2D Animator Job Description: Salary, Duties, & More (2023)

Table Of Contents

  • 2D Animator Job Duties
  • 2D Animator Job Requirements
  • 2D Animator Skills
  • 2D Animator Work Environment
  • 2D Animator Trends
  • How to Become a 2D Animator
  • Advancement Prospects
  • Job Description Example

2D animators are responsible for creating animated characters and objects that appear in 2D media, such as television shows, commercials, video games, and web animations. They use a variety of software tools to create these animations, including traditional hand-drawn techniques or digital software like Adobe Flash or Toon Boom Harmony.

2D animators must be able to work independently on their projects while meeting tight deadlines. They also need strong communication skills to effectively communicate with clients and other members of the production team.

2D Animator Job Duties

2D animators have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Meeting with clients to discuss their needs and creating animations that meet those requirements
  • Creating 2D animation using traditional animation techniques such as keyframing or vector tracing
  • Working with other members of a team to create and develop characters and storylines
  • Creating storyboards for each animation sequence to illustrate the flow of action
  • Using computer software to create computer-generated (CG) animation, often in conjunction with hand-drawn elements
  • Animating characters with a range of emotions and facial expressions to help tell a story
  • Creating motion graphics that may include illustrations, text, and other visual elements such as logos or symbols

2D Animator Salary & Outlook

2D animators’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of company they work for. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $62,500 ($30.05/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $108,000 ($51.92/hour)

The employment of 2d animators is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

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As technology continues to improve, more animated movies and television shows will be produced in 3-D and virtual reality formats. This will increase demand for 2-D animators who can create the traditional animation needed for these projects.

Related: 2D Animator Interview Questions and Answers

2D Animator Job Requirements

To become a 2D animator, you will likely need to have the following:

Education: Most employers require animators to have a bachelor’s degree in animation, fine arts, graphic design or another related field. Some of the coursework that these programs include is traditional animation, computer animation, art, drawing, painting, graphic design, color theory, anatomy and life drawing.

Training & Experience: Most of an animator’s training will take place while obtaining their education. Students will learn the basics of animation while studying the principles of art and design. They will also learn about the software and technology used in the industry.

Once hired, an animator will receive on-the-job training to learn more about the specific software and technology used by their employer. They will also learn about the company’s workflow and procedures.

Certifications & Licenses: Animators do not need any certifications to earn a position, but many professional organizations offer memberships that include the title Certified Animator. This designation shows employers that an animator has completed a professional training program and has real-world experience in the industry.

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2D Animator Skills

2D animators need the following skills in order to be successful:

Creativity: Creativity is the ability to generate new ideas and solutions. Animators use creativity to develop characters, story lines and action sequences. They also use creativity to find ways to make their work stand out from other animators.

Communication: Animators often work with other team members, including other animators, artists and producers. Effective communication skills can help you collaborate with others and share ideas. You may also need to communicate with clients and customers about projects.

Problem-solving: Animators often work with other team members to create a finished product. This means they need to be able to identify and solve problems that arise during production. For example, if an animator is working on a scene with a character and a background, they might need to find a way to make the character stand out from the background.

Attention to detail: Attention to detail is a crucial skill for 2D animators, as they often work with small elements of a larger picture. This skill allows them to create realistic animations that are free of errors. Attention to detail can also help them create smooth transitions between different elements of an animation.

Computer programming: Computer programming skills can help you understand how to use software to create animation. Many 2D animators use programs like Adobe Flash or Toon Boom to create their work. Knowing how to program can help you understand how to use animation software and create the work you want.

2D Animator Work Environment

The work environment for a 2D animator is typically a studio setting, where they will have access to the necessary equipment and software to create their animations. They will usually work regular hours, although they may need to work overtime to meet deadlines. The job can be stressful at times, as animators need to be very precise in their work and meet the high standards set by the studio. However, they also find the work to be creative and rewarding, and they get to see their work come to life on the screen.

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2D Animator Trends

Here are three trends influencing how 2D animators work. 2D animators will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Use of Virtual Reality in Education

Virtual reality is quickly becoming a popular tool for education, as it allows students to experience things that they might not be able to in the real world. This includes historical events, scientific experiments, and more.

