The Future of 2D Animation Industry

JULY 22, 2019

Before we begin deciphering the future of the 2D animation industry, let us first understand what animation is. Animation is the creative technology behind moving images in advertisements and movies. It's a perfect amalgamation of creative talent and technology wherein images are infused with motion. If we delve into the history of animation, we will be surprised to notice that a concept still unique in our minds has a deep historical existence.

The art of creating an illusion of motion goes long back in time. The Phenakistoscope was the first real animation device. In the year 1832, Joseph Plateau discovered this device. It was the very first device that could create a fluid-type illusion of animation. The current form of animation is backed up by various stages which comprise the history of the evolution of animation in terms of technology – from stop motion, motion graphics and the now prevalent Computer Generated Imagery. The history of feature animated films in India goes back to 1934 with the release of India's first animated movie, Jambu Kaka, followed by another animated movie with a soundtrack named On a Moonlit Night, released in 1934.

The imaginative power is the key here, Irrespective of the medium - 2D or 3D. Thus, one can always appreciate the power of 2D animation and the growth of this industry.

The art of animation is as old as the art of traditional storytelling and continues to captivate people of all ages and all kinds of businesses. Do a quick rewind to your childhood. You will get glimpses of cat and mouse cartoons, the cute bunny and his carrot, the adorable mermaid with her clan, the friendly ghost and much more - all these characters and movies are the brainchild of the animation industry. Animation made our childhood so much more interesting. The same is the case of businesses across a large spectrum. Businesses use animated characters, advertisements, and movies to sell their products or services to potential customers. People tend to get amused by these movies starring such cute, friendly characters (remember ZooZoo from the Vodafone commercial), and they tend to associate the brand with these characters leaving a much longer impact on their minds. The animation industry has played a key role in the growth of the entertainment industry and commercial business sectors.

In a traditional 2D animation technique, trained artists draw images on paper. Then each movement of the animated character is drawn on celluloid sheets, painted or coloured. Fusing all these images eventually forms one particular movement for further assimilation into one single frame, generally a 24-frame shot giving us an animation of one second.

It requires great precision and an artistic bent of time combined with technology. 2D animators are entrusted with developing characters, instilling movement into them and creating motion videos through various animation software available in the market.

Although the world has moved towards voluminous 3D movies, we cannot ignore the massive turning point that 2D animation created for the entertainment industry. Some of the most memorable children-oriented movies like The Shrek, Princess and the Frog, Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, The Jungle Book, and Indian cartoons like Chota Bheem, Motu Paltu, etc.

With so much to its credit, the future of 2D animation still has a firm standing in the animation industry. According to big names in the industry, the animation is about conveying a message to the audience through a story with visuals and adorable animated characters. Even in the wake of 3D visuals, which might be eye-catching, the subtleness of 2D animated characters and movies has a long time effect on the viewers. Success lies in how creatively and intelligently an artist or a developer conveys his message to catch the viewers' interest and leave a long-term impact.

The future of 2D animation is still ongoing. It is evolving with each day. There are several reasons why the topic 'Future of 2D industry' needs to be written about. Firstly we are in a state of delusion created by the pioneers in the animation world - Walt Disney or Dreamworks. Since they have considerably moved towards 3D movies, many of us wonder what the future of 2D animation holds. The major reason is that 3D animation is less time-consuming and faster. It's common sense to understand that drawing pieces of characters by hand one by one and adding little changes with each drawing is more time-consuming than computer-generated 3D graphics. Another major misconception surrounding 2D animation is that it is only for children. These are temporary viewpoints that people have made regarding 2D animation. What still holds value is that 2D cartoons, movies, stories, advertisements, and motion pictures still have a huge audience across all ages and all mediums - television and theatres.

2D animation is the first and foremost technique that invented the animation industry and gave it the identity it enjoys today. What needs to be reckoned with is that 2D animation is the heart & soul of all types of animation. 2D shaped the animation industry; without it, modern computer-generated animation would not exist.

Many 2D animation films are being made, and it will be a little effort to curate a list of such films. You will get dozen of them at the click of a button on the internet. Apart from this, if a general public view is considered, one will understand that 2D movies are still their favourite due to their less complexity and inherent simplicity in terms of technology and screen presence, which catches the eye and hearts of people of all ages. 3D animation can be overbearing at times, and there is no way one can deny this fact.

2D animation continues to thrive in the world of advertisement and media. It is not going anywhere, as getting away with it is hard. The 2D animation industry has given us many memorable advertisements, like the famous Chintamani from ICICI Bank commercial and many more. A huge number of companies have entered the world of animation to use it as a medium to sell their product or service. Small and medium enterprises are also using 2D animated animation techniques to make promotional videos for their business - both in selling their product/service and telling their customers about the story of their continual growth.

Television advertisement is a thing for huge market players owing to the money involved. This is where the portable feature of 2D animation comes into the picture. According to articles by credible online source DigitalMag - a 2D computer-generated interface holds a deep-rooted standing in the industry and is here to stay much longer. According to industry experts, 2D animation allows more space for experimentation and personal style, which makes it quite a favourite medium for animation among experts.

The future of 2D animation is moving towards more technically and creatively inclined technology. Brands and content producers are now creating animated videos using the latest technologies, such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and 360-degree video technology. These highly advanced technologies help create content that keeps the users involved and immersed in the story.

With a heap of outstanding work in its basket and immense potential, one can envision a great future in the 2D animation industry. It's viable in terms of a career option and, of course, for businesses seeking potential growth in customers and sales. With the growing demand for well-trained people, many animation studios and companies have come up in cities nationwide.

Going to the facts stated by industry experts - "India’s animation entertainment sector has experienced a major boom in the recent past, employing over 80,000 people, and the current size is estimated at US$ 247 million and expected to grow at 15-20% per annum. According to the latest report by NASSCOM, the animation industry in India will grow at 22 per cent every year.""

The 2D animation industry has a huge potential for growth and an immense presence yet to be explored. It is a pioneering technique and will always have a superior hand over other upcoming technologies, which may declare themselves advanced and better.

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