Since the 1990s, 3D animation has enjoyed an explosion in popularity. Nowadays, major motion pictures around the world use its techniques to create lifelike images that allow the viewer to feel as if they are part of the animated world being depicted on the screen. Despite the advantages and popularity of 3D animation, however, traditional animation in the form of 2D animation and elsewhere is still playing a central role in the world of animation. Since its advent in the early 1900s, it has provided a slew of benefits to animated projects. Following are just a few of the many advantages that 2D animation provides.
One benefit of 2D animation is the efficiency with which it can be produced. Animation by its very nature is never a simple process. As an art form, it requires a great deal of skill and creativity to produce objects, characters, and worlds that appeal to the target audiences and that accurately convey stories and messages. In addition, the numerous techniques and styles that have developed throughout the past century provide an array of tools from which the animator can choose.
However, while 2D animation demands as much skill as does 3D animation, it is generally faster to create simply because it does not require a third dimension. 2D animation companies do not need to create lifelike images the way that 3D animators do. Their cityscapes, for instance, do not need to consist of buildings with details that make them look like real buildings. This faster design can be beneficial to those who need a project completed in a timely manner.
A second benefit of 2D animation is the fact that its designs tend to be less complex than those provided by 3D animation. How beneficial a simpler design is depends upon the project. For instance, action films usually benefit from 3D animation because of the detailed action and complex images they use to draw the viewer in.
However, when the design needs to highlight the message, the services of a 2D animation studio are usually preferable. For instance, a clean design is often more effective in advertising, because it more clearly conveys the advertiser’s message to the viewer. Certain games, such as Candy Crush, also depend upon a simpler design to appeal to their audiences. Some television shows, such as South Park, have built their success on a 2D animated design. Even some educational applications or explainer videos require a design that will not distract the viewers from the message that the project is trying to convey.
The efficiency and simplicity of 2D animation lead to greater cost effectiveness, another boon to people who want the benefits of animation but who cannot afford the sometime steep price tag that accompanies 3D animation. The fact that this type of animation takes less time and is less complex means that it can be accomplished with fewer resources, savings that often translate into a smaller price tag. In fact, many projects utilize 2D instead of 3D animation at least in part because it is more cost effective for tight budgets and small companies. Any provider of 2D animation should be able to work with your budget to create a project that meets not only your creative needs but also your financial constraints.
Each type of animation brings with it numerous creative possibilities. However, 3D animation must always appear lifelike and realistic, no matter what scene, objects, or people it is depicting. As a result, the fanciful and exaggerated generally do not translate well to the 3D screen, and styles such as anime are more difficult to create through the use of 3D tools.
2D animation, on the other hand, makes entirely new worlds possible. For instance, through traditional animation, the animator can create people, animated cartoons, and more that do not exist in real life. As a result, anyone needing an animated project can use 2D animation to more easily create images and worlds that would otherwise be very hard to film and/or create using 3D tools. This aspect of 2D animation also lends itself well to creating projects targeted to specific audiences. Not only can the animator use their imaginations to create characters and worlds that are not lifelike or realistic, but, by doing so, they can engage in character design and other practices that result in projects tailored to the sensibilities of specific audiences.
Because of the artistic freedom that 2D animation provides, this type of animation requires a high level of talent that makes the animator as skilled as anyone working on a 3D project. The animator must use their creativity and knowledge of the art form to develop characters and worlds that meet the needs of the project, instead of focusing simply on creating as lifelike images as possible. From concept design to character design to storyboards, they must utilize their expertise to create exactly the type of project being envisioned and the goals that are in place for the project.
Choosing 2D animation for your animated project does not mean that you are limiting your choices. Instead, its efficiency, simplicity, cost effectiveness, and the artistic freedom that allows the animator to bring your idea to life provide you with advantages that in many cases make it a better choice than 3D animation for successfully completing your animated project.
By Stephanie Delota
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