Ron & Obi. Exploring 2D animation in Blender

Hi all.
I make use of Blender a lot for my children’s book apps, mostly for 2D style work.

I thought it would be good to build and rig a pair of characters using Inkscape, the fabulous “images as planes” importer and standard rigging.

updated animation promoted to the first post so you don’t have to dig for it :slight_smile:

Here is a WIP of where I have arrived so far. Fairly flexible rigs with texture swapping.

Character (Ron) split out in Inkscape.

A screen capture of my rigs and workflow.

A render.

Now, to refine the rigs and start the most daunting task… ANIMATION!


looks good, interested where this is going.


It seems harder to make 2D animations with Blender.
When I start with Blender I googled some tutorials for 2D animations but It was easier (for me) to do 3D…
I’m still a newbie with Blender ^^’

Can u make a complete tutorial on how you make it apart from character design, covering only Blender stuffs!!!

very very interested in your 2d animation work flow, would love to see some guides if you please :slight_smile:

I use the “import images as planes” addon bringing in the elements as shadeless and using transparency. The images themselves are PNG files with alpha straight out of Inkscape.

Here is a basic rig for Ron. Nothing special, just a few niceties. I’m not much for rigging, I just want to get animating :slight_smile:

From the side you can see how I have arranged the 2D planes in Z.

I swap out limb / mouth/ eye textures in the material itself.

I use slow parent and IK for dynamic ears.

Some animation soon!

My first render tests! Just a day here and there to get this going. I have plans but as all good plans go… well… we’ll see if anything comes about.

I’m learning a lot along the way and adapting the rigs as I go. Blender is behaving fantastically. I really, really love this program.


Very cool stuff, I dig the style and your ideas. I’m learning and love blender too. Keep posting!

i like the simple approach, thank you. and good work.

Thank you. :slight_smile:
I have been updating the rigs and workflow with each test, understanding more and more about NLA and rigging in blender as well as using the compositor. I have a good workflow for keeping the key frames minimal and filtering what I need. Every time I want something, it already exists in Blender. Gotta love it.

Here is an updated video.

cool artwork and interesting workflow. didn’t recognize the images-as-planes-import addon yet. what are the advantages compared to the import of your artwork as svg-objects/curves directly and set them shadeless by script?:

import the Blender module

import bpy

#Iterate over all members of the material struct
for item in
#Enable “use_shadeless”
item.use_shadeless = True

i agree - blender is also amazing for 2d animation, the combination of inkscape and blender is awesome. i’ve been using blender for animated comic-strips since there is the capable svg-import. here is the latest one (lack of visual quality is due to gif-res/filesize-balance):

so i am wondering that you import the objects from inkscape as rendered png’s and not as svg - curves. doesn’t the direct import of curves has several options you don’t have while importing them as planes? beside rigging them as you do with planes, you would have a closer control how the rig is affecting the objects since you could set up the rig regarding svg-curves’ control/node-points. in addition to that you could also animate the imported svg-objects with shapekeys for example, use freestyle for outlining, convert the svg-curves to neat mesh-planes etc…


this is a very good way to make 2d animation

Wow, these look great! Nice work :slight_smile:

Nice work, fun music theme!

There’s good and bad for both. While planes aren’t the best, they take across my outlining (Don’t want to use freestyle for it) and respect grads and the like. They do need to be high enough rez and they don’t have the control over vert placement that svg import does but I do like the idea of importing both and using the svg as geo onto which to map the exported textures. I’ll dig into this further.

Thanks for the reply.


Really great work, one of the best 2d blender animations so far…
Keep pushing!

I honestly like creating 3d assets and making them appear as if they are 2d. This allows one to get a view from any angle without having to create new images to import. I made about 8 characters of this quality in one day.


Looks like you’re having a lot of fun!
I don’t know if you’ve seen this way of animating textures using the UV warp modifier

I honestly like creating 3d assets and making them appear as if they are 2d. This allows one to get a view from any angle without having to create new images to import. I made about 8 characters of this quality in one day.

NICE !!! great designs and you, sir, are damn fast.