Filmora - AI Video Editor
Edit Faster, Smarter and Easier!
Filmora Video Editor
Effortlessly create video with AI.
  • Various AI editing tools to increase your video creation efficiency.
  • Offer popular templates and royalty-free creative resources.
  • Cross-platform functionality for editing everywhere.

Secrets to Make 2D Game Animation

Liza Brown
Liza Brown
Originally published Jan 13, 22, updated Jun 12, 24
Secrets to Make 2D Game Animation

An easy yet powerful editor

Numerous effects to choose from

Detailed tutorials provided by the official channel

In this dominated era by 2D game animation, when even the latest versions of Super Mario Bros and Street Fighter. are created of polygonized characters, quality sprite-based 2D games are rare.

 Part 1 2D Game Animation Courses and Tutorials

01Animating a 2D Character within Live-Action Video in Photoshop and Premiere

This tutorial greatly defines the process of creating traditional 2D animation in Photoshop implacable over live-action video. We'll discuss the live-action planning shots with animation in mind, continuity of video editing, and making references for video animation. You will also know how to create the critical poses via rough animation to finish the entire movement and make final line images.

2d game animation course 1

02Beginning 2D Animation: The Absolute Beginner's Entry with Jeff Mumm

This course lays a solid foundation for absolute beginners entering the exciting world of 2D game animation. Here, we describe the detailed steps to create unique and great-looking animations.

You will also learn 'easing,' one of the twelve animation principles, and ultimately plan an animated sequence.

2d game animation course 2

032D Animation in Moho from Basic to Advanced

This course focuses on applying the principles of animation to create an organic walk cycle for the character. This tutorial or course will also teach you how to rig and prepare your animated characters and do 2D game animation.

You will also learn how to trace characters in Moho and use different drawing tools.

Also, you will learn how to create an organic walk cycle by applying advanced animation principles.

2d game animation course 3

042D Animation 101 Courses

This is one of the free online and the ultimate 2D game character design and animation courses that offer free online certificates. Autumn Leave Films has ten years of experience in the film industry and a great collection of short films – nearly 30 2D Animation 101 Courses.

2D Animation 101 provides eight courses, plus free and proprietary 2D game character animation software. In addition, their "Free Step-by-Step Plan" is specifically compelling to beginners in the 2D Animation arena.

It includes daily 10-minute lessons, online 2D game character animation tutorials, suggestions, and tips on using the required software.

2d game animation course 4

05Skillshare -2D Animation for Beginners with Adobe Animate

This is one of the free online 2D animation courses that offer free online animation courses with certificates. You can learn 2D animation online by following Walt's course. This course is designed for beginners and demonstrates how to create animated characters by providing students with an understanding of the fundamental principles and vivid examples. This tutorial covers various topics, including vector art basics in Animate, nested animations, adding audio to animations, and more.

This short course or tutorial is ideal for animation for personal rather than professional reasons.

2d game animation course 5

Part 2 5 Best Game Animation Services to Buy Online

Rather than using and learning the best 2D animation software for game development, we'd like to describe a list of the top 5 freelancing platforms to rely upon for the best game animation services.


upwork 2d game animation service






guru 2d game animation service


peopleperhour 2d game animation service

Part 3 Best 5 Game Animation Tools for Development As of 2022

01Adobe Animate

It is a program from Adobe's Creative Cloud. It offers the ability to make many varieties of animated features, games, or other Flash multimedia. The program was called Adobe Flash Professional for more than ten years; that name was retired in 2015.

The main features of Animate are as follows:

Integration with your Adobe cloud library of assets

Easy cross-platform use with other Adobe products

Creates animated movies, cartoons, or clips

Creates Flash games or interactive Flash utilities

adobe animate


It's a comprehensive and best 2D game animation software where your animations are basically on the level of some of your favorite creations. It's projected toward animators looking to hone their craft.

You could create some fantastic stuff if you're up to the task (and the price). Moreover, they're constantly adding updates.


03Plastic Animation Paper

Plastic Animation Paper is another best 2D game character animation software that deals heavily with the concept of pencil drawing.

The program is designed for the most straightforward use and involves clear resolution. You can do whatever you wish with your drawings and elevate yourself to the next level.

plastic animation paper

04Stop Motion Studio

'Want to create movies like Wallace and those groovy Lego shorts on YouTube? Stop Motion Studio allows you to create terrific stop action movies with a bucket of specialized features.'

stop motion studio


Learning how to make 2D animation for games with Animaker is also good to set up a storyboard and animate the characters or props in that scene. It's used by companies like Verizon, Google, Pepsi, etc.

