What is a 2D Animator?

Last updated: 7 months ago
What is a 2D Animator?

A 2D animator develops graphic images that simulate movement while working in a two-dimensional artistic space. The artist utilizes a storyboard to create this form of traditional animation but without the depth that appears in 3D art.

The 2D animator often creates hand-drawn images on a flat surface such as paper, a clear cell or a computerized storyboard and then draws a new image for each frame of the movement. Once complete, the animator photographs or films the frames in succession to produce action.

2D is sometimes called ink and paint animation because the frames are drawn and colored by hand and then filmed together to show action.

Computer animators use bitmap and vector images instead of film cells or paper. One animation can have hundreds of frames, each created individually designed and changed slightly so when combined, the figure appears to move.

Unlike 3D computerized animation, 2D artists have been telling stories using this method for centuries. The first example of a 2D animation is the 5,200-year-old goblet found in Iran.

An Italian team of archaeologists unearthed a goblet in the 1970s from a burial site in Iran’s Burnt City, but it was only more recently that researchers noticed the images on the goblet tell an animated visual story. The burial site was dated as being 5200 years old, making this one of the earliest examples of animation.
An Italian team of archaeologists unearthed a goblet in the 1970s from a burial site in Iran’s Burnt City, but it was only more recently that researchers noticed the images on the goblet tell an animated visual story. The burial site was dated as being 5200 years old, making this one of the earliest examples of animation.

Primary roles

Artist that creates the frames

The primary role of a 2D animator is to create, either by hand-drawing or using an image program, each frame necessary to simulate the movement.

They work in advertising, entertainment, gaming and even the architectural and education industries. Wherever movement is used to tell a story or make a point.

Production artistic director

A 2D animator might be the creative force behind the production, providing the basic idea and initial drawings and then supervising a team of artists to develop the necessary frames to complete the project.

The animator would oversee the production crew from inception, through frame creation and manage the development of the animation.

Secondary roles

Project developer

Often a complex 3D animation project like characters or the background for a game starts in 2D. Once the initial storyboard is created, the job is taken over by a 3D artist and expanded on to finish the work.

The 2D animator lays the groundwork by making sketches and creating frames that will develop into 3D animations such as theme exhibits, computer games or even a movie.

Artist for Directors

Film, stage and TV directors will hire a 2D animator to create storyboards as they block their productions.

In this case, the animator will create sketches based on the director’s vision and the story being told.

Later, the actors, prop managers and scene architects use the animation to develop their part of the production.

Popular articles

  • What is an Underwater Camera?

    An underwater camera is basically a camera that can be used to capture images and videos under water. It can be used for shoots as one is swimming, snorkeling, or with a remotely operated underwater vehicle. Some of these cameras are even automated and can be easily lowered from ...
    Read more
  • What is a Video Editor?

    A video editor is the person who makes production and/or post-production changes to a film. The video editor works closely with the director to achieve the best final film outcome, with the goal of telling the story in the most effective and compelling way. Work heavily involves ...
    Read more
  • What is a Film Director?

    What is a director? Also called a film director or video director, the director is the person who controls the overall artistic and dramatic feel of a presentation – whether it is a five minute infomercial or a feature film. They instruct and guide both the technical crew and ...
    Read more
  • What is a Camera Operator?

    Camera operators work in the television, music and film industry and are usually employed by television and cable companies or by video production houses. They are responsible for capturing different scenes during production and operating a wide variety of technical ...
    Read more
  • What is a Visual Effects Editor?

    A visual effects editor, also known as VFX editor, is the person who is overseeing, and responsible for all the visual effects in a production. The VFX editor must have excellent communication skills, as the job requires the VFX editor to communicate effectively between VFX staf ...
    Read more
  • How to become a Camera Operator?

    A camera operator for video is the person who literally shoots the video or the still photographs during the planning stage. A Freelance Camera Operator is someone who a director hires to handle either a single camera or to manage a team of camera operators. This is a supporting ...
    Read more
  • What is a Script Writer?

