Any Tips For Drawing 2D Animations?

I got my first piece of game art up & running for The Infected traitor game, and now there’s just one thing. I would like to hear some tips on how to animate stuff (in 2D). I googled for this stuff, but there was surprisingly little information on this subject. Here’s some that I found:

I found the Anime Studio to be quite interesting, and it has a free trial demo for learning.

If you have some good resources or tips to add, throw them here please.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. The key problem is the art pipeline:
    I’m playing with Toon Boom PLE and it’s great. Sadly, the PLE version is not able to load plugins, so I can’t experiment how I could export any 2D stuff out of Toon Boom… It’s OK to export frame per frame animations, but what if I want the character data (with bones, etc) for ragdoll or IK (a la Shank)?! I would need then to access the internal 2D data with a plugin. And I’m not even sure if that’s possible to achieve with the Toon Boom SDK (the samples provided are very rough). BTW, if I export to Flash, then I would need to either choose Flash as a dev platform or decode the SWF files in my C++ engine… and that’s not obvious (despite the existence of many libs here and there).

    Another option is to use a 3D package like Maya, and use only flat polygons, then export all data with the SDK. As for now, I think that’s the best way to go…

  2. If you want cinematics, you can use any 2D animation package, it’s more a problem of taste than anything else.
    If you want to use animations in your game (without having a full character sprite for each possible position) you could make your own system with something like 2D bones. Some 2D animation packages (one of them is Toon Boom, if I remember right) have this, take a look because it’s not complicated at all. Bonuses: interpolation between different poses (meaning a more fluid animation), less memory/storage (important if you code for mobile devices), rag-dolls for bodies (easy to implement, fun to play with).

  3. Go with Toon Boom…well worth the price. Toon Boom Studio is all you need, plus they have nice discounts all the time.

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