It's appropriate for ad placement on websites and simplistic for beginners. They make it easy and super-fast to get lost for hours animating.


Part 4 3 Tips for Making Great Animations for 2D Games

Now that you have some initial idea of 2D game animation let's jump to the top 3 tips that will help you create the best and unique 2D game character animation designs with ease.

It will be beneficial while knowing how to make 2D animation for games.

01Focus on the story and start with simple movements

You need to focus on the storyline so that outcome will come accordingly. Focus on every detail while sketching, and don't miss out on simple movements. Take paper and pencil and start drawing simple exercises like the movement of a bouncing ball etc.

02Use keyframes properly

You need to carefully use keyframes' start and endpoints to have robust storytelling and movements. To adequately describe the first and last, you need to consider effectively using the keyframes.

03Enliven your characters

You need to give life to your characters so that audience can best relate to the story. Also, pay good attention to facial expressions, sound, tickling movements, etc.

Although these may look like the most straightforward tips ever, these are the most practical 2D game animation strategies that can do wonders if used effectively.

Part 5 How to Make 2D Animation for Games

Making 2D game character animation isn't a straightforward process and thus needs detailed knowledge that we will describe below.

Let's use Unity as the best 2D animation software for games without further ado!

Essential awareness of the Unity Editor (how to navigate and open tabs) is required to work with the Unity Animation window. 

01Step 1: Start the Animation tab.

Choose the Adventurer character and launch the Animation tab.

select animation tab

Dock this next to your project tab and console tab. Head towards the project tab and name with the Adventurer folder. Make a new folder known as "Animation."

With the Animation tab, create a new animation known as "Idle" placed in our Animation folder.

It also creates an Animator Controller in that same folder.

idle animation tab

Now, let's start animating this character!

02Step 2: Proceed with the Idle Animation

IKs contribute a lot to the efficiency and speed of animating when it comes to idle animation. We must animate a subtle movement very similar to a breathing motion. Tap the red record button and move the character to this position:

a select idle animation

Now go about fifty frames ahead and barely move the top torso bone straight down.

Drag the arm IKs to the side to contain less bend in them and display a sort of "swinging" motion. Here is the pose that I chose:

2d game character pose

A subtle tweak is there. It makes the idle animation look strange if we create large movements. Then, choose the first group of keyframes and tap the Ctrl-C (Command-C on a Mac).

Then, paste these frame-centric keyframes on number 1:50.

So, the nice looping animation is over now! It looks genuine, but we need to add some head motion to improve the illusion.

Just rotate the head back ever so slightly. But, as you can see, it makes a huge difference. Alright! Congratulations! We now have an idle animation!

03Step 3: Start walk animation.

Create a new animation clip called 'Walk.”

This animation is a bit more technical. Here, we need to know a few essential things about walk locomotion. The walk animation's primary function is that the character is always touching the ground. Therefore, we should never have a pose where our character is airborne. Also, I use the word "pose" intentionally. When we animate in 2D, an action comprises certain key poses. In the scenario of the walk animation, we have one posture like this:

Start walk animation

Here we have the right foot (relative to the character) touching the ground as you wander.

Then, about six frames ahead, we have a "passing pose."

It contains a slight movement downwards. It further adds a realistic bobbing motion.

We must animate the character moving forward by moving the entire character game object. Don't move the surface by any other means except by dragging the character as the whole object.

Then, the "dynamic pose" with the left foot touching the ground this time.

2d game dynamic pose

This happens at frame twelve, and we are still forwarding the character.

Now, we just require a final passing pose.

And then we recreate the same pose!

Now, copy the first keyframe and paste it. Reposition the character on the X-axis to match the forward motion. Now, go back to your animation and tweak any limbs bending in the wrong direction.

copy first keyframe

We are done!

04Step 4: Run animation

For the Run animation, create one pose with the airborne character. The distance covered is also more significant than the walk animation. Besides, the run animation has a similar general structure, but we add one extra pose to improve the illusion ultimately.

Create a new animation folder or clip called "Run."

Tap the record tab and move the limbs to this pose:

start run animation

The armature, we found, was very fiddly, so be patient while trying to create this pose. This first dynamic pose means that we need to have the whole character move slightly up on the y-axis. Then, after forwarding the six frames, we drag the character in different positions and down while limbs reposition to make the first passing pose.

