2D Animation: Everything You Need to Know in 2022

2D animation is one of the most effective marketing tools today. People love to watch 2D videos because they’re visually appealing and fun.

That’s why marketers all around the world have been using it to grow their businesses online.

2D animation can help you:

  • Attract your dream prospects
  • Generate more leads
  • Convert leads into customers

You can even use 2D animation to keep in touch with your existing customers and make them your lifelong fans.

There’s a lot more that you need to know about 2D animation, especially if you’re trying to grow your business online.

Let’s dive in.

What is 2D Animation?

2D Animation is the process of creating a sequence of images, drawn or painted to create the illusion of movement.

The earliest forms of 2D animations date back to the 19th century and used to take a long time to render.

Today, thanks to powerful computers, you can create lifelike 2D animations in minutes.

As for the applications, 2D animations can be used for both commercial and artistic purposes.

Some examples include television commercials, animated feature films, and video games.

There are plenty of free and paid online software you can use to create eye-catching 2D animations.

But, let’s first take you through the whole 2D animation process step by step.

Keep in mind that not every 2D animation is made equal. The techniques and tools can vary, so there’s no single way of doing it.


Pre-production is the first stage of the 2D animation process. Here’s what it includes:

  • Developing the story and script
  • Character designing
  • Storyboard creation
  • Color palettes selection
  • Background preparation
  • Voice-over recording

Everything in the pre-production phase should be synchronized with the script.

For instance, your storyboard is the sequence of actions happening in your script.

The next step is to design the visual elements of your animation, including the characters and background.

You’ll also have to come up with appropriate coloring for the subjects, objects, and lighting.

Again, all that can vary depending on the software and techniques.

Many 2D animation software already have built-in characters, objects, backgrounds, and lighting, so you don’t have to worry about all that.


In the production phase, everything you create and design in the pre-production stage comes together.

This includes:

  • Creating the scenes
  • Making rough animation
  • Coloring
  • Voice recording
  • Inbetweening
  • Animating
  • And, export

Once you’ve created a rough 2D animation, it’s time to polish it. This is typically called tracing.

Inbetweening is used to create a smooth transition between two frames.


The post-production phase includes:

  • Additional sound effects
  • Recordings
  • And, any additional editing

The History of 2D Animations

Animation is often used in cartoons and children’s movies, but it can also be found in video games, TV ads, and even music videos.

The history of 2D animations can be traced back to the late 19th century when it was still in its infancy. Some examples include: “The Humpty Dumpty Circus” (1899), “Gertie the Dinosaur” (1914), and “Fantasmagorie” (1908).

2D animations became more popular with Walt Disney’s 1937 film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

The Future of 2D Animations

2D animation is used in commercials, video games, movies, children’s shows, and other forms of entertainment.

Presently, the 2D animation market is worth well over $259 billion. More importantly, its popularity is only going to go upwards in the future, especially in the marketing community.

What Does a 2D Animator Do?

2D animators create and animate the background, characters, and props in a scene to make it seem like they are moving.

A 2D animator creates 2D animations based on the script you provide them.

Courtesy of the advanced 2D animation software, the job of a 2D animator isn’t as tough as it used to be.

However, you do have to create eye-catching and engaging visuals in order to keep people hooked to your content.

And, that requires expertise.

Difference Between 2D and 3D Animation

2D animation is a sequence of flat (2D) images whereas a 3D animation produces videos in three dimensions, delivering a more realistic effect.

2D animations are simpler and cheaper to produce.

However, they are limited in their visual depth and camera movements as compared to 3D animations.

Let’s talk about the differences between the two animation techniques in detail.


One of the biggest factors you need to look at while choosing a content marketing strategy is cost.

It won’t be a smart move to choose an expensive method when an equally effective cheaper alternative can do the trick.

3D animation is great, there’s no doubt about that. But, it requires a much more sophisticated technology, which can prove to be comparatively more expensive.

2D animations on the other hand are a relatively simple technique and don’t demand much investment.

However, keep in mind that the ultimate price depends on the nature and complexity of your project.

Generally, you can expect to pay between $1000 and $5000 for a traditional 60-second long 2D animation.

Whereas, a 3D animation of the same duration could cost you anywhere around $7000 to $9000.


From a visual perspective, 3D animation is more realistic as it deals in 3-dimensional space (length, width, and height).

2D animations, on the other hand only deal with 2 dimensions (length and width), which makes them less realistic.


Since 3D animation is more complex, it requires the use of heavy-duty, resource-intensive software.

This typically translates to a higher cost and the use of more powerful computers.

2D Animations: Tips and Tricks

If you want to create the most impact with your 2D animations, you want to read the following tips.

Create a Powerful Script/Story

Your story or script will decide the effectiveness of your 2D animations.

You can create the most attractive visuals, but if the script is not powerful enough, your animation won’t have the desired effect.

