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16 AI Animation Generators (+How to Create Animations) in 2024

by | Last updated Dec 15, 2023

Can AI create animations?

The answer is yes. And today, you’ll learn how AI animation works.

You’ll learn:

  • What AI animators there are
  • How to animate with AI
  • And much more

Want to learn more? Keep on reading.

 

What is AI animation?

AI animation uses artificial intelligence to create animations. The process relies on data-driven algorithms to generate visuals in a faster and more efficient way than with traditional animation techniques.

Essentially, AI is designed to find a solution to a problem using a predetermined set of rules or parameters.

AI animation has a wide range of applications, from movies and video games to medical imaging and virtual reality. AI is especially efficient when it comes to automating repetitive tasks, such as creating crowd scenes or backgrounds. This is called “generative AI.”

Other tasks include:

  • Designing backgrounds
  • Creating character models
  • Animating characters
  • Scriptwriting
  • Coming up with creative concepts
  • Coding
  • Rendering
  • Storyboarding
  • Generating lighting references

For example, AI was used to create Pixar’s Elemental.

To animate one of the characters (Ember), a protagonist made of flames, the team had to implement effects pass on every frame – a time-consuming task even with the GPUs Pixar uses. So they worked in tandem with a process called Neural Style Transfer, which allows images to move like voxels in animation.

This way, the animators created a method to achieve an AI-assisted effect for the flames.

More generally, DisneyResearch|Studios (DRS) uses AI to reorganize the film production and distribution pipeline with the aim to make the process more efficient and cost-effective. Some of the ways Disney uses AI are to create digital humans, virtual production, and deep video processing.

By using motion capture and the deep learning of AI, the company creates lifelike digital humans. One such system is the Medusa Facial Capture system, which has been used in 30+ movies, including Avengers: Endgame.

Also the gaming industry uses AI. For example, a game might feature cars that can react to the player’s driving, with the AI generating different traffic patterns and responding to the player’s actions.

Ultimately, processes that were incredibly costly before can now be done at a fraction of the price. What’s more, the quality improves as animators can focus on their most high-impact work. This way, AI makes it possible to create animation that wasn’t possible before.

Can AI create 3D animations?

Yes, AI can be used to create 3D animations in various ways. AI helps to generate 3D models, animate 3D objects, and render the 3D scenes for the animation. It can also be used to automate tedious tasks such as rigging and texturing.

Ultimately, by using AI, 3D animators can create more complex animations faster and with less manual intervention.

AI can also be used to identify patterns in the data and generate more realistic animations. Additionally, it can generate realistic lighting and materials for the 3D scenes.

But what are the different pros and cons of animation? These are…

Pros and cons of AI animation

The advantages of using AI in animation include:

  • Faster production times
  • More accurate motion capture
  • More realistic characters
  • Reduced costs
  • Automation of processes

AI also allows for more creative freedom in animation, as it can be used to create complex effects and scenes that would be difficult to achieve using traditional methods.

On the other hand, AI can:

  • Be expensive to implement
  • Lead to a lack of creative control
  • Have incompatibilities with existing software
  • Require significant training and expertise
  • Make mistakes that are difficult to detect and fix

The future of AI in animation and special effects is promising, but there are still many challenges to overcome. Developing AI algorithms that can create realistic visuals requires a deep understanding of the art form, and also a significant investment of time and resources.

However, the benefits of AI animation often far outweigh the drawbacks – especially as the tech gets better.

But how is AI used today in animation? Let’s take a look.

Different ways of using AI in animation

There are plenty of use cases for AI in animation.

For example, you can use AI image generators like MidJourney and Dall-E to generate visuals from text descriptions. The way I personally use AI is to generate reference images for different scenes or characters instead of having to manually search for those.

But you can animate images from scratch, too.

For example, here’s how AIAnimation uses AI to animate MidJourney images:

Another use of AI in animation is to generate high-quality textures for characters’ faces. These AI-assisted tools are able to quickly generate animations from a set of inputs, such as motion capture data, 2D drawings, and 3D models.

AI can also be used to create realistic expressions and movements for characters, as well as to generate textures such as wrinkles and pores on characters’ faces.

Through machine learning algorithms, sound designers can add unique sounds to scenes. This makes the animation more dynamic and realistic. Plus, AI can be used to generate and edit dialogue for the characters.

How are these tools used, though? There are a few ways – text-to-AI animation and doodle to AI animation. Let’s look at both.

