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Understanding The Basics Of 2D Character Animation: A Very Complete Guide

Understanding The Basics Of 2D Character Animation: A Very Complete Guide

Invogames

Game Animation

|

June 14, 2023

|

6 min read

2D character animation, as the name suggests, entails creating a movement of characters in a two-dimensional space using different 2D animation tools and techniques. The 2D character animation is developed by creating 24 frames that move in one second. However, 24fps can also be animated in 2 seconds, i.e., 12 frames in one second. 

 

In the old times, when technology was not so advanced, 2D animation was hand-drawn. However, with the passage of time and recent developments of 2D tools and technologies, 2D character animation can also be computer-generated. 

 

Examples of 2D Animation

 

2D animation is a style of animation that involves creating images and moving them in two-dimensional space to create the illusion of motion. This type of animation is often used in cartoons, advertisements, and explainer videos. While 2D animation lacks the depth and realism of 3D animation, it allows for greater creativity and artistic expression.

 

Here is some visual examples of what 2D animation looks like: 

 

 

Process of Creating 2D Character Animation 

 

The process of creating 2D character animations involves three main steps:

 

  1. Pre-production
  2. Production 
  3. Post-production

 

Under the umbrella of these steps, the 2D animator performs different processes to achieve the primary stage and move to the next one. Let‘s come and take a look at each of the steps. 

 

Pre-Production 

 

Pre-production involves mapping out the preliminary requirements of the 2D character, such as researching, conceptualization, sketching, storyboarding, and graphic visualization. 

 

This stage helps understand the artists and animators to develop the sketches of 2D characters and further strategize their work according to the project requirements. 

 

During this phase, the dialogue recording and staging are also determined so that character is developed for the post-production phase. 

 

Production 

 

The development of the character and its animation starts during this stage. First, the designers started working on giving characters a complete look based on the game genre for 2D character animation. 

 

This also determines the perfect timing, staging, anticipation, and other processes for the 2D character so that every movement falls perfectly with the timing and creates an ideal animation. 

 

This stage involves storyboarding, location designing, character development, inking, and coloring. These processes done by designers and 2D animators create a top-notch 2D character animation that reflects the proper character design as it was conceptualized or idealized. 

 

Post-Production 

 

In this last stage of 2D character animation, designers and animators have to work on adding special visual and sound effects to the character (VFX & SFX). 

 

Adding special effects and giving final touch-ups to enhance the character's look and feel increasing the game experience and playability. 

 

After the post-production, the file is exported to the required file location, whether in-game or video game ads. Once all of this is done, the process of 2D character animation is completed. 

 

Tools for 2D Character Animation 

 

As you know, 2D animations or 2D character animations can be  computer generated; here is a list of online best tools for 2D character animation that will help you get started with the animation process: 

 

 

Tips and Techniques for the successful 2D Character Animation 

 

To make a realistic 2D animation, the designer and animator must have knowledge of tips and tricks. These techniques aim to bring life to the animations and make characters realistic so players can resonate with them. Here are some of the most valuable techniques that you can follow for 2D character animation: 

 

1-Understand The Psychology And Movements 

 

The character's detailing is one of the essential factors in creating a realistic animation which involves understanding the psychology of the character making body movements. For this, you can either check the already created characters or observe the humans and make their movements accordingly. 

 

2- Study Real-Time References To Get The Desired Shape 

 

To avoid problems later on in developing the character and animation, it is better to study the references of your work before and then start. 

 

Studying the details of the characters, their body movements, and gestures would help you to incorporate them into your work where needed. 

 

Moreover, the animator can also observe body movements, expressions, and gestures to animate them further into the character. 

 

3- Implement a Proxy Model

 

High-resolution models can strain the working capacity of your computer or system. However, to keep it low-key, you can use a proxy model that cuts half of the production process and makes it easier to carry out your animation. 

 

4- No Need To Form Every Letter In The Speech 

 

Some animators try to animate every letter of the speech to be immaculate with the speech animation. However, the best technique for animating the speech is to keep it minimal because overdoing the speech animation would result in the fast frames of the character. Therefore, it is better to avoid it. 

