If you told someone 20 years ago that you planned on making a 2D animation video for your business, you probably would have been laughed out of the room. Unless you were marketing sugary cereal to kids, that is! Today, 2D animated videos are used by businesses across virtually every vertical to explain solutions both simple and complex. These can use silly or sentimental storylines – and everything in between!
In this article we cover 2D animation services and why you should consider them for your next video project. However, before we do, let’s define 2D animation videos and look at a few different types that are frequently created.
2D Animation: What Is It?
A 2D animation is what’s known as traditional animation, which dates back to the 1800s. A 2D animation video is a style of video made up of mainly character-based animation telling stories through interactive scenes. Most 2D animated videos are full of colors and sound effects to accentuate the storyline you are watching.
The reason that 2D animated videos can be such a good approach is that the essence of 2D animation is the characters in the story. And the more you can relate those characters to your actual viewers, the more the story and video are going to be impactful on them. Snow White, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Hercules (to name a few) are some of Disney and Pixar’s most famous animated movies and 2D characters.
In contrast, a motion graphics video is more of an animated infographic video with objects (graphs, letters, numbers, etc). We point this out as it's easy to confuse or combine the two. But in reality, they are two distinct animation styles.
Creating animation projects may sound intimidating at first, but they don’t have to be. There are many qualified companies that can help you through the animation process. By outsourcing this type of work to animation professionals with years of experience, you can get a professional video made for your company with a minimal turnaround time.
How Can 2D Animation Benefit You?
2D animation videos can convey complex ideas with custom animated characters that share a narrative that’s easy for the viewer to follow, typically in just a few minutes.
By pairing these 2D animations with a compelling voiceover and storyline, you’ll be able to engage the viewer and keep their attention. You can work with a production company or animation agency to help bring this to life.
Now, the question is what type of 2D animation is the right one for you? Let’s take a look at some of the common 2D animation videos and see which one might be the right fit.
2D Animation Use Cases
There are many different use cases for 2D animated videos and various ways you can implement them in your business.
Two of the most popular ones include:
- Product Video – Showcase your product’s use case with an animated version of your offering through a character-based story
- Problem/Solution Video – Highlight your product’s use with a problem/solution video. Outline the issues your customers are facing and position your product as the solution.
Why Are 2D Animated Videos Important?
2D animated videos can bring a product or service to life through the use of detailed illustrations that tell a story.
With a 2D animated video, complex ideas can be simplified. If the video is engaging, you will retain viewers for longer and the information will stick.
In addition, 2D animated videos can impact your bottom line. One global brand realized a 10% increase in conversion after publishing an animated video that personified its product in a fun and light-hearted way.
Another benefit of 2D animation is that you are only limited by your creativity in terms of the story you tell. And the people (characters) that are in it. This sets up the opportunity to be as ambitious as you want in telling a very involved story. In contrast, if you were filming a character-based story w/ cameras you would be limited much more by your actors, locations, budget, etc.
By infusing 2D animated videos into your strategy, you will well-equip yourself with the right assets you need to share your story.
3 Awesome Examples of 2D Animated Videos
You've heard a lot about 2D animation. Now, let's take a look at three great examples of these types of videos.
Each has common graphic elements but they all have very different tones and purposes.
1. Delta Faucet
Delta Faucet, a connected home company in the internet of things (IoT) space, created a 2D animation video to convey how their product can revolutionize the way water is used in a standard home.
The future is often a hard-to-convey topic since it is intangible. With this video, Delta Faucet shows how their product will create a better future with smarter water conservation efforts:
The 2D animations feature a family using water in their daily interactions in their residential home. The video shows how the Delta Faucet monitors their water usage, making smarter decisions for how it is recycled into other areas of the house.
There is a lot to learn about the Delta Faucet. This video makes it easy for a consumer to understand how it works and the benefits associated with it.
2. The Standard
Standard used a 2D animated video to educate brokers on how to adapt to an evolving sellers’ market. The video highlighted different tips and tricks they could use to close a sale through virtual mediums.
