2D animation might seem like a step back from 3D animation, but it’s still a very common design concept. 2D animation provides a way for designers to animate certain graphics so they can become excellent digital marketing tools for many businesses. There was a time when professionals used pencils and paper to create a flipbook animation. However, with the below tools and advanced technology, it’s now possible for professionals to create mind-blowing 2D animations for a variety of projects using a computer.
Toon Boom Harmony
Toon Boom Harmony offers multiple animation programs that are each designed to work with users of various levels of animating ability. Harmony essentials, advanced and premium have unique features and tools to help professionals animate their 2D graphics. Each program has a high-performing user interface to make animating much more efficient. Whether you’re an amateur designer or a professional, Toon Boom Harmony has a program for everyone and it should be considered by all animation fanatics.
Adobe After Effects
Adobe After Effects is an excellent choice for those 2D animators who are using rigs for greater control of their projects. The software itself is available for both Mac and Windows users, and as it comes with many features and it gives animators the chance to edit designs and colour correct them in the same window, it’s a popular choice for professionals around the world.
If you’ve long been a fan of 2D animation software you’ll already know of Adobe Animate, which used to be Adobe Flash. It has the reputation as one of the most popular programs out there for good reason. With an extensive toolset and a vector based animating ability, you can be sure it’s got the features to create outstanding 2D animations. To many professionals, it’s not considered a “professional tool” – but it’s still got the ability to produce mind-blowing results.
TVPaint is an expensive product but it’s much more complex and has more to offer than some of the other 2D animation software out there. You’ll find that many professional animators and studios rely on TVPaint to create their work, which just goes to show how powerful and feature-rich the software is. TVPaint is French software, however, with many features and languages, it’s now a program that’s used worldwide.
If you’ve ever used the famous photo editing software, Adobe Photoshop, you may wonder why this software is on the list. Surprisingly, Photoshop can also be used for 2D animation development thanks to the frame design features it comes with. Photoshop is often overlooked as animation software but it does have the features and robustness to create high-quality 2D animations. Given the fact Photoshop is one of the easiest editing programs to get used to, it’s often used by both amateurs and professionals to finish high-quality 2D projects.
Professional animators such as Spiel Studios use some of the same software as above to create professional masterpieces, so if you’re looking to get started in the world of animation, the above tools are the general tools of the trade.