As virtual reality becomes more popular in education, animators will need to learn how to create realistic scenes that immerse students in the learning experience. This requires an understanding of lighting, sound, and other elements that can help to create a believable environment.

The Importance of Storytelling

Storytelling has always been important in animation, but it is becoming even more important as technology advances. Animators who are able to tell a good story will be in high demand as businesses look for ways to make their products more engaging.

As storytelling becomes more important, animators will need to be able to think like writers and understand how to use visuals to convey a message. They will also need to be able to work with a team to create a product that everyone is happy with.


More Collaboration Between Designers and Developers

In recent years, there has been a trend towards greater collaboration between designers and developers. This is due to the fact that both parties have a role to play in creating a successful product.

As 2D animators, you can take advantage of this trend by developing strong relationships with your design and development teams. This will allow you to work together on projects and ensure that each part of the product is done well.

How to Become a 2D Animator

A career as a 2D animator is full of opportunities to create unique and interesting characters, worlds, and stories. As a 2D animator, you’ll need to be able to draw well, but you should also be creative and have an eye for detail. You should also be able to work independently and be able to meet deadlines.

To become a 2D animator, you’ll need to have a strong foundation in drawing and animation. You can learn the basics of both by taking online courses or attending art school. You can also improve your skills by practicing daily and participating in online forums where you can share your work with other artists.

Advancement Prospects

As with most careers, animators can advance their careers by developing a strong portfolio and seeking out new opportunities. Animators who have a strong understanding of the latest software programs and animation techniques will be in high demand. In addition, animators who are able to work well with a team and take direction from a supervisor will be more likely to be promoted to a higher position.

2D Animator Job Description Example

We’re looking for a talented 2D animator to join our team and help us create amazing video content for our clients. The ideal candidate will have experience with a variety of 2D animation software programs and a strong portfolio of previous work. He or she will be able to take direction well and work collaboratively with other members of the team, but also be able to work independently to complete assigned tasks. The most successful candidate will be creative, detail-oriented, and able to work within tight deadlines.

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Duties & Responsibilities

  • Animate characters, props, and backgrounds according to the storyboard or script using 2D software
  • Incorporate timing, movement, lip syncing, and expressions to create fluidity and realism in scenes
  • Work with the art director, animators, and other designers to understand the project requirements and deliverables
  • Follow the style guide and design specifications to maintain consistency throughout the project
  • Use creativity and artistic skills to bring life to the characters and tell the story in an engaging way
  • Make revisions to the animation based on feedback from the art director or clients
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest 2D animation software and techniques
  • collaborate with other animators, designers, and team members to create a cohesive final product
  • Meet deadlines and stay within budget constraints
  • Balance work assignments and priorities to meet the needs of the project
  • Communicate effectively with team members and management
  • Handle multiple projects simultaneously while maintaining high quality standards

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in graphic design, fine arts, or related field
  • 2+ years experience in 2D animation
  • Proficient in Adobe Creative Suite (After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator) or other industry-standard software
  • Creative storytelling ability with strong sense of timing, pacing, and rhythm
  • Excellent drawing skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Experience with 3D animation software
  • Familiarity with video editing software
  • Sound design or music composition skills
  • Strong writing ability


What are the roles and responsibilities of a 2D animator? ›

Role & responsibilities of a 2D animator in film and games:

Creating models, drawings, and illustrations. Designing frames and characters. Choosing color palettes, style, and general look of the animation. Establishing artwork for the backgrounds and layouts.

What is an animator description and responsibilities? ›

An animator produces multiple images called frames, which when sequenced together create an illusion of movement - this is known as animation. The images can be made up of digital or hand-drawn pictures, models or puppets. Animators tend to work in 2D, 3D model-making, stop-frame or computer-generated animation.

What are 5 responsibilities of an animator? ›

  • Read scripts and storylines to understand animation requirements.
  • Prepare presentations with raw designs to customers.
  • Develop storyboards for the initial stages of production.
  • Create models, drawings and illustrations by hand or electronically.
  • Join images with background graphics and special effects.

