The Differences between 2D and 3D Animations

In Artwork Skills, Graphic Designing Skills
The Differences between 2D and 3D Animations

It feels incomplete if there are no animation movies in cinema or television. The advertising world would also look rigid without any animation. Animations make our world become more entertaining, but sometimes to enjoy animations we need to spend money. Perhaps you are an animation lover either 2D or 3D. Both 2D and 3D animations are still evolving till today and many graphic designers use them in their artworks.

Generally, animations are differentiated into two, which are 2 Dimensional animations (2D) and 3 Dimensional animations (3D). However, do you know the definition of 2D and 3D animation and what are the differences between 2D and 2D animations? You may be starting to learn from the beginning how to become a professional graphic designer. So, to improve your graphic designing skills, let you first recognize the definition of animation. Then, going forward for knowing the differences between 2D and 3D graphics.

Understanding Animation

An animation is a set of pictures created to produce a moving image which is arranged regularly, in which each image follows the movement of the previous image. Usually, a common animation art requires as many as 5 images in one second in producing a clear and good moving image quality.

To make an animation, the animator will determine every motion of the object contained in the image that. Generally, an animator that creates an animation is inspired by an object – a moving thing or a living creature that exists in the vicinity such as human, plant, animal, text, and so forth.

So, we can conclude that there are two important things in the process of making an animation, which is an object in the picture and the flow of the object’s motion. Through these two significant things, an animator usually wants to convey a creative idea to all who see the result.

Generally, an animation uses the illusion of motion to make it look more real. What is the illusion of motion? The illusion of motion is the visual change of an image seen by the witnessing eye. However, an image that only changes its color(s) can also be said as an animation.

In term of visual, an animation has two properties, which are textures and colors. So, the definition of animation is a set of interconnected images in rapid succession.

Understanding 2 Dimensional Animation

2D or two-dimensional animation is a drawing work that uses two-dimensional circles and in rapid and sequential motion. Each image in the two-dimensional animation has its respective sequence and will form a two-dimensional frame. Two-dimensional animations are divided into 2 types.

Types of 2D Animations

1. Cel Animation

The term of Cel Animation was actually taken from a word, celluloid. Celluloid is the main ingredient that is used to create an animation when the first artwork of animation making. The Animation Cel is a type of animation that its images from a single object.

Each Cel on this type of animation has a separate object. But it still uses background only. That is, any images are played simultaneously to form an intact animation.

2. Path Animation

Path Animation is an animation of an object which only has a motion that follows a predefined line. An example of a Path Animation artwork is an animation with a rain as the object that is moving just following its tracks only.

Commonly, a Path Animation will be given some animation repetitions that make it continues to move repeatedly until a certain condition. An animator can use a Path Animation technique, which is a technique that uses its own layer and is described as a path of a moving object.

Understanding 3 Dimensional Animation

3D or three-dimensional animation is an animated object that resides in 3D space. Usually, the objects in a 3D animation can move and rotate resembling its original objects. In creating a 3D animation-based movie usually uses a computer and the work process is commonly divided into three basic stages.

The General Stages of Making a 3D Movie

1. Modeling

The first stage is 3D animation modeling. This modeling stage is divided into 2 methods:


A solid method is a work that characterizes the volume of an object to be created. However, it’s a more complex work because the model will be created looks more real. Commonly, a solid method is used to make simulation animations – medical simulations such as CAD (Computer-Aided Drawing), solid geometry construction, and visual ray tracking applications.

Shell or Boundary

The Shell or Boundary method draws a surface like the boundary of an object, but not the volume. Shell or Boundary method is easier to do than Solid Method. Commonly, Shell or Boundary models are more often used in making movies or games.

2. Animation

Generally, there are two techniques of making an animation;

Traditional Animation

Traditional Animation Technique is usually used to create an animated movie in the 20th century. Each animation is created by using this technique. Usually, each frame contains a photo of an image which previously drew on the paper. Each image will be made slightly different that aims to create the movement illusion.

Full Animation

Talking about a production scope, a high-quality traditional animation movie is created and arranged using very detailed images and also with the appropriate pictures movements. Full animation movies can be created in many ways, ranging from realistic animations to animations that lead to cartoons.

3. Limited Animation

Limited Animation is an animation-making technique with less detailed, using less stylized images, and using the position shift method. Using this technique you can create low-cost animations.

4. Rotoscoping

Rotoscoping is a technique where the animator tracks the live action of the frame by frame. The source of the movie can be directly duplicated from the actors’ actions to a set of animated images.

5. Live-Action

Live-Action is a technique of combining characters that have been drawn into an animation movie and will then be re-filmed with real human characters and real backgrounds.

6. Rendering

Rendering is a process when the animation experience generalization, which is adding attributes such as textures, colors, objects, and also there is a change in the level of transparency is usually done using a computer software program.

2D and 3D Animation Differences

Commonly, the most widely known types of animations are 2D and 3D animations. The differences between 2D and 3D animations can be viewed from its point of view. The 2D animation uses X and Y coordinates and 3D animations using X, Y, and Z coordinates show real-look objects.

A more familiar calling for a 2D animation is a cartoon movie or film. In which, cartoon means funny. While the 3D animation is the development of 2D animation. The objects of 3D animations look alive and sometimes close to real or the original forms of the objects of other characters.

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