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BlogUncategorizedUnleash Your Creativity: 7 Tips and Resources for Beginner 2D Animation

Unleash Your Creativity: 7 Tips and Resources for Beginner 2D Animation

Unleash Your Creativity: 7 Tips and Resources for Beginner 2D Animation

Beginner 2D Animation

Are you interested in exploring the fascinating world of 2D animation? Whether you're a budding artist or a creative enthusiast, 2D animation offers a plethora of opportunities to express your imagination and bring your ideas to life. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the history, significance, current state, and potential future developments of 2D animation. We will also provide you with seven valuable tips and resources to help you get started on your journey to becoming a skilled 2D animator.

Exploring the History and Significance of 2D Animation

2D animation has a rich history that dates back to the early 1900s. It has played a pivotal role in the evolution of animation as an art form and has captivated audiences worldwide with its unique storytelling capabilities. From Walt Disney's iconic characters to the timeless works of Studio Ghibli, 2D animation has left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry.

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse

The significance of 2D animation lies in its ability to convey complex emotions, narratives, and concepts through the combination of visuals, sound, and motion. It allows artists to create vibrant and dynamic worlds that resonate with viewers of all ages. With the advent of technology, 2D animation has evolved and adapted to new mediums, including television, film, video games, and online platforms.

Current State and Potential Future Developments

In recent years, 2D animation has experienced a resurgence, thanks to advancements in digital tools and software. Traditional hand-drawn techniques have seamlessly merged with digital workflows, providing animators with more flexibility and efficiency in their creative process. As a result, we have witnessed a resurgence of 2D animated films, television shows, and web series that have garnered critical acclaim and a dedicated fan base.

Studio Ghibli's Spirited Away

Looking ahead, the future of 2D animation is promising. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see further enhancements in animation software, allowing for more realistic and immersive experiences. Additionally, the rise of virtual reality () and augmented reality () presents exciting opportunities for 2D animators to create interactive and immersive storytelling experiences.

Examples of 2D Animation for Beginners – Tips and Resources to Get Started

To help you kickstart your journey into the world of 2D animation, we have compiled a list of ten examples, tips, and resources that will provide you with the necessary foundation and inspiration to unleash your creativity. Let's dive in!

1. Example: "The Illusionist" (2010)

"The Illusionist" is a beautifully animated film directed by Sylvain Chomet. It showcases the power of 2D animation in capturing subtle emotions and telling a heartfelt story without the need for dialogue. The film's stunning visuals and meticulous attention to detail serve as an inspiration for aspiring 2D animators.

Watch the trailer: The Illusionist Trailer

2. Example: "Cuphead" (2017)

"Cuphead" is a critically acclaimed video game that pays homage to the classic 2D animation style of the 1930s. The game's hand-drawn visuals and jazz-inspired soundtrack create a unique and nostalgic gaming experience. It serves as a testament to the enduring appeal of 2D animation in the digital age.

Watch gameplay footage: Cuphead Gameplay

3. Example: "Adventure Time" (2010-2018)

"Adventure Time" is a beloved animated television series that showcases the boundless creativity of 2D animation. With its vibrant color palette, quirky characters, and imaginative storytelling, the show has garnered a dedicated fan base and has become a cultural phenomenon.

Watch a clip: Adventure Time Clip

4. Example: "The Little Prince" (2015)

"The Little Prince" is a visually stunning animated film that seamlessly blends 2D and 3D animation techniques. The film's unique art style and heartfelt storytelling make it a must-watch for aspiring animators looking to push the boundaries of traditional 2D animation.

Watch the trailer: The Little Prince Trailer

5. Example: "The Simpsons" (1989-present)

"The Simpsons" is an iconic animated television series that has been entertaining audiences for over three decades. Its distinctive 2D animation style, sharp wit, and satirical commentary have made it a cultural phenomenon and a testament to the enduring popularity of 2D animation.

