Top 12 Tips You Must Consider During 2D Game Character Animation

Animation allows us to depict the flow of ideas and processes in creative, coherent, logical, engaging, immersive and entertaining manner. 2D characters created in software like Photoshop, Flash, etc. can be imparted motion with animation. Characters become mobile with techniques like clear staging, squash, stretch, etc.

game character animation

How 2D Character Animation Can Be Created For Games?

Vivid emotions and agile motions can be conferred on 2D character going to be animated for gaming by adhering to some proven tips. These are discussed below for your reference.

  1. Get Inspired By Characters in Real Life

    You can render impeccable 2D character animation by borrowing nuances and subtleties from real-life characters. For this, you need to observe people, their interactions with others, their expression of thoughts, and their motion. Such research would also help you to perfect timing in animation.

    Facial expressions of characters can be animated from cues offered by voice-over artists. Majority of animation studios get the voice of artists recorded beforehand and pass the same to animators. The animators then match the character’s facial emotions and mood shifts as per the tone and tenor of voice-over. You can also face the mirror and watch how your facial muscles react when sentences are articulated by you.

  2. Plan Everything Comprehensively

    Time invested in planning would repay itself during animating. Prior to animating, you should

    • Plan out the accurate movements to be imparted to character
    • Note down the playing sequence of the scene
    • Depict the gestures of the characters through thumbnails
    • Allocate sufficient time for animating each segment
  3. By adhering to aforesaid, you can carry out 2D game character animation in impeccable manner.

  4. Understand the Dynamics Of Motion

    For imitating a character, you must figure out the motivation for different motion types. Researching the movements would offer you rich insights into the purpose and significance behind different poses. The thought process would be beneficial in animating 2D characters more realistically.

  5. Make Your Animated Characters Go Over The Board

    To generate interest in animation, you need to exaggerate the motions and facial expressions of characters by being innovative. This would evoke proper response from audiences through unique gestures and extreme movements. Consequently, you would experience more success after animation 2D cartoon character.

    Your character should be flexible. Avoid rigidness from setting in by adding bouncy movements, keeping knees or fists moving, and making breathing sprites. This would convey the feel that the character is alive and kicking.

  6. Keep An Eye On Facial Expressions

    Facial expressions of the character should reflect emotions naturally. You should be able to convey particular emotions through twitching of facial muscles. If the character is in a state of despair, you can depict the same through sorrowful eyes and trembling lips.

  7. Sync Lip Motion With Speech

    The success of 2d animation character design lies in its realistic animation. Speech delivery constitutes an integral element of animation. The words being articulated by the character should complement its lip movement. If you make the character spell out every word, it would lead to rapid lip movement causing irregularity and aberration.

    To save erratic movement, never make your character say out each word. Spell out the sentence through organic lip movement. Just like delivery of speech by humans, try to focus on moving the character’s lips when syllables are pronounced.

  8. Focus On Important Poses Primarily

    While animating, you need to follow a layering system. For perfecting the timing, the initial layer must focus on poses taken quickly. With every new layer, you can focus more on detailing. If you spend time working on isolated regions, the feel of fluidity would not be forthcoming.

  9. Use Eyes For Giving A Sense Of Direction

    When you start animating a 2d character for game, you must first make the eyes roll in the direction in which character would move. This should be followed by movement of head and then the entire body.

  10. Respect The Laws of Gravity

    The effect of gravity on the movements of character should be apparent. The physical mass of character should move in tandem with gravitational pull in every frame. The physical build of character would impact its way of walking and other movements. The footfall of a lanky character would be lighter compared to a portly one.

  11. Sync The Character’s Movements with Time

    If the movements of your character are not aligned with time, the scene would get messy and viewers won’t be impressed. Moments of joy and happiness should be depicted quickly and crisply. With quickness, you can exaggerate a movement and also stress on sequences which would get completed with the batting of eyelids. For showcasing the depressive mood of character, slowness in movement is desirable.

    Timing is important during animation. Scenes where the sense of timing is missing would induce irregularities in shots resulting in conferring wrong impression on audiences. Animated sequences should be flawless, engaging, crisp and quick.

  12. Balance Your Character

    Center of gravity has a vital role to play in keeping us balanced. This holds true when creating 2d game characters which would be animated. When characters are imparted momentum, their centers of gravity should be continuously shifted to keep them from falling. If not done so, the scene would appear unrealistic.

  13. Make Your Characters Anticipate, Act and Then React

    Before starting to move, the character should be given a bending pose for building up its power. Then it leaps and surges ahead. The jump serves as reaction which propels the character ahead. The combination of anticipation, action and reaction works well when the character throws, swings, facially express itself, or taken on a comic effect with exaggeration.


Games designed by you become more engaging and immersive when 2D characters are animated with zest. Your focus should be on getting the complete act together in a coherent and visually appealing manner. Instead of concentrating on particular frames, always look at the broader picture in comprehensive manner for stellar 2d animations and if you are finding difficulty to achieve that, take the help of expert animators.