2D animation stands for the two-dimensional animation.

Animation: Animation is the process of making the illusion of motion and change by means of the rapid display of a sequence of static images that minimally differ from each other. 2D Animation software: 2D animation focuses on creating characters, storyboards, and backgrounds in two-dimensional environments. 2D animation uses bitmap and vector graphics to create and edit the animated images and is created using computers and software programs.


Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images to create an illusion of movement.The most common method of presenting animation is as a motion picture.Humans require 16 HZ minimum; 24 Hz used for films; 30Hz used for TV.Each frame is a photograph, drawing, or computer generated image.Each frame differs slightly from the one before it.Viewing the frames in rapid succession implies “motion”. Animation effects let you make objects move in your exported SWF files. For example, you can apply a motion preset to an image that makes it appear to fly in from the left side of the screen while shrinking and spinning. Use the following tools and panels to animate documents.The format used for the animation is entirely based around how complex theanimation is, where the animation is designed to be used; such as a webpage, and how large the file is for the animation. Different formats for animations include animated GIFs, Dynamic HTML such as Java, Shockwave and Flash.

Animation is the process of making the illusion of motion and change by means of the rapid display of a sequence of static images that minimally differ from each other. The illusion—as in motion pictures in general—is thought to rely on the phi phenomenon. Animators are artists who specialize in the creation of animation. Animation can be recorded with either analogue media, a flip book, motion picture film, video tape,digital media, including formats with animated GIF, Flash animation and digital video.

To display animation, a digital camera, computer, or projector are used along with new technologies that are produced. Animation creation methods include the traditional animation creation method and those involving stop motion animation of two and three-dimensional objects, paper cutouts, puppets and clay figures. Images are displayed in a rapid succession, usually 24, 25, 30, or 60 frames per second.

History of Animation :

  • Paleolithic (old stone age) cave paintings :animals depicted with multiple legs in superimposed positions to convey the perception of motion.
  • Zoetrope :As the cylinder spins, one looks through the slits at the pictures .One sees a rapid succession of images, producing the illusion of motion.The earliest known zoetrope was created in China around 180 CE (may have existed in China even 300 or so years before that).
  • Phenakistoscope :A spinning disc attached vertically to a handle. A series of drawings around the disc's center • A series of equally spaced radial slits.The user spins the disc and looks through the moving slits at the disc's reflection in a mirror • Invented by a Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau in 1841.
  • Praxinoscope:Improved on the zoetrope by replacing slits with an inner circle of mirrors.Invented in France in 1877 by CharlesÉmile Reynaud.In 1889, he invented an improved version that allowed one to project the images onto a screen.
  • Flip book:The first form of animation to employ a linear sequence of images, rather than a circular set.In 1868, John Barnes Linnett patented it under the name kineograph ("moving picture“).
  • Cinematograph:Fed the linear film through with a hand operated crank.Projected the images onto a large screen.Invented in 1895 by the Lumiere brothers.Took their “film projector” around the world, charged admission for movies.Original films were 17 meters long and lasted 50 seconds.

Some common uses of animation include:

  • Advertising o Example: Web site advertisements that are animated to attract attention
  • Information o Example: Kiosk for directions or information
  • Education o Example: Tutorials using animated graphics for demonstration
  • 9Games oExample: Games using animation to simulate action
  • Websites o Example: Animated navigation button that changes when the cursor passes over it (rollover)

How Animation is Generated?

Typical examples include: Keyframing (specified by hand) ,Data-Driven (motion capture) ,Procedural (rules, flocks) ,Simulation (laws of physics). Animation is an imitation of real life motion through moving pictures. Still pictures when made to move at certain number of frames per second lead to an illusion of continuous motion. Since animation was first used, it has come a long way and has evolved digitally. Traditionally, images to be animated are hand drawn on celluloid sheets which are transparent. The celluloid painted images are then photographed for exhibiting through a film. Presently, majority of animations are developed with the help of CGI or computer-generated imagery. With 3D animation, you can achieve high level of detailing. 2D animation is commonly used to fill in gaps for 3D motion graphics where low bandwidth does not permit faster renderings in real time. Apart from digital methods, stop motion technique is also popular. Objects in 2D and 3D are made and then each movement of theirs is recorded to be played out sequentially. Cutouts of paper, clay figurine, or puppets are commonly used.

Traditional Animation:

This animation type is a long-drawn process. Much time and energy are invested for drawing each frame. For every movement like the flick of a finger or demonstration of an emotion on the face, a number of frames is needed. In animation movies of the past like Tom and Jerry, such tiresome work was involved. Studios like Disney engaged ace animators who would draw each frame with accuracy for producing stunning movies.

2D Animation:

Like traditional animation, 2D animation too is vector based. The difference is that frames are not drawn manually instead a computer program like Flash or Adobe Animate is used for animating the key frames. There is no need of individually drawing each frame. The option of moving just a portion of the body or animated object exists. The interim keyframes adjust accordingly and seamless motion is achieved.

3D Animation:

The awesome graphics that you come across in sci-fi or modern movies are the handiwork of 3D animation. Special 3D modeling software is needed. Artists need to be technically proficient in leveraging the various tools available. Frames are not needed for showcasing movement. Instead, 3D objects are made to move onscreen in a way that simulates real time motion.

Animation Through Motion Graphics:

The motion graphics animation type is radically different from other animated means. Graphical elements are moved around. This method is commonly visible in film titles, advertisements, promotional campaigns, infotainment videos, and animated logos. In majority of cases, text fragments are used for creation of animation.

