Types of 2D animation
Two-dimensional animation is characterized by the representation of objects and characters in two-dimensional space. This means that objects have only two dimensions - width and height.
Approaches to creating 2D animation there are very, very many - just like its various styles. In this article we've gathered the most popular ones that are ubiquitous in the industry.
But before we go any further, let's get ahead of ourselves and tell you that on our site you can find a huge library of content with various 3D models, animations and other Unity assets that will help you create 2D animations.
Now let's get started!
This is the simplest kind of animation. It is composed of layered illustrations. This type of animation is usually done in Illustrator by shaping in layers so that you can move and animate the individual layers.
South Park, by the way, was created using shape. Also, the first episodes of the show were created by shooting paper layers and then digitally rendering them.
However, the more detailed the illustration is divided into parts, the more complex the animation can be. The layers are then transferred to After Effects, where each layer moves independently. Well, in the case of characters, the layers are connected and move as a system. It is even a bit like rigging because you have to combine arms, legs, and other body parts.
Drawing animation is used when modeling is not enough.
Drawing animation is, you could say, the very beginning. This is how 2D as a whole was born.
In this type of animation, each drawing is created from scratch, or almost from scratch, by redrawing it frame by frame.
The drawn animation can be divided into two directions: partial drawn animation and total drawn animation. In the first case, you try to save part of the drawing (for example, if the character moves on the background, it is not necessary to redraw the background in each frame - it is enough to move it as a layer).
Total animation is a real challenge for the animator. Here every frame is redrawn from scratch to make it as alive as possible.
Drawbacks? Of course there are. In addition to being an extremely resource-intensive process, it is also very expensive (if you hire artists). This style is used by some large studios that have almost unlimited budgets.
Everything is more or less clear with the previous two approaches. The first is simple but primitive, and the second is very nice but requires a monstrous investment of resources.
But there is a third way.
This is the fixation of the animation on a real camera. That is, using a camera or a phone, you take a picture of the object, then it moves a little bit, you take another picture, and so on. This series of frames is then sequenced, resulting in motion.
In movies (before the advent of computers), this is how many objects were animated. For example, robots or drones. In Star Wars, for example, pedometers and spaceships were animated using miniature toys that were moved around the set and filmed frame by frame.
Stopmotion is a compromise and quite easy to master, but it can look impressive (if a professional is involved, of course).
By the way, we have several tutorials on how to work with 2D animation on our site. With their help you will definitely improve your skills and start doing much more presentable things in the shortest possible time!
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