Side view of a male artist drawing something on graphic tablet with pen

The art of generating movement in a two-dimensional space is known as 2D animation. Characters, monsters, special effects, and backgrounds are all included.

Individual drawings are sequenced together over time to create the illusion of movement. In most cases, one second of time is split into 24 frames. In one second of animation (24fps), there can be as many as 24 unique drawings or as few as two, depending on the type of animation. Traditionally, animation is done in “2s,” with a drawing every two frames (12fps). This helps artists to save time and money on development while still giving 2D animation its distinct look.

Though this is often referred to as “traditional animation,” mainstream 2D development has progressed from hand-drawn processes using pencil and paper to the use of digital techniques such as Toon Boom Harmony or Adobe After Effects.

With the growth of video content, more companies are considering using animated videos to promote their products, as they boost conversion rates by 20%. Some businesses employ 2D  animation studio, while others use video creator software to build them online.

What is the Role of a 2D Animator?

2D animators make their characters, events, and environments move in a two-dimensional world to communicate stories or messages.

They must be great storytellers in addition to drawing. They oversee explicitly communicating a plot or message to audiences by shifting characters in an engaging manner. The 12 Principles of Animation should be studied by anyone interested in being a 2D animator.

Although most of the work is performed on a machine, traditional hand-drawn techniques remain useful.

Other roles may include:

  •       Sketching designs.
  •       Designing characters.
  •       Developing storyboards.
  •       Creating special effects.
  •       Animating scenes.
  •       Transitioning backgrounds.

This work is part of a three-part manufacturing pipeline: pre-production, production, and post-production:


A film is in pre-production while the team is focusing on plot and character creation, script writing, dialogue production, storyboarding, background development, and character animation.


Animators offer their characters and objects movement during the development stage to bring them to life. After that, the figures are painted and processed (“digital ink and paint”) before being composed over their respective backgrounds.


The final stages of adding sound and editing to ensure that the film looks sharp and runs smoothly are known as post-production, after which it is exported in its final format.

Animators can work with a variety of other people depending on the project and the size of the 2D animation studio or organization, so good communication and people skills are needed.

Opportunities for 2D Animator

Animators will work on feature films, TV shows, video games, as well as for production companies and advertising agencies that create 2D content for ads, mobile apps, and websites, thanks to the industry’s diversity.

It’s important to remember that just because you research 2D animation doesn’t mean you’ll become an “animator.” In this sector, there are numerous work opportunities. And, as technology advances, new jobs are generated on a regular basis.

The following are only a few of the many different roles:

  •       Animation 
  •       Supervisor Animator
  •       Character Designer 
  •       Storyboard Artist 
  •       Illustrator 
  •       Graphic designer 
  •       Motion designer Animation 
  •       Games Developer

It is also possible for 2D artists to move to 3D if they so choose but switching back and forth can be more difficult.

The Future of 2D Animation

We can claim that, while 3D is not going anywhere, we are in the midst of a transition to more 2D. With recent awards for Rick and Morty and Mary Poppins Returns, it’s obvious that 2D hasn’t lost its popularity.

Artists are still pushing the envelope, playing with different styles and effects, and the public responds. When the medium grows, so will the need for talented artists.