What is 2D Animation?

2D animation involves creating movement in a flat, two-dimensional space, encompassing characters, creatures, special effects, and backgrounds. The illusion of motion is achieved by sequencing individual drawings over time, typically at 24 frames per second (fps). Depending on the animation style, there may be as few as two or as many as 24 unique drawings per second. Traditional animation is often done on “2s,” with a drawing every two frames (12fps), balancing production time and costs while giving 2D animation its distinct appearance. While historically hand-drawn with pencil and paper, modern 2D production utilizes digital techniques via software like TV Paint, Toon Boom Harmony or Adobe After Effects.