If you are asked to imagine Mario – the super famous game character, which one from the below-mentioned image will you imagine?
If you belong to the game who has grown up seeing animations like Noddy, Oswald, Mr. Bean, Dragon Ball, then your version of Mario will be the left one, and if you belong to the younger generation, your version of Mario will be the right one.
To be clear, the left one is the 2D Mario, and the right one is the 3D Mario.
So, which one is the better Mario? Or a more relatable question, which animation is better – 2D or 3D?
In this article, we will have a look at what 2D and 3D animation are, and what differentiates the two.
What is 2D Animation?
2D stands for “Two Dimensional”. So, 2D animation stands for an animation that is based on creating movements of characters and objects in two-dimensional space, i.e. Length and Width. The animation was originally drawn using sketches, and these sketches are sequenced together in a quick session to work as an animation.
One second of the time frame is divided into 24 frames (24fps). However, now software is used instead of drawing, and thus creating 2D animation is faster and simpler.
In mathematical terms, 2D animations are movements of characters, objects, and figures that have only two-axis, the X and the Y-axis.
Popular examples of 2D animations – The Simpsons, Old Tom, and Jerry, Pokemon Johto Series, Old Disney Animations, etc.
2D Animation Pros:
- Lower Production Cost.
- Quicker to Produce.
- One does not need a high-tech system and software to produce 2D Animation.
- More Story Focused.
2D Animation Cons:
- Less in demand.
- Less dynamic and visually stunning.
- Consumes more time in some instances.
What is 3D Animation?
3D stands for “Three Dimensional”. So, 3D animations stand for an animation that is based on creating movements of characters and objects in three-dimensional space, .i.e. Length, width, and depth. The animation is created using computer processes and software. Attention to various aspects such as modeling, rigging, rendering, etc. is required for 3D animation.
Unlike sketching and creating 2D animation, 3D animation goes through a series of processes to be created. First, you have to envision and draw the character. Then you have to create a 3D model of the same. Then the model is textured, and after that rigged.
When all these processes are completed, then the character is ready to be animated.
In mathematical terms, 3D animations are movements of characters, objects, and figures that have three-axis, the X, the Y, and the Z-axis.
Popular examples of 3D animation are Toy Story, Frozen, A Whisker Away, My Hero Academia, etc.
3D Animation Pros:
- Looks more realistic.
- The 3D models can be reused.
- Enables superior movement.
- Has huge popularity.
3D Animation Cons:
- Possibilities are limited as per the software used/allow.
- More Complicated to produce.
- The production is costly.
- Takes a longer time to produce.
2D vs 3D Animation
Here are the Top 16 Differences between 2D and 3D Animation:
|Point of Difference||2D Animation||3D Animation|
|Dimension||Covers Two Dimensions (X-axis and Y-axis) – Height and Width||Covers Three Dimensions (X-axis, Y-axis, & Z-axis)- Height, Width, and Depth|
|Method of Creation||2D animation can be done by only Sketches and Drawings (Early-stage). It can also be done by Computer Software very easily. (Now)||3D animation can not be done by doing sketching only. It requires following the complete development cycle starting from sketch, vector drawing, modeling, unwrapping, texturing, rigging, skinning, animation, camera angles, lighting, and post-processing in order to get the animation done.|
|First Introduced||Introduced in the 1800s||Introduced in the 1900s|
|Realism level||It doesn’t look much realistic.||It looks like real characters.|
|Required skills||2D animation requires only a sketch & concept artist.||3D animation requires concept artists along with multiple 3D model creator expert artists.|
|Main Focus||It is all about frames.||It is all about movements.|
|Cost||Comparatively Low||Comparatively High|
|Frames||Each frame was manually drawn (Early-stage). The software helps in creating the frames.||Frames can be automatically added by the animation software.|
|Learning Time||Require less amount of time to learn 2D animation. It is easy to learn.||Comparatively require a higher amount of time to learn 3D animation. It is not easy at all to learn.|
|Best Suitable for||2D animation is best suitable for creating cartoons, advertisements, animation movies, education learning, and more.||3D animation is widely used in creating movies, high-quality 3D games, medical & health visualization, and more.|
|Production Time||Require less amount of time to get 2D animation done.||Producing a 3D animation requires a lot more time in order to get it done.|
|Animation Software||Adobe Animate, Moho Pro, Blender 2D Animation, Photoshop, Pencil2D, Synfig Studio. PicsArt, and more.||Blender, Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, Motion Builder, Mixamo, and more.|
The main focus in 2D animation is on the frames as these frames create the motion effect in the animation. And in the case of 3D animation, the main focus is on the movement of the object or character in the rigging stage. At the time of animation, these movements use to create an animation.
Final Thoughts: 2D or 3D animation, which is better?
Actually, it is a tie between 2D and 3D animation. Both the animations have their fair share of advantages and disadvantages. 2D animation provides a nostalgic feeling in the animation, and 3D comes with a modern feeling.
Moreover, with the use of lighting effects, now 2D animation can also look as real as 3D. Cost, Production Time, and the Targeted Audience play a major role in deciding whether to choose 2D animation or 3D for your project.
The best way of selecting the right animation type for your project is by trying how your concept looks in 2D and in 3D, and then you should decide which one suits your idea or concept the best.
Do you need an animation service?
If you need cost-effective and attractive animation services for your game, animation, or film, you should try Capermint. We have a team of highly skillful and creative 2D and 3D artists who are natural at creating awe-inspiring and eye-soothing 2D and 3D animations. To contact us, click here.
Also, do let us know in the comment section – Which Animation is better according to you – 2D or 3D?