I'm thinking of becoming an animator. I mainly want to make videos similar to Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell, who make videos like this. When I searched for AE and Animate / Flash comparisons for flat design purposes, all the examples that came up seemed to be made in AE. I know that AE is more powerful, but I want to know if Animate / Flash, being simpler, can accomplish the same goal, since most flat animation seems vector based, which Animate / Flash can already do quite well. Before downloading either After Effects or Animate, I need to be sure which is simpler/easier to use for this type of animation.

What are the differences between the two applications specifically for animations like the one I posted?

(Edit) Also, assuming the main application doesn't have these features, would you recommend any complementary software for creating assets and such?

Thanks in advance.

  • Neither aftereffects nor flash are the perfect tool here. I would say a more animation centric tool might help like say toonboom.
    – joojaa
    Commented May 2, 2016 at 6:40
  • @joojaa Thanks, I'll take a look at toonboom. I'm also interested in which one is the most beginner friendly (since I'm new to animation), but that's not as important as usability in the long run.
    – Jorgo
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 1:18
  • They explain what they use on their own youtube page. Apparently it is a combination of after effects and illustrator.
    – gio
    Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 0:47

3 Answers 3


Adobe AfterEffects is a composite tool where you put video, image and 3D content to create a final product. To that end there is a large set of tools, plug-ins and scripts such as tracking, effect generation, layering effects, integrations with other software (such as Cinema 4D) etc. It's primary output is video files. It supports various formats.

Adobe Animate (formerly Flash Professional) is a 2D animation tool for the web. It can export .gif, .png sequences and HTML5 Canvas files. For video exports it's limited to the .mov format.

To answer your question: The difference between the two is the scope. AfterEffects is a bit more complex as it's meant to be the gathering point for a lot of external material, while Animate CC is purpose-built for web animation. You can use both for motion graphics on YouTube. My recommendation would be AfterEffects + Illustrator.


I was trying After Effects for the same purpose as you for a while then recently I tried Adobe Animate for the same type of animation:

My primary problem was the shape tween tool for animate vector strokes like Rubber Hose style legs and arms. I experienced a lot of bugs and unexpected behaviours. In a search on the web, I saw people not recommending shape tweens because of the same bugs. As long as your animations have only position and rotation movements, Adobe animate can handle with it.

But, like others, I recommend After Effects. It is easier and more intuitive for vector animations that have a lot of interpolation. You can animate the same shape in all of its parameters, position, scale, rotation and vector path at the same time in the same layer. Its system of parent hierarchy is more intuitive too.


To me Adobe Animate is like a stripped down version of After Effects. It does do Frame by Frame animation better but you can get programs like Toon Boom or TV Paint to do it much better and they have more tools since they are specifically designed for that.

But overall, anything Adobe Animate can do, After Effects can also do and often times much better and it has more features.

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