2D Animation is the technique in which each frame of a film is produced individually, whether generated as a computer graphic, or by photographing a drawn image, or by repeatedly making small changes to a model unit (see claymation and stop motion), and then photographing the result with a special 2D Animation camera. When the frames are strung together and the resulting film is viewed at a speed of 16 or more frames per second, there is an illusion of continuous movement (due to the persistence of vision). Generating such a film is very labour intensive and tedious, though the development of computer 2D Animation has greatly sped up the process.
File formats like GIF, QuickTime, Shockwave and Flash allow 2D Animation to be viewed on a computer or over the Internet.
Because 2D Animation is very time-consuming and often very expensive to produce, the majority of 2D Animation for TV and movies comes from professional 2D Animation studios. However, the field of independent 2D Animation has existed at least since the 1950s, with 2D Animation being produced by independent studios (and sometimes by a single person). Several independent 2D Animation producers have gone on to enter the professional 2D Animation industry.
Freelance 2D Animation
Limited 2D Animation is a way of increasing production and decreasing costs of 2D Animation by using “short cuts” in the 2D Animation process. This method was pioneered by UPA and popularized by Hanna-Barbera, and adapted by other studios as cartoons moved from movie theaters to television.
Although most 2D Animation studios are now using digital technologies in their productions, there is a specific style of 2D Animation that depends on film. Cameraless 2D Animation, made famous by moviemakers like Norman McLaren, Len Lye and Stan Brakhage, is painted and drawn directly onto pieces of film, and then run through a projector.