Bluey, Peppa Pig, Mr. Bean – all big name franchises when it comes to animation.
The software powering these award winning shows is CelAction2D.
CelAction2D is an industry-standard and incredibly powerful program for creating 2D animated content. It offers a wide array of features that have assisted in producing award winning TV series, films and commercials. Many studios have come to depend on CelAction2D’s professional animation capabilities.
In this review, we will look into the features of CelAction2D and highlight the pros and cons of the tool.
Table of Contents
What is CelAction2D?
CelAction2D is the go-to software for many professional 2D animators. It is focused on cut-out 2D animation making it one of the premier digital tools in the rigging/puppet animation field.
Vectors or bitmap, character models can be rigged into a skeleton so that animation can be worked on and reused easily. The movement of the skeleton can also be automatically inbetweened and deformed in a variety of ways, making animation faster than ever before.
The company CelAction is based in London, England and has been an in the industry for over 20 years.
What can you expect from CelAction2D? Let’s dive into its features:
CelAction’s software is designed to save animators both time and effort with the creation of a skeleton model that can be stored in a library for future use. The character models, bitmap and vector images are easily rigged using an advanced IK tool (Inverse Kinematic) which allows you to quickly pose characters or models as needed.
CelAction2D gives you access to an efficient lip sync tool that helps ensure the character mouth shapes match up perfectly with any background voice being used.
CelAction2D enables you to divide the tasks between design and animation roles. Designers are able to work on their drawing skills, while animators just need to work on animation.
CelAction2D brings a plethora of special effects to take your animation visuals to the next level with minimal effort. The software permits animators to craft their own unique effects and save them for future use, allowing you to animate swiftly and comfortably across frames.
This software facilitates importing of 3D CGI models and positioning them anywhere in the workspace. This enables you to easily construct intricate scenes, while providing total mobility for your camera with full rotation capabilities on all three axes.
CellAction2D does not have a downloadable demo version, but you can apply for a demonstration of the software. If you really want to try it you can go to CelAction Tutors, sign up for their online course (paid course) and you’ll to get free access to the software for two months.
There is a subscription model for renting the software from CelAction. The two plans for renting are:
Education Edition – no information on the cost of this edition is provided.
Studio Edition – year rental is $895 USD per year or month by month is $110 USD per month. It includes:
- Latest version of the software with all the features
- All upgrades and support
CelAction also mention on their site that they can discuss pricing based on specific production requirements.Get a demo of CelAction2D
Animations made with CelAction2D
CelAction2D is an incredibly powerful software tool used to create some of today’s most beloved animated television series. Here are a few:
- Peppa Pig
- Mr. Bean – The Animated Series
- Horrible Histories
- Streetcat Bob
- Love Monster
- Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom
- Lily’s Driftwood Bay
Support and education
CelAction’s goal is to give provide high quality support to their professional customers. The purchase process alone signifies they are after a more personal connection with their clients. Once you purchase a licence of the software you will be given access to CelAction’s tutorial and help files and also have access to support staff and their online forum.
For individuals just starting it out, wanting to give CelAction2D a go, you may find it difficult getting learning materials as there is not a whole lot out there publicly.
CelAction Tutors is a website that provides an online course for using CelAction2D. If you sign up to their online course you also get free access to the software for two months!
Some videos tutorials from CelAction Tutors can also be found on their YouTube channel.
CelAction2D pros and cons
Here are some of the pros and cons we found when looking at CelAction2D.
- A massive range of features and tools for rigging animation.
- Focused support for professionals and professional studios. This means they can provide specialist support based on specific project-by-project requirements.
- Easy to manipulate and control skeleton rigs with their Inverse Kinematic tool.
- Good integration with 3rd party software.
- No trial version readily accessible. You can only apply for a demonstration of the software.
- Not a straight forward subscription/purchase process.
- Only works on Windows – sorry MacOS users.
- Not many public resources or tutorials on using the software.
- Doesn’t have separate drawing tools for creating vector backgrounds and characters. You need to purchase other software such as Photoshop or Illustrator.
CelAction2D is suited specifically for cut-out animation. If you’re doing TV show work and only want to do rigged animation, with a fast and robust workflow, then CelAction2D is a great option.
It’s not very accessible for beginners as the company focuses on providing their software to professional studios. They don’t want to be market leader in all the kinds of animation styles so instead the software has a focus on their speciality – rigged/puppet animation.
If you are interested in having a further look at CelAction2D you can apply for a demonstration by visiting their website.Get a demo of CelAction2D