Take a look at how the voiceover pairs with the animation to share Standard’s advice:
After watching the video, you'll understand the different ways that you should approach your sales pitch in a more virtual-focused world. In addition, since you saw the 2D animation, you’ll have a stronger grasp of the actual steps you need to take to execute it.
ZapStand, a public health technology company, deployed a 2D animated video to show how their product can be used in situations involving sudden cardiac arrest.
The video features an animation of a park with multiple people around. As one animated character begins to have a sudden cardiac arrest, the video shows how ZapStand can be used in the situation to save his life.
The video portrays ZapStand as a simple-to-use life-saving product that is needed in public places where a cardiac arrest has a high chance of occurring. The video is short and compelling, luring in the viewer and keeping them engaged the entire time.
The 2D Animation Process
Here, we’ll focus on an overview of animation techniques and processes.
The process of 2D animation can be divided into three stages. The first is the pre-production phase.
In this step, the animation team creates the storyline, writes the script, works on character design, creates a storyboard, and more. Essentially, this is the preparation stage. In the same way that building a strong house requires planning, laying the groundwork, and having a solid foundation, the pre-production of a 2D animation requires the same. Storyboards serve as visual representations of the sequence and organization of events, so it's important to nail the script. Basically, scripts and storyboards go hand in hand.
In this stage, characters and other visual elements are created as well as color selection and simple sketches.
All the magic happens during the production process. During this phase, all the time-consuming visual effects and character animation come to life. From individual scenes and character activities to a rough animation and paint drawings using computer software...
Instructions for animators to create each scene are included in what’s known as an exposure sheet. This includes character actions and timing, dialogues and music, animation layers, background, and view perspective.
Once the frames are complete, they’re scanned into a computer (if they haven’t already been drawn digitally!). Once the exposure sheet is complete, animators combine all the high-quality visual elements. Specialists apply backgrounds, frames, lip-sync, sounds, and any other effects during the compositing process.
Post-production is what’s known as the final stage in the process. Some of the best 2D animation software and animation tools get used for adding sound effects and other recordings. In this stage, everything is polished and the project is completed!Creating Impactful 2D Animated Videos
Creating Your Own 2D Animation
Whether it’s a short film, social media ad, or tv show – to create your first 2D video, there are a few core steps that animation production companies typically follow.
Consider Your Audience
First, you should consider who your target audience is for the video. What type of tone and approach will they respond well to? What information will resonate the best with them? Answering these questions and others will help you create the right mindset for creating your video.
2D Animation: Your Objectives
Secondly, you need to consider the objective of your video. What are you trying to showcase through your 2D animations? Establishing this before you begin can provide a north star that guides you along your development process.
A Compelling Script
Next, start writing a compelling script that will convey the necessary information while engaging your viewers. Your script should highlight your value proposition and include an interesting dialogue. This might need multiple revisions to ensure there is no excess fluff.
We find the 60 – 90 second video length is optimal for 2D animated videos. It’s enough to set up that classic problem/solution scenario story but it’s not too long where the viewer drifts off before your ultimate call to action at the end.
Now with your script in hand, you can begin the character and video animation process. This digital process is what brings the characters and scenes in your video to life.
If you are a skilled animator, you can use popular video editing platforms like Adobe After Effects to create your video. However, 2D animation is a highly-skilled talent, so we’d recommend you team up with a professional video production company to execute your vision.
Creating Impactful 2D Animated Videos
2D animated videos are an essential asset that every business should own. These videos have many different uses and will continue to drive awareness for your business.
With the proper 2D animated video, you’ll be able to concisely teach your prospective customers about your product, service... or even business as a whole!
If you invest in your video marketing efforts, you’ll begin to create a bank of content that every department can use to share your company’s:
If you’re interested in learning more about the 2D animation services Levitate Media provides please contact us here! We can set up a time for a free video strategy review call to discuss our 2D animation services and more.