I’m looking for an animation software which has native support for creating and manipulating mathematical objects, such as parabolas, and algebraic curves. At the same time I want to be able to use animation tools such as “onion skin”.
I know Wolfram Mathematica can handle mathematical plots very precisely, but creating a serious 10-minutes animation project there seems difficult. On the other hand, Adobe Animate CC is pretty convenient for making standard stuff like faces/bodies/background, but lacks (as far as I know) the ability to create precise parabolas and such.
My question is: Is there an animation software that does well on both aspects? If not, should I just do the mathematical things on Mathematica, and export them to Animate CC?
Depends on your needs. First let me point out that a bezier that has both tangent touching the same point is a parabola in many configurations. And making mathematical functions in adobes applications is not impossible by fitting bezier curves (see my script jooGraphFunction for exact code).
Second you can do pretty complex animations in mathematica, just do this in sections. Although you may prefer to use geogebra instead.
Personally i would use a more capable animation software than either mathematica or adobe animate (AA). Most likely i would choose maya but even blender can be better than either AA or mathematica. While they are 3D suites, they can for obvious reasons do even 2D. More importantly they have node based geometry generation available that allow you to do
much more than something like AA. Up and including fucntions for points which will result in algebraic curves or surfaces support.
Image 1: Animation done in maya that i had laying around on imgur. About 5 minutes of work.
Ultimately you should choose a software you are comfortable in. 10 Minutes of engaging animation is a lot of work. Time wise i would budget around a week per minute of production quality animation plus some overhead for revisions and setup. So for ten minutes you would be looking at 3 months of work, which could be dropped down to about 1 month if you lower quality expectations.