressions from the library and overlay them in the Timeline, or puppet to create your own.
•Manipulate any motion clip with cut, copy, break, loop and speed functions, and save it in your custom library for future projects.
•Export videos or images in different size and ratio.
•QuickTime videos codecs: Resolution up to 1920×1080.
•Image sequences in alpha channel (BMP, TGA, and PNG).
8.Free Online Video Tutorials, Manuals and Forum Help.
•Learn from tutorials and manuals, or meet in the online forum to share ideas with thousands of CrazyTalk users from all over the world.
9. Export to web and iOS devices
•Export your projects to a social networking site or web page, and interact with the actor on your Mac or iDevices.