How to create a 2D Animation video

2D animation is the process of bringing illustrations either vector (shapes, outlines, etc), images or artwork to life within a two-dimensional space using the power of animation.

Written by Jack Last

What is a 2D animation video?

Animation gives you the freedom to explore every aspect of your film while keeping the ‘look and style’ very flexible. With 2D animation services, anything is possible - you can bring to life all sorts of objects and imagery. Something that does this really well were the early Disney films.

2D animation is created using a sequence of frames, each one slightly different from each other, which when put together in a fast succession form a fluid animation. Think of it like a flipbook, with each page representing a frame of illustration. One second it comprises 24 individual frames (24 frames per second). To get an even smoother quality of animation, some films run at 60 frames per second (60fps) and some games are even higher at (120fps+) although it’s much harder to see a noticeable difference with the naked eye at these speeds.

Rotoscoping is often used in 2D animation as a way to create incredibly realistic lifelike action. A technique used by animators to trace over live-action film footage, frame by frame. It’s used extensively in the visual effects industry so that the figure can be composited over another background. It’s often very time consuming and things like green-screen have helped speed up this process.

Making 2D animation is the perfect choice for many of our clients, who want to explore the options of animation. When done brilliantly, an artful 2D animation is an elegant and highly effective way to showcase your product, service or message to inspire, inform and influence individuals.

Looking for a motion graphic agency to handle your 2D animation creations? Contact OK Social today!

Steps for creating a 2D animation video?

The key steps to producing amazing 2D animations are as follows. Each of these steps are laid out in a way that makes the process as streamlined as possible to achieve the best results. The process for creating any animation whether it be 2D or 3D follows a very similar process. 

1. Outline & Brief.

A quick overview, with the background and objectives of the campaign, a short brand statement, key challenges the campaign aims to resolve, and the target audience for the 2D animation. It will also be a chance for your brand’s values and marketing positioning to be portrayed through animation.

2. Script & Style.

This is where the outline of the events in the animation are created, including dialogue, narrative and structure.  It’s a crucial element in creating a killer 2D animation. Along with the script, a visual style is created based on the brand guidelines. This will include character design, ‘eye candy’, illustrations, text, background colours and icons. We are basically creating a high-level framework for the animation.

3. Design & Storyboarding.

This is the part where a visual representation of the script is presented. It’s a document that shows the look and feel, and narrative flow of the video, scene by scene. The storyboard is like a map, guiding you through to the finish line of the 2D animation.

4. Animation & Production.

After the approval of the script and storyboard, we move on to putting words into action, we can then begin to bring the 2D animation to life. This phase involves building the necessary images and elements which go with the message. It requires great attention to detail and each step ensures the visuals created in the production stage, reflect the original concept.

5. Audio Mix & Delivery.

Whether it be upbeat, a soulful melody, or additional sound effects. Once the 2D animation is approved, this stage gives the video its final polish. The complete process of creating and editing the sound mix, background music, and sound effects are done during this production phase. After completion of the synchronised animation, we send it to you for feedback and any final tweaks are made.

What can 2D animation videos be used for?

There are many uses for a 2D animation, whether it be a social post for a new campaign, a promo video for a product or a TV advert. 2D animation is used not just in advertising but also in TV shows, apps and websites as well as many other channels. 

For example, some of the 2D animations we created are used on brands' websites to help explain a product or service they offer. One of the projects we created was for Edays, an animation that explained their service in a clear and creative way.

There are many great benefits to using 2D animation videos. With these stylish animations, you can explain complicated topics in a clear and accessible way. With the use of bold design and colours of these videos make them a highly engaging form of content. A 2D animation video is a great way to attract more viewers while giving them an insight into the creativity and innovation that your brand has to offer.

How long does it take to create a 2D animation video?

With 2D animation, it often depends on the specifics of the given brief; some can be longer but made more simply, and some can be short but very complex. The difference between a 1-minute animation and a 2-minute animation can have more of an impact on the time than you may think. Even adding an extra few seconds can change how long the production takes. 

Here at OK Social, we’ll have an initial discussion with the client to determine how long each project will take. Often there are things you can do that may speed up the process in order to reduce the cost such as not having too many characters. 

Often in 2D, character animation is one of the most time-consuming parts. As it requires lots of steps to get it looking good. Such as designing the character, rigging, animating the body parts and lip-syncing. 

As a high-level timescale, it will take around 6 weeks to produce a 2D animation of 2-minutes. 

To produce that animation, experts from different fields will come together to work on different aspects of a single project. A producer, scriptwriter, illustrator, animator and voice-over talent…to name just a few. If you’d like to know more: get in touch to discuss your potential project.

Why have OK Social, an animation agency, create your 2D animation video?

OK Social are motion graphic agency that specialise across a large array of animation projects. We help bring your ideas to life using engaging animations created by our enthusiastic team at OK Social. We offer a wide range of services within the wonderful world of animation. Then we collaborate with your team to help illuminate your story, enhance your brief, and amplify your message. 

At OK Social we are invested in the success of every project that comes through our doors.

Your goal is our priority, and we take the utmost care to ensure we understand your needs and deliverables of every 2D animation project. We work within a wide range of channels and deliver creative content for social media, apps, games and broadcast. If you have a project that you think we could help with; get in touch to discuss further, we always love a good chat. 

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I’m Jack, the Motion Director here at OK Social. I’ve been working in the world of motion design and animation for nearly 10 years. I had the pleasure of working with leading agencies and brands around the world, such as Samsung, Ford, Shell, Deliveroo, and Starbucks, to name a few.

From a young age, I’ve always been interested in animation, from making stop-motion films in my room as a kid to learning animation on my first computer. It started as a passion and still is to this day. Part of what I do now is more than just animation. I help craft the narratives of the stories we tell to ensure they make an impact to the audience and remain worthy of their attention.

So how do I do that? It starts with asking the right questions, leading to solving the right problems. First, diagnose what the problem is. Then, we can start to see if we can help. I believe that communication plays a key role in delivering a smooth and successful project. Looking into the future, I’m excited to expand my knowledge into creating more engaging stories that make a difference.