2D Animation

discover what is 2d animation and the process behind it

What is 2D Animation?

2D animation is the art of creating movement in a two-dimensional space. This includes characters, creatures, FX and backgrounds. While these graphics can be manipulated to look 3D, ultimately, if you can’t rotate the object to get multiple views, it’s 2D animation. 

2D Animation advantages and disadvantages


  • A vast array of styles can be created in 2D compared to a more limited range of styles achievable with 3D animation 
  • Handmade feel  
  • Cheaper than 3D (well… most of the times) 
  • Modifying animations on rigged characters can be relatively straightforward 


  • You can’t easily rotate around characters and scenes 
  • Tweaking a fully hand drawn sequence can be really fiddly and it might require starting from scratch (this is why a tight storyboard and a carefully planned pre-production is essential). 

2D Animation TechnIques


The illusion of movement is created when individual drawings are sequenced together over time. One second of time is usually divided into 24 frames. Depending on the style of animation there can be as many as 24 unique drawings in one second of animation (24fps) or as little as two. Conventionally animation is done on “2s” meaning there is a drawing every 2 frames (12fps). This allows artists to save on production time/costs and gives 2D animation its unique look. 


  • Classic Disney and Ghibli movies (The Aristocats and Spirited Away not Toy Story!) 
  • The Simpsons – a classic exampleof a fully hand drawn 2D animation  TV series 
  • The Triplets of Belleville (2003) – European independent animation at its finest  
  • Song of the Sea (2014) – European independent animation at its finest


Drawing individual frames will give you the best results but it can be painstakingly slow and costly, if you need to cut corners character rigging can be a valid alternative. A 2D rigged character looks a bit like a paper puppet, the animators get separated layers for the head and the limbs and they move them over time instead of drawing single frames. This technique is also called cut out animation. 


South Park – very crude cut out animation but it fits the narrative 

Princes et princesses (2000) – silhouette animation 

Monty Python’s Flying Circus (1969) – quintessentially British 

La Planète sauvage (Fantastic Planet) (1973) – experimental adult animated science fiction  

2D Animation Software

Software commonly used by professionals include: 

  • Toon Boom Harmony 
  • TV Paint 
  • Adobe Animate 
  • Adobe After Effects 
  • Adobe Photoshop 

2D vs 3D Animation

None is better or worse. 

Each of these types of animation is self-sufficient and has its own niche in modern film, advertising and video game production. Comparing 2D and 3D animation is initially a large-scale and challenging task, since they differ in almost all aspects. 

2D Animation Services


Animation and motion graphics for films

corporate responsibilitY


Movie & documentary post production




Environmental awareness content


Social content





2d Animation costs

Below we include a list of  indicative costs of 2d animation per minute, excluding studio costs.

  • 2D Animation SIMPLE – £4,300  
  • 2D Animation STANDARD – £6,500 
  • 2D Animation MEDIUM – £13,000 
  • 2D Animation COMPLEX – £17,500 
  • 2D Animation TRADITIONAL (Disney) – £35,000+ 

Contact us

for 2D animation

If you are looking for a 2D animation studio to help you reinvent your content, give us a quack and we will be in touch in no time!

+44 7517060213

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+44 7517060213

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