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8 Best Animation Apps for iPad (with Apple pencil support)

Updated on: September 23, 2022
best animation apps for ipad

Did you know? The iPad is considered as powerful as any laptop, so why not use it to create an animation using an app? In this article, we’re going to walk you through some of the best animation apps for the iPad that make things easier for you. 

While creating an animation film using any desktop software, you need to put way too much effort into learning the nuances of tools.

Despite the fact that iPad apps allow you to create animations, they cannot replace software for a variety of technical reasons.

However, iPad animation apps are easy to get the hang of, and the iPad itself is quite wieldy. Apart from that, you can find lots of apps compared to desktop software. So without further ado, let’s dive into the article. 


Apps that animate drawing for iPad (2021)

Flipaclip

$4.99 full access

FLIPACLIP app ipad

Flipaclip is undeniably the best free 2D cartoon animation maker app for iPad. It’s intuitive yet easy to use, without an overflow of tools.

Founded in 2017, it has made its mark as the best animation app, racking up a community of creative people around the globe.

It provides users with essential tools that help them create strikingly beautiful animations for free. Tools are laid out beautifully so that users don’t have to go through any kind of intricacy.

Not only is Flipaclip straightforward to use, but it also allows users to create eye-catching moving motion designs. To start, draw anything on the blank canvas and use layers wisely.

You can create as many layers as you want. However, animation seems quite hard at first, but once you understand how tools work, it becomes a lot easier to animate.

It also has tutorials on getting started, and you can discover other animation tutorials on YouTube. 

With this app, you get a host of drawing tools such as a pen, brush, sketch pen, and pencil. On top of that, you can change the frame rate of animation, change the background, upload videos and images in layers.

Your work gets saved and can be shared on YouTube and other social platforms. To explore every feature and have more flexibility, you can opt for the premium plan worth $12. 

Pros

  • Easy to use tools. 
  • Tons of tutorials on YouTube.
  • Supports stylus and apple pencil.
  • Offers flexibility to users. 
  • Unlocks everything for just $12.

Cons

  • fewer features in the free plan.
  • Bugs (can be improved).

Animation Desk

7-days free trial | $59.99/year, $9.99/monthly (after 3 days free trial), $19.99/quarter (after 3 days free trial).

animation desk app

Want to bring doodles to life? This app has your back. This Animation desk app allows users to animate their sketches just like a flipping diary. It has decent tools that are easy to use.

If you already know how Flipaclip works, this app works the same. It has a few more drawing tools and has a distinct user interface designed like a pro. 

Besides, animating using this app might be a whole new experience because of the tools it offers. It supports apple pencils, so you can precisely make doodles on a blank canvas. You get a bunch of free brushes, pens, and other tools as a gift. All you need to do is sign up. 

Animation Desk provides you with all the crucial tools for free, but when you go premium, you unlock more features that help you create better animations.

It has cloud storage that you can use to free up your space. Above all, you can save animations to various file formats like GIF, PDF, PSD, etc. Undoubtedly, it is one of the best apps for the iPad Pro that animates drawings.

Pros

  • Apple Pencil support (velocity sensitivity).
  • Various export options.
  • Ample of tools for free.
  • Users can upload videos and images.
  • Users can Adjust frame rates and choose custom size format.

Cons

  • Users must be good at drawings.
  • No custom background in a free plan.

Put your Apple Pencil to use with these PDF Annotation apps.

Callipeg

7 days free trial then $15 yearly or $5 monthly. 

callipeg animation app for ipad

Callipeg is another great animation app you can have on your iPad. It has a classy user interface that you see on high-end software. It provides a plethora of tools, making animation a pleasurable task.

With Callipeg, you get different layers of pens, brushes, and pencils for a hand-drawn sketch. Also, it has a rectangle, line, and square tool in the brush list. And unlike other relevant apps, you can design your own brush. 

It offers a lot of flexibility for everything, whether you want to customize the onion skin, frame rates, or canvas. Along with the brush list, there is the selection tool, which works like any other selection tool.

Also, it has an eraser that seems quite thin, as we couldn’t find a setting to thicken it.

However, when holding down two fingers slightly on the screen, a box pops up encompassing the four tool shortcuts: remove all, copy, paste, and arrows. 

The app comes with a 7-day free trial that lets users have access to all its full features. It supports multiple file formats such as PNG, GIF, MP4, and JSON. So, this iPad animation app is best with an Apple pencil for making a more accurate representation. 

Pros

  • Simply straightforward to use.
  • Has a wide range of tools.
  • Best for hand-drawn, paint, and image.
  • Backs various files format.
  • offers flexibility in the setting.

Cons

  • Tools are sometimes difficult to find.
  • No enlarge option for the eraser.

Folioscope

Free | No in-app purchases

best animation app for ipad

It’s another best free 2D animation app for the iPad. It’s free and doesn’t require any further skills to use it. Despite being a free app, it provides a plethora of tools.

It has a bit of a disadvantage as to the quality of features and pens it offers, but it’s all worth it because it’s completely free and is a great application for those who want to learn to create animations.

It has a slew of other features that you may not find even in premium apps. At the click of a button, you can manage the grid and margin, and layers.

On top of that, it has distinct options to customize Apple pencil settings. And tools like brushes, layers, frame rates, erasers, and paint are easy to spot. 

Well, the app has ads that you can weed out by ponying up around $3. To sum up, Folioscope is a decent application to create hand-drawn animations with an Apple pencil. It backs a host of file formats, including gif, PSD, PNG, and MP4.

