2D animation for video ads, kids' cartoons, music videos

   Do you want to tell people about your idea, product, business in captivating way? Do you want to make your marketing visuals more noticeable and engaging in social media, but less overwhelming for the viewer's eyesight? I can help you to grab the attention of your dream clients by conveying your message in the form of a custom made 2D animation with funny cartoon characters — people, animals, monsters or creatures.

   This method of bringing your ideas to life, appropriately and skillfully applied, will be way faster and cheaper than shooting a video with real actors. Also, you will stand out from thousands of competitors who use the same stock video footages over and over again. 

   Good 2D animation is more captivating and exciting to the viewers, because in a cartoon you can draw literally anything, especially things or events that are difficult or even impossible to capture on video in real life. The laws of physics are easily circumvented if your imagination demands it. You can draw any landscape or interior in any lighting conditions, at the right time of day and in any weather. For ease of perception, you can depict everything schematically, in simplified way, and to convince the viewer more — exaggerate emotions and movements without the risk of overdoing it, after all, it's a cartoon!

   Combine such 2D animation with real video footage and use it anywhere — not only in entertaining children's cartoons and TV series, but also in advertising, in "explainers", presentations, corporate videos, training videos, music videos, to congratulate your friends or just for fun. Tell me what you have in mind, show me your character designs and I'll choose appropriate expressive techniques to bring your art to life.

2D animation & Moho rigging service

   The technique in which I animate my characters is called cutout / rigged 2D animation. I use Moho Pro software by LostMarble. Some examples of very good 2D character animations: My Father's Dragon, Song of the Sea, Wolfwalkers, Rick & Morty, Simpsons, Futurama, BoJack Horseman, South Park.

   In case you're curious why I've chosen 2D over 3D — here is a little explanation of the difference between them as I see it. In 3D graphics each and every object has to be meticulously modeled first in three dimensions with all its complex surface properties, so later the software could calculate automatically what we will see from any imaginable angle of view and under certain lighting conditions. Sounds awesome. But high quality 3D modeling and image calculations (rendering) is a very long process and the result rarely looks acceptable at the first take, it needs a lot of tweaking and re-rendering. Therefore good 3D animation project most likely needs to be done by a big team of 3D artists.

   2D is a type of computer graphics, where objects are represented on a "flat" canvas as a combination of relatively simple "flat" shapes at one particular angle of view, as on a photo, or on paper drawing. Those shapes create the illusion of three-dimensional object with all its light reflecting properties, shadows etc. "baked" into those flat drawn shapes.   

   So if we need to change the angle of view, the artist should modify (move, distort, redraw, recolor) those flat shapes the right way to maintain the illusion. In other words, 2D animation artist must be able to draw and must know very well how various geometric shapes change when angle of view changes, and how the lighting works. 

   Consciously simplifying the drawing, 2D artist makes it significantly easier to perceive what the viewer sees and also greatly accelerates the rendering of the final animation. All that allows me to work on animation projects mostly alone, without a big team.

   I animate in Moho vector & raster illustrations (Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop project files), company logos, backgrounds, wallpapers, posters, Spotify canvases - basically any picture or photo (.jpg, .png). To do this, I create in Moho so-called RIG — I break your Photoshop picture into separate parts (or re-draw them with Moho's vector shapes), then I tie these parts to the control levers ("bones") and carefully adjust interaction of that "bones" with the drawing.

   For text animation, creating motion graphics and compositing I use Adobe After Effects, so I can make an animated commercial that will let you stand out among your competitors and attract your dream customers.

  Tell me what's your idea, what you'd like to achieve, send me the artwork files you have and I'll tell you what I can do out of it, how long it will take and how much it will cost. 


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Advanced Moho rigging

   For animating 2D characters I work with pre-made Moho rigs or I can rig your characters myself. Moho is the right choice when you need a software to animate cutout puppets quickly and effectively. Moho's powerful arsenal of drawing and rigging tools allows to create sophisticated and powerful 2D character RIGS that are easy and intuitive to use by animators.

   I animate and rig 2D characters and illustrations in Moho since 2019 and will be happy to create for you a custom Moho RIG based on your design, from very simple to quite advanced ones, so me, you or any other animator will be able to control your character exactly the way you want:

  • move and stretch limbs to make gestures and walks;
  • stretch and squeeze the body and the head as if they are made of elastic rubber;
  • switch or smoothly turn the body, head, feet up to 360 degrees in various views (front, side, back, 3/4);
  • lip-synch (talk);
  • express lively emotions with facial features deforming.


