Animation is a technique used to manipulate still images and backgrounds to create an illusion of images in motion. Traditionally, animations involve hand-drawn or painted images on a transparent celluloid sheet.
However, modern-day animators use software to create computer-generated motion graphics in 2D or 3D virtual environments.
While there is a myth going around that 2D animation is dead, it is actually one of the most versatile animation mediums that have found their way into various industries, including media and filmmaking. From TV shows to indie video games and mobile apps to feature films and advertisements to websites, you will find 2D animations everywhere.
Therefore, if you are a marketer or a student thinking about pursuing a career in 2D animation, this post will be your guide to exploring 2D animation services and everything there is to know about the technology.
What is 2D Animation?
2D animation is a method that combines images of different widths and heights to create an illusion of motion in a two-dimensional world. There is no depth to the characters, creatures, and backgrounds. Therefore, you simply see images and all the elements moving on a 2D plain.
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2D Animation vs 3D Animation
While the development stages of both 2D animations and 3D animated videos are almost identical, there are specific differences in both technologies. These differences start emerging as you initiate the main 2D animation production phase.
While a computer replaces pencil and paper for sketching in a 3D pipeline, 2D animation relies on an artist’s expertise in sketching, rendering, modeling, and texturing characters, props, and backgrounds.
Who can Use 2D Animations?
Whether a business, marketer, entrepreneur, or 2D animator. You can use 2D animation services for a variety of purposes, including:
- Filmmaking, such as Educational Animations and Feature Films
- Animated Products Commercials
- Web Animations
- Social Media Animations
- Music Videos
- Explainer Videos
- Whiteboard Animations
- TV Shows
- Video Games
- Video Gaming Trailers
- Medical Animations
- Equipment Manufacturing and Industrial Animations
- 2D Logo Animations
- Architectural Animations
- 2D Product Images
- 2D Cartoon Animations
What Are the Types Of 2D Cartoon Animations?
Whether you make 2D animations for entertainment or marketing, it is one of the most versatile and cost-effective customer engagement mediums. This is the reason why you will find the majority of branding and marketing videos in a two-dimensional format.
Typically, there are five different types of 2D animated cartoons that you can utilize. Let us look at them one by one.
1. 2D Computer Animations
A 2D computer animation is also known as CGI animation. This type of 2D animation video production generates animated images using 2D graphics software. In this process, you can generate computerized 2D animations from hand-drawn or traditional animations.
If you want to present or convey a large amount of information in the shortest possible time, a 2D infographics animation is a perfect way to do so. You can illustrate complex descriptions and subjects via infographics.
3. Motion Graphics
Not all 2D animation does not require a story or character-driven video. Some may only need to use text and graphics for projects like 2D explainer animation videos, 2D animated logos, and 2D titles and trailers.
In these cases, using the 2D motion graphics technique is an ideal choice, as your 2D animated video does not require integration or implementation of any body mechanics in the mix. You can see the use of motion graphics animations in commercial animations.
4. Stop-Motion 2D Animations
Stop-motion 2D animation is alternatively known as stop-frame 2D animation. This is a cinematic process that can help make real-world objects appear in motion through the art of manipulation and photography. You create different frames for each movement and run the frames in sequence to create an illusion of 2D motion graphics.
5. Whiteboard Animations
This type of 2D animation involves the simulation of black-line graphics shown to be drawn on a white background. You can use whiteboard animations to illustrate the concept in animated form.
What is a 2D Anime?
A 2D anime refers to a hand-drawn 2D animation style. The technique originated in Japan and is the same as traditional 2D animated cartoons. However, anime characters have large doe-like eyes, and you will find 2D anime primarily used in Japanese manga and comics.
Is It Hard to Produce a 2D Animation?
2D and 3D techniques involve similar steps in producing 2D animations using an entirely different production path. Therefore, harder is not the correct term to define the complexity of both projects. That said, 3D animation production happens mainly on 3D animation software; consequently, it is less time-consuming.
On the other hand, a 2D animation requires more artistic expertise, including hand sketches and other manual tasks. Therefore, producing a 2D animated video requires more time, energy, and resources to complete. However, partnering with a 2D animation company can help you create realistic and HD 2D animated videos in a short span of time.
Are 2D Animations Cheaper to Produce?
Budget is one of the main concerns when it comes to choosing between 2D animated videos and 3D counterparts. However, the price of your project will vary based on different factors, which include the following.
- Quality of your animation
- Target audience
- Duration of your 2D animation, such as a short clip, 30-second ad, logo animation, or an animated film or TV show.
- Is it a single animation or a series such as a 2D cartoon animation series?
Typically, a 2D animation is undoubtedly cheaper than a 3D animated video. However, a series of 2D animations may cost you more than a single 3D animated advertisement. Consequently, a 2D logo animation is way cheaper than a 3D animated logo.
