What is 2D animation? Well, in common words it is the classical animation technique that has been around since the late 1800s. It is a sequence of drawing in the slightly different pose, followed by the slightest variation in drawings and covers 24 frames in a second.
In traditional ways these were put in a process where the artists first drew pencil drawings of each frame, then they painted them on transparent plastic sheets known as ‘cels’, then those thousands of images were compiled to run a movie at 24 frames a second.
Nowadays most 2D animation requires the use of computer software such as Photoshop.
Example of 2D animations is The Simpsons, Family Guy, The Little Mermaid etc.
Now, you would ask, what is the difference between a 2D animation and a 3D animation?
A 3D animation is entirely based on computer software. The elements we create in 3D animation software have three dimensions; they have three planes that is x, y, and z. That means you can see an object, for example, a globe which turns 360 degrees.
3D allows a person to do things that are not possible to do in 2D.
3D objects when created can be treated as almost any real physical object. The artist can light accordingly, and to know how it will look from a different angle, from above, or below.
In 2D animation, everything needs to be drawn. If you want to see an object from a different angle, you will have to draw it in 2D animation. While in 3D it is simply like dragging the object to another position and to decide which position you like better.
3D animation allows the artist to create a realistic world. They can use any lightning or texture to create new elements that are solid, and this can even be integrated as elements into live videos.
Example of 3D animations is Toy Story, Shrek, The Incredibles etc.
Advantages of 2D Animation
However, it is not like 2D animation is of no use today. In fact, there are many benefits of 2D animations some of which are:
1. Low Production Cost
2D animation is relatively cheaper when it is compared to 3D animation. And it is a big deal for many animators; not everyone is capable of spending so much on new technology.
2. It is Quicker and Saves Time
The time for production lead in 2D animation is very low, and hence it is much quicker to produce a 2D animation in comparison to 3D.
3. Less Complex
It is straightforward, and hence it gives 2D animation an edge over 3D since it requires less software and technology and it is simple to produce as well.
4. Basic Controls
2D animation is way too easy to control, and hence artists don’t need to see any tutorials to learn it. The same can’t be said about 3D animation, however. 3D animation requires quite a lot of practice.
5. Greater Focus on Gameplay
Since it focuses less on the design therefore generally games with 2D animation, have more time to focus on their gameplay, which is crucial.
What’s the Future of 2D Animation?
There is a large group of well-established animators who believe in 2D animation and traditional techniques that it holds. Here are few quotes from some famous animators:
Never in the history of cinema, has a movie been entertaining to an audience because of technology. It is what you do with the technology; it is what you do with the medium that’s so special. — John Lasseter (Director and the Cheif Creative Officer at Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar)
That’s really what’s so great about hand drawn that it can be right from your pencil to the piece of paper, just an instant sort of link between you, your hand, and the audience really. — John Musker (Amercian Animation Director and Producer)
There are many websites like Spiel Animations who promotes 2D animations and are already working on it. They believe that both 2D and 3D animations have their pros and cons. Eventually, it depends on the artist as for how they use it.