Animated video ads 

   As I already said, I can create for you an animated video ad for social media. Tell me what you offer people, who your potential customers are and what is your objective (what the viewers need to know or to do after watching your video). Then send me design guidelines and photo-video-audio files representing your product or service.

   I'll combine them with motion graphics, animated text and even animated expressive 2D cartoon characters to convey your message in a way that will grab the attention, and at the same time will be easy on eyes, easy to read and therefore easy to understand - that's what I'm always striving for. Well designed video ad will help you to inform, persuade and sell better than your competitors.

   Let's make your audience excited about your brand, product, service, idea, new music or cultural event!


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Frequently Asked Questions:

What I will get if I order an animation or animated ad?

I'll send you your animated video in a file which will have:

  • mp4 video format;
  • orientation (aspect ratio) of your choice: 16:9, 9:16, 1:1 or any other;
  • 24, 25 or 30 FPS frame rate or any other;
  • FullHD resolution (1920x1080 in case you choose 16:9) or more, if you need.

I can convert short animation to an animated .GIF image of a desirable size & resolution. Or, if you need, I can deliver the animation as a .png image sequence.

Can you make a video of a specific resolution, aspect ratio, frame rate, bitrate, file size or use specific video codec?

Yes, sure. Let me know what specifications your aim for before placing an order as it may affect the delivery time and the final price.

What I will get if I order Moho character rig?

You will get Moho project file (for Moho Pro version 13.5 and higher) containing your 2D character or object, rigged and ready to be animated, with clearly labeled Smart Bone controls, switches, IK targets.

Can you add a voiceover and music to my video?

Yes, I can add to your video any sound - voiceover, music or any specific sound effects. As an experienced sound engineer I will professionally mix them for you. I don't record voiceovers myself. I expect that you choose the music, record the voiceover and send me all the audio files.

Do you use templates for video ads?

No. Your animated ad will be custom made and completely unique. However I can edit / customize After Effects template that you've got somewhere else (for instance on VideoHive or Envato). I can replace texts and video footages in it.

Can you work with texts in languages other than English?

At the moment I work with English texts only. If I don't understand the language, I can't confidently and properly synchronize what I hear and what I see on the screen. Of course I won't recognize spelling mistakes and typos, if there are any. In case your language uses characters other than Latin, I can't even tell whether the font is readable, whether it has a good design. So if you are OK with all that and ready to make corrections more often than usual (and pay for that) - we can try. 

What does the price of animated video depend on? 

It depends on the:

  • amount of work needed (planning, writing, drawing, rigging, animating);
  • duration of the final animated video in seconds;
  • animation complexity and quality;
  • urgency;
  • whether I can place the animation in my portfolio or not.

Creating high quality animation is a multi-stage process, the more preliminary stages you take off me and the lower your requirements for the animation quality, complexity and for the speed of my work - the less I will charge for the animation. 

If you'd rather not allow me to place your animation in my portfolio I'll charge you a little bit more.

What are those preliminary stages of the quality animation making process?

Here they are:

  • come up with an idea;
  • find references to the animation style you like;
  • sketch up your characters and define their traits and personalities;
  • write a detailed script;
  • draw a storyboard;
  • record a voiceover, choose the music, if needed;
  • make an animatic;
  • design & draw characters;
  • rig characters in Moho;
  • draw all the graphical assets: backgrounds, props (objects that your characters interact with);
  • animate each character;
  • make a final video file (compose character animations with backgrounds and video effects).

Wow! So many steps, so much work. Can I just come up with a rough idea and ask you to do the rest?

Yes! I can do most of the stages myself even though I prefer to focus on what I do best - on rigging & animating. I can't do two things: I can't record a voiceover and I can't choose the music for you because I'm a classically trained musician with very specific musical taste and I'm very picky about the music.

What will be the price of high quality, lively 2D character animation?

US$25 per one second of cut-out animation of medium complexity, with one 2D human-like cartoon character rigged in Moho, which is talking, expressing emotions with facial features, gesticulating, walking, running or idling. Animating more complex shots will cost more, for example when the animation involves multiple characters in the same shot, or involves character's interaction with various objects - handling and throwing weapons, handling and using gadgets, the character is partly in front of and partly behind other objects, e.g. character is sitting behind the table and at the same time character's hands are in front of the table. 

