2D Animation vs. 3D Animation


Know the differences between animation 2D and animation 3D can help you determine which area of animation interests you the most and the type of skills you will need to develop to work in the world of animation. In traditional 2D animation, everything you see is drawn by hand, frame by frame. In 3D animation, characters and objects are animated in a 3D environment using specific software. Although drawing is an added benefit, it is not a necessity in 3D animation.

What is the difference between 2D Animation and 3D Animation?

In terms of visual experience, 2D animation is comparatively unrealistic. Also, it renders in a two-dimensional space, dealing only with length and width. In 3D, the images created are defined in 3 dimensions: length, width and height. This fact gives them a realistic feel and helps create a perception of depth.
In traditional animation, 2D animation is considered more complicated than 3D animation because it has two essential requirements for animators. That, on the one hand, they draw 24 frames per second. And that, on the other hand, they have a deep knowledge of the principles of animation. That is, the anatomy, the movements and the physics behind those movements. Animators must manipulate each frame in a 2D animation, which makes it longer for most brands and a bit more complex than 3D animation.
2D animation is generally cheaper than 3D animation, though may differ from project to project. Typically, the cost of a traditional 60 second 2D animated video is between €800 and €4,000, while the cost of a 60 second 3D video is approximately €6,000 to €8,000. This is due to the fact that 3D animation requires the use of complex software and platforms, while 2D animation is mostly done manually and can be compiled using free 2D animation software.
The biggest difference between 2D and 3D animation is its video animation process. If we divide the process into 3 stages: pre-production, production and post-production, you can see how much more complex and slow 3D animation is compared to 2D.


2D Animation or 3D Animation, what to choose?

What is 2D Animation?

In 2D animation, animators use characters, visual effects, and backgrounds to create the illusion of movement in two-dimensional space. They do this by sequencing individual drawings together, over a defined period of time.
2D animation refers to cartoon-style animation in which characters appear on a plane without volume. Such as traditional hand-drawn animation, or computer-generated vector animations that adopt traditional animation techniques. In the latter, the technology speeds up the work process by creating the frames between the main (key) frames created by the animator.
The 2D animation style is used in various fields. Cartoons, commercials, product demos and brand videos. And also in educational videos or information and entertainment videos.

Why choose 2D Animation?

2D animation is a very specific medium, far removed from 3D animation or other forms of visual entertainment. In general, 2D animation is a very simplified version of reality. This allows the director to focus the audience’s attention on the story and not on the physical details, which can be overwhelming at times. 2D animation is well known for the way 2D animators ignore and circumvent the laws of physics, although it can be done in any form of animation.

What is 3D Animation?

3D animation is used to generate three-dimensional objects for various media. Pixar, for example, is known for creating incredible feature films and short films exclusively using 3D animation. With it, he creates characters, environments, vehicles, monsters and anything imaginable.
The 3D animation is done using computer mediation software. And it is in charge of the creation of 3D models and their movement in a digital environment. 3D animation is much more natural than 2D animation, and includes modeling, animation, and rendering.
Artists “build” models in 3D space. Continuously, these models “render” under light. The lighting and shadows that we see in the final images are created through the 3D lighting process. Like 2D computer animation, 3D animators create “key poses” where necessary, usually every few frames. The software then automatically creates all the frames between the key poses.

Why choose 3D Animation?

It really is a matter of personal taste. Both 2D and 3D Animation can be used for everything from the simplest short film to the largest feature film. Currently both specialties have specific software. There are even 2D animations these days that have been created using 3D objects that render them to make them appear two-dimensional.

3D animation is used primarily in the video game, film, and cartoon industries. And it is normally used for high-end productions.


L’Idem is a platform for new Digital Design talents that, for years, has trained the best professionals in the sector. The school offers 2D/3D animation programs and Video Games and International Master 2D/3D Animation that seek to provide students with tools that allow them to successfully integrate into the world of work.

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