Game Development


Simple and Advanced Topics of Animating 2D Characters

A comprehensive and easy to learn guide to make 2D bone-based characters from scratch.

4.75 (63 reviews)



3.5 hours


Feb 2017

Last Update
Regular Price

What you will learn

Create custom bone-based animated characters in Unity 3d

Work with sprite sheets in Unity. We'll cover importing, slicing and setting up the pivot points.

Assemble bone based 2D characters, organize all the body parts in Hierarchy and prepare for animating.

Create Idle, Walk and Jump animations for your character. We'll make a Jump animation with an interesting technique that involves Blend Trees.

Configure transitions between animations in the Animator component.

Write a simple controller script that will let our character move on the level and jump.

Use ScriptableObject assets to store outfits of your character.

Apply outfits from your custom-made assets to your character changing the way he looks.

Display extra clothing and decoration items like bracelets, necklaces as a part of your character's outfit.

Make characters with joints that will be able to “turn into” differently shaped characters while using the same animations.


Making a 2D platformer game is a nice way to start learning about Unity game development. In this course you will learn how to create so-called “bone-based” 2D characters - characters that are made out of separate body parts. The material in this course is divided into 3 Sections. Section 1 features a short introduction to the course.

In Section 2 we will focus on making a simple bone-based character from scratch. We`ll go through the whole process of character creation from setting up an empty Unity project and importing sprite sheets with art to assembling a bone-based character the right way and animating it using Unity`s built-in mechanim animation system. By the end of this Section we`ll have a simple bone-based character that can walk and jump on our improvised level.

In Section 3 we will talk about some advanced techniques of working with 2D animated characters. For bone-based characters correct sorting order in the scene is very important, so in our first couple of lectures we`ll talk about resolving all the sorting order issues. Then we`ll discuss how to apply different looks and different clothing items to your character. This approach is very convenient, because you can have all the characters in your game made from a single character prefab, but they can all use different outfits and look differently. It`s also much easier to dress your characters or re-skin your game if you need. We`ll also talk about displaying some unique items on your characters such as bracelets, necklaces, belts, other decorations. The same approach can be used to display other clothing items. We`ll finish this section by making a more complex character that will have “joints”. Joints will allow us to use the same animated model for characters that are differently shaped (wider shoulders, shorter legs, longer arms, etc…).


Simple and Advanced Topics of Animating 2D Characters
Simple and Advanced Topics of Animating 2D Characters
Simple and Advanced Topics of Animating 2D Characters
Simple and Advanced Topics of Animating 2D Characters



Introduction to This Course

Downloadable materials

Making a bone-based 2D character in Unity

Creating a Project and Slicing Sprites

Setting Up Pivot Points and Assembling Character - Part 1

Setting Up Pivot Points and Assembling Character - Part 2

Background and Walk Cycle Animation - Part 1

Background and Walk Cycle Animation - Part 2

Controller Script and Animator Configuration - Part 1

Controller Script and Animator Configuration - Part 2

Bonus - Making a Jump Animation

Advanced techniques of working with bone-based 2D characters

Introduction to Section 3

Resolving Sorting Order Issues

Sorting Order Fix Script - Part 1

Sorting Order Fix Script - Part 2

Scriptable Object Assets in Unity

Applying Outfit from Asset

Outfit Applier Script - Basics

Displaying Unique Items

Character with Joints - Part 1

Character with Joints - Part 2


Joseph20 May 2020

Good Job, you covered the basics, could you think about adding a deeper 2D animation lessons, like using the curves, Blend trees and all the other bells and whistles of Unity Animation? Darn, they asked for a review in the middle, and the instructor does cover Blend Trees plus reusing a character. Still good info for starters. Very useful scripts for making good use of a single character rig, that are easy to follow, the Animation Hierarchy script alone is worth the course.

Manthan26 March 2019

Pretty superficial. Even though the course introduction says making everything from scratch, the course itself only gives a set list of instructions instead of explaining what everything means and how to do it yourself.

Revvy13 March 2019

Just to be clear - the quality of the course and the instructor's delivery is good, the low mark is due to the core of the content being out of date. If you are using Unity 2017 I'd suggest looking at free asset Anima2D and for Unity 2018 check the 2D animation support in the package manager. That being said lectures 8-10 and especially 15 - 18 are still useful, I'll be going back over that last section to see if I can adapt some of what the instructor does to 2018's 2D animation system.

Cristian16 May 2018

Great course! I really like the instructor’s approach to teaching. I found the material easy to follow and well constructed. I highly recommend for anyone looking to build something from scratch and see a prototype to near completion. The instructor covers theory and implementation, and it is deep, with real app examples, outstanding.

Jeff13 February 2018

Its great except the instructor didn't go through every step of the animation process. I wish he spent more time and actually showed us the process of posing the character rig in EVERY key frame rather than cutting to another project with a complete animation sequence. Besides that its been a great course and I'd recommend it to anybody who doesn't mind doing A LOT of experimenting in order to duplicate the results of the instructor. Finally, In the introduction video the instructor demonstrates switching outfits with a key press. I was very disappointed that the course never explained how to do this.

Andrew30 April 2017

The Animation portion was good, this course helped allot in connecting the sprite and animations, the only faulty thing is it is incomplete in teaching basic controller functions of sprites and movement other than positioning in Unity the animation to the sprite. Perhaps a small tutorial in basic controller script so a beginner can move his sprites on screen. Although the instructor's character and sprites were completely maneuverable, it was not shown how to complete that portion, so in order to fluidly stay on page with the instructor this would be a nice thing to have.

Vanessa6 March 2017

This course was the best starting point I could find. Other classes are either slow or not focused, while this one is exactly what it says it is going to be from the beginning. I highly recommend it to everybody who are new to Unity and to anybody who are having some experience with the engine. In summary, it is perfect to get an example of how 2D mechanics work in Unity. Awesome class, I will be definitely taking more classes from you guys.

David26 February 2017

He explains everything in detail. The course is well-explained, with very valuable information here I haven't seen in other courses so far. I love the level of newbie friendliness. The instructor is concise and his knowledge is really good, will definitely take more courses from him.

Lindsay22 February 2017

Superb course! Vladimir and Sandor showed some really interesting tips and techniques in this course. I am very happy that I found this course.

Tim19 February 2017

The best course I have ever taken on this topic! The instructor is very friendly and the instructions are easy to understand. I am about to make my own 2D game and there were lots of golden nuggets, thank you very much. This excellent course is highly recommended to everybody who are new to Unity development and provides lots of useful tips even for those who are experienced. A huge 5/5 from me. Will definitely take more classes!


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