Is there any particular software or software family specifically designed for making anime? Are they drawing all the frames of motion scenes, or does a software automatically generate them?

For example, consider a soccer player kicking a football. Let the duration of the scene be 0.5 seconds, and let the frame rate of the video be 24 fps; that makes 12 frames in that scene. Do they patiently draw all those 12 frames manually for that scene which takes only half a second?

  • This question isn't really appropriate for Anime / Manga -- this is a question about Animation in general, possibly Sequential Art or Graphic Design. Dec 11, 2012 at 21:01
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    @RachelKeslensky I think a couple of questions would be fine, just as long as it doesn't become a major topic. Also Japanese anime might use a different style of software than Western Anime
    – TheLQ
    Dec 11, 2012 at 21:03
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    this question should not be about software. And no speculation. There is a real question hidden here about Japanese commons of anime production, that could be very special and quite distinct from anything else. And very on-topic (think about it: japanese.SE.com? no. avp.SE.com? no. may need a re-ask, though!) Just like their seiyuu are of much-much higher quality and thus the seiyuu-traning internals would be equally interesting as the anime-drawing internals.
    – n611x007
    May 22, 2013 at 19:36
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    a little bit modifying my last comment: not be about software that only "could be" used to create anime; if it's reworded to "what real Japanese artists and craftspeople actually use", then software could still be interesting. See meta.anime.stackexchange.com/a/579/244 ;)
    – n611x007
    May 22, 2013 at 20:39
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    For those interested, this blog post goes into detail about the software used in the production of Violet Evergarden (based on behind the scenes videos that the studio posted on Twitter). And this article goes into detail about the paint-on-glass animation in Mob Psycho 100.
    – ahiijny
    Mar 8, 2019 at 6:05

1 Answer 1


It depends on a few different things, including the content, the style, and when it was made (i.e. did the technology exist to do it one way vs. another?)

Here's a GREAT example of multiple anime styles used in a single show -- we go from "high quality" level animation for the transformations, to the more "western", flash-friendly style the show is normally in, to a rather garish live-action explosion at the end. These all require different approaches.

If you pay attention, you can also spot where the characters aren't moving much in certain points in the video (like where Panty & Stocking are standing still under the "disco" lighting), so they can get away with only drawing the frame once even though the scene goes for much longer.

When "tweening" between keyframes (to produce moving animation like your soccer ball example), yes, those have to be hand-drawn -- or at least hand-checked, even if a computer is used to extrapolate between keyframes! Using certain animation software like Flash, Toon Boom, or 3D modeling software like Blender may take out some of the work, but none of that software can compensate for a bad animator, or replace an artist at the helm.

There's plenty of shortcuts animators use, but the computer never draws the cartoon for them -- they still have to do that part themselves!

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