Understanding the 2D Animation Process

2D animation relies on the principle that the human eye ‘fills’ in the gap between two images if they are changed fast enough. This phenomenon is called the persistence of vision. The 2D Animation process consists of creating scenes with images that are shot 24 frames per second and each frame has the subjects change their position very slightly. When the movie is played, the illusion of motion is created. While the 2D animation process is not very complicated as a concept, making a full length film can involve a lot of money and time.

The starting phase of the 2D animation process begins with scripting and storyboarding. Script is a written narration of the story with the dialogues, while a storyboard is a pictorial depiction of the story, with each frame drawn. This can look like a comic book, and contains the information about each shot.

The next 2D animation process is variable, based on the geographical location of the production. North America records the voice over first and the animators have to create scenes based on the dialogues, but in Asia and other regions, the dialogues are recorded after the animation production and the actors then deliver the dialogues accordingly.

The production aspect of the 2D animation process uses cels. A cel is an acetate sheet on which all components are made individually. Each frame has as many cels as there are components. The background is a single cel that can be used on all frames. These are then photographed with a video camera. The other sounds are then recorded during the editing, thus ending2D animation process.