here I'd like to share some of my favorite really neat short 2D animations! (also a few high-polish animatics, too!)
(*I try to add content warnings where appropriate, I am doing my best but they may not be perfect, I might be under- or over-tagging sorry)
Context: Camooh's OCs featured in this video have backstories and can be seen in other videos on the artist's Youtube channel, too.
cw: mild language
Context: This video is inspired by the Warrior cats book series by Erin Hunter, specifically the Omen of the Stars series. Which I haven't read! I really dig this video and I think you can still feel an emotional impact from it even if you haven't read the books, though for those who have I'm sure there is some additional meaning. I think both the awesome visuals and the song choice, ES by crying, make it a very compelling video in general.
Context: This video is inspired by a non-playable character in the videogames Pokemon: Gold/Silver/Crystal versions, Youngster Joey, who is beloved (and beloathed) by fans for repeatedly calling the player to tell them about how much his Rattata, an unimpressive rat Pokemon, has grown. This animation pokes fun as well as attempts to tell a more elaborate story about Joey and his Rattata, who are otherwise insubstantial in their appearances in-game.
Context: This video is inspired by the videogame Night in the Woods.
Context: This video is inspired by the webcomic Homestuck.
Context: This is a fanmade animation with an original story using Pokemon (videogame franchise) characters and its universe, in which a pet Pokemon is abandoned by its trainer and finds a new life in the wild.
cw: surreal imagery, subtextual themes of horror, isolation, and suicide
Context: This video is inspired by the freeware RPGMaker videogame Yume Nikki (dream journal), from which it derives its themes and imagery. The game is pretty unique, it's not for everyone but I really dig it. Also, since it uses pixel art and isn't super detailed, I can stomach the horror elements pretty well. Mostly it's just surreal, taking place in a dream world, but there's a lot of subtext or implications one can analyze that could point to mental illness in the protagonist. Sounds kind of cliche, and I'm not fond of the game's more tragic aspects, but I love that the game introduced a new niche genre of "yume nikki fangames" that have many unique takes on dream worlds and environmental storytelling without dialogue. I also appreciate that some other YNFGs are less tragic in nature. But at the end of the day, Yume Nikki's originality still makes it special and memorable, too.
Context: This video is based on the animator's experience playing the videogame Pokemon: Blue Version under the self-imposed limitations of a "Nuzlocke" run, a set of rules devised by fans to make the games seem more challenging and meaningful to older and more experienced players.
cw: flashing lights (I think?? It's not super bright but there is a color tint that changes at frequent intervals, so I'm noting this just in case)
cw: flashing lights, grief/death of family member
Context: This animation features pollovy's OCs, which have backstories and can be seen in other videos on the artist's Youtube channel.
Context: This video is based on the 5th arc of the Jojo's Bizarre Adventure manga and anime series, Golden Wind (or Vento Aureo).
There are lots of different types of animation and roles/techniques... Rigging, 2D puppeting, stop-motion, traditional hand-drawn 2D animation, 3D animation, motion media... The 12 Principles of Animation... The lists above are commonly-used software I run into in the world of hobby, indie, and student-made animation. I mean some are industry-standard, too, like ToonBoom, but I wanted to provide a list with a range of accessibility options. I have seen super cool stuff made with all of these, and there are options for use with both computers and mobile devices. You can always animate on paper, too! Traditional animation, experimental animation, check it all out...
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Some Youtube animators' acronyms
Animation Meme - Usually inspired by a single original video that gains popularity, many animators will try their hand at making their own version of the video using the same audio clip and similar themes, sequence, composition/structure, etc. Sometimes it's a nearly identical video just with different characters, like the artist's OCs; other times there's almost nothing in common except the audio clip.
AMV - Animation Music Video (can also mean Anime Music Video, which isn't a user-made animation, it's when someone edits clips from anime set to a song)
PMV - Picture Music Video, which isn't animated, instead these use still images
MAP - Multiple Animator Project, usually for these a bunch of animators contribute a few seconds of animation to a full song/sequence and the end result is a fun mish-mash of lots of different styles and imagery from all the contributors
MEP - Multiple Editor Project, similar to an MAP but it's more about dynamic editing (often in AfterEffects and/or Sony Vegas) of still images and text rather than animation
Animatic - These use still drawings instead of animation but, unlike a PMV, are usually intentionally rough and undetailed, like mostly line drawings or quick, messy sketches. They often use audio from skits, comedy sketches, or television clips, not just songs. In the film and animation industries, animatics are used to create a rough test-run of a sequence before actually animating or filming it. It's different from a storyboard because storyboards are flat and aren't timed and edited for a video, but animatics ARE timed, playable sequences with audio. (You CAN use the panels of a storyboard to MAKE an animatic out of them, though.) I hope I didn't confuse you ^^;
Lyricstuck - basically a PMV inspired by the webcomic Homestuck, originally a popular format for pairing stills with music on Tumblr posts
Removed "CLOSE UP [meme]" by keiir0n (now keb0r0) on 9/25/2022 because the video is now set to Private. It was a Youtube video, cw: no content warnings for this video, I can't find anything harmful in it, but just a head's up: in keiir0n's other animation video featuring these characters, "FIGHTER [meme]", these cute animals attempt to drug the human with an injection. I feel fine sharing this "CLOSE UP [meme]" video without any problems but if you watch that other one you will probably get the sense that these characters belong to a mature setting/story.