2D Animation: How To Tell Complex Stories In 7 Simple Steps

2D Animation: How To Tell Complex Stories In 7 Simple Steps


In this day and age, 2D animation has become more common than ever. With the right tools and a lot of patience, anyone can create their own animations. In this article we’ll go over how to tell a story with 2D animation, from beginning to end. Tv storyboard become more common in this modern age because of animation effects.

Tell a story

Animation storytelling is a fundamental skill. You can use it to tell any kind of story, from a complicated tale involving characters from different worlds, to something more straightforward like how you feel about your morning commute.

In animation, there are four basic ways to tell a story:

  • Animate one thing at a time (such as an individual character’s emotions)
  • Animate many things at once (such as multiple characters interacting)
  • Animate an object with moving parts (like cars or robots)
  • Animate the world around your character(s) (this is called environment, and it includes things like backgrounds and skies).

Three act structure

You can also use the three act structure to build a story. This is a tried and true method of creating stories that works well because it’s easy to understand and follow. It can be applied to any story, so it doesn’t matter if your story is long or short, dramatic or comedic.

The first act is the introduction which lasts for about 15-20% of your total runtime (or about 5-10 minutes). In this part of your animation, you want to introduce us to our main character(s) and show us their world as well as their problem or “inciting incident” (something that makes them want something). This is usually where you’ll show how they respond when faced with this new problem, whether they give up immediately or try their best at solving it from beginning until end – even if that means failure along the way!

In second act (between 20% – 30% runtime), we see rising action: things get worse for our hero before they get better! Their main goal becomes more difficult than originally thought because either some external force gets involved which makes things worse than before OR internal forces come into play where one character’s motives change over time due to events happening around him/her.”

Consider the audience

Once you’ve defined your story, it’s time to start thinking about what audience you want to reach. Remember that your animation is not just a means of expressing yourself—it’s also a tool that can be used to tell other people’s stories and share information with the world. You should therefore consider who will be watching it, what they like and don’t like about animation, what their expectations are for the type of story you’re telling, and so on.

You should also think about how those viewers will react when watching your work: What do they want to see? Hear? Feel? Learn? Do? Asking yourself these questions will help ensure that every aspect of your animation aligns with its purpose—which is why we’re going over them now!

Write dialogue

Before you begin to write the script, take a moment to consider your audience. What kind of story are you telling? Who is your audience? How old are they? What is their lifestyle like? How interested are they in what you’re saying, and how much do they already know about the topic at hand? These questions can help inform how much information to include in each scene, as well as how tightly you should edit it down.

For example: If your main character has a speech impediment that only affects her when she gets emotional (as happens with many people), then having her say “I love him” as an exclamation point at every key moment would be overkill—a little goes a long way! But if she has no such quirk but needs a catchphrase for her show-within-the-show—like “I said yes!” or something else along those lines—then go ahead and include this line whenever it makes sense for the scene. Remember that sometimes less really is more when it comes to conveying emotion through dialogue; don’t try too hard at first because this will only come across as unnatural sounding.

Lay out your storyboard

You should start by creating a storyboard. A storyboard is a visual representation of your script. You can use hand-drawn sketches or images, or you can create it on your computer using Photoshop or some other animation program.

You’ll want to make sure that your storyboards are created before you begin animating, and should be revised as the project progresses.

Make a schedule and stay on track

  • Make a schedule and stay on track.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially if you’re not sure what you’re doing or have hit a wall.

Make it look great

The most important aspect of your 2D animation will be how it looks. You can tell a great story and have an amazing script but if you don’t have good visuals and effects, it won’t look good or feel professional. To make sure that your 2D animation is visually stunning, follow these steps:

  • Use a good storyboard
  • Choose high-quality characters
  • Choose high-quality backgrounds and props
  • Make sure everything is consistent in color and lighting
  • Use sounds that enhance the feeling of the scene and match what’s happening on screen (don’t forget sound effects!)
  • And finally, use camera angles that help tell the story

Follow these simple steps to make 2D animation that tells a great story.

Before you begin, there are a few things that you’ll need to do. First, you should consider the right tools for your project. Second, choose a topic you love and write about it! Thirdly, create a storyboard of your animation so that everyone knows what they have to do next and when it needs to be done by. This will also help make sure everything happens on schedule so that there aren’t any delays in production. Finally, once all of this is done—and only then—do whatever it takes to make sure that your work looks great!

The best way for me (and my team) at APL Media Productions has always been following these steps:

  • Define the goal(s) of our 2D animation project before moving forward with storyboards or scripts;
  • Break down each scene into individual frames;


This is a great way to tell stories in 2D animation. I hope that this guide has helped you understand how to tell a good story through animation. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments below!

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