What is the basic salary of 2D animation? ›

2D Animation Jobs by Salary
Job TitleRangeAverage
Job Title:Motion Graphic DesignerRange:$43k - $96kAverage:$64,940
AnimatorRange:$36k - $90kAverage:$60,376
Graphic DesignerRange:$42k - $71kAverage:$51,670
Art DirectorRange:$47k - $98kAverage:$75,856
3 more rows

What is 2D animation description? ›

2D animation is the art of creating movement in a two-dimensional space. This includes characters, creatures, FX, and backgrounds. The illusion of movement is created when individual drawings are sequenced together over time. One second of time is usually divided into 24 frames.

What is the job title of a 2D animator? ›

Here are some job titles that 2D Animators can look for:
  • 2D Animator.
  • Color Key Artist.
  • Character Animator.
  • Concept Artist.
  • Digital Painter.
  • Compositor.
  • Scanner.
  • Color Stylist.

What is animation short description? ›

Animation is a method of photographing successive drawings, models, or even puppets, to create an illusion of movement in a sequence. Because our eyes can only retain an image for approximately 1/10 of a second, when multiple images appear in fast succession, the brain blends them into a single moving image.

What do animators do everyday tasks? ›

Some focus on creating animated movies or video games. Others create visual effects for movies and television shows. Creating computer-generated images (known as CGI) may include taking images of an actor's movements and then animating them into three-dimensional characters.

What are the main skills required as an animator? ›

a creative mind and a strong visual imagination. an eye for detail and good colour vision. the ability to draw, make models and/or use computer graphics software. patience and stamina - the work is painstakingly detailed and you may need to work long hours to meet deadlines.

What are some animation skills? ›

Different kinds of animation require different computer skills, but some common skills animators use in their work include:
  • 3D rendering.
  • Visual effects.
  • Game art and design.
  • Animation fundamentals.
  • Computer generation programs.
  • Motion capture software.
  • Character rigging.
Jan 26, 2023

How much should I charge for 1 minute 2D animation? ›

How Much Do a 60 Seconds 2D Animation Cost? Typically, the 2D animation price per minute can range between $8,000 to $50,000. This is the budget you should definitely have in mind while looking for a great-quality 2D explainer.

Is 2D animation a good job? ›

On the whole, 2D animation is a versatile skill used in various industries and fields, making it an ideal career path for anyone interested in a creative career. In today's world, unless a project consciously uses the unique affordances of hand-drawn animation, almost all 2D animation work is computer-assisted.

Do 2D animators get paid well? ›

Highest-Earning Job Titles for 2D Animators

These job titles include Lead Animators, who earn a median salary of $78,000 a year and Senior Lead Animators, who earn a median salary of $102,000 a year.

What is 2D animation examples? ›

2D Animation Explanation and Examples

Some well-known popular 2D animations include: Looney Tunes (Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd) Classic Disney (Snow White, The Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid) TV shows (The Simpsons, Family Guy, South Park, Rick and Morty)

What are the two types of 2D animation? ›

Examples of 2D animation:

Stop-motion, hand-drawn, and classic animation concepts are all evident in this After Effects-created video. Down the Rabbit Hole: This is a beautiful case study in experimental design and form organization.

Is 2D animation easy? ›

Like any other creative art form, animation can be as easy or hard as you want it to be. With 2D animation, all you need to get started is a pencil and some basic software. If you're looking to create beautiful animated cartoons, the best first step is to work on your static drawing skills.

What is the highest paid 2D animator? ›

What is the highest salary for a 2D Animator in India? Highest salary that a 2D Animator can earn is ₹6.1 Lakhs per year (₹50.8k per month).

Do 2D animators need a degree? ›

You do not need a degree to be a 2D animator.

Many larger companies require that candidates have a degree in Animation, Graphic Design, or a related field. Many 2D animators in the industry have a bachelor's degree in fine arts, computer animation, illustration, digital arts, media arts, or communications.

How do you write a 2D animation script? ›

To write the best script possible for your animated video, here are six tips you should keep in mind:
  1. Create. a. Project. Brief. ...
  2. Tell. a. Story. Your script should tell a clear and concise story that connects with viewers. ...
  3. Establish. Your. Tone. ...
  4. Keep. it. Brief. ...
  5. Show, Don't. Tell. ...
  6. Include. a. Meaningful.

