2D Animation

From Storyboarding to Final Cut: Making 2D Animation and How Disney Stands Out

Are you ready to be enchanted by the magical world of 2D animation? If you’ve ever been captivated by your favorite cartoon characters or the dynamic imagery of explainer movies, you already understand the power of this animation style. With no need for expensive software or technical know-how, 2D digital animation is a fun and engaging way to bring your ideas to life.


This article takes you on an exciting journey through the steps required to make a 2D animation. From conceptualizing your ideas to adding the finishing touches of sound and exporting the final result, we guide you through the entire process step-by-step. Whether you’re an experienced artist looking to expand your skills or a complete novice with a passion for animation, this post provides everything you need to create your own masterpiece.

How to Make 2D Animation?

Creating a 2D animated film involves three stages: pre-production, production, and post-production. The process begins with brainstorming and storyboarding. Storyboarding is a comic strip-like graphic representation of the actions and events that will take place in the animation. This, along with character design and sketching backgrounds, is an essential part of the pre-production process for 2D animation. However, the actual animation process starts during the production stage.


During production, animators combine the character model sheets, storyboard, layout, and backdrops from the pre-production phase to act out the scene before animating. This helps to ensure that everything flows smoothly before animation begins.

Any animator can follow these steps roughly to produce brilliant digital 2D animations. 

Dynamic 2D Animations

Brainstorming and Conceptualization


The first step in creating a 3D animation is to develop a concept and storyboard. This involves outlining the plot, characters, and background of the animation, as well as planning its sequence. A script, sketches, and character designs can all be part of this initial step.


To create an interesting story and concept, you need to be inspired. Inspiration can come from anything around you, such as a poem, painting, or personal experience. You can draw motivation from any interaction, visit, or event you’ve ever witnessed. Any of these experiences can inspire a narrative for your animation.


Character Modeling 


Developing models of the characters, props, and environments utilized in the animation follows the conceptualization and storyboarding step. 

All of the team members pitch in with suggestions when it comes to developing ideas about the story and its related characters. Each animator grabs a pencil and some paper and begins doodling variations on character concepts. Artists sometimes use character design studios because of their ability to provide high-quality assets quickly.

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The third step in developing the best 2D animation process is called “rigging.” It entails developing a digital skeleton or foundation for an animated character or object. First, a model is made with modeling software, and then the rig is built by inserting a number of joints, also called bones, into the model. Then, animators add controls to the rig so they may move the character or object in a number of different ways. The model is then given a weight and applied to the rig, which is then tested and tweaked until it is stable and can perform realistic activities.




At this point, the animation begins in earnest. The script and storyboards are complete; the animators can finally begin their work. There are two types of animators: lead animators and support animators. Making the characters, objects, and settings move requires the use of keyframe animation techniques. To keep the animation on track, animators will often refer to a storyboard or animatic.

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Listening and Sound Design


After the animation has been developed, lighting and sound are added to it. The sound design process follows this. Creating a photorealistic lighting effect in an animated scenario requires putting up virtual lights within the scene and generating the final frames.


Sound designers are responsible for creating and recording a wide variety of sound effects and ambiance (such as footsteps, clothing rustling, doors opening, etc.) to provide depth and character to the narrative. Sound effects are now generated digitally, but in the early days of animation, sound designers really had to create the sounds they needed. For example, when there was no other option, the producers of Snow White had to record the sounds of broken dishes, animals, doors knocking, etc.


The score is then composed. The mood of the main character is reflected in the score. That’s why you’ll hear either rapid or slow music in different scenes.




The final stage in the production process of an animation is post-production. Here, the composited renders, music, and foley are modified and assembled into a single file to ensure perfect timing. Once the client has approved the finished product, it is exported to a format that meets the broadcasting industry or client’s requirements.


Editing and post-processing are also carried out in this step. These can involve editing the animation or adding sound effects, music, or voiceovers to ensure the story is conveyed clearly and efficiently.


Creating a 2D animation is a time-consuming and challenging process. It requires careful planning and execution to produce beautiful, engaging animations that captivate viewers and bring stories to life.

Professional 2D Animators

How Disney Always Steals the Spotlight with its Brilliant Animations?

Disney’s longstanding dominance in the animation industry can be attributed to its constant innovation in animation techniques, from hand-drawn animation in its early days to the use of state-of-the-art technology today. The company’s ability to create iconic characters that resonate with viewers of all ages is one of its greatest strengths, with numerous interpretations of Disney icons like Mickey Mouse and Elsa from Frozen.


Disney’s storytelling skills are also a major factor in its success, crafting emotionally engaging and thrilling stories that blend traditional storytelling techniques with contemporary perspectives, keeping them fresh and relevant. This is why people worldwide continue to enjoy Disney’s animated films, even if they have been around for a while.


Moreover, Disney’s reputation as one of the world’s most recognizable animation studios is a result of its use of cutting-edge computer animation techniques, memorable characters, and fascinating plots. Disney’s ongoing commitment to innovation, storytelling, and character development has helped it maintain its position as a leader in the animation industry for almost a century.

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What Software Does Disney Use for 2D Animation?

For decades, Disney has been bringing joy to people with its top-notch 2D animation. To bring their unforgettable characters and beautiful stories to life, they have been using a variety of software options for years. Toon Boom Harmony is their animators’ top choice for their 2D animation needs. This robust program was specifically designed for 2D animation and is relied on by professionals in the animation industry.


Toon Boom Harmony’s standout feature is its ability to effortlessly handle complex scenes, including the integration of 2D and 3D assets. The program offers a range of functions, including camera controls, rigging tools, and advanced lip-syncing capabilities. By using this program, Disney’s skilled animators can bring their visions to life, creating iconic characters and stories that continue to captivate viewers of all ages.

Disney's 2D Animations

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