 

Common Challenges while Creating 2D Animations 

 

Many people believe that 2D animations are relatively easier as compared to 3D animations. But, to burst the bubble, the reality is quite in contrast to what people think. 

 

While creating 2D animations or starting a career in 2D animation can bring different challenges for the animators. Let’s see the main challenges that occur while animating 2D characters and other props. 

 

Famous 2D Animated Games

 

2D games are one of the most common games that are still in the gaming industry and popular among the players. The storyline of the 2D animated games are far more popular as compared to 3D animated games. It is said that 2D games have a strong storyline and less focus on graphics which is why they are more interesting for the players.

 

The most famous 2D animated games include 

 

 

Hire 2D Animators | InvoGames 

 

2D character animation and game animators have taken 2D games to the next level. The continuously rising industry of 2D games gives impetus to the client's likeness towards 2D games built on the latest technology and game engines. 

 

InvoGames provide 2D character animation services to make your game enjoyable that keep the players hooked to your game. Hire our 2D character animators to make your game engaging and boost your business revenue using our services

 

2D character animation, as the name suggests, entails creating a movement of characters in a two-dimensional space using different 2D animation tools and techniques. The 2D character animation is developed by creating 24 frames that move in one second. However, 24fps can also be animated in 2 seconds, i.e., 12 frames in one second. 

 

In the old times, when technology was not so advanced, 2D animation was hand-drawn. However, with the passage of time and recent developments of 2D tools and technologies, 2D character animation can also be computer-generated. 

 

Examples of 2D Animation

 

2D animation is a style of animation that involves creating images and moving them in two-dimensional space to create the illusion of motion. This type of animation is often used in cartoons, advertisements, and explainer videos. While 2D animation lacks the depth and realism of 3D animation, it allows for greater creativity and artistic expression.

 

Here is some visual examples of what 2D animation looks like: 

 

 

Process of Creating 2D Character Animation 

 

The process of creating 2D character animations involves three main steps:

 

  1. Pre-production
  2. Production 
  3. Post-production

 

Under the umbrella of these steps, the 2D animator performs different processes to achieve the primary stage and move to the next one. Let‘s come and take a look at each of the steps. 

 

Pre-Production 

 

Pre-production involves mapping out the preliminary requirements of the 2D character, such as researching, conceptualization, sketching, storyboarding, and graphic visualization. 

 

This stage helps understand the artists and animators to develop the sketches of 2D characters and further strategize their work according to the project requirements. 

 

During this phase, the dialogue recording and staging are also determined so that character is developed for the post-production phase. 

 

Production 

 

The development of the character and its animation starts during this stage. First, the designers started working on giving characters a complete look based on the game genre for 2D character animation. 

 

This also determines the perfect timing, staging, anticipation, and other processes for the 2D character so that every movement falls perfectly with the timing and creates an ideal animation. 

 

This stage involves storyboarding, location designing, character development, inking, and coloring. These processes done by designers and 2D animators create a top-notch 2D character animation that reflects the proper character design as it was conceptualized or idealized. 

 

Post-Production 

 

In this last stage of 2D character animation, designers and animators have to work on adding special visual and sound effects to the character (VFX & SFX). 

 

Adding special effects and giving final touch-ups to enhance the character's look and feel increasing the game experience and playability. 

 

After the post-production, the file is exported to the required file location, whether in-game or video game ads. Once all of this is done, the process of 2D character animation is completed. 

 

Tools for 2D Character Animation 

 

As you know, 2D animations or 2D character animations can be  computer generated; here is a list of online best tools for 2D character animation that will help you get started with the animation process: 

 

 

Tips and Techniques for the successful 2D Character Animation 

 

To make a realistic 2D animation, the designer and animator must have knowledge of tips and tricks. These techniques aim to bring life to the animations and make characters realistic so players can resonate with them. Here are some of the most valuable techniques that you can follow for 2D character animation: 

 

1-Understand The Psychology And Movements 

 

The character's detailing is one of the essential factors in creating a realistic animation which involves understanding the psychology of the character making body movements. For this, you can either check the already created characters or observe the humans and make their movements accordingly. 