So, you want to sit down and invest some time into coming up with a powerful story or script for your video.

Observe Keenly

You want your 2D animations to be as close to reality as possible.

This means you’d need to observe every little detail of your animation, like the movement of a finger or maybe a raised eyebrow.

Keep a keen eye on how normal people interact with each other and try to replicate that in your animation.

Energize Your Characters

Your audience would be better able to connect with the characters of your 2D animations if they act real.

Plus, energize your characters when you want to create a dramatic effect from your animation.

Types of 2D Animations

Now, there are several types of 2D animations you need to get familiar with.

2D Whiteboard Animation

A 2D whiteboard animation is where the viewers see you draw different characters and objects with a marker.

This type is typically used to build awareness about a particular product or service.

It also helps marketers present different features and benefits of a particular product or service.

2D Explainer Videos

2D explainer videos, as the name suggests, help you explain different aspects of a product in a more effective manner.

It makes it easier for you to deliver complex concepts in an easy-to-digest way.

Even if you could explain something on paper or with words, 2D animations make everything visually appealing and exciting.

This eventually helps you attract more prospects for your product.

2D Product Demos

Marketers generally use product demos to showcase how their product actually works.

A real video with the actual product might be more effective, but a 2D product demo can be really cost-effective if you have a simple product.

2D Animations: Statistics

2D animations are pretty popular among content creators and marketers for good reasons.

The data tells us that it’s an industry that’s not going to go away any time soon.

That’s mainly because 2D animations are highly cost-effective.

Here are some prominent 2D animation statistics to back those claims:

  • The chances of your website getting discovered by Google increase 53 times when your page loads with a video on it
  • According to Unbounce, your conversions can get an 80% boost when there’s a video on your landing page
  • As compared to images and text, social media videos generate 1200% more shares
  • According to a whopping 97% of marketers, video-based explanations are more effective at educating people about a product or service
  • You can generate a 68% better ROI from a whiteboard animation than Google Ads
  • A marketing animated video can attract 300% more traffic, helping you generate more leads

With all that out of the way, let’s talk about the best 2D animation software out there.

Best Software for 2D Animations

If you want to use 2D animations for marketing purposes, it’s important that you use the right tool.

The good thing is that there’s no shortage of 2D animation tools, free and paid both.

But, more options do come with a small caveat; in order to pick the most cost-effective option, you need to do proper research.

Let’s make choosing the best 2D animation software easier for you.

Adobe Animate

Adobe Animate offers industry-leading animation features. There’s a built-in virtual camera that lets you pan, rotate, and zoom, imitating realistic camera movements.

The software integrates with the Adobe Creative Cloud and comes in a bundle with Photoshop and Illustrator.

Moreover, you can save your 2D animations in AVI, 4K, and MP4 formats.

However, Adobe Animate doesn’t offer audio editing tools.


Animaker is another popular and free 2D animation software with three paid plans.

It’s one of the most cost-effective ones on the market. You can get the basic package for just $10 a month when you pay yearly.

Plus, you can build your own characters, create HD-quality animation, use the background removal tool, download videos in multiple formats, and more.

And, on the Enterprise package, you can even create 4K-quality animation videos.

Here are the types of animation videos you can create with Animaker:

  • Infographics
  • Whiteboard
  • Typography
  • 2D
  • Handcraft


2d animation

Blender is one of the most popular video editing tools in the market, and it’s completely free.

The open-source 2D animation software is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux.

In addition to animation, it supports:

  • Modeling
  • Simulation
  • Rigging
  • Motion tracking
  • Rendering
  • And, more

Blender is a public project, maintained and used by creatives from all around the world.

However, keep in mind that Blender is a resource-intensive and complicated tool, which makes it not so perfect for a complete beginner.


2d animation

OpenToonz is another great free tool for 2D animations.

You can use all the OpenToonz creations for non-commercial and commercial purposes.

Other features of OpenToonz include:

  • Digital drawing tools
  • Indexed color pallets
  • Motion tracking
  • Creating vectors from paper drawings
  • Frame-by-frame animation
  • And, more

As you can see, the tool offers pretty advanced features like Blender.

The good thing is if you get stuck at any point, the online developer forum and user community are there to help you sort it out.

Pencil2D Animation

2d animation

If you want to hand-draw 2D videos, Pencil2D Animation is for you. The good thing is it’s an open-source 2D software, and you can use it for commercial purposes as well.

This means you can create 2D animations to promote your products or services. Moreover, the extensive online learning resources and easy-to-use features, and dashboard make it great for beginners.

Here are some other features of Pencil2D Animation:

  • Image and audio import
  • Adjust frame rate
  • Add lighting effects
  • Toolbar customizations
  • Multiple export formats


The next one on our list of the best 2D animation software is Powtoon. It lets you create dynamic 2D videos for marketing.

