10 Tools To Ease The Transition From Illustration To Animation

10 Tools To Ease The Transition From Illustration To Animation

The illustrator’s comfort zone is in the safety of the static world, and animating that static world seems to be a job best left to the animator. The challenge of having to pick up new skills and to learn new software will certainly come across as daunting. It isn’t just about the skills and the animation software, but also to consider the seamless collaboration between image and considerations of time.

However, the rewards of picking up the skills involved in animation will only serve to prove that venturing outside of your comfort zone is well worth the challenge. After all, with broadband’s continued expansion and its increasing platforms for interactive content, the internet will assist in allowing you to showcase your new found animation skills on top of your talents in illustration.

Profedota Russian Studios
Melnitsa Animation Studio does sophisticated animation and gorgeous illustration for animated films, just like the one above.

For the illustrator, the realisation of that perfect image in your mind onto paper comes about after much time and effort. This perfect image becomes but a single frame in a complete animated piece. The magic of animation breathes life into that single image you have created by working with other images to become part of an entire animated masterpiece. Jumping on the animation bandwagon is the next step of being an illustrator in which your marketability will attract clients who recognise the benefits of the 2-in-1 expert, who can fulfil both the task of illustrator and animator.

In recognition of the moving of the times, Adobe, home of the two favourite tools of digital animation – Flash and After Effects, has upgraded their software, making the transition from illustration to animation easy and painless. Even Photoshop has added animation tools for the rendering and incorporation of 3D content. With the fierce competition to advance technology and promote the interest in animation, all levels from the amateur enthusiast to the professional can now easily afford to purchase the software and embark on their journey into the animated world. What better time than now to take the next step into the world of animation?

10 Tools of the Trade

After Effects Cs4
With Adobe After Effects CS4 software, you can create compelling motion graphics and blockbuster visual effects with flexible tools that help save you time and deliver unparalleled creative power. (cited from Adobe).

After Effects CS4

Abode Flash CS4 Professional
Adobe Flash CS4 Professional software is the industry-leading authoring environment for creating engaging interactive experiences. Deliver to audiences across platforms and devices. (cited from Adobe).

Flash CS4 Professional

Photoshop CS4 Extended
Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended software delivers all the features in Photoshop CS4, plus new features for working with 3D imagery, motion-based content, and advanced image analysis. (cited from Adobe).

Photoshop CS4 Extended

Autodesk 3ds Max
The award-winning Autodesk 3ds Max software is the tool of choice for leaders in the game development, television, film, and digital publishing industries who want a comprehensive 3D modeling, animation, and rendering solution right out of the box.

Now, Autodesk 3ds Max 2010 builds on this success with powerful new toolsets to help you shape your worlds the way you want, manage complex scenes with ease, and take advantage of unprecedented support for software interoperability and pipeline integration. (cited from autodesk).

3d studio max

Cinema 4D
The core application contains everything you need to create high-end 3D images and animations. For those artists whose work demands more than the basic application, MAXON provides numerous seamlessly integrated modules. Modules can also be purchased individually or in affordable bundles. For specific industries, such as architecture and engineering, MAXON also offers Editions that contain specially tailored functionality.


Lightwave 3D
LightWave is a complete modeling, rendering and animation system. Used extensively in broadcast television production, film visual effects, video game development, print graphics and visualization, LightWave is responsible for more artists winning Emmy Awards than any other 3D application.

Lightwave 3D

Toon Boom
Toon Boom Animate is a unique end-to-end vector based animation software that includes content creation, compositing and delivery to audiences across media. Ideal for professional animators, boutique studios, students and educators, it’s a complete digital animation application.

Toon Boom

Animation Master
Animation:Master is a remarkable program that includes everything you need to create fabulous computer graphics; including complete sculpting features, powerful animation tools, superb rendering, and all this is compatible with the most popular computers (PC and Macintosh). It A budget cross-platform modelling, animation, rendering package costing as low as $299.

Animation Master

Art of Illusion
Art of Illusion is a free, open source 3D modelling and rendering studio. It is written entirely in Java, and should be usable on any Java Virtual Machine which is compatible with Java 5 or later. Creator Peter-Eastman claims the software is both stable and powerful enough to be used for serious, high-end animation work.

Artb of Illusion

The latest incarnation, Bryce 6, will give those artists along with the new generation of creators the ability to work faster and create more realistic environments than ever before. Whether you are a professional designer, or a 3D graphics enthusiast, Bryce 6 provides you with the tools to literally create a world of your own.

Bryce 6

Charlotte’s interest is in web interface and design as well as motion graphics. Her absorption with her work is mostly due to her attention to detail and passion for the world of design. Winding down after work, which consumes much of her time; she enjoys traveling, exploring new places, gastronomy, and fashion.


  1. nice tools my favorite is cinema4D,thanks for the list..

  2. / Reply

    Very cool and very interesting staff.
    Looking to see more.

  3. / Reply

    I don’t know If I said it already but …Cool site, love the info. I do a lot of research online on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks

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