2D Animation

Cartoons! Ok, not just cartoons. From full-length features to corporate videos, marketing campaigns to instructional vignettes, 2D animation is a tried-and-true option in video production. There are five different types of animation, and 2D allows figures to move up, down, left, and right. They just won’t move toward or away from you, like 3D animated content.

2D on the silver screen

Created using bitmap and vector graphics, 2D animated images are built with software like Adobe Photoshop, Flash, and After Effects. Classic Disney cartoons, Japanese anime, Spongebob Squarepants, and even Academy Award-winning films rely on this form of animation to share their stories. There’s a list of films that make 2D animation a staple in our cultural lexicon. Timeless movies like Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians, Aladdin, and Mulan were all created before technology enabled 3D animation. Famous films by Hayao Miyazaki such as Howl’s Moving Castle and My Neighbor Totoro made 2D animation a highly stylized format that’s recognizable around the world.

Now, these films (and many others) are the most famous examples of 2D animation. But the process applies across a broad spectrum of video categories and styles. From minimalistic text animations to hand-drawn images with visible texture, the possibilities of 2D animation keep it a popular and effective method of animation in video today.

Guidance through the animation process

Production and post-production companies like ECG Productions not only have the technical expertise to craft your 2D animation, they also have a seasoned support staff to guide you through the entire process. At ECG, we also have a genuine love for the medium. Seriously, you should see some of the art in our office; it’s basically a Miyazaki museum here. From start to finish, our entire team is at your disposal to ensure a seamless production, an amazing product, and an on-time delivery. 

Before you get to the final product, though, it’s important to understand the process. This is true for any area of production. It helps to avoid any unwanted surprises down the line, and 11th hour fixes are more time-consuming, more complicated, and more expensive than mapping everything out beforehand. ECG is here to help with:

Pre-production

Reanimating any part of a video can be costly. Therefore, it’s essential to carefully plan out each animation from the earliest stage. Storyboarding is a really useful tool, or, if you’re being super thorough, you can use animatics. Dialogue is often recorded early in the process, too, so handing the production team a locked script is a big step towards making the overall production process more efficient. It’s not uncommon for people to think that changing words, whether it’s voiceover or dialogue, is a fluid process, easily changed at anytime. It’s important to remember that when changes happen late in the process, they cause much bigger ripples than they do when they happen early.

Production

Each shot in a 2D animation is generally composed of 10-20 images, whether hand-drawn or computer-generated. Additionally, shots are typically broken down into two groups. ‘Keys’ are the important images that convey the focal points of the video. ‘In Betweens’ are less meaningful overall, but help get your audience from action to action. The first shot in a 2D animation is almost always a ‘Key.’

A 2D animation pencil sketch of a person lunging
A figure in motion

Post-production

This stage breathes the final bit of life into your animation by adding music, sound effects, and visual effects. Sound is edited and refined at this stage. Picture editing too may also take place if scenes require cutting or altering. Once complete, it’s time to render the video for final output.

Working tirelessly at each stage to bring visions to reality, the talented team at ECG has created dynamic and engaging 2D video animations for years. They’re honestly one of our favorite things to make, and their versatility makes them a great choice for almost any project. To learn more about our animation services contact us today.

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