7 Best Stop Motion Software for Windows, Mac, Linux [Free & Paid]

By Cecilia Hwung | Last Update:

Many feared that the inception of 3D animation would eliminate stop-motion animation in some day. While animation stop-motion animation still shines with its unique charm and the help of stop motion software that simplifies the process of making stop-motion animation.

But what exactly is stop-motion animation?

Stop motion, also referred to stop-frame animation, is a kind of animation technique that objects are photographed with a small amount of movement between each frame, and the whole series of photos are finally combined and played continuously.

You might hear of representative works of the world-class stop motion animation company, such as Chicken Run, Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep by Aardman Animations; Coraline, ParaNorman by Laika. And this article has collected 7 best stop motion software that help you make stop motion animation like a pro. Without further ado, let's dive in!

Best stop motion software

#1. Dragonframe

Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux

Dragonframe is full-fledged and professional stop motion software that has the tools needed for the highest quality stop-motion animation production, and is ideal for projects aimed for digital cinema, television broadcast, and commercials.

When shooting and editing stop motion animation with Dragonframe, there are lots of helpful tools available. It can provide a video assist for animator to ensure whether you are doing right with movements, lights and others, but you need to have a camera, webcam, or smart phone that comes with Live View capabilities. If you're unhappy with camera settings made previously, you can regulate ISO, shutter speed, exposure, temperature, etc. directly from the program. More so, you can view the change between frames in real-time using the onion skin feature.

Stop motion software – Dragonframe

Key Features:

  • It uses Live View and onion skin as a video assist for shooting stop motion.
  • Frame-based timeline editing. You can reshoot frames in the middle, restore deleted frames, and move frames to any position with ease.
  • Animation tools include chroma key, drawing tools, playback/looping marker, configurable hotkeys, etc.
  • Rotoscope layer help you yield a better result.
  • Export stop motion animation using MOV, MP4, AVI and other formats.

#2. iStopMotion

Platform: macOS

iStopMotion by Boinx is one of the best stop motion software out there. It does not cost too much and requires a low system to run, which is the perfect balance between power and ease of use. A core benefit with iStopMotion is that it makes it possible to have your iPhone /iPod as the cameras and iPad as the controller, so that you can easily switch one camera source from another on your iPad and photograph objects with multiple camera angles. That makes iStopMotion well worth the investment. It should be noted that it is still not available to macOS Catalina currently, which might be prohibitive to some.

Stop motion software – iStopMotion

Key Features:

  • It works with stop motion animation as well as time-lapse videos.
  • Compatible with a wide range of cameras, such as Nikon DSLRs, Canon DSLRs, WiFi Cameras, Firewire Cameras and many more.
  • Instant playback allows you to watch your projects anytime you want.
  • Tight integration with Final Cut Pro X and iMovie. You can export your projects and retouch in other video editing software.

#3. MonkeyJam

Platform: Windows

MonkeyJam is a Windows-exclusive and free stop motion software that lets you capture still images separately from your camera and compiles them into a stop motion movie. What you need to do is to hook up a camera to your Windows PC through a cable, to launch MonkeyJam and set up video as well as camera settings. And you are good to start capturing stop motion. Though it doesn't have onion skin to compare the movement changes between two frames, the limitation, to be honest, isn't a deal-breaker for me as it's completely freeware.

Stop motion software – MonkeyJam

Key Features:

  • Easy to use and sheet-driven interface.
  • Images are captured in BMP, JPG, or lossless PNG with or without color.
  • Customizable FPS rate.
  • Export videos as AVI formats.

#4. Stop Motion Pro

Platform: Windows, macOS

Stop Motion Pro is a tool developed for creating stop-motion animation and other forms of animated movies. A host of cameras can be used with Stop Motion Pro, including webcams from Microsoft or Logitech, Canon DSLRs, as well as Nikon DSLRs. Of course, you can either use supported capture cards, scanners, video cameras to shoot the images you want to animate. When it comes to its editing features, you can use drawing tools to create many special effects, or use multiple sound tracks to make your movie vivid.

Stop motion software – Stop Motion Pro

Key Features:

  • Onionskinning adds a transparent overlay of your previous frame so that you can get the movement right.
  • The focus tool lets you check focus of your camera easily and accurately.
  • Erase wires, supports, holders with amazing rig removal tools.
  • Customizable shortcuts let you fly through your workflow.

#5. iKITMovie

Platform: Windows

iKitMovie is not a one-trick pony in terms of creating stop motion animation. It has a powerful sound library which contains 2200 high quality sound effects, such as Motors, Explosions, Forest Ambiences, Earthquakes, Clocks, Coins and many more. This way, you can totally rely on iKITMovie's built-in sound library and don't need to pay for copyrighted sound effects anymore. You are allowed to record voice-overs for your animation via headsets or microphone in iKITMovie as a matter of course. If you want to turn your stop motion Lego, claymation into a blockbuster, iKitMovie is a good choice.

Stop motion software – iKITMovie

Key Features:

  • Onion skin is a must.
  • Green screen/blue screen. It can replace your backdrop in a click.
  • Enhance your stop-frame animation with various sound effects and visual effects.
  • Export your image sequences to various movie video formats needed.

#6. Zu3D

Platform: Windows, macOS

Having Zu3D stop-motion animation software gives you the opportunity to get pretty good results with your stop action movies. Not only does it allow you to photograph still images of an object, it also provides a variety of tools to enhance your animation. Moreover, it uses a very simple operation philosophy so you'll likely feel comfortable pretty quickly even as a new-comer.

One other important tidbit to know is that it can remotely control webcams, mobiles, and tablets to capture images, which is useful when you've got your hand full.

Stop motion software – Zu3D

Key Features:

  • Support unlimited video tracks and audio tracks.
  • You can add texts, speech bubbles, and credits to your movies.
  • Emulate the lip-sync effect with drawing tools.
  • Remove unwanted strings, wires, supports with the rig-removal tool.

#7. qStopMotion

Platform: Windows, Linux

Let's say would like to make high quality stop-motion movies with the help of a piece of decent stop motion software, yet you might have a tight budget to spend on professional stop motion software. You can go out with qStopMotion. Once you've experienced this free stop motion software, you will find that qStopMotion to not just complete, but surpass some paid programs in both simplicity and flexibility. It packs with features like onion skin, Live View, camera controls and more.

Stop motion software – qStopMotion

Key Features:

  • Create stop motion animation videos by importing images from a camera live or your hard drive.
  • It's possible to control your camera settings in the program.
  • Basic editing tools like adding, inserting, deleting, previewing, etc.
  • Helpful keyboard shortcuts to help you navigate the program.

Stop Motion Software

Rating

Pricing

Onion Skin

DragonFrame

$295

iStopMotion

$19.99

MonkeyJam

Free

Stop Motion Pro

$18/month

iKITMovie

$69

Zu3D

$24.99

qStopMotion

Free

Final Words

Every character, every expression, every scene in a stop motion animation video needs to be fabricated and built according to a certain ratio, which is time-consuming and has huge labor costs. The good is that the development of stop motion software brings convenience to stop motion animation photographing. It would be challenging to make effective creative decisions for your projects if without stop motion software. Then go and choose one needed from this article.

About The Author

Cecilia Hwung is the marketing manager of Digiarty Software and the editor-in-chief of VideoProc team. She pursues common progress with her team and expects to share more creative content and useful information to readers. She has strong interest in copywriting and rich experience in video editing tips.

Home > Video Editor > Stop Motion Software