What software do motion designers use?

Initially, animation on the Internet was used for entertainment: they created funny characters or told short stories. Now it helps to improve the usability of a website or application, manage user attention, and make products interactive. Have ideas but don’t know how to implement them? Write to the specialists at the link, and they will tell you what to do.

What is animation for?

For prototypes. Designers use animation to bring website and app layouts to life. Create interactive switching between different application screens and site pages.

For case presentation. Designers use animation to showcase current work and showcase their portfolio. Moving elements grab and hold users’ attention. Interest and attention are the criteria for a good presentation.

To implement microinteractions – interface animations that inform about the state of the page, the reaction of an element to user actions and show the result of this action. Distract and entertain while the app or site is loading.

Animation: which programs to use?

Animations are created in special programs, but there is no universal tool for solving all problems. Therefore, it is necessary to choose the software that is best suited for specific purposes. The programs in our selection are conditionally divided into two areas: for animating prototypes and creating full-fledged animations.

Animating prototypes

With the help of such programs create seamless transitions between screens and pages of the site. If configured correctly, you can simulate the behavior of interface elements and assemble simple animations.

The programs work on the basis of layouts from graphic editors. And they create an animation if you set the initial and final state of the screen and a trigger – the event at which the transition is triggered. The type of animation, smoothness, speed and other parameters can be customized.

1. Principle

One of the popular tools for creating interactive prototypes and interface animations. Suitable for detailed customization of complex transitions between screens and different states. Works on macOS only.

2. Marvel

Online service for prototyping. Works from the browser or as an add-on to graphic editors. Allows you not only to create and customize transitions, but also to change layouts if necessary or view a prototype on a smartphone.

3. InVision Studio

Universal design editor. Helps to easily work with the prototype and edit animation, supports all InVision services. It is in Early Access and is currently distributed free of charge.

Creating full-fledged animations

Designers use these tools to create presentations, microinteractions, and moving banners. To decide in which program to make animation, you need to formulate a goal: what kind of animation will be and why it is needed.

Universal animation programs are products from Adobe. Simple animations can be done in Photoshop; for complex animations, Animate or After Effects will do.

The last two programs appeared as a logical continuation of Photoshop and even now work in conjunction with it. In recent versions of After Effects, there is no way to save a project to GIF directly, so this must be done through Photoshop.

4. Adobe Photoshop

Universal editor for graphics processing. Using the Timeline tool, you can create frame-by-frame animations of your work. Photoshop is the simplest tool from Adobe to simulate motion. The interface of more complex programs is based on Photoshop. Therefore, it is better to start your acquaintance with animation creation with it.

5. Adobe Animate

This is one of those programs that are used to animate images. There is a handy timeline with a storyboard. Animate makes it easy to work with layouts from Photoshop. Ideal for creating interactive presentations and banners. Allows you to export animations in HTML and CSS format.

6. Adobe After Effects

An advanced editor for creating animated graphics. It is also useful for processing video clips, decorating commercials and intros. After Effects is resource intensive and difficult to learn. Therefore, it is better to start acquaintance with it after learning Photoshop and Animate.