How 2D Animation Can Boost Your Career and Creativity in 2023?
The 2D animation business is changing right in front of our eyes. Millions of people still watch shows like Rick and Morty, Big Mouth, Arcane, and Love, Death, and Robots, which are all made in 2D animation. Everywhere you look, there are great chances to try out new styles and forms while telling original stories.
The need for trained 2D artists is growing because people all over the world can’t get enough of new material, technology is getting better, and there are more streaming platforms.
So, if you’ve always wanted to become a 2D animator, here are 5 reasons to do it now:
1. The Demand for 2D Artists is at an All-time High
In the past few years, services like Netflix have put a lot of money into making new 2D cartoons, and new OTT services are popping up all over the world. Disney+ is now out, and many 2D animation companies in North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region are growing or opening new 2D departments to meet demand.
Bernard Boiteux is the Director of Sales at Toon Boom Animation. This company makes animation software tools that are used by big studios and independent artists all over the world.
“With increased competition between streaming platforms, there is record-breaking demand for 2D content,” [Bernard Boiteux]
“It’s a free-for-all,” says Bernard. “Facebook is hiring people to make unique videos for Facebook Watch. Sony is putting together new shows for PlayStation Now. YouTube and Apple are also getting in on the action. These sites know that they need to build an audience if they want to keep their users.
Even Snapchat is having contests for 2- to 3-minute shorts with creative pitches to reach its 190 million daily active users.
The boom is happening everywhere, not just in North America and Europe. Geography is becoming less of a barrier, and foreign markets are becoming easier to reach.
“Studios and broadcasters all over the world are becoming more interested in telling their own stories and getting them to people all over the world,” says Bernard. “The countries themselves are investing in a creative economy so that those stories can be told.”
“Take China, for example,” Bernard says. “They’ve been working in 2D for a long time. This market mostly works for companies in North America and Europe, but now they are expected to become the biggest box office in the world. Or look at Japan, which makes the most animated movies in the world. Japan’s content used to only be available outside of Japan on a few TV broadcast blocks. Now, thanks to streaming, more of their shows are reaching a wider audience outside of Japan.
2. Software for 2D Animation Gives Artists Endless Ways to Be Creative
Even though 3D technology keeps getting better and more lifelike, the amount of time and money it takes to make 3D content is often a problem.
A story told in 2D can be just as powerful and take a lot less time and money. Since software tools and methods are always getting better, artists have a lot of room to try out new looks, combine 2D and 3D, and change the way 2D art is done.
Mike Wiesmeier (Disney, Netflix) has been in the business for almost 30 years, so he has seen how 2D has changed and has been able to change with it.
“The time you save with today’s software is really driving this renaissance,” Mike Wiesmeier says:
“Programs like Toon Boom Harmony and Storyboard Pro make it feel like you are working on paper. “You can do everything you could do on paper, but better,” says Mike, who now works at CG Spectrum to teach the next crop of 2D artists. “This program is great. It lets you do everything except change.
Animation, colors, and effects were not done well. You can make sparks fly through the air and make them light up. Since it’s a node-based system, it’s easy to see what you’re making. Harmony is the industry leader and is used in many projects.
Jenn Hagman, a skilled artist who has worked for Canadian studios like Mercury Filmworks, DHX Media, and Atomic Cartoons, says, “There don’t seem to be any limits anymore.” The difference between 2D animation and 3D animation is becoming less clear. Jenn says that tools for 2D animation are always getting better.
“More 3D-like elements are added constantly. Not only for backgrounds and inanimate objects, but the characters are becoming pretty complex rigs. Toon Boom Harmony is trying to use more 2D animation that looks like 3D, like in the show Lion Guard. [Hagman, Jenn]
“Final Space is another great example of how animation is pushing the boundaries,” says Bernard. “From what you can see, you can’t tell what is hand-drawn, what is cut out, and what is 3D. Also, there’s Tangled, which is in 2D but looks like it’s in 3D.
From my point of view, that’s what artists try to do. They did a great job with the stories and people.” (Find out what makes 2D and 3D animation different.)
Even though technological advances have given artists more ways to be creative, it’s important to remember that what makes great 2D animation software today is the same thing that made it great in the 1930s: an engaging story. “If you have a great story and treat it with care, anything is possible,” says Bernard.
3. It’s Easier Than Ever to Learn 2D Animation
You can learn how to animate from a lot of tutorials, books, and YouTube movies. And as software gets easier for people to use, there are more chances to improve your skills, make your own work, and share it.
But if you really want to become a 2D animator, you should think about taking a formal course that not only helps you build a strong foundation in animation but also teaches you the skills you’ll need to work in a professional company.
To make a living as an animator, you need to know a lot more than just how to draw. As an artist, it’s important to know how a studio pipeline works, how to set up a professional workflow, how to handle client standards, and how to use feedback to get better. These are very important skills that will help you get jobs in animation.
In addition to that, practice! Set aside time every week to learn new skills and improve your art. This is what 2D animation teacher Scott Claus has to say:
“A real artist is always observing the world and making notes that can be used in their work. A good rule of thumb is to constantly record what you see around you. Draw, write, take pictures, look and listen to everything around you, and try to make it your own. (Santa Claus)”
With these three things coming together, it’s good to see that 2D isn’t going anywhere. So, if you’ve been thinking about it for a while, now is your chance to go after your dream job!
5. 2d Animation is Used in Many Fields
2D animation is not only used in movies and video games. This style of art is also used in advertising, education, and marketing, among other places. Businesses make 2D cartoons and motion graphics to tell stories with information (infotainment).
This makes it easier for businesses to explain their ideas and concepts and can help explain and break down complex information. Animated video material is popular on social media and can be used on many different platforms.
When used in a teaching setting, 2D animated videos and cartoon graphics also have a lot to offer. It has been shown to improve skills and information, get people interested in learning, spark their imaginations, and make learning more interactive.
Not only can 2D animation be fun and teach, but it can also be much cheaper than live-action, which makes it a good choice for movies with smaller budgets.
6. There Will Always Be a Place for 2D Animation
Digitizing 2D animation has given artists a lot of freedom to make scenes, characters, and ideas that aren’t based on reality. 2D cartoon shows are great because they can help bridge the gap between adults and kids by keeping everyone’s attention and giving everyone something to enjoy.
Also, 2D animation was the first type of animation, and it will always have fans, especially in subgenres that can’t really be made in 3D, like 2D anime. It also makes longtime cartoon fans feel very nostalgic.