Go through these two keyframes to check if you have an experimental animation. Reposition the feet to avoid foot sliding.

Then, the second dynamic pose happens six frames forward:

Now, we have another passing posture at frame number 18:

2d game passing pose

And conclusively, we have our final dynamic pose and make it look like the first pose. An excellent place to begin is to copy the first frame and paste it at the end. Drag the character forward on the X-axis into the ideal place. Now move the limbs into roughly the exact position as the beginning pose.

05Step 5: Go back to animation and check

Now, you can go back through the animation and consider checking two things. Firstly, correct any unnaturally bent limbs.

check 2d game animation

06Step 6: Create a contact pose

Secondly, we are required to add a unique pose to this run cycle called a "Contact Pose," where we can visibly see the character make contact with the ground. This pose occurs a few frames after the dynamic pose and a few before the passing pose. It is simply the forward leg making early contact with the ground.

2d game contact pose

We need one of these before every passing pose. Also, while we're here, let's add a little more toe movement after passing each passing pose to make it look like the character got pushed off the ground.

So, this is the procedure to use the best 2D animation software for game development via Unity, and you can similarly continue to make jump animations, root motion, and more.

This tutorial mainly focused on animating a 2D character and dove deeper into the actual structure of an animation. Knowing these things will allow you to animate 2D characters and 3D characters as the principles are the same for each medium.

Easiest Solution for 2D Game Character Animation

Animating 2D games with Filmora Pro is a perfect choice. You get to try out its excellent 2D and 3D animation functions that are highly affordable and simple to use for both Android and iOS devices. You can consider using keyframe animations and letting them look realistic.

You can also get your fingers on a vast range of video editing tools with Wondershare Filmora Video Editor, such as color correction and grading, motion tracking, keying, simulations, and more. It allows you to make incredible animated videos and cinematic reels.

How to animate games with Wondershare Filmora

More advancement means more and kinds of games are fading out to obscurity. You can now animate 2D games underrated and add a bit of your touch to them via software like Filmora Pro and others like it.

For example, Filmora Pro features a dozen different transition effects like Centre Wipe, Evaporate, or Linear Wipe.

Try It Free

For Win 7 or later (64-bit)

Try It Free

For macOS 10.12 or later

You can also apply 3D rendering techniques to your games' light and shadow effects.

Key Takeaways from This Episode

A guide to the ultimate 2d game character design & animation course

A guide to 5 best game animation services

Learning five best 2D game character animation tools

Tips for making excellent 2D game animations

A step by ultimate step guide to making 2D game animation character in Unity

Exploring the easiest solution for 2D game animation

You May Also Like

How I Animate Discord Profile Pictures (& You Can Too)

Animated display pictures are very appealing and there is no doubt they make your profile stand out from the competition. The same is the case when you choose animated pictures for discord. Nitro and other tools are helpful in doing so.

Posted byLiza Brown|2024-06-12 11:32:21
10 Popular Cartoon Characters That You Won't Want to Miss

Animated characters let us experience fun just by letting them go. For animation or cartoon movie fans, it is important to know the popular cartoon characters and their respective movies!

Posted byLiza Brown|2024-06-12 11:31:06
How To Create Animated Clipart in PowerPoint

What is moving clipart called? Where can I find free animated clipart? How do you add animated clipart to the slide? Here are the answers to all your questions.

Posted byLiza Brown|2024-06-12 11:30:46
Best 15 Instant Classics Animated Cartoon Movies

Animated cartoon movies are the best way to escape for a while from this busy world. Watch your favorite animated movies with your favorite animated characters.

Posted byLiza Brown|2024-06-12 11:30:17
In-depth Study of Cartoon Painting Starts from Learning to Draw It

Have you ever thought about drawing cartoons? If yes, here is an idea of how to get started. So, keep reading to understand how to draw a cartoon painting.

Posted byLiza Brown|2024-06-12 11:30:15
Epic Formula to Animate Photos from These 10 Animate Pictures App

Animation is a key element used in a variety of modern videos that are created for a range of purposes. Be it marketing, entertainment, or something else, if it comes to animating photos here are the best animated pictures app that is there in the market right now!

Posted byLiza Brown|2024-06-12 11:30:06
How to Liven Up Your Animate Website on Scroll

Are you looking to animate a website on a scroll guide? Then you are at the right place. Please read this post to know everything about scrolling animation on the website.

Posted byLiza Brown|2024-06-12 11:30:03