Pros

  • Complete free.
  • No layers limit.
  • Apple pencil support.
  • Tools are accessible easily. 

Cons 

  • No image upload option.
  • Ink appears obscure.

Toontastic 3D

Free | no in-app purchases.

toontastic 3d animation app

Hate drawing things up from scratch? It has your back. Toontastic is nothing more than a fantastic platform by Google where you don’t need to draw and mess with layers.

It has prebuilt story images and characters to select from. Each character has a defined style that you can apply to your story based on what the character implies. Don’t worry if prebuilt stories and characters don’t fit into your play; create your own design with a bunch of tools. It turns your 2D illustration into 3D without having you tap any buttons. 

We tried this app, and since we used its easy-to-use features, we never fell back on any other animation app. Isn’t it amazing that it allows you to create your own story animation cinema effortlessly?

The only drawback with Toontastic is that it doesn’t have any option to upload images. Either we have to create our own story by manipulating brushes and tools or select a few pre-built stories that seem too ubiquitous. 

If you are an artist and good at visualizing a graphic story, then this application is worth giving a shot. It’s free, and there are no ads to tick you off.

Certainly, with characters moving body parts without creating a layer for each action, it is much easier to design a captivating story. Undeniably, this is the best 3D animation app for the iPad that is completely free. 

Pros

  • Users can simply drag a character and set it in motion. 
  • Houses prebuilt 3D story templates and 3D characters.
  • Everything is automated and easy to use.
  • Automatically converts 2D sketches into 3D.

Cons

  • No image upload option.
  • The design editor is not intuitive.

Also read: Best mind mappings apps for android and iOS

Stop motion Studio

Free | one-time $8 for full access.

To set something in motion, you can count on Stop Motion. It is undeniably the best free animation app for iPad to create 3D animated films. Similar to Flipaclip or Callipeg, it lets users design their own designs in the feature-packed editor.

It also has options for uploading images (camera & local), clips, and videos, thus offering a superior experience by not merely relying on hand-drawn tools. 

As with most animation apps, you have to wrap your head around loads of layers that you can not rearrange later. If you’re already acquainted with such apps, Stopmotion is not a big deal. There are tutorials and samples to help you out throughout.

To have access to everything that the app includes, you have to shell out a one-time fee of around $8. With access to premium, you unlock features like import images, sound effects, movie effects, paint, green screen, themes, 4K ultra HD, guides, and a few more. 

Pros

  • in-depth tools.
  • Users can capture images using the camera.
  • Supports images and videos.
  • Tutorials and guides.

Cons

  • limited features for free.

Stick nodes

Free (Full access)

Stick nodes can be in your best interest if drawing is not your cup of tea. When it comes to animation apps, this one takes a unique spin as to how it’s built and works. Like any relevant app, Stick Nodes allows users to create a story, but it uses nodes to move objects.

It has a host of different shapes in the inventory, helping users build all forms of characters. Also, if something goes wrong, you can undo, redo, or delete an object.

Now that you can create characters easily, it doesn’t mean creating a story is a piece of cake. You have to speculate on the whole scenario as to what the story would be, how many layers it would take, and so on.

The characters’ building is the tip of an iceberg. The story is what matters the most. However, once you adapt to every tool, it becomes a lot easier to craft a good story. 

You can animate an object with your finger and from the side panel. Also, it has other options in the side panel such as frame rates, import background, text field, export, looping, tweening, filters, e.t.c. Tweening makes your animation smoother by adding in-between frames.

Stick nodes export a file to GIF and GIF. It also has the pro version app that backs Mp4 for YouTube as an export option and has more features compared to the free version. 

Pros

  • Good for beginners who don’t want to doodle. 
  • Free.

Cons

  • Choppy user interface ( could have been a bit dapper).
  • Not Mp4 in an export option. 

Rough Animator

One-time $8 for full access.

rough-animator app

Rough Animator is a powerful app that animates drawings or hand-drawn figures. It supports the Apple Pencil, the Logitech crayon, or any Bluetooth stylus. Whether you want to animate pose-by-pose or straight-ahead, this app is the best choice.

It allows users to create frame-by-frame animations on the go. Best of all, it is feature-packed and all the tools are laid out in symmetry, causing no difficulty for users. 

With unlimited layers and a thorough list of tools, animating is super fun and exciting. However, unlike Toontastic, it requires an understanding of tools. Besides, your artist’s side is equally important to bring immobile sketches to life. 

Well, it has onion shine and custom brushes to make your apple pencil shine. On top of that, it lets you control frame rates, import audio for lip-synching, and video for rotoscopic animation.

There are other cool features as well. Rough Animator’s animation can be exported to GIF, QuickTime video, or image sequence. Projects can also be imported into Adobe Flash and After Effects for editing later.

Pros

  • Loaded with tools.
  • A better list of brushes with a custom brushed option.
  • Supports all kinds of Bluetooth pencils.
  • Projects can be edited later. 
  • Unlimited layers.

Cons

  • No Mp4 export option.
  • No tutorials.

Wrapping it up

These are the best free animation apps for iPad that support Apple pencils. After testing each app ourselves, we have rounded up these apps so you get the best possible experience.

However, every app has its pros and cons. All the apps are free to use but also offer premium tools that can be a game-changer. Toontastic, therefore, is completely free and the easiest app. 

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By ankit raghuwanshi
He is an editor-in-chief, an admin, and the guy who kickstarted TheAppFlow. He often wraps his head around personal finance or fintech apps and never shies away from learning new things that he can share with people to streamline their wealth. To read his more work, visit: Cashclevr.com