Text-to-AI animation

Text-to-AI animation is a type of computer animation in which a text-based script is used to generate a 3D animation. It uses natural language processing algorithms to generate a 3D model from the text-based script, which is then rendered into an animation.

AI animation generators like DeepVoxels and Generated Character Animation are able to generate more complex animations from text descriptions. These generators can create compelling animations that can be used in games, films, and other media.

And to create the scripts, you can use a tool like ChatGPT.

Doodle-to-AI animation

Doodle-to-AI animation is a technology that allows users to create animations from simple doodles. It uses a neural network and deep learning algorithms to recognize and understand the drawings, and then transform them into animations using motion recognition technology.

This technology can also add facial expressions, body movements, and other details to the animation to make it look more natural.

For example, a user can draw a simple stick figure and the AI will add details such as facial expressions, body movements, and even a background to make the animation more lifelike.

Meta has developed an open-sourced Doodle to AI generator. The tool makes it easy to create animations, even if you’re completely new to animation.

You can also use its features to make the animation more professional; for example, by adjusting the timing and camera angles of your animations, adding music and sound effects, and saving your animations in various video formats.

With that, let’s take a look at more tools you can use to create animations with AI.

The 16 best AI animation generators

There are various kinds of AI animation tools available. These include AI art tools that create art, which can be used in animations.

The most common types of AI animation generators are 2D and 3D tools.

2D tools are used for creating hand-drawn animations and special effects. And 3D tools produce realistic 3D animations and are often used in video games and movies.

AI animation tools also often include different features like motion capture, facial recognition, and machine learning.

So, what are the best tools? I’ve mentioned some throughout this article.

Here are 16 more AI animation tools.

Deep Motion

Deep Motion is a software that uses AI-powered markerless motion capture and real-time 3D body tracking. You can use this tool to transform your videos into 3D animations with three-dimensional full-body motion, including face and hand movements – in just a few clicks.

Price: Starting at $17/month

Appy Pie

Appy Pie’s Animation Maker is a text-to-animation tool. With it, you can create characters with different facial expressions, customize your animations, use templates, royalty-free music, and do voiceovers for your animations. You can also create NFT animations with Appy Pie.

Price: Free

Vyond

Vyond AI animation software allows users to create professional-level animation videos quickly and easily. The software is easy to use and provides a wide variety of tools and features to help users create engaging and professional-looking videos. It also includes a library of pre-made characters, props, templates, and music, making it easy to create videos quickly and efficiently.

Price: Starting at $25/month

VideoScribe

VideoScribe is a tool for creating whiteboard animations and videos. It allows users to create engaging, professional-looking videos, along with a library of royalty-free images, music, and sound effects that can be used to customize the videos.

The software uses AI to suggest images, animations, and audio that can be used in the videos. It also allows users to preview their videos before publishing, and share them on popular social media platforms.

Price: Starting at $39/month

Animaker

Animaker is an online animation maker that allows users to create professional-looking animations with no programming knowledge. The platform can be used to create explainer videos, product demos, infographics, and much more.

For instance, Animaker’s ‘Explainer Video Maker’ feature enables users to select from a library of ready-made templates and customize them with their own text, images, and voiceovers for a professional, high-quality explainer video. Animaker uses AI to analyze user input and generate animations quickly and accurately.

Price: Starting at $12.5/month

RenderForest

Looking for a tool to create a professional-looking animated video? RenderForest is an online video and animation maker that enables users to create videos and animations quickly and easily. It offers a variety of templates and customizable options that lets you tailor your visuals to your specific needs.

Price: Starting at $9.99

Audio2face

Audio2face is a software that creates facial animation from audio. You upload your audio, which is fed into a pre-trained Deep Neural Network that creates your facial animation in real-time. Alternatively, you can use the tool to edit post-processing parameters to improve the performance of your character.

Price: Free for individuals

Moovly

Moovly is an online video and animation maker that enables users to create customized videos. It offers an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop video editor, templates, and a library of royalty-free media to help users quickly create professional-looking videos. Moovly also provides users with access to a library of soundtracks and audio clips to add to their videos.

Price: Starting at $33.25/month

Powtoon

Powtoon is an online animation platform that allows users to create animation videos and presentations. It offers a wide range of templates and tools to make creating presentations easier and more efficient. Powtoon uses AI to generate visuals that are tailored to the user’s needs, making it even easier to create high-quality visuals.

Price: Starting at $15/month

Blender

Blender is an open-source 3D creation suite. It is used for creating 3D models, animations, and visual effects for films, video games, and other media. Blender also has a built-in game engine that can be used to create interactive 3D applications and games.