What is a good sentence for animation? ›

Example Sentences

The animation for the film took over two years to complete. The studio used computer animation for some of the special effects. The website has hundreds of animations you can download.

What is the description of animation art? ›

Animation is a visual art form that uses the rapid display of sequential images to create an illusion of movement. This illusion is created by showing each individual frame or drawing over and over again, usually 24 times per second.

What is expected of a animator? ›

Animators create films for production companies, major animation studios and computer games companies. Typical responsibilities of the job include: working creatively to produce original and aesthetically pleasing designs and solutions. using specialist computer generation software such as Maya, Flash and After Effects.

What are the three basic rules of animation? ›

Let's take a close look at each principle.
  • Squash and Stretch. Arguably the most fundamental of the 12 principles of animation. ...
  • Anticipation. ...
  • Staging. ...
  • Straight Ahead Action and Pose to Pose. ...
  • Follow Through and Overlapping Action. ...
  • Ease In, Ease Out.

Is 2D animation hand-drawn? ›

There are two major forms of animation: 2D (hand-drawn, or computer assisted) and 3D (CGI).

What is the basic of animation? ›

Animation is the process of creating a scene through the rapid display of pictures and motions. When we hear the word animation, we think about cartoon-like Doraemon, shin-chan etc. So in earlier times, animation was done by the continuous movement of the pictures of characters and scenes using hand-like puppets.

What is the description for video animation? ›

An animated video is a video that enhances and illustrates a narrative, topic, process, and/or idea through visuals, motion graphics, drawings, and art. Many associate animated videos with fictional elements that craft a realistic story, but animated videos are not limited to that; they're multi-faceted.

Is animation a stressful job? ›

High-pressure work environment

The work environment for multimedia artists and animators can be stressful. They might work under tight deadlines and significant pressure to get their designs completed as quickly as possible.

Do animators draw every scene? ›

1. Traditional Animation. Traditional animation can also be referred to as cell animation. This type of animation requires the animator to draw every single frame by hand to create an animated scene.

Do animators get time off? ›

Yes, animators get days off like any other professional. For a full-time animator working for a company, your days off are determined by your employer or terms of employment. Meanwhile, self-employed animators decide when they will work based on the projects at hand and their urgency.

What are some things animators do? ›

An Animator is responsible for creating a series of images known as frames, to simulate movement. Their duties include working with creative professionals including storytellers, designers and voice actors to produce films, video games or graphics for commercials and other forms of TV entertainment.

How can I be a successful animator? ›

Animator skills
  1. Creativity: Having creativity skills is essential to creating original designs and crafting video material. ...
  2. Attention to detail: Having a keen sense of focus and an awareness of small details is important for animators. ...
  3. Collaboration: It's common for animators to work as part of a larger creative team.
Sep 30, 2022

What do animators focus on to? ›

Focussing on motion, it is the animator's job to determine the realistic movement of CG (computer generated) elements such as creatures, objects and effects within a scene. In the typical day to day of an animator, you will find them: Creating well-timed animations.

Do animators need drawing skills? ›

Practicing drawing and understanding form can help animators understand how bodies are shaped, how they work, and how they move. Having these understandings better allows animators to simulate every intricate detail of a movement in their animation.

Why is 2D animation expensive? ›

Factors that influence the 2D animation costs

The illusion of motion is created by quickly change the images; to make a second of animation, you may need even 24 unique drawings. It takes a lot of work to create a minute of 2D animation.

How much should a 30-second animation cost? ›

3D realistic animated video: This one varies from $1500-$5000 depending upon how much 3D modeling it requires. 3D creature animation: This one is the most expensive category and it can cost around $3500-$10000 for a mid-range project. While a high-end project would cost $200-$300 a second.

Why does 2D animation cost so much? ›

Modern TV episodes made in 2D tend to have a pretty long runtime (over 20 minutes) and pretty high quality of animation, and this makes them very costly to produce.

How many hours do 2D animators work per day? ›

Work environment

Staff animators work a regular 40-hour workweek but may occasionally be expected to work evenings and weekends to meet deadlines.

