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  • LMVisuals LLC

2D VS 3D - What's the Difference?

Exploring the world of motion: a quick guide into the unique differences of 2D and 3D animation


Animation refers to the process of creating the illusion of motion by rapidly displaying a sequence of static images that minimally differ from each other. When it comes to animation, there's a variety of techniques used by artists today - the two most common are 2D and 3D animation.


2D animation, also known as traditional animation or hand-drawn animation, involves creating and sequencing individual illustrations by hand. These illustrations are then filmed and played back in rapid succession to create the illusion of movement. 2D animation is often used in the creation of cartoons, comics, and other forms of illustrated entertainment.

Fig. 1: traditional 2d animation style-frame



3D animation, on the other hand, involves creating and sequencing digital models and environments to create the illusion of movement. In 3D animation, objects and characters are built and rigged with a virtual skeleton, and then animated by manipulating the position, rotation, and other properties of the bones in the skeleton. 3D animation is often used in the creation of movies, video games, and other forms of computer-generated imagery. Today, we use powerful computers to create highly engaging and complex animation. Often referred to as computer-generated imagery (CGI) or the process of digitally generating images.

Fig. 2: 3d animation style-frame

Fig. 3: 3d animation style-frame



One key difference between 2D and 3D animation is the level of realism and detail that can be achieved. Because 3D animation involves creating digital models and environments, it allows for a greater level of realism and detail than is possible with 2D animation. This makes 3D animation well-suited for creating lifelike characters and environments, whereas 2D animation is better suited for creating more stylized and exaggerated visuals.


Another key difference between the two is the amount of work and skill required to create each type of animation. While 2D animation can be a one-person job with the right tools and skills, 3D animation often involves a team of artists and technical specialists working together. This is because 3D animation involves a wider range of technical processes, including modeling, rigging, animating, lighting, and rendering.



In a nutshell, the primary differences between 2D and 3D animation are the level of realism and detail you can accomplish and the amount of work and skill required to create each type of animation. 2D animation is better suited for creating more stylized and exaggerated visuals, whereas 3D animation is better suited for creating more realistic and detailed characters and environments.


If you have a creative project in mind or, if you're looking to make an animated explainer video for your business, you might be wondering what kind of animation is right for you. There's a lot to think about, but don't worry – we're here to help!


Hit us up for a coffee chat.

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