2D vs 3D Animation – What’s best for your brand’s growth?

Picture of Komal Chaturvedi
Komal Chaturvedi

Co-Founder & CEO, MotionGility

2D vs 3D Animation
Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    To nail video marketing, choosing the best animation style is important. 


    In today’s fast-paced world, where businesses are experiencing decreasing human attention spans, having the attention of target users hooked to your product is necessary for your growth.


    Well, the rise in consumption of video content has hit record levels. 


    As a result, today’s businesses have shifted their focus toward creating video-based content to attract potential customers, generate revenues, and increase brand awareness. 


    Before you decide what type of animation style is best for your brand, you have to take into consideration several factors, such as cost, turnaround time, production capabilities, etc.


    From the animation perspective, there are different styles such as whiteboard, motion graphics, and many others that brands can use to communicate their product or service offerings.


    Currently, the business world is clocking millions of views, and engagement, and is generating massive revenues by using animated explainer videos in its marketing campaigns.


    But today if you’re creating a video, what animation type should you go in with?

    Before we help you with what’s better, let’s understand what 2D & 3D animation are all about:

    Need help in choosing the best Animated Explainer Video Style for your business?

    What is 2D Animation?

    2D animation is a process through which movements are created on illustrative designs and characters in a 2-dimensional setup or environment.


    Here when we talk about 2D animation, it means the characters and objects only have width and height.


    It usually involves rapid sequencing of 2D images and characterizing them as per the animation to be performed.


    With evolving technologies, a variety of 2D design and animation software is available in the market where creative artists can directly draw characters and backgrounds on their devices and animate them.


    2D animated style is generally preferred by brands to create explainer videos, animated commercials, and production houses wanting to create cartoons for children.


    Here’s an excellent example of a video based on the 2D animation style:

    If you look closely, you would find objects, characters, and backgrounds given a realistic touch as per the 2D animation style, and animated to help explain a simple concept within 2 minutes.


    Let’s now understand what 3D animation is.

    What is 3D Animation?

    3D animation is the technique of moving still characters or illustrations in a 3-dimensional environment, thus creating an illusion that these objects are in motion.


    The only difference between 2D and 3D objects is the background that they are made to move, with the latter one involving depth in terms of angles unlike the former one.


    After the objects are created, they are frame by frame sequenced and photographed from different camera angles to make them look full of life.


    This animation style is fairly expensive to make use of and can be super time-consuming at the same time. It is largely preferred by giant-scale media production and entertainment houses for creating cartoons, commercials, films, etc.


    As per a report by Grand View Research, the 3D Animation market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.1% from 2022 to 2030.


    Moreover, a lot of brands prefer the 3D style of animation for communicating their product information in the form of animated explainer videos.

    The above video gives viewers multiple views from different angles, thus elevating their experience.


    3D videos provide a rich and realistic feel about the characters and objects involved, thus providing a more detailed look into a brand’s product. 


    Before we understand the advantages and disadvantages of both animation styles, here are a few emerging trends that can prove beneficial for the animation industry in 2023.

    Check Out: Explainer video Examples

    Emerging Trends in the Animated Explainer Video Industry in 2023

    Almost 105 years ago, back in 1917, the Argentinian and Italian Duo released the world’s first animated featured film – El Apostol.


    Forward to 1937, the world was treated with a full-fledged family entertainer by Disney’s first animated film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.


    Ever since then, the animation industry has witnessed numerous masterpieces in the form of movies, cartoons, animated commercials, branded videos, etc.


    Considering the recent reports by Statista, the global animation market is expected to cross the market value of 500 billion dollars by the end of 2028.

    The animation market looks promising looking at the increase in demand for videos and commercials by brands. 


    Here are a few emerging trends that animators and explainer video makers can look forward to in 2023:

    Kinetic Typography

    With a team of 25+ expert animators, Video Factory has worked for some of the best companies globally. They offer a full suite of services that include presentations, live videos, animated explainer videos, social media ad content, and digital marketing.

    Fusion of 2D and 3D

    This company is known to craft every video with love. They are deeply committed to quality and passion. Each of their videos has details that are worth admiring.


    And no, they don’t just make cute little videos, but they understand the target audience of their clients and offer tailor-made videos that can fetch higher returns.

    Vertical Animation

    This trend is likely to gain pace due to an increase in the consumption of video-based content on mobile. 


    With the rise in the evolution of technologies specifically for mobile devices, businesses are focusing more on getting vertical layout videos produced and optimized for mobile viewing experience.


    Such vertical videos will encourage users in engaging and sharing branded content with their connections, thus boosting brand awareness.

    The Pros & Cons of 2D and 3D Animation

    As mentioned above, 2D animation is widely used by brands for marketing campaigns and branding activities. 


    On top of that, they are the go-to choice for today’s marketers because of the many benefits they bring along.


    Whereas, even 3D animation on the other hand holds a strong position in the minds of branding experts due to the aesthetic and appealing look they provide to the viewers.


    But the question arises – How do you choose the best style for your business?