    If you’ve ever watched a movie or television show and cringed at the clunky dialogue or poor plot development, thinking to yourself “I could do better than that,” script writing or screenwriting may be a viable career path. This primarily freelance role can provide you wit ...
    Read more
  • What is a 3D Graphics Artist?

    A three-dimensional (3D) graphics artist designs digital animation or footage that is used for characters, landscapes, backgrounds and other elements in film, television or video game production. The still or moving creations have the appearance of depth in addition to height an ...
    Read more
  • What is a Director of Photography?

    A Director of Photography (DOP) also known as Cinematographer is a creative leader during a video production. It’s a position full of responsibility, and the Director of Photography must have camera skills, lighting knowledge and the ability to work with the entire camera crew ...
    Read more
  • What is a Stunt Coordinator?

    Just about every dangerous or unbelievable act of skill you see on television or in the theaters has been coordinated and sometimes even performed by a stunt coordinator. Every good production requires a stunt coordinator to pull off the extraordinary scenes seen in television o ...
    Read more
  • What is a Slow Motion Camera?

    Slow motion refers to an effect that is common in the film-making industry where motion pictures appear to be moving slower than normal. Previously, the effect had only been applied more in films, commercials and television. But with major advancements in phone technology, one c ...
    Read more
  • What is a 360 Camera?

    A 360 camera, also known as an omnidirectional camera, has a 360-degree field of view so that it captures just about everything around the sphere. 360 cameras are needed when large visual fields need to be covered, such as shooting panoramas. As virtual and augmented reality (A ...
    Read more
  • How to become a Voice Over Talent?

    Becoming a freelance voice over talent is a popular career option for many in the entertainment business — and for good reason. Voice over artists enjoy relative anonymity — a big perk for those with day jobs — and a huge amount of flexibility. It’s also quick work with l ...
    Read more
  • How to become a Pro TikTok Creator?

    A Pro TikTok Creator produces short-form video content that is to be published on TikTok. They would typically be involved from the pre-production to post-production process, should there be required edits and additional animations to make.  Pro TikTok Creators should id ...
    Read more
  • What is an Action Camera?

    An action camera, also known as action-cam, can be defined as a digital camera that has been designed for filming while it is immersed in the action. Since they are immersed in the action they have a compact and waterproof surface. They are tiny and lightweight and can produce h ...
    Read more
  • How to become a Director of Photography?

    A film director of photography (DoP) is the person who provides a film with its unique visual identity, feel and look. They help to tell the story of the film by making artistic and technical decisions regarding lighting, shot selection, camera operations, film stock, and other ...
    Read more
  • What is a Producer?

    Film producers are the people who keep the film’s quality up while ensuring that its production is on time and stays within budget. Producers can manage hundreds of individuals in any one production, in addition to dealing with the film studio and distributors. The producer’ ...
    Read more
  • What is a Fisheye Lens?

    A fisheye lens is like a wide-angle lens, but a lot larger. The shape of the lens causes the camera to produce images using extreme visual distortion so that they appear hemispherical or as very wide panoramas. The lens got its name in 1906 based on how the physicist and invento ...
    Read more
  • How to rent a Slow Motion Camera

    Renting a slow motion camera is a great tool for when you need to film a slower scene that still has the clarity of a normal image. Slow motion cameras work by increasing the frames per second as well as the shutter speed. In a normal video, the frame rate is 24 frames per secon ...
    Read more
  • How to rent a 360 Camera?

    The term “360 camera” seems straightforward, referring to a camera that films and photographs from every angle. In fact, there is a wide variation in what such cameras can do, and you must be aware of this before renting. Some cameras have an effective viewing angle of only ...
    Read more
  • What is a Green Screen?

    A green screen is a green background that video production teams use to place visual effects later during the post-production phase. The technology of using a green screen (or Chroma key) has been around since the 19th century. Entertainment and Hollywood have become legendary fo ...
    Read more
  • How to become a Film Director?

    You have passion for film. You know every movie ever directed by your favorite directors – even the less appreciated ones. You drive your friends crazy on movie night, describing the artistic and dramatic techniques utilized. And you know how you would have done it better. You ...
    Read more