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30 Essential Software For Video Artists and Designers

As a video professional, having the know-how is just one piece of the puzzle. Being equipped with the right software for video that can help you execute on your production is essential to truly becoming a competent video marketer. Whether you're producing an explainer...

As a video professional, having the know-how is just one piece of the puzzle. Being equipped with the right software for video that can help you execute on your production is essential to truly becoming a competent video marketer. Whether you're producing an explainer video or a corporate video, there are specialized software for video and design that you can use.Problem is, the amount of choices out there are endless! It can range from anything from iMovie and Final Cut Pro on your Mac, to industry standard software from the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite such as Adobe After Effects and Adobe Premiere Pro.Naturally, the industry standard software can come with a pretty hefty subscription fee for newer video producers to get into this space. Instead of forking out extra cash every month when you’re just starting out on software, check out our compilation of 30 alternative video software for video artists and designers.


Aiming to bridge the gap between amateur editors used to the easy-to-use controls of iMovie and the more technically competent ones using software like Final Cut Pro, Filmora has entered the market with a suite of features on its software that allow even beginner videographers and editors to make very impressive edits to their videos without much technical expertise. It works really well to create simple explainer videos or for some treatment of corporate videos too.They even have packs that are available for purchase with stock videos, transitions, title animations and music.

Poser Pro 11

Poser is one of the premier 3D modelling software that makes working with the human form easily accessible with an intuitive user interface. You’ll find stock human and animal models available to build your comps almost immediately. All variations from poses, faces and ethnic diversities.It’s great for animators that want to test 3D video animation as a career path and don’t want to blow thousands of dollars on software or tuition.


GoAnimate provides its users with a library containing tens of thousands of pre-animated assets. All these available through a simple drag-and-drop interface. Asset types available include actions, characters, props, templates, text boxes, music tracks and enhanced sound effects. Users can also upload their own assets, such as like audio, image or music.It’s highly recommended for YouTube and Vine artists that want to create quick and engaging video content for digital. The application is intentionally made easy-to-use to be made accessible to anyone.

SketchBook Pro

SketchBook Pro hardly needs an introduction. As one of the premier artistic software on the market, it provides artists great control with a myriad brush and pen tools. Using pressure-sensitive features available in graphics tablets, tablet computers and smartphones, it can almost mimic the effect of traditional materials like charcoal, pen and paper.Another great thing is that the software has a screenshot function to annotate sketches and artwork. You can import work from Photoshop (.psd) and create simple animations or slideshows from the animation work.Sketchbook Pro truly gets that great artists don’t need too many brushes and options to make good art, but instead lets newbies get up-to-speed and drawing almost immediately.


Used in high-end productions like the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, the Mudbox application might be a little high-powered for beginners.Used for renders and polygon structures, this is a specialized tool for technical animators and production artists.

Blender 2.68a

Blender possesses most of the features you’ll find in top-of-line 3D modeling programs’ but the only difference is that it’s 100% free!Think of it as an open-source alternative to 3D animation and modeling programs in the market. It even has a community that has hundreds of tutorials all available for free.

Digital FlipBook

One of the longest standing 2D Animation software in the market, it’s great for creating animated productions. It’s compatible with tablets and styluses so you can draw directly into the application and sync music/sounds to your productions. It might look like something out of the history books of Disney, but you might consider trying it if you’re just getting into animated movies.

Easy Paint Tool SAI

SAI is a lightweight raster graphics editor and painting software for Microsoft Windows. It’s one of the older tools with its last update way back when in 2016. What it does offer is an easy-to-use interface with no-frills and it offers artists immense flexibility for brush selection and execution.

FL Studio 11

FL Studio is a complete software music environment that lets you have massive control over audio and sound effects. One of the most notable features is that they offer life-time updates all included into the purchase price.This is a piece of software that’s not only worth knowing and using for years to come, but it’s also one that will be the cheapest to use over the course of your entire career.

Flash Professional CC

Is Flash dead as a medium? This software begs to differ. Since HTML 5 and other more complex software overshadowed the old Flash creators, Flash simply finds new outlets to thrive in, whether it be viral YouTube animations or pesky pop-up ads.

Corel Painter X3

Corel Painter is able to very closely mimic the feeling of drawing on a true canvas. This is what plenty of artists dream of.Well-known as one of the best painting software on the market, they give you more of everything you need and strip away the stuff you don’t.

ZBrush 4R6

Almost overnight after its release, ZBrush was seeing use in high budget films, including the VFX in the Lord of the Rings movies. ZBrush focuses exclusively on enabling users to produce high-quality 3D objects while leaving the other features such as animation to other software.

Cinema 4D Prime

Cinema 4D is the premiere 3D animation software in the industry. One of the aspects that make the software so popular with artists is its ability to transfer to other programs. The renders can function as a format in different kinds of software.Cinema 4D enables you to render 3D figures that can move around the screen - perfect for landscapes and individual scenes of products.

Autodesk Maya

Autodesk Maya is another industry standard software that is widely used by animators and 3D Product designers alike.It’s capabilities are endless, you can create models, rig joints, create custom realistic textures and build renders to run across other software like Cinema 4D.

