5 Best Motion Capture Software Tools [Ranked & Compared]

Updated On: April 26, 2021

Have you ever wanted to create motion capture animation?

There are more tools than ever for doing this. Here is a list of the best motion capture software currently available, with an overview of each.

We’ll cover Adobe After Effects, Animate CC, 3DS Max by Autodesk, Motionbuilder, and VideoStudio by Corel so that you can find the right tool for you.

What is the Best Motion Capture Software?

When shopping around for motion capture software, you have many options to choose from. Some offer features that others don’t. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you first start looking.

This post will help you make the best decision by providing an overview of each motion capture tool and highlighting features, pricing, pros, and cons.

#1 Adobe After Effects.

Best Overall Motion Capture Software

Adobe After Effects Homepage


Adobe After Effects is a motion graphics software best suited for video editors and motion graphic designers. After Effects allows you to animate, alter, composite media footage with ease.

It is by far the best motion capture software and VFX software for video editing. After Effects also offers a variety of animation tools such as morphing and puppet-making.


It is jam-packed full of features, but for now, I am going to focus on a few of the key features After Effects has to offer.

  • A vector paint tool that allows you to create and animate graphics, text, shapes, or any other drawing object by pointing and clicking.
  • 3D Camera tracker that helps you to track live motion and animate footage in the background of your scene.
  • Smooth motion tracking with the Warp Stabilizer smooths footage by analyzing motion and removing the jittery effect.
  • Motion Mixer lets you combine animation with different layers of video animations and footage.


Adobe After Effects Pricing

Adobe After Effects pricing starts at $19.99 per month with an annual commitment to the Creative Cloud and goes up from there based on your specific needs.

If you just want to get After Effects by itself it will cost you $20.99 per month. If I’m being honest, your best bet is to go for the entire Creative Cloud suite for $52.99 per month. It’s a steal if you ask me.

Bottom Line

Adobe After Effects is best for those who need to use a motion capture tool and don’t have much money. It’s an easy-to-use software that will help you create top-notch motion graphics. There are hundreds of Adobe After Effects visual effects tutorials online to help you.

#2 Adobe Animate.

Best for 2D Animation Software

Adobe Animate Homepage


Adobe Animate is a motion design tool with drag and drop functionality. The best feature is the animation timeline, which allows you to create stunning animations without much effort at all.

Adobe Animate is like After Effects little brother, but it is still a really powerful piece of software that focuses on 2D animation.

2D animation is commonly used in advertising, video marketing content, explainer video, and more.


  • Scripting tool is a powerful feature
  • Drag and drop is amazingly easy
  • Animation timeline allows for quick animation creation
  • Cross-platform compatibility with Windows on a PC and Mac OSX


Adobe Animate Pricing

Adobe Animate pricing starts at $19.99 per month paid annually.

It’s a bit pricey, but I still think it’s worth it for the power you get.

Again, if you want to take full advantage of everything that Adobe has to offer, just get the Creative Cloud bundle starting at $52.99 per month.

Bottom Line

Adobe Animate is best for those that are looking for an easy to use yet powerful animation software.

I recommend you give this tool a try with Adobe’s 30-day free trial they offer. Just click the button below to start your free trial.

#3 3DS Max by Autodesk.

Best for design visualization, games, and animation

3DS Max Homepage


3DS Max by Autodesk is one of the most powerful and popular software on this list. You can use it for motion capture, character animation (specifically 3D), games development, or even architectural visualization.

It has seriously advanced motion capture technology across the board that is really tough to beat.


  • Motion Paths for character animation to make them move in the way you want in real-time.
  • Special effects like combustion, magic particle effects
  • Powerful character modeling tools with the ability to create new models from scratch and sculpting.


3DS Max Pricing

3DS Max by Autodesk pricing starts at $215 per month on the monthly plan.

The yearly plan costs $1,700 per year, and you also have the option to pay for a three-year subscription for $4,590.

Bottom Line

3DS Max by Autodesk is ideal for professional-level motion capture and 3D characters animation. I can’t stress enough that this tool is built for professionals only.

#4 Motionbuilder.

Best for 3D Character Animation

Motionbuilder Homepage


Motionbuilder by Autodesk is a powerful motion capture system for professional-level animation.

Body motion capture solutions like this are used in Hollywood films to make digital characters’ movements more engaging.

Harry Potter, which first popularized motion capture technology, places digital character animation inside a physical suit for actors to wear on set – complete with an array of sensors and cameras that record their movement.


  • It is completely integrated with Autodesk products and plug-ins for a seamless workflow.
  • Robust motion capture editing allows you to edit every single pixel using accurate motion capture data.
  • Powerful 3D engine allowing you to create realistic character movements.
  • Motionbuilder’s SDK can be used with other animation software.


MotionBuilder Pricing

Pricing starts at $1,950 per year for Motionbuilder.

The second option is to purchase 3 years upfront for $5,265.

Obviously, this motion capture system is an enterprise-level tool built for professionals who make a living from 3D animation of characters.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a professional-level tool for capture motion 3D animations, then this is by far the best tool for you.

Any tool that is used for Hollywood-level productions and OTT video is going to have you covered from every angle you could ever imagine.

#5 VideoStudio by Corel.

Best for hobbyists and beginners

VideoStudio Homepage


VideoStudio by Corel is a simple, lightweight video editor that is perfect for beginners.

This software offers the functionality of a full editing suite without any of the extra bloat.

It is mentioned here on this list as a capture motion tool because of its simple to use stop motion animation tool that’s built-in.


  • Stop Motion Animation with performance capture technology.
  • Create custom animations and motion graphics with ease.
  • Painting creator allows you to use motion trackers for recording your brush strokes.


VideoStudio Pricing

VideoStudio Pro will only cost you $79.99 and comes with a 30-day free trial.

Now, this is not a full-blown mocap software wool that can be used for game development, motion analysis, gait analysis, 3D characters, or even gathering animation data.

This is a simplistic tool that is made for hobbyists and beginners. On my list, I have a bunch of other professional tools that can tackle those projects a whole lot better.

Bottom Line

VideoStudio Pro by Corel is a full video editing suite that will allow you to do basic animations and character models without needing an engineering degree.

If you are a hobbyist I recommend giving their 30-day free trial a go.

Frequently Ask Questions

How much does motion capture cost?

Things like 3D character animation and high-level game development could end up costing you more, but it still has a wide range of prices from $19.99 per month to $200+ per month.

Can you do motion capture at home?

Yes and no. You can do a lot of motion capture at home, but sometimes you need to rent motion capture rigs for large feature film-making types of projects.

What is motion capture used for?

Motion capture is used for many different purposes. It can be used to create computer-generated characters in movies, video games, or as a visual.

What is 3D character animation?

3D animation is the process of creating a digital model that moves and behaves like it is alive. This can be done by using a variety of techniques, including motion capture.

What is Motion Capture Software?

Motion capture software is a tool used to create animation for film, video games, and other applications. It captures the motion of an actor or other objects and turns it into a motion vector.

The motion capture software records the movement of an object or actor, then uses that data to animate other objects or actors.

There are many forms of motion capture software available today, including some that have specific features for video games and others made specifically for other types of motion capture.

Wrap Up.

Motion capture software is a necessary tool for animators and motion designers to use.

There are many different types of technologies that have specific features geared towards a variety of industries.

You have tools that specialize in motion analysis, biomechanics, gaming experience, motion data, and a ton more.

About the Author

Colin Shipp is a marketer who has been working remotely full-time since 2015. He specializes in growth marketing, content marketing, online courses, and remote work. On ColinShipp.com he writes about strategies he is using in his own life.