For work on 2D character rigs, for modifying pre-existing character rigs, for drawing backgrounds and props, for designing characters and for other types of work I charge US$25 per hour.

Can animation itself be cheaper?

Of course! By default, I aim to make animations as high quality, lively and captivating as I can, with lots of detailed movement of various body parts and of the face features. This takes a significant amount of time and dedication. If you need, we can discuss what can be simplified and which subtle movements we can omit to make the work done more quickly, easily and therefore cheaper for you.

What can we do to reduce the final cost of the animated video besides of reducing the animation complexity?

Basically, let me focus on what I do best - on RIGGING and  ANIMATION - and do by yourself as much planning, thinking, decision making, drawing, as you can:  

  • write a detailed script from which is absolutely clear what, why, when and how exactly your characters do and say;
  • draw a storyboard;
  • choose the music to your taste;
  • record a voiceover;
  • draw backgrounds and all props;
  • draw characters;
  • provide a size chart (to have a clear reference to the relative sizes of the characters, props and background objects).

How many revisions you will do after the delivery of the animation? Why make "storyboard" and "animatic"?

I offer one free revision, just in case. If I've made any mistakes I will correct them for free as well. But if you'd like to be able to tweak character poses, camera angles and movements, frame composition and timing to your taste - it's way easier to plan all that ahead, before the animation stage (and even before character rigging and before drawing backgrounds) by making a storyboard and then an animatic. Seriously, it will be much quicker and cheaper than redo the final animation several times.

 Storyboard is a set of very simple and rough static pictures usually drawn by hand where you can visualize scene by scene your future animation ahead of the time and choose the best camera angles, frame composition and key character poses. After making a storyboard it is becoming clear which backgrounds will be required, how exactly I need to rig characters, what controls and functions character rigs must have and therefore how complex and expensive rigs will be. 

   Animatic is a simple video made of your storyboard images edited together with a voiceover, music and other sounds to illustrate how a sequence will flow to get the timing of your future animation just right.

   Of course if you aim for a very simple animation and you trust my creative decisions I can work without drawing a storyboard. But if you decide afterwards that you want to tweak the final animation again and again - be prepared to pay for every iteration and to wait significantly longer.

Can you create and animate characters in 3D?

Currently no. I make 2D animated characters only. I can draw and rig them in Moho in such a manner, that they will look and turn like they have a depth and volume due to the perspective. We call it 2.5D or 2D+.

Which version of Moho do you use?

Moho Pro 13.5 or 14.1

I want my character to be able to turn to the side or back views. Any requirements?

If the character have to rotate/turn, then I need images of the character in all views that he/she/it needs to rotate into (front, 3/4 front, side view, 3/4 back, rear view). Something like this:

example of turnaround character sheet

In which file format I can send you the character design?

(.jpeg) or (.png) images are fine. If you have multilayer Photoshop (.psd) or Illustrator (.ai) files they are suitable too.

What if I don't have a character design yet? Can you draw it for me?

Yes. Describe how you imagine that character, what features and personality it/he/she has, how it should move, what goal it should help to achieve by its presence in the video. Will be great if you show me examples of characters that you like. I will definitely come up with something suitable for your project.

How to start working?

Just say "Hi Sam" :) Message me via Telegram (t.me/stereoDecor) or e-mail (stereoDecor.nsw@gmail.com). Or use the contact form. Share with me your idea, a script, show me your artwork, characters, rigs, backgrounds, storyboard, voiceover, music and any references if you have them. After we discuss what exactly needs to be done I'll tell you

  • how much time it will take;
  • how much it will cost;
  • is it possible to divide all my work and your payment into stages.

If you agree - you pay (via PayPal, Payoneer or to the bank account) for the first stage (or a half of the money if we decided not to divide the project into stages) and after that I will start working on your task. 

How do you deliver animated videos, pictures or Moho rig files?

I prefer to communicate and exchange files via Telegram (t.me/stereoDecor), as it is the most convenient and quick way, even for a really big files. We might also use Google Drive or any other Cloud Drive that I can use online, without installing some clunky software on my computer.

When I need to show you a video before you've paid for that part of my work in full - I render that video in low resolution, with low bitrate and I put a moving watermark on it.

If you ordered Moho character rig (moho project file), character design (a picture) or a storyboard (a set of pictures) I will send you such files only after you've paid in full for that part of my work. 

Merch Shop:

Check full line of merch at direct.app/stereoDecor