What Is 3D Animation? How Is It Different From 2D Animation?


As a kid, we all have been fascinated with cartoon shows and animated movies. Little did we know, an animation is a complex art that needs a lot of hard work and hands-on experience in technology with a creative notch. Simply put, it is a medium of creating movement by flashing still pictures rapidly every second. Nowadays, most animations are done with the help of computer-generated imagery (CGI). Motion pictures or video games are one of the common ways to present animation.

Animators have been using 2D animation for many decades while the 3D animation is comparatively new. There are many animation courses available in the market that one can study to learn 3D animation.

It gets important for anybody, who is pursuing or wants to pursue animation, to understand what is 3D animation and how is it different from 2D animation?

What is 3D Animation?

3D animation means animating objects that are a part of three-dimensional space. A 3D model can change position, shape, surface style, and rotate depending upon the point of view. The process is carried out with the help of 3D software, which gives the pictures an illusion of movement. Software applications used in generating 3D animations are thoroughly taught in a 3D animation course. The whole mechanism can be divided into three phases:

  • Modelling:it is the process of creating 3D objects within a digital see.
  • Layout and Animation: this phase describes how the object will be positioned and animated within the digital scene.
  • Rendering:it describes the final output of the finalized computer graphics

The process of a 3D animation production gets completed by combining all these fragments. To make a 3D movie like Toy Story takes around four years to seven years. The bulk production, like animation and lighting, takes around six to eight months.

For a viewer, it is very easy to differentiate between 3D animation and 2D animation. Examples of 2D animated movies are Little Mermaid or Aladdin and examples of 3D animated movies are Toy Story or Minions. For an animator, there are a lot more technical differences than these. Some of the differences between 2D animation and 3D animation are given below:

·  Difference in Appearance and Depth

This is of the most obvious and prominent difference between 2D and 3D animation. 2D animation is flat, where all the movements happen in x and y-axes, whereas, 3D animation has an extra dimension and it is the z-axis. For instance, a square made on a paper is 2D, on the other hand, a cube in 3D.

Traditionally, for creating 2D animation, images were hand-drawn with every image having a subtle change from the last one. The images, when flashed in sequence, created an illusion of movement. All the 3D animations are carried out with the help of a computer by changing the placement and pose of the 3D models. It is possible to view a scene from different angles.

· Software Used

There are different software applications used for animating 2D and 3D objects. For creating 2D animation software like Adobe After Effects, Adobe Flash Professional, Motion, Toon Boom, and Anime Studio can be used. On the other hand, 3D utilises Autodesk 3Ds Max, Autodesk Maya, Cinema 4D, Houdini, ZBrush, and Blender.

· Applicability

2D animation is popularly used in 2D animated movies, television advertisements, cartoons, video games, websites, e-learning, etc., whereas, 3D animation is widely used in architecture, medical, aerospace, 3D movies, biotechnology, gaming, etc.

· Realistic

As yourself a question, what if Minions were flat? Unlike 2D animation, 3D animation comprises of movements and has a realistic feather. 3D technology helps to use lightning and textures in a way that it creates solid models, which can be merged into the live video components.

2D animation and 3D animation, both have their pros and cons. There are many animation institutes in India, which equip their students with the state-of-the-art curriculum. ZICA is one of the best animation institutes in India. One can learn 3D animation from their experienced and trained faculty.They have a modern curriculum, which will help the students to be future-ready.



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