Design

2D Computer Animation, What You Need to Know to Kickstart Your Journey

July 19, 2021
5 min

From the start

What is 2D Computer Animation?

Animation in a two-dimensional space using special computer software is known as 2D Animation. Characters, monsters, special effects, and backdrops are examples of what you can achieve with 2D computer animation.

Individual drawings are sequenced together, creating the illusion that backgrounds, characters, or objects move. This illusion of life is done for television shows, movies, websites, video games, mobile applications, and commercials.

Often, animators draw characters by hand before they animate with 2D animation software. This technique is known as vector animation and achieved using industry-standard software like Adobe Animate, Adobe After Effect or Toon Boom Harmony. For this reason, you need to go to college to acquire the necessary skills to excel in this field.

Image: 2D Animation course with VANAS superhero in Animate CC.

Is 2D Animation relevant today?

2D Animation is viral. It is everywhere you look, with a famous example of rating "F is for Family." In fact, in 2019, social media platform Snapchat rolled out a 2D animated series titled snappy with 3-minute episodes.

The need for 2D computer animation experts who can create engaging and entertaining content has grown in the past few years. Furthermore, there is even more need for passionate and skilled 2D artists who are good at creating appealing and original Animation. Moreover, we will tell you about the 2D Animation industry to prepare you for what the future offers.

What Does A 2D Computer Animation Expert Do?

2D animation experts or 2D animators tell a story using characters, backgrounds, and objects in a 2D space. Their job entails telling a story or communicating a message in ways that engage or entertain the viewer. The position is a production process organized into three key sections: preproduction, production, and postproduction.

The preproduction phase is the starting point, and this is the part where the animation team works on character development, generating a script, dialogue, background, storyboarding and Animation.

The production phase infuses movement into the characters and adds colour to composite them against their chosen background.

Postproduction is the final stage, and involves editing and adding sound. Animators also ensure everything works seamlessly before content is transformed into the final plan.

Where Do You Begin to Learn?

Typically, an animator needs a diploma in 2D Computer Animation to work in an animation studio as well as a strong portfolio with life drawings, character designs and a great demo reel showcasing their 2D computer animation skills. Other essential skills that will aid in an animation student finding and keeping a job would be character modelling, rigging and storyboarding. Career Path as a 2D Animator

With a diploma in 2D Animation, there are several career options. This field is quite vast and includes many types of media. Some of the careers you can pursue are 2D Animation for illustration, storyboard artist, motion graphics, animate for mobile games, and character design or development.

Storyboard sequence of a 2D animation project.

Based on the media an animator chooses, job duties differ. For instance, a person who develops a television series must know the story and character development. However, an animator has to excel in teamwork, written and verbal communication, creative thinking, and computer software regardless of the specialization.

Employers in this space assess skills and evaluate experience attained through working as an intern. In addition, most companies engage recent graduates and college students to offer them a chance to learn more about the industry and gain some experience. Finally, some companies do not necessarily require a person to have a degree, but they must have animation skills.

How much money will I be paid?

In the U.S, the pay scale in this profession lies between $43,000 and $74,000. People who fall into this wage gap are entry-level to mid-level. The pay depends on location, experience, and the industry (advertisement, TV, or web).

The U.S statistic department reported a median earning of $72,520 in 2018 for multimedia animators and artists. Those in video and motion pictures earned about $77,860 on average, while those in public relations and advertising took $67,330.

In Canada, the 2D computer animation wage scale, on average, lies between CAD 35,000 and $50,000 for entry-level and between $59,000 and $77,000 for mid-level. On the other hand, entry-level in Australia and New Zealand earn $48,000 while mid-level takes home between $50,000 and $95,000.

Entry-level animators in the U.K earn £24,270 while mid-level earns between £36,000 and £47,500.

Technical and senior 2D computer animation experts can surpass this pay scale because of their knowledge and experience. You do not need to travel or to move to different countries to work as an animator, but you can move to an area or country where the pay is better and meets your experience level.

Life Drawing sketches from VANAS 2D Animation student Kyrah Smith

What is the Future of 2D Computer Animation?

Although 3D Animation is here to stay, the world tends towards 2D much more than previously seen. If recent awards to Mary Poppins Returns and Rick and Morty are anything to go by, it's evident that we still have room for 2D Animation.

Technology has come a long way, and today, we can do much more with computers. As a result, 2D animators are constantly pushing the boundaries of creativity, and people love it. As the industry continues to thrive, there will be more demand for 2D animators. New and aspiring animators need to do well creatively, artistically, and technically to succeed in this space.

2D Animation Layout from VANAS Student Alice Rouby

Would You Like to Become A 2D Computer Animator?

If you want to learn 2D Animation, we will help you start your journey. VANAS is the leading animation school that specializes in teaching 2D computer animation. We have an introductory certificate course in digital arts for beginners and a specialized 2D animation diploma program tailored to teach you all the skills you need to excel as a 2D Animator.

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