Talk about the alleged confrontation between 2D vs 3D animation continues to this day, although there is no reason for this. Hardly anyone will argue that both 3D and 2D animation occupy their niche in different fields and applications. So the main thing to remember is that none of these animations are winners. None of them is better or more effective. Each of them fulfills its function and does it perfectly.

Most modern games are made using 3D technologies, striving for photorealism. But projects for which the idea is higher than commerce often release 2D projects, which subsequently not only pay off but also bring huge profits. If you can’t decide what kind of animation you need for your project, then look at the portfolios of different companies and evaluate the visual style. Perhaps this will help you make a decision. Here are a few words about each of these types of animation.

What Is 3D Animation?


Our world is three-dimensional, so we just accept 3D animation as something similar to reality. Besides width and height, 3D objects have depth. It gives volume. Every day we are surrounded by 3D objects: cups, chairs, vehicles, and other people. 3D animation is giving motion to three-dimensional objects.

This kind of animation is more variable in terms of adding effects, details, and viewing angles. At the same time, working with it is longer and more difficult. First, you need to create a 3D model, which will subsequently be animated. It needs to be prepared for animation, that is, you have to create a skeleton from points that will move. Next comes the work on the background, after which the model and the environment are combined, taking into account the necessary lighting and other factors to make it as realistic as possible.

There are 3 main levels of 3d animation:

  • Simplified;
  • Medium level;
  • Photorealistic.

Each of these types has its own characteristics and targeting.


Simplified 3d animation

This type of animation is used to illustrate the principle of operation of a certain device or process; small details and textures are not drawn. But the lack of detail is not an obstacle to the schematic display of chemical reactions or physical interactions of devices during operation. So simplified 3d animation is in great demand. Especially for training videos, despite the development of more advanced technologies.

The price for such a video will depend on the number of 3d objects and the duration of the entire video.

3d animation medium level

Medium level 3D animation is used to present a commercial product on a small budget. It is characterized by minimal rendering of textures, the physics of the image is quite simple. Despite the simplicity of the visual series, the product image is quite high quality. Among the nuances – a small number of animated objects. Here is simplified fluid graphics (no movement and glare). Medium animation does not use skeletal animation when depicting people or animals.

The factors affecting mid-range cost are no different from simplified 3d animation.


Photo-realistic 3d animation

You can use a previously created written script to create a medium to lightweight 3D animation. Photorealistic animations are created using hand-crafted storyboards from the art director. The level of detail is very high. All nuances and textures are drawn. Including mimic and skeletal animation, physics of water, and all objects in the frame. Animation for 3d models requires a meticulous approach to take into account all factors and create a truly living picture.

Also, technically it is possible to superimpose images from real shooting and a realistic render, by implanting 3d-animation into a real frame. Such a video looks very bright and spectacular and will certainly arouse the interest of the viewer.

Photorealistic 3d-animation is used in advertising, cinema when creating games. Its cost, of course, is higher than the previous options and includes not only drawing of all objects, animation of 3d models. But also there is preliminary storyboarding and opportunity to add the necessary effects.

What Is 2D Animation?


We are familiar with the concept of 2D from the moment we first entered into interaction with a sheet of paper. It is flat: there is only width and height. The lack of so-called depth makes it a two-dimensional object. 2D animation is two-dimensional objects in motion. They can be given the illusion of three-dimensionality with tints and shadows, but they will remain flat.

The meaning of 2D animation is the sequential creation of drawings, each of which is slightly different from the previous one. For example, if the picture shows a running cat, then the next position of its body and paws will already be slightly different, assuming that it is moving forward. Drawings continue to be created until they are enough for 1 second of full animation. Usually, 1 second is 24 frames, and every 2 frames must be a different picture if we want to get smooth animation. At a speed of 24 frames per second, the human eye perceives the change of patterns as a continuous process, allowing us to contemplate a running cat.

2D animation is often associated with cartoons. But this is not the only area of its application. It is now commonly used in website design, advertisements, video games, television shows, and other media.



Whichever type of animation you choose, the main condition for success is a high-quality product. This can only be obtained if you cooperate with a professional animation team that knows their business and understands the goals of your business. You can view the services of one of Europe’s leading animation companies.

The simplicity and minimalism of 2D continue to attract people who value history in the first place. 3D lovers prefer accents on visual presentation. Therefore, both types of animation work great in entertainment and other areas. In the future, they will continue to develop side by side. They incorporate the latest trends and improve with the help of modern technologies.