2D Animator Job Description: Duties And Responsibilities

If you’re interested in a career as a 2D animator, here’s what you need to know. As the name implies, 2D animators create animated characters and scenes by drawing or painting on the screen. 

They use art and animation tools to create the illusion of movement, and they work with directors, producers, and other artists to make films, commercials, and video games. 

If you have an artistic bent and are interested in creating entertaining images, 2D Animator may be your perfect career. Keep reading for more information about this exciting field.

Key Duties and Responsibilities of a 2D Animator

There are many responsibilities associated with being a director of animation. It includes developing and managing a team of animators, overseeing the animation process, and ensuring the finished product meets all requirements.

Responsibilities may include:

  • Determining project goals and objectives
  • Developing an overall animation plan
  • Ensuring that all deadlines are met
  • Assisting with reviews of work products
  • Providing feedback to animators and supervisors
  • Coordinating with other departments within the studio or production company

Essential Qualifications for 2D Animators

There are many types of animation jobs, but the most common is character animation. Character animation creates an animated character or scene by moving its joints and muscles.

The qualifications needed to be a good character animator vary depending on the studio you work for. 

Still, most commonly, you will need a degree in animation or another related field, along with several years of experience. Other essential qualifications include strong drawing and painting skills and experience working in 3D software.

Education Journey of a 2D Animator

Many schools offer education programs in 2D animation. The most common type of program is the undergraduate degree program. 

An undergraduate degree in 2D animation typically takes four years and may include computer graphics, physics, and motion graphics courses. After completing an undergraduate degree, students often enter a graduate program to further their knowledge of 2D animation. 

A graduate program in 2D animation may include coursework in production design, directing, writing for energy, and storyboarding.

Many 2D animators begin their careers as artists or animatics designers on feature films or television shows. 

After gaining experience working on high-quality projects, many 2D animators become leaders in animated movies or series. In lead roles, 2D animators create all the characters and scenes in an animated film or series.

Top Software and Tools for 2D Animators

2D animators use software and tools to create motion graphics, character animation, and 3D scenes. 

Standard software used by 2D animators includes Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere Pro, and Maya. Additionally, many animators use After Effects and Illustrator software to create illustrations or logos.

2D animators often use motion tracking software to help them create realistic animations. Motion tracking software helps artists track the movement of characters or objects in 3D space. 

This information is then used to create smooth animations. 2D animators may also use body-tracking software to animate human characters.

2D animators may also use physically-based rendering (PBR) tools to create realistic animation. 

PBR tools take the rough shapes of 3D objects and map them to a more realistic representation to improve animations’ accuracy. This process can be time-consuming but can result in more realistic animations that look more like reality.

2D Animator Work Environment

The most critical skills for success in 2D animation are creativity, attention to detail, and excellent problem-solving abilities. 

The work environment of a 2D animator is typically quite creative and relaxed. Animators usually work in teams to develop their projects or work as freelancers on independent projects, so communication with others is essential. 

An animator’s office may be set up with production tools like computers, software programs, monitors, 3D scanners, etc., depending on the specific project they’re working on. 

Working hours can vary significantly between studios, but it’s common for animators to put in long hours when deadlines are approaching; this often includes nights and weekends if needed.

Most In-Demand Skills for 2D Animators

The skills you need to be a successful 2D animator vary depending on the animation you want to create. However, there are some common skills that all animators need to create fantastic animations.

Some basic skills include having strong drawing and painting skills, an understanding of perspective, and knowledge of anatomy. 

Additionally, animators need to know character rigging and animation software, as well as an understanding of the principles behind motion graphics.

Animation studios typically require applicants to have a college degree in art or animation, but many entry-level positions may not require a degree. 

Some popular programs for energy training include Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Animation Mentor in Los Angeles, California, and Ontario College of Art & Design in Toronto, Canada.

Knowledge of animation processes

An animation process can be broken into two main stages: planning and execution. At the planning stage, animators will create a storyboard or script that outlines the movements of characters and objects. 

This information is then used to create a sequence of drawings known as an animatic. Once the animation is complete, it’s transferred to the computer for execution.

When working on a character, animators use reference material such as still images or motion pictures to help them understand how particular movements should look. 

They’ll also use “keyframes” to specify specific points in time at which a character should move. After creating keyframes, the animation software will interpolate between them to make the final movement sequence.

To ensure smooth transitions between scenes, animators often use “seamless transitions.” Seamless transitions can speed up the animation process or add visual continuity between different locations. 

This technique involves importing previously created animations and using them as references for later animations.

Animation is a highly versatile form of storytelling, bringing characters and scenes to life in ways never before possible. 

