“Lost in Translation”: 2D animation

4 Apr, 2021 / Bob

Reviews of the latest animation projects, news about world animation trends, creative blogs and materials are full of specific words and production terms. Let me guess, you contact a manager to order your first animation project, dreaming of increasing sales with your new exciting video, look at the brief… and, most likely, you feel being behind the gates of some “exclusive club”. The point is, like any field, the animation and video industry has its own specific production terminologies. In my new rubric  “Lost in Translation” I’ll  be happy to share with you  all the video production terms and concepts in simple words!

2D animation is considered to be one of the main kinds of animation. It is widely used to create animated films, cartoons, commercials, educational materials etc.. With the growing volume of video content, a great deal of companies use animated videos to promote their businesses.


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The history of animation begins in 1877 in France, when the first cartoons were drawn, and hand-painted pantomimes were lasting up to fifteen minutes. Since then, the field has been overgrown with many specific words and production terms, that might sound strange to you: 


Frame-by-frame animation


Frame-by-frame (also known as traditional or classic) animation is the most painstaking technology of all. Videos created by this technique can consist of hundreds or even thousands of hand-drawn frames. Making a movie by this technique is a laborious, but admirable process. 

The style of classic animation can be multifarious. Disney or Soviet cartoons, European author’s or even anime – all these styles belong to the frame-by-frame technology.

Infographic videos


Infographic video is a way of visualizing your ideas, using symbols, diagrams, graphics, simple images, and other elements that are animated. This type of content uses numbers and data in graphic symbols language. The main characters here are symbolic and simple images. For your business it is an outstanding option for video reports that rely on data or systems description.

Kinetic video / Typographic video


“Kinetic video” (also motion typography) is another way to emphasize the importance of the text using animation. It allows you to arrange a flexible presentation of information and emphasize the essence of what is written.

This technique is widely used in lyrics videos, advertisements, scientific videos and content for blogs.


Whiteboard video


Whiteboard video (also known as doodle animation) is a video with intentionally simplified graphics, demonstrating the process of applying images to a (white) board and revealing an idea or plot step by step. The very process of gradually developing or coloring the picture seems hypnotic, involving user experience. 

This style of animation is often used by start-ups for educational and promotional purposes. It makes complex things seem simpler, as if you are explaining how complex mechanisms work on a piece of paper.


Shape animation


This is a technology in which geometric shapes can be transformed into any other form. In addition to the shapes, there is such a trend as liquid motion – the movement of liquid. This style implies the “flow” of one element into another, accompanied by splashes, drops or waves.

It is most often used for graphic screensavers, however using this kind of animation in more complex vector images makes the video look like a frame-by-frame technology.

So, today we got acquainted with the main production terms in the field of 2D animation. I hope this helped you understand the variety of technologies, and we are eagerly waiting to create a WOW-video for your business together!


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