Motion design has become such an important aspect of the ever-changing web space. With the rise of digital technology and the use of digital devices, motion design has become essential to capture audiences and deliver impactful messages.

On top of that, it is also an increasingly popular medium for artists and designers to bring their creativity to life. Just check out these 10 Motion Designers to Follow for Inspiration that we have rounded up!

With the rise of motion and animation, there are many motion design tools out there that can be helpful for motion designers to bring their vision to fruition. So, here are nine motion design tools that you should check out - for both beginners and professionals.

1) Adobe After Effects

A powerful motion graphics and visual effects software, Adobe After Effects is used widely by professionals across various industries, including film and television. It is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite and is known for its robust set of tools and features that allow you to create high-quality animations, composites, and visual effects.

This motion design tool operates on a layer-based system where you can control the timing, motion, and effects of each element in your project. It also integrates with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator so you can easily import and work with assets from your other projects.

Quick pros:

  • Comprehensive set of tools including a wide range of animation, composition, and visual effects.
  • Can be integrated with other Adobe programs.
  • Plenty of tutorials, forums, and resources within their user community.

Price: There is a free trial. You can buy it, or get it in their Creative Cloud All Apps plans for $54.99.

2) Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D is a professional-grade 3D motion graphics and visual effects software that is used across industries, especially for film and television. Easy to use with an intuitive interface, it can be used for both beginners and experts.

It has a powerful set of tools for 3D modeling, animation, and texturing, while you can also create complex 3D scenes. It can also integrate with programs like Adobe After Effects, so you can transfer your 3D assets into your composites and animations.

Quick pros:

  • It has a powerful range of modeling tools for motion designers to create detailed and complex 3D models.
  • There is a comprehensive set of animation tools from keyframe animation to character rigging.
  • It can integrate with other tools including Adobe After Effects.

Price: Paid plans start at $59.91 annually and $94 monthly.

3) LottieFiles

Of course, LottieFiles makes the list because we are a platform that simplifies the entire motion design workflow for motion designers. As a cloud-based solution, LottieFiles makes it easy for designers to upload, preview, and share animations. This streamlines the motion design process - saving time and effort in creating, testing, and delivering animations.

LottieFiles has integrations and plugins with popular tools such as Adobe After Effects and Figma. You can also automatically convert animations into a lightweight, scalable, and easily-shareable format.

Additionally, LottieFiles has real-time rendering capabilities with instant previews of animations so you can view how your creations will function on different platforms.

There is also a library of free and lightweight animations that you can easily customize with the Lottie Editor.

Quick pros:

  • Designers can upload, preview, and share animations easily.
  • Streamlines the motion design process to deliver animations.
  • Compatible with various softwares and platforms.
  • Can convert animations into lightweight and scalable animations for projects.
  • Has a library of free and lightweight animations.

Price: Free for the Basic Plan, while an individual plan is priced at $19.99 monthly.

4) Blender

An open-source 3D animation and visual effects tool, Blender is often used in video game industries, as well as film and television. It has a wide range of features that include 3D modeling, animation, texturing, and compositing to create great motion designs.

Additionally, Blender has a large active user base where plenty of resources and tutorials are shared - this is great for those who are just starting out!

Quick pros:

  • It is open-source and free.
  • It has powerful 3D capabilities that make it great to create motion designs that involve 3D elements.

Price: Free.

5) Pro Tools

Pro Tools is not really a motion design tool, but it can be utilized when you are creating motion designs. It is a digital audio workstation (DAW) software that is commonly used in the music and audio production industry.

Sound design is an important aspect of many motion design projects. Pro Tools provides a comprehensive suite for recording, editing, mixing, and mastering audio to create sound effects for your motion design projects - especially when it involves videos!

Quick pros:

  • It offers a large range of recording and editing tools to create custom sound effects and music.
  • You can collaborate with other team members such as sound designers on a motion design project.

Price: There is a one-year subscription for $299, and a monthly subscription priced at $29.99.

6) Moho (Anime Studio)

Formerly known as Anime Studio, Moho is a 2D animation software that is used by both professionals and hobbyists. It has a set of motion design tools that are great for creating hand-drawn animations, cut-out animations, and vector animations.

With an intuitive interface, Moho makes it easy for designers to bring their 2D character and animations to life, while also allowing you to easily transfer your animation composites and visual effects from programs like Adobe After Effects.

Quick Pros:

  • It is affordable compared to other animation tools, making it great for hobbyists and students.
  • It has an easy-to-use interface for users to create animations and visual effects.
  • It integrates with other tools, including audio editing software.

Price: You can buy it as a one-time purchase priced at $299.99 for Moho Pro 13.5, and Moho Debut 13.5 for $59.99.

7) Toon Boom Harmony

A professional-grade 2D animation software, Toon Boom Harmony has a great set of tools for creating hand-drawn, cut-out, and vector animations. With its powerful animation engine, this tool provides a smooth and fluid animation experience, making it a great choice for artists and designers who want high-quality animations quickly and efficiently.

It also integrates with other tools, such as Adobe After Effects, so you can easily transfer your animations into your composites and visual effects.

Quick pros:

  • It has a wide range of tools for 2D animation and is a great option for traditional hand-drawn animations and cut-out animation.
  • It is widely used in the animation industry.
  • It can integrate with other tools such as storyboarding and audio editing software.
  • It has a user-friendly interface.

Price: You can try it for free. Paid plans start at $27 per month.

8) Apple Motion

Apple Motion is a professional-grade motion graphics and visual effects tool that is used across various industries. It is a part of the Apple Final Cut Pro X suite and provides a comprehensive set of motion design tools for creating animations, composites, and visual effects for professional-level animations.

Overall, it can easily create 2D, 3D and 360-degree titles, fluid transitions, and realistic effects in real time.

Quick pros:

  • It has a user-friendly interface, making it easy for users to create animation and visual effects without a steep learning curve.
  • It integrates with Final Cut Pro X so you can transfer animations into video projects.
  • It has high-quality visual effects for professional-level animation.

Price: $49.99.

9) Houdini

Used by many professionals in various industries including film and video games, Houdini is a 3D animation and visual effects tool. It enables designers to create advanced simulation and effects such as fluids, particles, and dynamics.

It is undoubtedly valuable for motion designers as it provides a range of tools for creating advanced simulations and effects that can add an extra layer of realism and visual interest to motion design projects.

Quick pros:

  • Well-known for advanced simulation tools for designers to create realistic fluid dynamics, particle systems, and other physical simulations.
  • Can help to add a layer or realism to motion design projects.
  • Can create effects like fire, smoke, water, and more.
  • Has a range of tools for modeling, shading, lighting, and compositing.
  • Can integrate with other industry-standard tools.

Price: There is a Learning Edition that is free. They have plenty of paid plans with different licensing options.

Create magic with these motion design tools

The tools we listed are just a few of many out there that we love. With unique features and capabilities for each one, you can use these tools differently in every project to create your very own awesome animations.

So, whether you are creating a short animation or a complex visual effect, these tools can prove quite helpful.

You can also contribute to the LottieFiles community and publish your animation publicly to gain visibility as a motion designer! Check out our article on how to upload your animations to LottieFiles to learn more.

And remember, if you do need quick animations for your projects, just head over to Lottie to browse our library of free animations.