 

2- Study Real-Time References To Get The Desired Shape 

 

To avoid problems later on in developing the character and animation, it is better to study the references of your work before and then start. 

 

Studying the details of the characters, their body movements, and gestures would help you to incorporate them into your work where needed. 

 

Moreover, the animator can also observe body movements, expressions, and gestures to animate them further into the character. 

 

3- Implement a Proxy Model

 

High-resolution models can strain the working capacity of your computer or system. However, to keep it low-key, you can use a proxy model that cuts half of the production process and makes it easier to carry out your animation. 

 

4- No Need To Form Every Letter In The Speech 

 

Some animators try to animate every letter of the speech to be immaculate with the speech animation. However, the best technique for animating the speech is to keep it minimal because overdoing the speech animation would result in the fast frames of the character. Therefore, it is better to avoid it. 

 

Common Challenges while Creating 2D Animations 

 

Many people believe that 2D animations are relatively easier as compared to 3D animations. But, to burst the bubble, the reality is quite in contrast to what people think. 

 

While creating 2D animations or starting a career in 2D animation can bring different challenges for the animators. Let’s see the main challenges that occur while animating 2D characters and other props. 

 

Famous 2D Animated Games

 

2D games are one of the most common games that are still in the gaming industry and popular among the players. The storyline of the 2D animated games are far more popular as compared to 3D animated games. It is said that 2D games have a strong storyline and less focus on graphics which is why they are more interesting for the players.

 

The most famous 2D animated games include 

 

 

Hire 2D Animators | InvoGames 

 

2D character animation and game animators have taken 2D games to the next level. The continuously rising industry of 2D games gives impetus to the client's likeness towards 2D games built on the latest technology and game engines. 

 

InvoGames provide 2D character animation services to make your game enjoyable that keep the players hooked to your game. Hire our 2D character animators to make your game engaging and boost your business revenue using our services

 

frequently asked questions

The time required to create a 2D character animation varies depending on several factors, including the complexity of the animation, the skill level of the animator, and the duration of the final product. Generally, a simple 2D animation can take a few days, while a more complex one can take several weeks or even months to complete.

Here are three advantages of 2D character animation over 3D animation:

 

  1. Cost-effective: 2D animation requires less time and resources, making it a more cost-effective option.
  2. Faster production: 2D animation is faster to produce as it doesn't require the same level of detail as 3D animation.
  3. Unique style: 2D animation allows for a unique style and aesthetic that can be difficult to achieve in 3D animation.

 

To get started with 2D animation, you will need to:

 

  1. Choose an animation software such as Adobe Animate or Toon Boom Harmony.
  2. Sketch out your character designs and create a storyboard.
  3. Animate your character's frame by frame or with the help of rigging tools.

 

If you have skills in 2D character animation, there are several ways to monetize them on social media platforms. One option is to create and post animated content on platforms like YouTube or TikTok and monetize it through ads or sponsorships. Another option is to offer your services as a freelance animator on platforms like Upwork or Fiverr. You can also create and sell digital products like animation assets, templates, or courses on platforms like Gumroad or Udemy.

 

2D character animation has evolved significantly over time, from traditional hand-drawn animation to the use of digital software and techniques. With the advent of advanced software and hardware, animators can now create more complex and visually appealing animations with greater ease and efficiency. The evolution of 2D character animation has led to its widespread use in various forms of media, including film, television, and video games.

 

Using storytelling techniques can enhance 2D character animation by creating a solid narrative and emotional connection with the audience. Start by developing relatable characters, a well-crafted plot, and engaging dialogue. Use pacing, camera angles, and music to enhance the mood and tension of the story and make sure the animation is consistent with the tone and style of the narrative.

 

Writer InvoGames

Written By:

Hareem Mohsin
Chief Operating Officer

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