Step-by-Step 2D Animation Process
Whether you are a marketing manager in a company or an animation aficionado, here is a step-by-step guide to understanding the 2D animation production workflow. This will not only help you learn 2D animation art but also give you an edge to gauge the competence of the 2D animation production company you wish to hire.
There are mainly three phases involved in the production of 2D video animations: pre-production, production, and post-production. Let us explore them in a bit more detail.
Phase #1 – 2D Animated Video Pre-Production
The post-production phase of a 2D animated video involves the following basic steps.
1. Story or Concept
Before you start the 2D animation production, you need a concept or story for the 2D animated video. Remember, your story plays a vital role in the success of your 2D video animation. Therefore, do some research and find inspirations from around you and in your niche.
Finding what inspires and motivates your target audience and turning it into a unique 2D anime video will help you strike an emotional chord with the user base.
2. Building on an Idea
Once you have a concept in mind, it is time to build a story around that idea and determine the characters, scenarios, and props. This will determine the scope of work for the next step of scripting.
Once you have the full scope of the storyline, its situations, and its characters, it is time to start writing the scripts and dialogues for each scene and character. Once you have the script in hand, you will be all set to move on to the production phase.
Phase #2 – 2D Animated Video Production
The 2D animated video production phase includes the following activities.
You start with designing the backgrounds, props, objects, and 2D characters. You can start by sketching on paper and creating different characters, objects, and even scenes. If you are not very good with pencil and paper, you can actually outsource this task to a 2D animation artist.
At Prolific Studio, our character design artists can create exceptional and appealing 2D artwork per your desire.
Storyboard refers to a sketch or series of sketches to create something like a comic book following each action and scene in your animation. Your 2D animated characters and objects will move in each scene combined with dialogues, actions, and background score.
You can also create concept art at this stage to determine the color, tone, style, and artistic appeal of your 2D animation video. The process of creating 2D animation concept art involves a huge number of paintings, sketches, drawings, sculptures, blueprints, and models.
Once you have the storyboard and concept art ready, it is time to start recording the voiceovers of each character. This is a job for an expert, as your voiceover artist’s spoken script should match the pace of the character’s lips movements.
4. Background Score
You can create background music or theme songs to play as your 2D animation video runs. You can either be a freelance music composer or download royalty-free music pieces from online libraries. However, hiring a 2D animation production studio will give you access to 2D animators, music creators, storyboard creators, voiceover artists, and more.
5. It is Time to Animate
Now that you have all the components required to create a 2D animation, it is time to animate them to life. You will layer up your characters, scenes, props, voiceovers, and music to produce a seamless animated video.
Phase #3 – 2D Animated Video Post-Production
As you render your 2D video animation, it is time to enter the post-production phase of your project. Your animation artists will start inking each element according to mutually agreed color themes. The inking step includes coloring each character, prop, object and background.
Using 2D animation software not only saves you time but also allows you to reuse a frame, background, and animated character in different animations. You can use a 2D animation tool to use various camera angles and correct drawing mistakes and lighting. Furthermore, it also allows you to control the movement speed of each scene.
2D Animation as a Career
Are you a student thinking about pursuing a career in 2D animation? Maybe you are an animation artist considering switching to the 2D animation industry. In either case, the answer is ‘yes,’ 2D animation production is an excellent choice of career.
This is especially true for those with skills and proficiency in hand-drawn sketches. This can give you a competitive edge over other candidates in the market.
The skills you must have to become a 2D animator include the following:
- Adequate training and hands-on experience in computer graphics and Cel animation.
- Creative mind to visualize abstract art and concepts
- Proven experience in storyboarding, layout designs, and clean-ups
- Visual storytelling abilities
- Artistic Mindset
- Expertise in drawing, sketching, and coloring
- Ability to draw 2D animated objects, scenes, and characters in different genres and styles
How Much Does a 2D Animator Earn?
If you are thinking about pursuing a career as a 2D animation artist, here is all you need to know about the pay scale of a 2D animator. In the United States, a 2D animator typically earns from $40,000 to $60,000 per year on average.
The salary an animation company offers may depend on different factors, including location, company size, expertise, etc. If you are a 2D animation artist with intermediate-level skills, you can expect to make up to $50,000 per annum. However, an advanced-level 2D animation expert can expect to earn $60,000 or more.
High-Definition 2D Animations with Prolific Studio
Are you a digital marketer or a business owner searching for a 2D animation production service? If yes, finding the right one will determine animation quality and value for money. We at Prolific Studio excel in creating alluring 2D animation videos, logos, and artwork according to your concepts and desires.
We have a proven track record of working with a wide range of clientele and successfully delivering eye-catching 2D animated work. Therefore, regardless of the size and niche of your business, speak to our 2D animation experts and discuss your project for free.
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