Toon Boom Studio 8

Hundreds of famous shows and films have already used Toon Boom Studio in their 2D Animation productions to bring their creations to life. With its built in storyboarding feature, its a favourite among cartoonists and kid show animators.

Adobe Illustrator CC

The industry standard for creating vector graphics and illustrations. You can’t go wrong with getting your hands on Adobe Illustrator whether you’re an artist, animator or illustrator. Boasting a user interface that almost all of us designers are used to, and the option to outline strokes at will, it’s a must have in any true artists arsenal of design software.

Premiere Pro CC

Premiere Pro is “a beastly piece of software that is one of the few programs you can ever put on your computer that has the ability to push your PC to its processor limits.If you want to be a digital video editor there are plenty of software options, but when it comes to which is best when price is not a concern, it’s hard to argue that anything other than Premiere Pro [CC] sits at the throne.” Add in its powerful sister program, Adobe After Effects CC, and you have the most prolific pair of digital video editing software the industry has ever known.

Unity Pro 4

When you think Unity, you’ll think of game artists. Unity Pro allows you to design and build your game for scratch to eventually load it to some of the top re-sellers like Steam. Many top games are built on Unity, and they don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

Mari 2.0v2

Mari is the 3D texture painting software that’s been used in feature-films like Avatar and countless other blockbuster films in the recent advent of CGI and VFX. Mari lets studios get into the details of their art and renders by offering custom, not pre-packed textures and render packs.

3ds Max

Autodesk 3ds Max or also known as: 3D Studio, enables artists to build 3D Animation, games and models. It’s well-known as one of the best software for building illustrious worlds and environment in games and beyond.One famous example is the upcoming Deus-Ex: Mankind Divided where its immersive landscape was created almost exclusively with this software.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is almost like the mother of all raster applications and is still the top industry standard. If you don’t know how to use the software, you can’t really call yourself a designer, artist or animator. It lets you accomplish detailed edits and retouching of photographs and even create elements directly on it depending on your level of expertise with the software.

Drawplus X6

This drawing, illustrating and 2D animation software is excellent for aspiring artists that want one program to all of your backgrounds, scenery, characters and bring them alive with awesome animation. This piece of software will let you turn your paper drawings into vector graphics and help you make them come to life.It is the perfect program from creating your ideal 2D world and is fairly easy to use so if you are just getting into this game then you will appreciate Draw Plus X6.

Markzware Flightcheck 7.5

A standalone software for Mac, the Markzware Flight Check is an essential pre flight application for designers aids in checking the pre press quality and press quality control of material. The feature ground control enables users the user to check color usage areas prepress to ensure quality, and there are numerous options available to ensure that the final print is perfect.


A light-weight software application that includes most of the basic vector features you’d probably use. It also boasts plenty of options for using filters, shadows and fonts and is versatile for most design uses. What’s unique about Vectr is its ability to sync and collaborate across different devices. That way, you can work on the same canvas with anyone, anywhere.


GIMP or the GNU Image Manipulation Program is an almost perfect alternative to Adobe Photoshop. It focuses on photo manipulation and enables not just designers, but photographers too to use it to its full potential. You can use it to paint, retouch photos or create any scene you can imagine.


A vector graphics editor, that is hands down one of the most popular Industry Standard editors presently.CorelDraw has some cool productive functions and such an ease of use that no other vector editor can match up to.The tools give you full control so you can get fast and dynamic results. With CorelDraw version X5 and above, you get an inbuilt organizer (Corel CONNECT) also.

Affinity Designer

Affinity Designer allows an intrinsic zoom-in experience. Functions in any color space like RGB, CMYK, LAB, Greyscale.Possess CMYK workflow along with ICC color management.Compatible with macOS and Windows.


Inkscape is a professional and free tool that is ideal for vector designers and general graphic designers that use the universal SVG file format.What’s great is that the tool works on Windows, Linux, OS, and Mac and helps you save up for the coveted Adobe Suite after you’ve done some work for yourself.It’s a great alternative if you can’t yet spring for other software but the controls might take some time to master.


iMovie is a video editing software application that comes as a default application to most modern Apple Mac devices. It’s meant more for amateur editors that are just beginning their foray into video editing and sports quite a few visually appealing stock effects and transitions. Users can edit the video clips by adding photos, titles, themes, music, and numerous built-in effects. Fades, slides and color correction are also features that are available in the application out-of-the-box.

Final Cut Pro

Final Cut Pro is a step higher than iMovie as it aims to be the premier video editing app for the Mac. Best used for film edits for corporate videos as it processes an array of formats and boasts features like creative cuts across different scenes, a powerful color-correction control panel and more.


Krita is a free and open-source raster graphics editor designed primarily for digital painting and animation purposes that runs on almost all platforms from Windows, Linux to Mac. Completely FREE, you can consider using this for the time being while you’re saving up for Adobe Photoshop.----Were you worried about which software for video you could try your hand on first? Now you’re spoilt for choice.Just remember, don’t get too caught up with the different types of software, but focus on buffing up your skillsets and keep updated on video marketing trends in the industry too!