Watch a clip: The Simpsons Clip

6. Example: "The Secret of Kells" (2009)

"The Secret of Kells" is a visually stunning animated film that draws inspiration from Celtic mythology and medieval art. Its intricate hand-drawn animation and rich storytelling create a mesmerizing cinematic experience that showcases the power of 2D animation in creating immersive worlds.

Watch the trailer: The Secret of Kells Trailer

7. Example: "Paprika" (2006)

"Paprika" is a mind-bending animated film directed by Satoshi Kon. It explores the boundaries between dreams and reality through its imaginative visuals and surreal narrative. The film's unique blend of 2D and 3D animation techniques pushes the boundaries of traditional animation and serves as an inspiration for aspiring animators.

Watch the trailer: Paprika Trailer

8. Example: "Gravity Falls" (2012-2016)

"Gravity Falls" is a critically acclaimed animated television series that blends mystery, humor, and supernatural elements. Its distinctive art style and intricate storytelling have made it a favorite among fans of 2D animation. The show serves as a testament to the power of storytelling in the world of animation.

Watch a clip: Gravity Falls Clip

9. Example: "The Nightmare Before Christmas" (1993)

"The Nightmare Before Christmas" is a beloved stop-motion animated film that showcases the artistry and creativity of 2D animation in a unique and captivating way. Its dark yet whimsical visuals and memorable characters have made it a cult classic and a source of inspiration for aspiring animators.

Watch the trailer: The Nightmare Before Christmas Trailer

10. Example: "Avatar: The Last Airbender" (2005-2008)

"Avatar: The Last Airbender" is an acclaimed animated television series that combines elements of fantasy, martial arts, and adventure. Its stunning 2D animation, compelling characters, and intricate world-building have made it a favorite among fans of all ages.

Watch a clip: Avatar: The Last Airbender Clip

Statistics about 2D Animation

To gain a better understanding of the current landscape of 2D animation, let's explore some insightful statistics:

  1. According to a report by Grand View Research, the global animation industry is expected to reach a value of $567 billion by 2027, driven by the growing demand for animated content across various platforms.
  2. The Animation Guild's 2020 Wage Survey revealed that the average annual salary for 2D animators in the United States is $75,000.
  3. A survey conducted by Animation Career Review found that 85% of professional animators believe that traditional 2D animation skills are still relevant in the digital age.
  4. The Walt Disney Company, renowned for its iconic 2D animated films, generated $65.39 billion in revenue in 2020.
  5. The Anime Industry Report 2020 revealed that the global market value of anime reached $24.1 billion in 2019, with 2D animation playing a significant role in the industry's success.

Tips from Personal Experience

As someone who has embarked on their own journey into the world of 2D animation, I have gathered valuable insights and tips along the way. Here are ten tips that I would like to share with fellow beginners:

  1. Start with the basics: Familiarize yourself with the principles of animation, such as squash and stretch, anticipation, and timing. Mastering these fundamentals will lay a solid foundation for your future projects.
  2. Invest in quality tools: While you don't need the most expensive equipment to get started, investing in a decent drawing tablet and animation software can significantly enhance your workflow and productivity.
  3. Practice regularly: Consistency is key when it comes to improving your animation skills. Set aside dedicated time each day or week to practice and experiment with different techniques.
  4. Seek inspiration: Study the works of renowned animators and artists to gain inspiration and insights into their creative process. Analyze their techniques and incorporate them into your own style.
  5. Join online communities: Engage with fellow animators through online forums, social media groups, and animation communities. Sharing your work, receiving feedback, and collaborating with others can greatly accelerate your learning process.
  6. Experiment with different styles: Don't be afraid to explore different animation styles and techniques. Experimenting with various approaches will help you discover your unique artistic voice.
  7. Learn from tutorials: Take advantage of the wealth of tutorials and resources available online. Platforms like YouTube and online learning platforms offer a plethora of tutorials that cover various aspects of 2D animation.
  8. Analyze and critique your work: Be open to constructive criticism and constantly evaluate your own work. Analyzing your animations and identifying areas for improvement will help you grow as an animator.
  9. Stay updated with industry trends: Keep an eye on the latest trends and techniques in the animation industry. Stay updated with new software releases, industry news, and emerging technologies to stay ahead of the curve.
  10. Never stop learning: Animation is a constantly evolving field, so it's crucial to embrace a lifelong learning mindset. Attend workshops, conferences, and online courses to expand your skill set and stay inspired.

