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Introduction to 2D Animation: Techniques, Best Practices, and Solutions

What is 2D Animation? Everything You Need to Know

2d animation occurs when we combine different pictures of different heights and widths together, which creates an illusion of movement in a two-dimensional world without any depth. 2D animations are often used for commercials, TV shows, movies, and video games. It is typically used to make the illusion of movement when no movement is present.


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What are the types of animation in 2D animation?

Explainer Videos
Explainer videos are made for public awareness about a product or a service, why they should use it, how to use it, and to showcase the service’s unique proposition to potential clients.

Animated Whiteboard Videos
Animated Whiteboard Videos use an old-school pen and whiteboard feel, giving viewers the nostalgia of their old classrooms while using a creative script to deliver a message or raise awareness. Mostly used to exhibit the unique problem that the product can solve, these videos are an effective tool to get your clients interested in a new product that you’re releasing.

Product Demo Videos
If you’re ready to launch a new product into the market, product demo videos can be used for marketing purposes to create pre-launch hype to increase your revenue through more user engagement and downloads.

what is 2d animation


What Do 2D Animators Do?

A 2D animator is someone that creates the story of a film or video game by drawing, painting, sculpting or modelling characters and objects.

They are known for their use of paper and pencil to create an idea on paper before it is turned into a computer model.

The responsibilities of a 2d animator may include:

  • Sketching designs
  • Designing characters
  • Developing storyboards
  • Creating special effects
  • Animating scenes
  • Transitioning backgrounds


what is 2d animation


The Future of 2D

2D animation is a strong force in the marketing world with video content becoming viral thanks to social media.

Videos are shareable, and 2D videos come in many shareable shapes and forms such as:

  • 2D Explainer Videos
  • Corporate Videos
  • Animated Whiteboard Videos
  • Social Advertisements
  • Infotainment Videos
  • Product Demos
  • Teaser Videos

There is huge potential within the 2D animation industry, creating video content that is targeted for channels that make video content go viral.


What is the difference between 2d and 3d animation?

2D animation is a way to create images and animations which have a foreground and background, in two dimensions. This type of animation is typically created with the use of hand-drawn or computer-generated imagery, but can also be produced using live actors.
3D animation is a way to create images and animations which have depth, in three dimensions. This type of animation is typically created with the use of computer graphics and 3D modeling software, but can also be produced using live actors.


2D Animation Explanation and Examples

This type of animation was first developed in the 19th century by painting on glass with a paintbrush and a pencil. 2D animation is a traditional animation method. It’s also referred to as flat animation or paper-based animation, because it uses drawings that are drawn on paper.

2d animation has been around for decades and might still be the most popular type of animation in the world. They are also very versatile and can be used for any type of project, even making a 2D game.

Traditionally, 2d animations were put together in an amazing process where artists drew pencil drawings of every frame of film. Then these images were painted onto clear plastic sheets called cels, and each of these thousands of hand-drawn and painted cels were photographed one at a time over a hand-painted background image.

Thousands of images were then compiled to run as film at 24 frames per second. Animated films such as “The Lion King” use 2D animation to tell the story and create an immersive experience.


Tips and Tricks to Master 2D Animation

Here are some really useful tips and tricks suggested by Disney animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnson:

  • Squash and stretch : Make sure that your characters have weight and volume during movement.
  • Staging : Your characters should have poses or actions that would clearly indicate their intentions. Be clear about the process you choose: You may either choose to draw the main poses and then create the transitional poses or you may create individual scenes one by one.
  • Look for overlapping actions : Observe the movements of the characters.
  • Arc : Consider incorporating somewhat circular movements to the characters’ actions.
  • Secondary Action : While you highlight the main action, consider using secondary actions as well to make your characters appear livelier. Exaggeration : You can put a spotlight on specific ideas by using exaggerations in the characters’ movements.
  • Solid Drawing : Even if your characters have two-dimensional characteristics, you should still put some effort into giving your characters some weight. Appeal & Aesthetics: Your characters should appeal to your target audience; your characters should create long lasting impacts on their minds.

2D animation is a fun and exciting field. It can be difficult to master, but with the right tricks you’ll get better at it quickly. A good way to allow the audience to anticipate an action is by following a story. You can build anticipation of the actions that you’re going to take. It is important that the character have poses or actions that would clearly indicate their intentions. Using bones and joints can be very helpful when animating characters.

2D animated characters are always more realistic when they use a  circular motion to their movements. This helps them stay in character and feel less like cartoons or video game characters.

Timing is important for scenes, make them slower or faster as per your requirement. For example, if you are animating a scene at 30 frames per second, then make it at 24 frames per second for a smoother and more realistic movement.


What are the parts of the 2D animation production pipeline?

The 2D animation production pipeline is a series of steps and processes that occur during the creation of an animated film. The process includes storyboarding, character design, and animating. A typical 2D production pipeline process is the one used in the Walt Disney Animation Studios.


How Is 2D Animation Created?

2D Animation is created in three stages: Pre-Production, Production, and Post-Production.

The pre-production marks the first stage of creating any kind of animation. At this stage, a team of animators works with writers to lock down a story and the script of the animation. Next, they design the characters of the video, create a storyboard, choose a color theme, and create the background of the video. For creating the characters and backgrounds, the design process is usually done in two steps.

Once pre-production is done, the team chooses a colour theme for the video, keeping in mind the objects and elements and the lighting strategy for the video. From painting the backgrounds, animating character actions and activities to designing the scenes and making rough animations are part of the process. For more complex jobs, animation tracing and in-betweening are also done during production.

In post-production, the animation team conducts all the final editing of a 2D animation.


what is 2d animation


2D Animation Career Opportunities

2D animation is a career that is opening doors for people of all ages, skills, genders and talents. The 2D industry helps artists create their own worlds with creativity and imagination. There are many career opportunities for 2D artists. They can work as freelance artists, animators, directors or producers.

There are many types of careers for those with a degree in animation.

  • Animation Director
  • Games Developer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Animator
  • Character Designer
  • Storyboard Artist

An animator must have strong skills in these areas: Working with a team, verbal and written communication, time-management, computer software, thinking creatively

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