What Exactly Is 2D Animation?

2D Animation, often known as conventional Animation, uses vector drawings and computer software to produce animated visuals used in commercials, websites, films, or computer games.

Characters, storyboards, and backdrops are created in two-dimensional space throughout the 2D animation process. As opposed to 3D Animation, objects in 2D Animation move up and down, left and right, but not toward or away from the camera.

Adobe Animate, Photoshop, and After Effects are three of the most popular 2D animation programs.

What are the many stages of the 2D Animation production pipeline?

Pre-production, production, and post-production are the three stages of 2D Animation.

The first stage is pre-production.



The first and most crucial stage of any film production is writing the script. It plans the plot, the shooting directions, and the dialogue.

The screenplay in Animation is more concerned with guiding the visual activities, whereas the dialogue in live-action films is more concerned with the conversation.


The storyboard is a graphic representation of the sequence of actions and events in the Animation. It provides a good depiction of the Animation, allowing the director to evaluate the script and make any required changes at this point.

This is helpful in Animation since adding adjustments at later stages of production may be difficult and expensive. A storyboard is essentially a drawing of how to structure a tale and a list of its elements in the style of a comic strip.

Dialogue recording:

The process of recording dialogue includes having the voice actors recite lines from the screenplay and recording extra sound effects. It is then transmitted to the animators, who design suitable lip motions to match each spoken phrase. Proper voice acting is essential in creating a successful animation.

Character designing:

Create model sheets for each component of the Animation such as the characters, objects and backgrounds.

Each model sheet consists mainly of the final design with its dimensions and sketches of the diverse primary positions that a character is likely to undertake throughout Animation. While animating, these sheets serve as a standard reference for each character’s appearance and feel.

They perform well in big teams when various animators work on the same character at different phases of the process. When the steps are completed correctly, the figure will appear to be created by a single animator. An off-model character is not drawn following the conventional sheet model.

Color scripts:

Color palettes are created for each character in the Animation and the colors of various items, significant places, and backdrops. The art department also determines the different colors used in the Animation’s lighting.

Track reading:

Track reading is a method that dates back to the late 1920s that analyses sound frame by frame. The dialogue tracks were previously converted to optical or magnetic sound film with perforations that matched motion picture film. This enabled the picture and sound to be physically locked together before being exported for modification on sound mixing equipment.

To accurately identify specific components of the track, a device known as a gang synchronizer was utilized. It was made up of a big sprocket wheel that assisted in the establishment of connections between the film and the audio that was recorded to a film.

The sound film is moved back and forth across a magnetic pick-up head by hand until each word component is recognized. This is known as ‘track reading.’ The speech track is examined, and the data is plotted up onto camera exposure sheets, sometimes known as ‘dope sheets’ or ‘camera charts,’ to guide the animator.

Modern computer tools, like Audacity or SoundEdit16, have made it simpler to analyze speech properly. They enable the editor to scroll back and forth through the audio file while displaying a graphic representation of a sound wave.

BG layout:

Background layouts are lined drawings that outline the various backdrops of a scene before painting them with colors that may be seen on the screen.

The layouts are based on the preliminary backdrop sketches supplied in the storyboards generated earlier in the pre-production phase.

They primarily serve as a guideline for painters to colorize the backdrops, and depending on the style of the Animation; these lines may stay apparent in the final output.

Backgrounds are crucial in establishing the overall tone of the scene, and a skilled designer will know how to create backgrounds that match the various situations and activities throughout the Animation.

Related Post: 2D Vs. 3D Animation: Pros and Cons of Marketing Videos

The second stage of production:


Key Animation:


The first step is to paint the backdrop.

They are submitted to a background painter after the backdrop designing process is completed. He paints the layouts using the color palettes supplied by the color stylists throughout the pre-production process. The completed backdrops are subsequently sent to the scene setup or compositing teams.

Second, there is Animation.

The animators begin by playing out the various positions and situations that a character adopts in each scene to create the actual sequences that comprise the animation film. They bring together the model sheets, storyline, layout, and backdrops specified in previous phases to create scenes that harmonize all of these components.

The exposure sheet, also known as the camera instruction sheet, is used to timing animation. It’s a classic animation tool that lets the animator give the cameraman specific directions on how each scene should be filmed.

The exposure sheet is also used to lip-sync the vocals by scrubbing the audio and indicating on the sheet exactly where each vowel sound occurs. Another benefit of the x-sheet is that it works well in big groups since it offers a detailed animation map that others can follow.

An exposure sheet has five sections or columns and is somewhat longer and thinner than an A4 sheet. Every eighth line down is thicker than the others and displays half a foot of film. Three of these parts would be required for one second of Animation. On bar sheets, which were prepared by editors and sent to animators who would then transcribe them to their dope sheets, sound breakdowns were often performed.

These columns are split as follows:

  • Action

This column contains the scene’s time, or how long the scene should last, as well as the character’s action, or when the character should strike a particular posture. To clarify the motion, some animators comment on the key and breakdown poses within this column.

  • Dial

The dial contains a breakdown of the pre-recorded conversation (or the beats of the music in the absence of dialogue) to determine when frame to strike a particular phoneme.

  • Cel Levels

A typical x-sheet has five of these columns, each representing a layer of the cel.

  • Background

This column contains the background numbers and how long to hold one and when to transition to another.

  • Camera

In this column, the camera instructions are listed. Everything goes in here if you want the camera to pan, zoom in, or shake.

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