2D Animation vs 3D Animation
You’re sold on the benefits of animated explainer videos and ready to begin your own project (and if you’re not, check out our blog post here to learn what makes animated explainer videos so effective. Spoiler alert: it’s science.). Before you get into storyboards and scripts, it’s important to consider what animation style is the right fit: 2D animation or 3D animation?
In the simplest terms, 2D animation covers only two planes: x and y, or length and width (think Mickey Mouse). 2D animation is the most common and often takes three main forms: hand-drawn animation, motion graphics, and whiteboard animation.
3D animation adds a third plane to the equation: depth. 3D models have mass and occupy space, making them more life-like (think Toy Story).
There are pros and cons to each type of animation, but which one you choose should ultimately come down to a few core considerations: whether or not you have a physical product, what kind of statement you want to make with your brand, and your budget.
The Message is the Medium
The best explainer videos take your “thing” and present it to your audience with crystal clarity. Understanding builds trust. Trust builds relationships. So choosing an animation style that delivers your message with the most clarity is key.
If the goal of your animated video is to break down abstractions or conceptions, 2D animation may be a more cost-effective way to present your ideas to your target audience while still employing beautiful and compelling audio and visuals.
If you are explaining a specific, physical product, 3D animation may give your audience the perspective they need to truly understand what sets you apart. Seeing is believing. And there are some things you just need to see in 3D to really have the a-ha moment.
Make a Statement
What is your brand’s position in the market, and what kind of statement are you trying to make with it? While a 2D approach works really well for simplifying ideas or processes, 3D animation can be the best choice for your project when you simply wish to have an “edge” over the competition.
While 2D animation has a nostalgic appeal, 3D animation has a wow factor that might not be possible to achieve in two dimensions—or might be cost prohibitive in live action.
By adding the third dimension, you can do things that 2D animation simply can’t. But along with the added benefit comes increased cost and complexity. So, it’s important to carefully consider your video production budget and understand when the leap is worth it. You might look at taking things up a notch with 3D animation if:
- You have the budget and want to make an impression
- You want your message to have immediate audience appeal and shareability
- You want complete control over how every element looks, moves, and works
Create Beauty Within Your Budget
Choosing between 2D animation and 3D animation shouldn’t sacrifice quality. Whichever you choose to invest in, make sure you work with a vendor that has the experience in that animation type to deliver a high quality and effective return on your investment (especially when it comes to 3D, which is more costly per unit, takes longer to execute, and is more difficult to do well).
When it comes to 2D animation, Epipheo is capable of creating digital videos with a wide range of styles, spanning every level of complexity, drawing your viewer in (we’ll make you look good).
When you choose 3D animation, our team will help you create an explainer video that allows you to simplify things without making them appear simplistic (we call that elegance). Each step of our creative process, from story planning to scripting to visual style development to animation to sound design, builds towards communicating a crystal-clear message that utilizes the latest 3D technologies.
While 2D animation remains the most common animation style for explainer videos, we are seeing more and more clients who want to make a statement with their brand using 3D animation. Our video strategists will help you determine which video type will add the most value to your brand—and whichever type of animation you land on, you can count on us to make it beautiful.
See our 3D explainer video portfolio here.
Who is Epipheo?
Epipheo makes animated explainer videos for brands, marketers, and thought leaders. We believe that, above all else, people need to understand what you do, why you matter, or how you’re different—because, let’s be honest, people won’t buy what they don’t understand.
See Epipheo In Motion:
Check out our video work to get inspired.