By knowing how animation processes work and how to use various tools and techniques, aspiring animators can achieve excellent results! It’s essential for anyone interested in pursuing a career in animation to have a strong foundation in both traditional drawing and computer usage.

Technical skills

An animator is a person who creates motion graphics, or animation, for movies, television shows, advertisements, and other multimedia productions. Animators use a variety of software to create the illusion of movement. 

They may work with drawings or digital files to create characters, props, scenery, and special effects.

An animator typically has a bachelor’s degree in animation or another related field and several years of experience in the industry. 

Some common skills an animator might need are artistry, graphic design, and animation software proficiency. The right software can help speed up the process of creating animations.


There is no one way to be creative. What works for one person might not work for another. However, some common characteristics are associated with people considered creative.

Some things often seen as signs of creativity include a strong sense of imagination; the ability to come up with new ideas; flexibility and openness to new experiences; and a strong focus on aesthetics.

Creativity can be learned, but it takes some effort and practice to get good at it. The best way to learn to be more creative is by trying different methods and exercises and then assessing what works for you. 

There is no “right” way to be creative, but some common principles will help you develop your style.


To create a communication plan for a 2D animator, it is essential to understand the required communication types. There are five primary modes of communication: verbal, written, digital, interpersonal, and passive. 

Verbal communication includes speaking with someone in person or over the phone. Written communication includes sending emails or letters. Digital communication includes using social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter.

Interpersonal communication includes communicating with co-workers and clients. Passive communication includes not talking at all.

The type of communication that is needed depends on the situation. For example, when communicating with clients, it is essential to be clear and concise so that they can understand what you are asking them to do. When communicating with co-workers, it is necessary to be respectful and understanding so everyone can work together harmoniously.

When creating a communications plan, it is also essential to consider the differentiator between technical and non-technical people. Technical people generally know more about technology than non-technical people, so they may be better suited to communicate with clients using technology in their business. 

On the other hand, non-technical people may be better suited for communicating with customers who use technology less.

An excellent way to start developing a communications plan is by understanding your audience and what they want from you. Next, you should create a strategy based on your audience’s needs and your skill set.


As a D animator, you will create motion graphics and animation for video games, movies, and other digital content. Your work will involve creating characters, vehicles, and other graphical elements on an interactive platform. You will need to be able to work quickly and efficiently to meet deadlines.

To become a successful D animator, you will need to be able to create high-quality animation sequences that look realistic and fluid. You should have experience with computer graphics software such as Adobe Photoshop or After Effects. It would help if you also had a good grasp of 3D modeling software such as Maya or 3D Studio Max.

Time management

Many time-management techniques can be used to manage a busy work schedule. One popular approach is to create “to-do” lists. It lets you see what needs to be done and when it should be completed. 

You can also use timers or alarms to help you stay on schedule. If your program is too hectic, consider taking on fewer projects at a time. 

Alternatively, divide your workload into smaller tasks that can be completed in shorter periods. Always keep in mind the importance of setting priorities and limiting distractions.

Salary and Job Outlook for 2D Animators: Is It Worth the Investment?

2D animators are responsible for creating the motion of characters and objects in animated films, TV shows, commercials, and video games. 

They use various animation software to create individual frames that create the illusion of motion together. The average salary for 2D animators was $69,090 in 2016, which is lower than that for all animators ($77,590). 

However, the job outlook is expected to be better than average over the next few years as more studios and advertising agencies focus on 3D animation. There is also a growing demand for 2D animators who can create realistic CGI characters.


In conclusion, the role of a 2D animator is an exciting and challenging vocation that requires an in-depth understanding of animation principles, techniques, and software. 

A successful animator will have a blend of creativity, technical expertise, communication skills, problem-solving capabilities, and organizational skills. 

It’s also important to be flexible enough to adjust quickly as projects change or require modifications due to client feedback. With the correct skill set, a 2D animator can expect many opportunities to work with some of today’s leading production companies.


What industries typically employ 2D Animators?

2D Animators can be employed in a variety of industries, including film and television, video game development, advertising, and educational media.

They may work for animation studios, production companies, or as freelance artists.

What are some trends in 2D Animation?

Some current trends in 2D Animation include the use of hand-drawn animation combined with digital techniques, the use of bold and experimental visual styles, and a growing focus on diversity and inclusivity in character design and storytelling.

How does 2D Animation differ from other animation styles?

2D Animation differs from other animation styles in that it uses flat, two-dimensional images to create the illusion of movement.

This style allows for a wider range of visual styles and techniques and can often be more cost-effective than other animation styles.

What role does storytelling play in 2D Animation?

Storytelling is a crucial component of 2D Animation, as it sets the foundation for the animation’s characters, themes, and overall message.

Animators must work closely with writers and directors to ensure that the animation’s visual style and movement support the story being told.

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