    Let’s deeply understand each pro and con of both animation styles:

    Advantages of 2D Animation

    1. Cost-Effective:

    One of the top-most reasons why 2D animation is everyone’s favorite is the cost factor.


    The 2D style offers businesses an affordable animated video solution for a cut-throat marketing market where every brand is keen to spend millions just to get their product across.


    As a result, brands with tight budgets are leveraging the power of animated videos by choosing the 2D animation style as it requires less technical skills as well as hardware.

    2. Fast Turnaround Time

    Unlike explainer videos created with the 3D animation style, 2D videos are much quicker to create because they are less complex.


    Fewer steps and processes are required to arrive at a 2D-based video as compared to the 3D style.


    Moreover, an animator with a beginner to moderate level of skillsets can easily pull off a 2D-styled video.

    3. Easy To Update & Longer Life

    Due to the fewer complexities involved in the production, 2D videos are much easier to perform changes if any compared to its counterpart.


    They are feasible enough to execute every minor or major change in a shorter time frame thus leading to coming up with a revised version quickly.


    What’s more amazing? Even if the video is showcased to its audience after a brief period, it would still have maintained the same amount of freshness and relatability that it held before.

    4. Ability To Get Repurposed Anytime & Anywhere

    The fourth advantage that we believe 2D videos carry is their undefeated power of transforming themselves into different brand assets for getting repurposed into a variety of content pieces


    Since the characters, objects, and backgrounds are designed and visualized initially on a 2-dimensional setup, they can easily be converted into static visuals for usage on websites, landing pages, and even social media platforms.


    Thus, the repurposing factor can help boost brand awareness and save huge costs for any brand.

    Want to amplify your new product’s outreach with a 2D Animated Explainer Video?

    Disadvantages of 2D Animation

    1. Missing WOW Element

    Despite the fact of how affordable it is for brands to get a 2D video created, there are still those exciting elements they often regret finding in the videos.


    Also, there can be instances when brands have limited budgets or maybe other constraints which they cannot work out on.


    In such scenarios, 2D videos can prove to be less effective and desirable by brands when it comes to requiring a marketing tool for their needs.

    2. Limited Creative Freedom

    Since 2D objects only involve height and width, animators are restrained to apply advanced levels of creativity to their illustrations.


    Hence, the dynamic flexibility in terms of animation that 3D animation holds becomes difficult to adapt to 2D designs.


    Keeping in mind that no depth is involved in 2D characters, it becomes almost impossible to present them as real characters.

    Advantages of 3D Animation

    1. Versatility in Characters & Animation

    One of the biggest benefits of 3D animation is its versatile nature which allows animators and motion artists to utilize their features in commercials, video games, movies, and other comprehensive projects.


    This characteristic proves to be a great asset for brands who wish to showcase their products via animated videos to their target audience by displaying a 360° view for better product comprehension.

    2. Supreme Quality & Realistic Movements

    Another benefit of 3D characters is the level of detailing and quality they portray after motion graphics is performed on them.


    This tremendously helps animators in making animations appear more natural.


    This characteristic proves to be a great asset for brands who wish to showcase their products via animated videos to their target audience by displaying a 360° view for better product comprehension.

    3. Special Effects

    With 3D animation, brands can entertainingly present their product or services encouraging viewers to engage with their videos. 


    Also, 3-dimensional setups and illustrations sometimes present a comic appeal to the audience and are most loved by the entertainment industry focused on creating cartoons and commercials for children.

    Disadvantages of 3D Animation

    1. Expensive to create

    As 3D is a more immersive and visually rich experience in itself, not all brands may be able to afford to get a completely 3-dimensional animated video produced.


    Also, the longer the video is stretched based on the brand’s requirements, the cost of the video subsequently skyrockets instantly.

    2. More complexities are involved

    2D animation houses less complex elements compared to what one may experience while animating 3D objects. 


    Moreover, to carry out 3D animation, complex software as well as experienced professionals are required. Setting up a 3-dimensional environment with accurate lighting, surfaces, build, etc., may be challenging for beginners.

    3. Requires more time for production

    There are a variety of tasks and subtasks involved such as modeling, sizing, movement controls, etc., to be executed before a character is animated in 3D.


    Hence, unlike 2D animation, 3D requires more time to produce and cannot be expected to be delivered in quick turnaround time frames.

    Want an Animated Explainer Video that helps you
    attain your marketing goals?

    What’s best for your brand’s growth - The final say

    Both animation styles are perfect in their way considering the different purposes they serve for brands. 


    After reading this comprehensive blog, we are pretty sure that by now, you would have got a clear idea about which animation style is better for your business.


    As animated explainer video makers, we stand neutral because both of them require varied levels of professionalism, creativity, and the ability to understand a brand’s requirement for arriving at a video.


    If you want guidance in understanding what’s better for your business, get in touch with our animation and video marketing expert today.

    Just a few details of yours and our video marketing
    expert will contact you within 24 hours

    Say Hi🧑‍💻