2D Animation

2D Animation is a graphic form that is created amd/or edited on a computer using bitmap or vector graphics in two dimensions. There are many applications for 2D animation, including flash animation, PowerPoint animation, and analog computer animation. Cinemagraphs are “still” photos in animated GIF file form, part of which has been animated. Traditional animation techniques such as interpolated morphing, onion skinning, and interpolated rotoscoping have seen integration into the computer age as well and are included in 2D animation.

2D animation differs from 3D animation in the same manner that 2D differs from 3D. Two dimensional is still consists strictly of height and width; add the third dimension of depth and you have 3D. Whether in still or animation this principal holds true. To control a 3D image, a digital mesh skeletal structure must be formed. Rigging, as this process is referred, can work in conjunction with mathematical functions that simulate gravity or particle interaction, simulated hair or fur, fire or water effects, all of which are in the category of 3D dynamics. The best 3D animations can be difficult to differentiate from live action and are commonly used today in movies as visual effects.

Flip books are one of the earliest forms of 2D animation. A flip book is a book with a series of pictures that change gradually from one page to the next (or preceeding page), so that when the pages are flipped or flicked rapidly, the pictures appear to animate by simulating motion or some other change. Rather than ‘reading’ left to right, a viewer simply stares at the same location of the pictures as they flip the pages. The book must also be flipped with enough speed for the illusion to work, so the standard way to ‘read’ a flip book is to hold the book with one hand and flip through its pages with the thumb of the other hand. The German word for flip book, Daumenkino, literally translated ‘thumb cinema’, reflects this process.

Early flip books were illustrated books primarily as a novelty for children, but even today may have a target audience of adults and may use photographs rather than simple drawings to tell their story. Often, the “flip book” is not a separate book, but is incorporated into a book or magazine, often in one corner of the pages. Modern software programs and online websites are available as well that create custom flip books from converted digital video files.

Technology has done an incredible job of enhancing primitive 2D animation. In the ever-broadening scope of entertainment and advertisement, animators and filmmakers must continue to find new ways to meet the demand of the consumer. Delivery modes must be ever-flexible and growing. Illustrate IT has grasped this idea and has mastered the incorporation of 2D animation into their clients’ work for outstanding results.

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