Stop Motion Animation:

Stop motion animation is a method that tests the patience of the artist. There are different types of stop motion animation such as pixilation, Claymation, cut-outs and lego figure. An object is photographed in a sequence of images. Each image is a representation of a slight movement of the object. The movements have to be captured in correct order carefully. This ensures that the animation is fluid and there are no abrupt breaks in the scene.

Cutout and Collage Animation:

The cutout and collage animation methods are used collectively for displaying simple animation over television. In cutout animation, models used are cut from craft or drawing paper. The puppets can be drawn or painted over. These cutout portions are placed loosely alongside each other. They can be arranged after connecting with fasteners. After capturing each movement or model pose, repositioning of the model takes place for taking newer shots. In collage animation, the process followed is usually similar to cutout animation. The difference is that parts which have to be animated are cutouts of clipart, magazines, books and images. Different textures are brought within the same frame through collage. In the animation shows broadcasted over television, usually the cutout and collage animation type is used. Well cut out characters are animated using collage method.


This animation method is used for capturing human movements realistically. The footage of live actors is captured and then characters are drawn over the same. As the live motion of human actors are used for rendering animation, a unique way of storytelling is devised whose style matches other popular animation forms.

Cel Animation:

Transparent cellulose acetate sheet is called cel. On this medium, animated frame is painted over. The fact that cel is transparent allows it to be placed over other such cels. All cels are then kept against a painted background. After this, the cels along with background are photographed. It takes a lot of time to create compelling cel animation. Each detail has to be paid due attention and a high level of organization is required. Storyboard is initially created for communicating the storyline to the production crew in visual manner. After this, creation of animatic takes place for testing the efficacy of movie timing. After the story and timeline gets approved, creation of characters and backgrounds that complement the overall theme is done by artists. During this point, recording of the lines by actors take place. The lip motion of characters is synced with the vocal tracks of the actors. Next, the soundtrack is used by the director along with the animatic for working out the movement’s timing, coordinating scenes and audio. A dope sheet is used for recording all of these information by the director.

For most people, animation is just for entertainment as they do not understand different uses of animation in today’s world. However if you look at the uses of animation in a slew of areas, the possibilities are limitless. It can even be considered as a unique branch of technology which can bring matchless value to a trove of business and entertainment activities. One can without any hesitation say that it certainly is because of the advantages of animation in business, that it is quite extensively used everywhere.

2D Animation software:

2D animation figures are created or edited on the computer using 2D bitmap graphics or created and edited using 2D vector graphics. This includes automated computerized versions of traditional animation techniques, interpolated morphing, onion skinning and interpolated rotoscoping. 2D animation has many applications, including analog computer animation, Flash animation and PowerPoint animation. Cinemagraphs are still photographs in the form of an animated GIF file of which part is animated. Final line advection animation is a technique used in 2d animation, to give artists and animators more influence and control over the final product as everything is done within the same department. Speaking about using this approach in Paperman, John Kahrs said that “Our animators can change things, actually erase away the CG underlayer if they want, and change the profile of the arm".

2D Animation working:

how animation works the basics 2D drawn animation consists of a series of drawings shot one after another and played back to give the illusion of movement. This animation can be played back in a number of ways.

         ● In the form of a ‘flipbook’ (basically a pile of drawings in sequence, bound together and flipped with the thumb).

         ● The drawings could be shot on film one drawing at a time with a movie camera and played back using a cinema projector.

         ● They could be shot on a video camera and played back with a video player.

         ● They could be shot with a video camera attached to a computer and played back on the same computer using an animation               program.

         ● Or they can be scanned into the computer and played back.

Animation exists in two dimensions. Has a flat look.Example: Cartoons such as Scooby Doo, The Simpsons The Simpsons or Family Guy Family G.

Animated GIF:

  • Pronounced je Pronounced je -if 
  • .gif file extension
  • A bitmap file format often used on the Internet
  • A series of individual GIF frames joined together to create animation
  • Used for small animations and low-resolution film cli p s
  • Easiest way to create and view simple animations
  • Supports frame-based animation


  • Pronounced swa -if
  • .swf file extention
  • The dominant format for displaying animated vector graphics on the Web
  • Used in programs and games with Actionscripting

Animation editing programs have features for creating animations to include: Importing resources Importing resources ,Drawing,Scaling (Resizing),Layering,Keyframing,Tweenin g,Anchor point adjustment ,Transitions.

Creating Animation: Importing resources Bring files or images into the animation software to files or images into the animation software to animate. Drawing Use of mouse or graphic tablet with stylus to sketch or draw images to animat. Scaling (Resizing) Changing the size of the image in width and height.Layering Technique used to separate images from other i I d k dj images. In or der to ma ke adjustments to individual items, each item must be on a separate layer. Keyframe Intermediate frames that blend so one appears to frames that blend so one appears to change into the next. The point were a change occurs in the animation.Tween Animation process or change that occurs process, or change that occurs between keyframes.Anchor point Anchor point Axis or point of rotation. Spot where rotation spins from.Transition Change from one scene to the next.Rollover Animation of two or more images that switch when the cursor moves over that image or navigation button.Morphing Tf i rans formation of hi i h f one thing into another.

Best 2D Animation Software:

  • Toon Boom Harmony. This is the “good for everyone” kind of software. ...
  • CelAction2D. CelAction is another program used by a vast group of animation studios and professionals. ...
  • Moho (Anime Studio) Pro. ...
  • Stop Motion Studio. ...
  • Synfig. ...
  • Opentoonz. ...
  • Tupi. ...
  • Pencil2D.