Animators bring stories and games to life. Have you ever thought about modern animation and how they differ significantly from the animation of old? They’re created in very different ways; that’s why old and new animations look different. In this article, we will tell you about the differences between 2D and 3D animation.
To understand how 2D animation differs from 3D animation, you first have to understand what each one is and how they are done.
Here we have some examples of animations you’ve probably seen before:
2D animation came into existence in the late 1800s as a traditional animation method. Its one drawing followed by another in a slightly different pose, followed by another in a slightly different pose, and so on at 24 frames per second.
Traditionally, these drawings were put together in a fantastic process where artists drew pencil drawings of every frame of film. Then, these images were painted onto transparent plastic sheets called ‘cels’.
And each of these thousands of hand-drawn and painted cels were photographed one at a time over a hand-painted background image, and those thousands of images were compiled to run as a film at 24 frames per second.
Today, most 2D animators use computer software to one degree or another, with applications ranging from digitally coloring the cels to be photographed in the traditional method, to composing every single animation element in the computer interface.
At Dark Lab Media, we have used animation to design interactive infographics and develop animated tools like our snowman builder.
3D animation (apart from stop-motion, which can be either 2D or 3D animation) is completely done using technologies and software.
A 3D animation program exists in an X, Y, and Z world. It means that instead of a flat drawing, we produce a sphere in 3D space that can rotate 360 degrees.
3D animation allows animators to create something impossible or extremely tedious within 2D animation. For example, 3D-animated objects, once modeled, can be treated almost as physical objects. You can light them differently by creating different shadows. It allows you to move your camera to view the visuals from up, down, or around the other side.
Meanwhile, because everything is drawn in 2D animation, “moving the camera” in 2D requires drawing objects from other angles and perspectives. This makes “moving the camera” in 3D easier because it’s simply repositioning the camera.
3D animated videos allow you to see more realistic objects. Animators can use textures and lighting to make objects appear solid, which integrates them seamlessly into live video elements.
There are pros and cons to both 2D and 3D animation methods. The best animation process is usually based on a client’s strategy and specific needs, but all animation allows you to create things that would be otherwise implausible or impossible in the real world.
At Dark Lab Media, we have used animation when designing interactive infographics and developing interactive tools like our snowman builder. There are endless possibilities when it comes to data visualization for content marketing. Curious how you can use animation to add some flair to your digital marketing? Reach out and contact our experts.