Although it’s free to use, you can buy a paid plan if you want advanced features. On the free plan, you can create 2D videos up to three minutes in length.

2D Animations PowerPoint

2d animation

You can also create 2D animations with Microsoft PowerPoint. The software lets you animate pictures, text, tables, shapes, and other objects.

However, there is a learning curve with PowerPoint 2D animations. But, if you don’t want to pay for another software and have the time to learn, PowerPoint can be an effective option.

2D Animations Cost Per Minute

There’s no market rate for a 2D animation video. You can find a lot of freelance animators and agencies that charge depending on their experience and expertise.

Freelance platforms typically have more cost-effective options, but you’ll probably have to compromise on the quality.

For a long-term solution, you want to work with a professional 2D animation agency.

Generally, the cost of 2D animations can range from a few dollars to thousands of dollars.

2D Animations: Examples

We can talk about 2D animations all day long, but it won’t be the same as seeing them in action.

Here are a few popular 2D animation examples that you can explore further.


  • The Simpsons
  • SpongeBob Squarepants
  • Tom and Jerry
  • Family Guy


  • The Iron Giant
  • Aladdin
  • Mulan
  • The Jungle Book


  • Super Mario Bros
  • Tetris
  • Super Metroid
  • Shovel Knight

2D Animation Advertisement

2D animations and advertisements are a perfect match for each other.

Advertisers use 2D animations to achieve their goals all the time, and you can, too.

What is Animated Advertising?

An animated ad is typically a 15 – 60 seconds long video designed to promote a business or its specific product.

Animated ads are entertaining and engaging, which is primarily why smart businesses don’t shy away from investing in them.

Here’s what you can achieve with advertising animations:

Brand Awareness: 2D animations are perfect for attracting new audiences and maximizing your brand’s reach.

Conversions: 2D animations can also help you generate more conversions. Using it, you can present your product features and benefits in a creative way.

Product Launch: 2D animation ads can be amazingly effective when you are trying to introduce a new product to a completely new audience.

You can use 2D animation for a variety of advertising objectives though.

For instance, let’s say some of your product’s features are complicated.

What you can do is create an engaging 2D ad that explains those features in an easy-to-understand way.

There are several reasons to use 2D animation for a business; let’s take a look at the top 4.

4 Reasons to Use 2D Animation for Your Business

Helps You Stand Out

Let’s face it. People are fed up with the traditional form of advertising.

So, you need to get creative with your advertising methods and stand out from the crowd.

2D advertising helps you do that.

It draws your dream customers in, engages them, and gets them to act.

Explains Complex Messages

Another advantage of using 2D animations for advertising is that it lets you explain complex messages more effectively.

It can help you break down a broad and complicated topic into smaller, easier-to-understand portions.

This can especially be helpful when you’re working in industries like medical, educational, financial, and more.

In many cases, you will need to provide specialist knowledge to your audience before they can make a decision.

It’s Impactful

An important reason why 2D advertising is an impactful marketing tool is that it’s visually attractive.

Its appealing nature helps you grab prospects’ attention and communicate your message to a wide audience.


Although 2D animation might look expensive, it’s quite affordable.

That’s why businesses of all sizes use them to achieve their marketing goals.

Animated ads are much more affordable than other forms of video ads since you don’t need to hire any artists, or rent a location.

You can create highly converting 2D animations with simple and affordable software.


Interesting and visual content gets shared a lot on social media. The type of content that people tend to share more are images and videos.

2D animation is an extremely shareable form of content as it’s a combination of images and text converted into a video.

This means that you can attract a lot of potential customers to your business using 2D animation only via social shares.


Another benefit of using 2D animations is that it’s highly memorable. 2D animations tend to stick to the memory of the viewer.

Which makes it a great tool for brand awareness.

2D Animation is Fun

2D animation can be a lot of fun, and everybody loves to consume fun and exciting content on social media.

Put a great 2D animation video on your prospects’ feeds and you’ll stop them in their tracks.

Content Marketing

As you might already know, content marketing is when you use high-quality content to attract and convert a target audience.

2D animation offers everything you need to do just that, which makes it perfect for content marketing.


One way to use 2D animation for content marketing is by creating a YouTube channel around your niche or market.

The cool thing is that with YouTube, you can target specific queries your audience is searching for.

Social Media Marketing

If you want to create a social media following around your brand, 2D animation can help speed up the process.

See, you need to provide attention-grabbing and exciting content in order to engage social media users.

2D animation lets you do that without putting a dent in your marketing budget.

Great for Website SEO

While 2D animation doesn’t directly impact your site’s SEO, it can help you rank higher in search engines like Google.

Let’s see how.

There’s a concept in SEO called “Dwell Time”. It’s the duration of time an average user spends on your page.

Dwell time is one of the factors Google takes into account while ranking websites.

