Although you may be partial to an old-fashioned sketchbook when inspiration strikes, there are now numerous apps designed to provide aspiring animators with a more advanced set of portable tools. Capturing your ideas when you create them is important, or you could lose your inspiration by the time you get home to your computer and 3DS Max software. The following apps are designed for use on the go, whether you have a tablet or smartphone.

Animation Studio

Perhaps the best-known animation app is Animation Studio, available for iPhone and iPad. It not only integrates with YouTube so that you can instantly share your content, but also allows you to add audio to your animations. Tools include clip art, layering, graphics, and HD output, among other basic features.

Doodle Animator HD

Whether you want to draw with your fingers or use vector drawing tools, you can create a variety of different finished products and designs on this iPad app.

Animation Desk

A slick-looking app designed for the iPad, this program is extremely user friendly and boasts many features that set it apart from other apps on the market. You can manage your files, use pressure sensitivity and layering, and see overlays of previous frames. There’s all the major painting and drawing tools that you would expect, as well as audio capabilities.

Lapse It

Choose from different camera effects to create time lapse photography videos, or set this Android app into manual mode to create a stop motion masterpiece. With an easy to use, intuitive interface and advanced features like rotation, this is a fun app that’s free in its most basic version.

DoInk Animation and Drawing

Simple enough for kids to use yet sophisticated enough for those more experienced with animation software, DoInk offers keyframe animating capabilities allowing you to publish movies and images on YouTube. You can also create flipbook-style animations and use original props.

Animation Express

A simplified version of the more complicated Animation Studio app, Animation Express lets you use an array of painting and drawing tools to create your own unique animations. You can also incorporate sound into your creation. Best of all, it’s available free for download.

Animation Creator HD

Designed for the iPad, this app features brushes, pencils, line tools, and full screen editing. Users can also import images and user layering tools for more complex animations. You can then upload your creation to YouTube or share it on Twitter.

Sketchbook Express

Designed by Autodesk, Sketchbook Express is a professional paint and drawing program for Android devices. It offers a full range of intuitive sketching and animation tools for a high end experience when you’re ready to draw on the go.


Designed for Android devices, Sketcher offers 11 different brush types and an eraser function. It allows you to share your animated creations by email or SMS messages.

Cartoon Studio Pro

If you want to work on your own cartoons from the comfort of your iPhone, this is a great place to start. After completing each individual frame, you can play them back as a movie and share it with all your friends on WordPress, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and other social platforms.

This is a guest post from Martina Scarano for Autodesk, a leading provider of 3D design and animation software

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