Why is 2D animation important? ›

2D animation is also great for communicating complicated ideas in an easy to understand way. 2D animation combines graphic design, motion graphics, voiceovers, and at times character animation to create visually-appealing videos that tell a story and visualize complex topics.

What are the pros and cons of 2D animation? ›

Both 2D and 3D animation have their pros and cons when it comes to marketing. 2D animation is cost-effective, quick to produce, and simple, making it ideal for explainer videos or educational content. However, it can lack depth and dimension and may look outdated compared to newer animation techniques.

Which animation pays the most? ›

3D Animator

3D animation is also one of the highest-paying animation jobs. 3D animators are professional computer graphics. Their main responsibility is to create video games, websites, animation in films, and much more.

How long does it take to become a 2D animator? ›

Students interested in intensive training and willing to put in the effort can become ready to start working as a 2D Animator in as little as three months. While finding a job may take longer, you can set yourself up for success through intensive skills training.

What skills do you need to be an animator? ›

To become an Animator, you will need:
  • a creative mind and a strong visual imagination.
  • an eye for detail and good colour vision.
  • the ability to draw, make models and/or use computer graphics software.
  • patience and stamina - the work is painstakingly detailed and you may need to work long hours to meet deadlines.

What is an animator simple definition? ›

: an artist who is involved in creating animated cartoons.

What is the description of an animation business? ›

An animation studio is a company producing animated media. The broadest such companies conceive of products to produce, own the physical equipment for production, employ operators for that equipment, and hold a major stake in the sales or rentals of the media produced.

What is the goal of an animator? ›

Animators perform a number of different tasks, with the end goal of creating visual works that can be displayed through different media sources, including film, TV, websites, and social media.

What activities do animators do? ›

An Animator is responsible for creating a series of images known as frames, to simulate movement. Their duties include working with creative professionals including storytellers, designers and voice actors to produce films, video games or graphics for commercials and other forms of TV entertainment.

Can you be an animator without drawing skills? ›

While drawing skills can help you to improve, that is not the essential skill to do animation. For animation you need to understand the most basic principles in animation, like timing, anticipation, pose to pose.

What is animation skills? ›

What are animation skills? Animation skills allow 2D and 3D animators to create animated graphics for their clients. They cover a range of skill areas, including artistic abilities, knowledge of common computer programs and soft skills.

What does an animator need to know? ›

Animators create images and special effects for video games, television, movies, mobile devices, and other media. A bachelor's degree in animation develops students' drawing, painting, and scripting skills. Students also learn how to use specialized software to animate their creations in 2D or 3D.

What is an animator job like? ›

Animators create films for production companies, major animation studios and computer games companies. Typical responsibilities of the job include: working creatively to produce original and aesthetically pleasing designs and solutions. using specialist computer generation software such as Maya, Flash and After Effects.

What are the two basic types of animators? ›

Different Types of Animators
  • Character animation. This is the process of bringing a character to life. ...
  • 2D Animation. These artists may create either 2D or 3D animated images to portray motion and illustrate the videos. ...
  • 3D Animation. ...
  • Stop Motion. ...
  • Motion Graphics.
Oct 19, 2022

What are the benefits of animation? ›

Benefits of using animation
  • Animation deepens visual understanding much more than traditional diagrams. ...
  • Animation omits unnecessary verbiage and visuals and allows you to communicate ideas quickly. ...
  • Animation is a cost-saving communication strategy. ...
  • Ability to change things even late in the project.
Feb 11, 2021

Why animation is important? ›

It allows you to communicate ideas quickly and sharply. Animation is a cost-saving communication strategy. It educates & engages the audience through entertainment. It also provides real to life scenarios faced in daily life during learning, and so many other activities.

What do animators design? ›

An animation designer is an artist who specializes in creating animated characters and objects. They most often work on visual media projects, like films and television, but many animation designers also work in video game design.

What values does an animator have? ›

Animators and multimedia artists typically have the following work values:
  • Consider independence important. They like to make decisions and try out ideas on their own. ...
  • Consider achievement important. ...
  • Consider good working conditions important. ...
  • Consider recognition important. ...
  • Consider relationships important.


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