The point is the longer you make visitors stay on your landing page or website, the better it is for your organic rankings.

But, where does 2D animation come into the picture?

Let’s see.

Improved Dwell Time

Well, when you put an engaging 2D animation on your web page, it tends to improve your dwell time.

This, in turn, sends a signal to Google that your content is valuable, boosting your SEO.

And this also means that you can attract more prospects to your landing page without having to spend on paid ads.

Reduced Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is another SEO factor that gets affected positively when you put 2D animations on your web page.

It’s a simple concept that when a prospect lands on your page but returns without taking any action, they contribute to your bounce rate.

And bounce rate is a ranking factor you can’t afford to ignore.

You want to minimize your bounce rate, and 2D animations are a great way to do that.

Users normally bounce back when you fail to grab their attention right off the bat.

Put an attention-grabbing 2D animation at the top of your page and you’ll see your bounce rate drop.

Great for Conversions

It’s safe to say that the goal of every business is to convert more prospects.

Smart businesses don’t shy away from implementing a new strategy if it can improve their conversions.

And 2D animation can help you convert more people with engaging content.

Great for Email Marketing

If you’ve got a decent number of people on your email list, you can multiply your results with 2D animation.

See, people like to watch videos, whether they’re shown on television or in their email inbox.

What you want to do is send your prospects value-adding 2D animations on a regular basis.

Try to engage them with your content and get them to take the desired action.

Why Should You Hire a 2D Animation Agency?

By now, you must be familiar with how 2D animations work and why they should be a part of your overall digital marketing strategy.

You also know that creating impactful 2D animations isn’t rocket science, thanks to powerful animation tools.

But, the real question is “Should you invest your time and energy in creating 2D animations when you have other more strategic stuff to take care of?”.

Probably not.

This is why you should get into a lucrative partnership with a 2D animation agency.

Let’s see some other reasons to work with a 2D animation company.

You Can Learn Faster

Even though 2D animations can seem simple with software, if you want your videos to have the maximum impact, you need to learn the craft.

And what’s better than watching a pro do it for your business?

When you work with a 2D animation agency, you take a jump-start into the world of 2D animation advertising.

You can see how 2D animation ads are created and ask all types of questions from professionals.

Higher Chances of Success

Let’s face it. Even if you learn 2D animations yourself, you’re better off working with someone who has years of relevant experience.

With a team of 2D animation experts, you can expect to grow your business without limits.

A good agency would know how to use 2D animations to attract your dream prospects and convert them into regular customers.

As a result, you’d be achieving your ROI goals quickly.

Plus, it’s not like you’d have to keep an eye on them all the time.

You can just hire the right company, let them take care of everything, and focus on what you do best.

Allow Yourself to Focus on Other Aspects of Your Business

As mentioned before, by outsourcing your 2D animation advertising, you’re essentially giving yourself more time to focus on other important aspects of your business.

For instance, if you want to grow your business, you need to come up with creative strategies.

And oftentimes, that requires in-depth market analysis and competitor research.

2D Animations: Frequently Asked Questions

What are 2D Animations?

2D animations are a sequence of images put together to form a 2-dimensional video. This means they don’t have any depth perception or the third axis.

How to Do 2D Animations?

2D animations can be done with free or paid online software. There are plenty of 2D animation tools out there, and many of them are beginner-friendly, too. We’ve covered a few popular and cost-effective ones above.

Is 2D animation DEAD?

2D animations have been around for decades and they have been a powerful medium for storytelling and marketing. But, since 3D animation offers more realistic visuals, it has, to some extent, pushed back 2D animations.

That said, 2D animations are far from dead. In fact, it’s one of the most powerful methods of storytelling and education, which is why it’s been doing so well in the advertising industry. The data and statistics seem to support that argument, too.

Is 2D Animation Harder than 3D?

This is a tricky question. Traditionally, 2D animation is harder than 3D animation, but today, we’ve got powerful tools that do most of the work for us. So, the more important thing to know is which one is more cost-effective for your business.

Why 2D Animation is Better than 3D?

From the marketing perspective, 2D animations are better than 3D because they can be more cost-effective. And, as a marketer, you should always prefer a strategy that generates a higher ROI.

Are 2D Animations Cheaper than 3D?

Yes, creating a 2D animation video typically costs less than creating 3D animation. You need more complex and powerful tools for 3D animation.

Final Thoughts

2D animations are an incredibly effective marketing tool for businesses of all types and sizes.

People love to watch videos, especially when they’re fun and valuable.

2D animations can have those qualities if you use the right tools and human resources.

Now, you can learn 2D animations and handle everything yourself, but that’ll take up your time and energy.

If you think you need to focus on other aspects of your business (which you should), working with a 2D animation agency is the right way to go.

Need to Discuss how you can grow your business with 2D animations?

Or, maybe want a reputable 2D animation agency to handle everything for you?

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