How to Make a Cartoon to Put on TV

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Colored pencils or paints
  • Scanner
  • Computer
  • Animation software

Cartoons have been made for TV for decades and are a favorite show of children and adults around the world. Animated movies and TV shows are popular. Making a cartoon is challenging because every animated show or movie requires hours of drawing and artwork that eventually forms a cartoon that is placed on TV. Getting started is challenging because it requires designing characters, writing a story and then drawing the story before it finally becomes a cartoon as seen on TV.

Write a story. Every cartoon has a story, whether it involves a cat that chases a mouse, like Tom and Jerry, or is a complicated story that fills every episode, like Avatar the Last Airbender or any animated movie. A storyline tells where the cartoon begins and often dictates what the characters look like.

Design the characters. Basic character descriptions are written out during the story writing process, but the character designs in drawing requires actually drawing a character. The basic designs should fit the character descriptions in the story, but artistically suit any preferred style.

Draw the story. This will take hours or months, depending on the type of animation, the drawing style, the ability of the artist and similar information. Every drawn movement, like lifting an arm, will take several pages. Having helpers that can draw various parts, such as one background artist, one cartoon character artist and one color artist or painter makes the process faster.

Scan the pictures into a computer. Use an animation software program to edit and make digital changes to the drawn pictures. Darken lines and add computer graphics as preferred. The artistic quality of the cartoon can be improved by using computer programs. If no color was added before scanning, it is added during the computer work.

Put the entire project together. Use animation software to run the cells together to form a frame. It takes around 30 or so pages for one second of animation, so for a full 30 minute program it will take around 45,000 cells. Keep in mind that there are around 5 minutes or so of commercials when a cartoon is put on TV.

Add sound if preferred. If a cartoon is being sent to a studio or being designed in a studio, voice actors or sound experts will typically work on this part of the cartoon and the animators are finished.


Obtaining a degree in animation and working in a studio is the best way to get an animated cartoon on TV.