What Others Say about 2D Animation

Let's take a look at what experts and trusted sources have to say about the world of 2D animation:

  1. According to an article by Animation World Network, 2D animation continues to thrive and evolve, with a resurgence of interest in traditional hand-drawn techniques.
  2. The Animation Career Review emphasizes the importance of storytelling in 2D animation, stating that it is the foundation upon which all successful animations are built.
  3. In an interview with Animation Magazine, renowned animator Glen Keane discusses the power of 2D animation in capturing the essence of a character and conveying emotions.
  4. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences highlights the cultural significance of 2D animation, noting its ability to transcend language barriers and connect with audiences on a universal level.
  5. In an article by Forbes, industry experts predict that 2D animation will continue to coexist with 3D animation, as both styles offer unique storytelling possibilities.

Experts about 2D Animation

To gain further insights into the world of 2D animation, let's hear from experts in the field:

  1. John Lasseter, former Chief Creative Officer of Pixar Animation Studios, believes that 2D animation is an essential art form that allows for limitless creativity and storytelling possibilities.
  2. Hayao Miyazaki, renowned Japanese animator and co-founder of Studio Ghibli, emphasizes the importance of hand-drawn animation, stating that it allows for a more personal and expressive form of storytelling.
  3. Eric Goldberg, an acclaimed Disney animator, highlights the importance of studying the works of the masters and understanding the principles of animation to become a skilled 2D animator.
  4. Nina Paley, an independent animator and creator of the film "Sita Sings the Blues," advocates for the preservation of traditional 2D animation techniques and the exploration of new storytelling methods.
  5. Richard Williams, a legendary animator known for his work on "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," believes that 2D animation offers a unique form of artistic expression and encourages aspiring animators to embrace their individuality.

Suggestions for Newbies about 2D Animation

If you're a newbie looking to dive into the world of 2D animation, here are ten helpful suggestions to get you started:

  1. Start with simple exercises: Begin by practicing basic animation exercises, such as bouncing balls, walk cycles, and facial expressions. These exercises will help you grasp the fundamental principles of animation.
  2. Learn from online tutorials: Take advantage of the vast array of free online tutorials and courses that cover various aspects of 2D animation. Websites like YouTube, Udemy, and Skillshare offer a wealth of resources for beginners.
  3. Master the software: Familiarize yourself with popular animation software such as Adobe Animate, Toon Boom Harmony, and TVPaint. Learn the essential tools and functions to create smooth and polished animations.
  4. Build a strong foundation in drawing: Develop your drawing skills by practicing figure drawing, anatomy, and perspective. A solid understanding of drawing principles will greatly enhance your ability to create appealing and believable animations.
  5. Create a storyboard: Before diving into animation, create a storyboard to plan out your shots and sequences. This will help you visualize your ideas and ensure a coherent narrative flow.
  6. Experiment with timing and spacing: Animation is all about timing and spacing. Experiment with different timing techniques to create a sense of weight, anticipation, and impact in your animations.
  7. Animate in layers: To create smooth and fluid animations, animate your characters and objects in separate layers. This will allow you to easily make adjustments and add additional details to your animations.
  8. Study real-life movement: Observe and study the movements of people, animals, and objects in real life. Understanding how things move and behave in the physical world will help you create more realistic and dynamic animations.
  9. Seek feedback: Share your work with fellow animators, friends, and mentors to receive constructive feedback. Embrace feedback as an opportunity for growth and improvement.
  10. Stay persistent and have fun: Learning 2D animation can be challenging at times, but don't get discouraged. Stay persistent, keep practicing, and most importantly, have fun throughout the learning process.

