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The Essentials of 2D Animation You Need to Know - Essence Studios

What Is 2D Animation?

2D animation includes all the processes carried out to make images, creatures, characters, or background move in a predetermined pattern within two-dimensional space.

Creating an illusional movement of the two-dimensional item involves a series of sequences looped together over time. Usually, a second is divided into 24 different frames. And based on the type of drawing or 2D image or item, about 24 unique and different drawings can be captured in one second of animation (24 fps) or just two-different drawings. Conventionally, the animation made on “2s” means that a drawing is captured every two frames, which gives 12 frames per second (12 fps). 2D animation enables artists to save on production costs and time, and achieve a fantastic output for their work. 

Although this mode of 2D animation is called the traditional animation, there has been a shift in paradigm for 2D animation production from the hand-drawn processes to the use of digital techniques like Adobe After Effects or Toon Boom Harmony. Amazingly, that dictates the future of 2D animation. 


Modern 2D Animation

There has been a significant rise in the use of 2D animation in recent times, and this is evident in featured films, TV shows, advertisements, websites, and mobile apps. The most modern examples of 2D include TV shows – Rick and Morty and F. Besides, Snapchat is also launching 2D animated series with up to 3 minutes episodes. Some video games have also revisited the use of 2D animation, for example, “Cuphead.”

The advancement in technology and the need for engaging content have necessitated using animation for almost anything on the internet, like entertainment and advertisement. You might not notice this development, but it has come to stay. 2D animation is evolving at a fantastic pace with a massive footprint on TV programs and streaming services. 

In the last decades, there has been more demand for 2D animators to create engaging and entertaining content. As a result, 2D animators and experts in motion graphics have risen to the challenge of creating awesome whiteboard explainer video animation content. Meanwhile, it would interest you to know what a 2D animator does and the prospects of the job. Besides, you might be interested in knowing the best 2D software. Read further. 


What a 2D Animator Does

A 2D animator narrates or conveys a story or message by moving images, objects, characters, and backgrounds in a two-dimensional space. A 2D animator is required to be multi-talented. He or she must be an excellent storyteller to be able to communicate a message or story in an engaging and entertaining way by moving the characters accordingly. Although the bulk of the task is carried out on the computer, the conventional hand-drawn techniques are a valuable skill needed for a more impressive output. 

Other duties expected of a 2D animator include:

a. Scenes animation

b. Background transitioning

c. Storyboards development

d. Designs' sketching

e. Special effects application


However, the tasks of a 2D animator can be categorized into three parts, such as the pre-production, production, and post-production stages.

The pre-production stage involves interpreting the story to develop the right characters, record dialogue, write scripts, and storyboarding. Other tasks in the pre-production stage include creating the background layout and character animation. 

It is during the production stage that the animator breathes life into the objects and characters by applying movement to them. Other tasks involved in this stage are coloring and processing the figures (using digital ink and paint). Compositing over the right backgrounds is also undertaken.

The post-production stage is the last stage of production, and it involves adding sound to the project and editing to ensure a synchronized and seamless flow. Further editing is carried out for the best results possible before the final format is exported. 

Due to the magnitude of the job, the animator will undoubtedly work with several other professionals. Hence, it is required that the animator has good communication skills.


Career Opportunities

The industry is a vast one for animators. They can work in different areas and projects such as video games, app promotion services, 2D motion graphics, explainer video animation, TV shows, featured films, websites, and mobile apps, among others. Advertising companies can also hire 2D animators for content.

If you are interested in 2D animation, you might not become an animator eventually. There are several roles you can take up as an animator, as illustrated below:

a. Animator

b. Motion designer

c. Graphic designer

d. Illustrator

e. Storyboard artist

f. Games developer 

g. Animation Director

h. Animation supervisor

i. Character designer

Meanwhile, a 2D animator can transform into a 3D animator, but it would be tough to switch from 3D into 2D.

There are several 2D software on the market. However, professional animation calls for cutting-edge, industry-standard software. Specializing in such software will increase your employability. You need the software that will allow you to do most of the tasks without going outside of the application or software. Therefore, the following are the most commonly used software by professionals.

a. Adobe Photoshop

b. Adobe After Effects

c. Encore

d. Flash

e. Toon Boom Harmony

f. Toon Boom Storyboard Pro


Learning new software is usually daunting; however, when you grasp the basics, you can transfer your past knowledge, experience, and skills to new software. 


What Is the Salary Range?

The average salary for a 2D animator is between USD 43,000 and USD 74,000 for entry and mid-levels, respectively. Senior and technical animators can earn above the estimated figures above. Years of experience are also another factor that counts in the salary that an animator may be offered.


What Is the Future of 2D?

Although 3D animation is the most modern type of animation, 2D animation is gradually making a strong comeback that exceeds everyone’s expectations. Recently, the awards received by Rick and Morty and Mary Poppins Returns confirm that 2D is relevant and recognized in the industry. 

Artists and animators are raising the bar and pushing boundaries every day. They try new styles and effects, which get the audiences responding and passing comments. With the significant growth recorded, there is a need for more skilled 2D animators to come on board. The advancement in technology has caused the improvement to be rapid. From hand-drawn images to drawing on the screen and applying effects and previewing, the project has created a great landmark improvement in the industry.

Toon Boom Harmony and Storyboard Pro are some of the cutting-edge technology that caused a shift in the norm in the industry. The constant changes in technology in the 2D animation category attests to the fact that the future is bright for 2D animation, as more job prospects are being created day-by-day. 


Are You Interested in 2D Animation? 

If you are interested in making 2D animation your dream job, feel free to contact us to be enrolled for comprehensive training with top 2D animators in the industry. Master the learning curve quickly and unleash your creativity. Contact us now.


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