November 24

2D Animation and Everything You Need to Know About It

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Table Of Contents

If you are asked where you see 2D animation every day, then you may not be able to answer right away. This only confirms the fact that animation is so embedded in our lives that we even stopped noticing it. Cartoons, advertisements, games, marketing videos, web design, educational materials … These are just the most obvious examples of where we might find it.

2D animation services are simple, unlike their 3D counterparts. There is no need to create complex and expensive 3D models, and the result can be much more impressive than with other more advanced technologies.

Let’s take a closer look at 2D animation: it will be interesting.

2D Animation: Motion in a 2D World

Two-dimensional space is a flat world where only measurements of height and width exist. If movement begins to occur there (by the will of a human, and not by chance), then it will be called animation.

2D animation appeared a long time ago. The first mention dates back to 1908 when a black and white 75-second cartoon was created, consisting of about 700 different drawings. This was the main feature of 2D animation in the early stages of its formation: it was necessary to draw every new frame in order to recreate a semblance of movement.

After the 30s, Disney and Warner Brothers actively took up the popularization of 2D animation with the help of their famous characters: Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, and others. Modern technology has greatly simplified the creation of animation. Now there is no need to paint every frame by hand. The software helps fill in the space between the first and last keyframes.

Software for 2D Animation

Each 2D animation company uses its programs, in which it is most convenient for specialists to work. In general, they allow achieving the same result and differ only in interface and complexity.

For a beginner, Synfig, Opentoonz, and Pencil 2D are perfect. Apart from being free, their toolkit will not confuse the beginner and help to create decent projects with effects, different styles, and sound support.

Professionals and connoisseurs alike will appreciate Moho, Toon Boom Harmony, and FlipBook. These programs are regularly updated and have the latest advanced features for your use. Specialists in stop motion will like the excellent program especially for this type of animation – Stop Motion Studio.

2D vs 3D: What to Choose

There is no point in trying to oppose the two giants since each of them has an area of application where they perform best. However, some patterns can be distinguished:

  1. In 3D animation, there are many limitations when building a frame or scene. Creating 2D animations is much easier. 2D characters are more flexible and have more pronounced facial expressions, which makes them memorable. Three-dimensional models are created differently, their every movement is calculated by mathematical formulas.
  2. In 2D animation, there is no need to create complex 3D models. The same goes for effects such as sparks, explosions, bursts, and others: all this is done much faster.
  3. Character animation in 2D movies is cheaper than in 3D ones. The lower cost is achieved due to a shorter creation time, simpler procedures, and the involvement of fewer specialists.
  4. Working with 3D, specialists focus on graphics. Game environment designers actually compete with each other for a more realistic result. The plot often fades into the background. In this sense, 2D is more balanced: here you can focus on the story and show bright graphics.

2D animation outsourcing is now a very popular service. In addition to games, two-dimensional videos are often ordered for advertising purposes: they appeal to the viewer much more intently than three-dimensional ones. They are also easier to read and help focus on the message rather than the graphics, as with games.

Wrapping Up

2D animation continues to live and develop actively despite the spread of 3D format. Modern specialists, from 2D character designers to 2D environment artists, know perfectly how to make a project in the best possible way in accordance with all advanced technologies and gaming trends. Every year, new 2D games shake the markets, sometimes significantly surpassing 3D in popularity.


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