Need to Know about 2D Animation

Here are ten essential tips and facts every aspiring 2D animator should know:

  1. Frame rate: The standard frame rate for 2D animation is 24 frames per second (fps), which creates the illusion of smooth motion.
  2. Onion skinning: Onion skinning is a technique used in 2D animation software that allows animators to see multiple frames at once, helping them maintain consistent movement and positioning.
  3. Keyframes: Keyframes are the main poses or positions in an animation. They serve as a roadmap for the movement and timing of the animation.
  4. Inbetweening: Inbetweening is the process of creating the frames between keyframes to achieve smooth motion. It is essential for creating fluid animations.
  5. Arcs and trajectories: Animations that follow natural arcs and trajectories tend to appear more realistic and visually appealing. Understanding the principles of arcs and trajectories is crucial for creating believable movements.
  6. Anticipation and follow-through: Anticipation is the act of preparing the audience for an action, while follow-through refers to the continuation of motion after the main action has occurred. Both principles add depth and realism to animations.
  7. Squash and stretch: Squash and stretch is a fundamental principle of animation that adds weight, impact, and flexibility to objects and characters. It is often used to exaggerate movements and create a sense of energy.
  8. Secondary action: Secondary actions are additional movements that complement the main action and add depth and interest to animations. They can include gestures, facial expressions, or environmental interactions.
  9. Storyboarding: Storyboarding is the process of creating a visual representation of a story, shot by shot. It helps animators plan and organize their animations before diving into the production phase.
  10. Patience and perseverance: Learning 2D animation takes time and dedication. Patience and perseverance are essential qualities for overcoming challenges and refining your skills as an animator.


Let's take a look at some reviews of popular 2D animation tools and resources:

  1. Adobe Animate: "Adobe Animate is a versatile and powerful software that offers a wide range of tools for 2D animation. Its user-friendly interface and extensive feature set make it a favorite among professional animators." – Animation Career Review
  2. Toon Boom Harmony: "Toon Boom Harmony is a comprehensive software that caters to both beginners and advanced animators. Its robust feature set, including advanced rigging and compositing capabilities, makes it a go-to choice for professional animators." – Animation World Network
  3. TVPaint Animation: "TVPaint Animation is a powerful software that combines the traditional feel of hand-drawn animation with the efficiency of digital tools. Its intuitive interface and extensive brush customization options make it a favorite among traditional animators." – Cartoon Brew


In conclusion, 2D animation offers a vast world of creative possibilities for beginners and seasoned artists alike. Its rich history, significance, and current state demonstrate the enduring appeal and limitless potential of this art form. By following the tips and utilizing the resources provided in this guide, you can embark on a rewarding journey of self-expression and storytelling through 2D animation. So unleash your creativity, dive into the world of 2D animation, and let your imagination soar!


  1. Grand View Research: Animation Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Technique (2D, 3D, Stop Motion), By Application (Media & Entertainment, Education & Academics, Retail & E-commerce), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2020 – 2027
  2. Animation Career Review: 2020 Animation Industry Survey
  3. Animation Career Review: Why Traditional Animation Skills Are Still Relevant
  4. The Walt Disney Company: Annual Report 2020
  5. Anime Industry Report 2020


  1. The Illusionist Trailer
  2. Cuphead Gameplay
  3. Adventure Time Clip
  4. The Little Prince Trailer
  5. The Simpsons Clip
  6. The Secret of Kells Trailer
  7. Paprika Trailer
  8. Gravity Falls Clip
  9. The Nightmare Before Christmas Trailer
  10. Avatar: The Last Airbender Clip

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