The software uses AI to simulate real-world physics, enabling users to create realistic-looking objects and environments. It also has tools for motion tracking, video editing, and more.

Price: Free

Raw Shorts

Raw Shorts is a video creation platform that helps users create high-quality videos quickly and easily. It features an extensive library of templates, graphics, and music to choose from to make videos look professional and engaging. Raw Shorts allows users to share, publish, and embed their videos on any website.

Price: Starting at $20/month

Steve.ai

Steve.ai is a text-to-animation artificial intelligence platform that lets you create animated videos with 1,000s of props, characters, and backgrounds. You can use themes and templates to make the process faster and auto-generate scripts.

For example, Steve.ai can be used to generate a realistic conversation between two characters in a video game, taking into account their facial expressions and the context of the conversation.

Price: $15/month

Autodesk Maya

Autodesk Maya is an industry-leading 3D computer graphics software. It is used for creating animations, 3D models, and visual effects in films, television, and video games.

Maya’s AI-powered algorithms can analyze a scene and automatically generate realistic textures, lighting, and materials. This means that artists don’t have to spend as much time manually creating and tweaking textures and materials, allowing them to focus more on the creative aspects of their work.

Price: $235/month (get a free student license by enrolling in our Lighting Bundle course)

Synthetik

Synthetik’s Studio Artist is an AI animation generator that can turn photos and videos into moving art by rendering them into the style you choose. You can also create animations from scratch or add components to an automatic animation. The tool includes thousands of factory presets.

Price: Starting at $199

GliaStar

GliaStar lets you input text to animate mascots; you simply choose a character and type in your message. You’ll also be able to convert 2D and 3D visual design into a 3D animated character.

This tool works well for simple character animations that are generated in minutes. You can assign facial expressions and emotions to the characters. However, there are only 20 characters and 12 backgrounds to choose from, which means that the tool has relatively limited capabilities.

Price: Free demo account (pricing by quote)

Cascadeur

Cascadeur is an animation software that enables users to quickly create realistic and lifelike character animations. It is designed to provide a simple and intuitive workflow for animators of all levels.

Cascadeur works by simulating the laws of physics in order to create realistic movements and interactions with objects in the environment. It also uses AI to automate the tedious tasks of animation, and to generate animations with a natural and lifelike look.

For example, Cascadeur can be used to animate a character walking, running or jumping with realistic physics, giving the animation a much more natural look and feel. Cascadeur has already been used to create animations for multiple video games and films, and is becoming increasingly popular in the industry.

Price: Starting at $300

What is the future of AI animation?

What will the animation industry look like in the future?

AI will change the industry. But how much? Here’s what you need to know.

Will AI take over the animation industry?

It’s unlikely that AI will take over the animation industry in the near future.

Yes, animation will be used more and more to create better animations. But the human element is still needed.

In the next few years, it’s likely that more AI animation tools will be developed, leading to faster and better animation processes.

In fact, AI is predicted to grow at 35.7% between 2023-2032. But while that’s fast growth, AI will still need to develop more to replace core functions in the industry.

Will AI replace animators?

Many jobs will be lost to AI. According to Goldman Sachs, two-thirds of occupations can be at least partially automated with AI. But that doesn’t mean animators won’t be needed anymore.

Instead, AI helps creators be more efficient and productive. By automating some of the more tedious tasks, such as shading, lighting and composition, animators are able to focus on the more challenging creative aspects of their work.

For example, AI image generation tools can be used to rapidly generate 3D models and textures for animation projects, reducing the need for animators to manually create each element.

Therefore, it is unlikely that AI will replace animators entirely.

Over to you!

There you have it! That’s how AI animation works.

As you can see, AI is already changing how animation works. Not only does it make the industry cost-effective and give animators more creative freedom, but it also opens the doors for people without training to create professional-looking animations.

Want to get started in the animation industry?

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Jasmine Katatikarn Headshot

About Jasmine Katatikarn

Jasmine Katatikarn is the founder of Academy of Animated Art. She has 20+ years of experience in Feature Animation and VFX. Jasmine’s lighting credits include movies like Ice Age, Ferdinand, Peanuts, and Rio. Read more here.

Jasmine Katatikarn Headshot

About Jasmine Katatikarn

Jasmine Katatikarn is the founder of Academy of Animated Art. She has 20+ years of experience in Feature Animation and VFX. Jasmine’s lighting credits include movies like Ice Age, Ferdinand, Peanuts, and Rio. Read more here.

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