Steps of a 2D Animation Pipeline

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2D animation is the former version of 3D animation. It is the traditional way to depict cartoon characters. It processes static characters in a 2D space. The heights and widths of the characters are dockable. The backgrounds can also be changed to bring out the artificial depth to enhance the quality.

The traditional aspect of 2D animation includes hand-drawn characters which used to be drawn with the help of pencil and paper. The process was time-consuming and included a higher degree of human error during production as well. Today things have changed in terms of animation production.

Modern 2D animation is effective and gets produced at a rapid pace. A 2D animation pipeline is a complete set of instructions. There are different steps people which help the animators develop convincing animation.

In this post, we will learn about the 2D animation pipeline in 3 different phases.

What Is 2D Animation?

2D animation works in tandem with vector graphics. There are different software available that help with these animations. Vector graphics are computer-generated images that predicate the mathematical representations that conduct the execution of lines and shapes in a 2D space. 

The process of 2D animation makes them move in a natural way including up, down, left, and right directions. These are important to develop an illusion in the animations that looks real.

Uses of 2D Animation

2D animation has many applications in different sectors which are quite common. Following are the typical use cases of 2D animation:

  1. Commercials and product advertisements
  2. Movies and videogames
  3. Music videos
  4. Website animation
  5. Mobile phone cartoons

The 2D Animation Pipeline Process

The 2D animation pipeline is a straightforward set of instructions for the ease and complete guidance of the artists. The steps help you to produce animation in an organized way. 

No matter if you are a seasoned artist or a beginner, this animation pipeline will always lead your way toward successful animation production. 

However, the animation pipeline is not a constant factor for different animation studios. Every animation agency uses different aspects of this process in its own way. It means this pipeline is not confined to any restrictions. It works equally well for various purposes. 

Pre-Production Stage For 2D Animation


 It is the fundamental step that originates the animation production process. The script is important to set the concept of the type of animation you need to work on. It also helps with the further steps of the pipeline. 


A storyboard is important to serve as a graphical representation of the animation. It contains all the sketches. The storyboard is a visual representation of the script that makes the process seamless. 


Concept development is important during the production pipeline. The concepts are the source of enticing animation. Also, a concept is all that carries the process in an effortless way. 

Production Stage for 2D Animation

Asset Development:

The next step is to create digital assets from the conceptualization. These include characters, backgrounds, and props. It is important to conduct these small details to pull off convincing 2D cartoons. 

Audio Insertion:

It is important to insert the audio when it comes to 2D animated videos. Now, this can be anything. From voiceovers to music design. It is important that the audio insertion should correlate with the concept and ideas. 

The artists record the dialogue and audio in a separate recording studio. It is also important to complete the recording before time to execute the audio insertion into the video projects. 

Special Effects:

These effects are for uplifting the feel of the animated content. The elemental manipulations are important to grab the audience’s attention through these special effects. 

There are special animating software that develops these special effects in the projects. These also help in creating more realistic cartoons. The depth of the animated content also determines its performance and the feedback from the audience for it. 

Post-Production Stage For 2D Animation

Ink and Painting:

 The process of using ink and paints during the process is due to the existence of software. The next step after this is to color the animations and then work on the drawings originating from the storyboard. 

This step can prove to be the longest since its extensive utilization. The drawings have to be clean and precise. The lines should connect with each other. Also, the filling has to be in equilibrium for all the animations. 

Composting and Rendering:

The step of compositing is important since it divides the layers of the animations. The backgrounds need to be imported and all the originals like sounds and character details are crucial to consider at this point. 

The artists from the top-rated video animation company know the importance of this step of the post-production process. The professionals combine these divided layers during rendering. Since it helps in winding up the process. 

The adjustments with the camera movements and visual effects are also integral to consider during this last stage. Other factors like shadows, tones, and highlightings are also a part of technical rectifications. 

Final Touches:

It is important to keep in mind that editing and final touches make or break your projects. Make sure everything is in place and with a perfect orientation. So that it can deliver the essence of effort to the audience. 

Closing Remarks

The 2D animation pipeline has huge importance when it comes to commercial production of 2D animation which is generally cartoons. The process has been evolving for many years. The advancement of new methods and software is making the process seamless for animating companies and artists. 

This post was for elaborating on the process of the 2D animation pipeline. It does not only render all the instructions to the professionals. But also viable for beginners. So that they can keep up with the pace of the large-scale production of 2D animations around the globe.  

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