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2D Animators: The Tools of Their Trade


2D Animators: The Tools of Their Trade

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2D animation is a powerful form of storytelling that has been used to capture the imagination of audiences for decades. From cartoons to feature films, 2D animation has long been a staple of the entertainment industry. For a successful 2D animator, having the right tools is essential. In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the most commonly used tools and software used by 2D animators to create stunning visuals and captivating stories.

Pencil and Paper

Pencil and paper are perhaps the most classic tools for creating 2D animations. Animators use pencils and paper to sketch out their ideas and create storyboards for their projects. Drawing by hand is an essential part of the 2d animation process, as it allows animators to explore different possibilities and experiment with visual effects that can’t be achieved with digital technology. Although traditional hand-drawn animation is becoming less common in the industry, it remains an important tool for 2D animators, especially when creating storyboards and character designs. It is also still used to create finished frames or scenes for some 2D animation projects. Pencil and paper are the perfect choice for animators who prefer a more natural, free-flowing way of creating their 2D animation.

Drawing Tablet

Drawing tablets are an essential tool for 2D animators. These devices allow you to draw directly on the screen, giving you a more accurate way to create and edit your animations. Not only are drawing tablets ideal for sketching out ideas, they also provide a level of precision that is hard to achieve with traditional methods such as pencil and paper.

When it comes to creating 2D animation, a drawing tablet can be a great investment. You can use it to quickly create and edit artwork without having to constantly switch back and forth between a mouse and keyboard. Plus, the tablet allows you to draw directly on the screen, giving you the opportunity to experiment with different effects and techniques.

Drawing tablets are also great for tracing and clean-up work. This makes it easier to ensure that all of your lines are consistent and evenly spaced throughout the animation.

Overall, a drawing tablet is an invaluable asset for any 2D animator. Whether you’re sketching out ideas or adding final touches to your work, this device is sure to come in handy.

Wacom Cintiq

The Wacom Cintiq is a drawing tablet with an attached display that is widely used by 2D animators. It gives you the ability to draw directly on the screen, allowing you to create frames of your 2D animation quickly and accurately. It also supports pressure sensitivity, which is great for creating smooth lines and adding depth to your drawings. The Wacom Cintiq allows for a more natural creative experience, as it eliminates the need to use a mouse to navigate the software you are working in. This makes it an ideal tool for any 2D animator looking to create detailed and intricate work.


Photoshop is a powerful image editing software and one of the most widely used tools for creating 2D animation. With its vast array of features, it allows animators to draw frame-by-frame animations, edit and adjust colors and lighting, and add effects like motion blur and other distortions. Additionally, it has a library of pre-made assets that can be used for animating characters and backgrounds, making it a great tool for independent animators and studios alike. The timeline feature makes it easy to organize animations, adjust the speed and timing of animations, as well as create smooth transitions between frames. Photoshop also has a powerful brush engine that can be used to create dynamic 2D animation with depth and texture.

Toon Boom Harmony

Toon Boom Harmony is a powerful animation tool used by professional animators to create stunning 2D animations. It offers a range of features that allow for advanced compositing, visual effects, and animation timing. With its integrated drawing tools, vector paint tools, and automated workflow processes, it is one of the most comprehensive tools for creating complex 2D animation projects. Toon Boom Harmony is available for both Mac and Windows computers, so animators can work anywhere.

For those starting out in 2D animation, Toon Boom Harmony offers a range of tutorials, guides, and online resources to help users get up and running quickly. It is an ideal choice for those looking for a powerful animation tool to create high-quality 2D animations. Its combination of vector-based drawing and painting tools, automation features, and customizable workflow processes make it easy to create complex projects with ease. With Toon Boom Harmony, animators have the power to create stunning 2D animations that bring stories to life.