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2D And 3D Animation: Know the Differences

mickey mouse 2d and 3d animation

Characters and tales come to life through animation, which has become a vital component of the entertainment business, enthralling viewers of all ages. The fields of 2D and 3D animation have become well-known as a result of technological breakthroughs.

The term "traditional animation" refers to 2D animation, which creates the illusion of movement using digitally or hand-drawn graphics. But in 3D animation, lifelike individuals and immersive worlds are created using sophisticated software and computer-generated models.

In this blog post, we will delve into the fascinating world of animation and explore the differences between 2D and 3D animation.

Overview of 2D Animation

2d animation character mouse

As we know 2D animation is the oldest form of animation. It involves creating a sequence of hand-drawn or digitally created images, called frames, and then playing them in rapid succession to give the illusion of movement. This technique has been widely used in classic cartoons and animated films.

One of the key characteristics of 2D animation is its simplicity. It typically showcases flat, two-dimensional characters and backgrounds without depth or realistic textures. 2D animation can range from simple and stylized designs to highly detailed and intricate artwork.

Exploring 3D Animation

3d animation character girl with a hot dog sandwich and the boy showing thumbs up

Unlike 2D animation, 3D animation brings a whole new level of realism and depth to the screen. It entails building three-dimensional generated by software models, which are rigged and animated with the use of specialist software. With 3D animation, artists can manipulate the virtual environment, camera angles, lighting, and texture to create lifelike characters and immersive worlds.

One of the standout features of 3D animation is its ability to simulate real-world physics. This enables the animation to have fluid movements, realistic interactions, and dynamic camera angles. It is commonly used in movies, video games, and visual effects.

Differences in Creation Process

The creation process for 2D and 3D animation differ significantly. In 2D animation, artists manually draw each frame, either on paper or using digital tools like Adobe Animate or Toon Boom Harmony. Each frame is then scanned or digitally colored, and the individual frames are combined to create the final animated sequence.

On the other hand, 3D animation involves modeling the characters, objects, and environments using specialized software such as Autodesk Maya or Blender. Artists sculpt the three-dimensional models, assign textures, rig them with bones and controls, and finally animate them. The animation is achieved by manipulating the virtual models within a 3D space, using keyframes and animation curves.

For professional 3D animation services, consider hiring a reputable 3D animation company in Kolkata. These companies specialize in creating stunning 3D animations for various industries, including movies, video games, advertising, and more.

Visual Style and Aesthetic

animated image of a woman doing work on paper and raining outside

Another notable difference between 2D and 3D animation lies in their visual style and aesthetic. 2D animation tends to have a more iconic and stylized look, with exaggerated movements and simplified character designs. This style allows for greater creative freedom and artistic expression, allowing artists to experiment with different visual techniques and aesthetics.

In contrast, 3D animation aims for a more realistic and immersive visual experience. The models, textures, and lighting in 3D animation are meticulously crafted to emulate real-world counterparts. This attention to detail results in lifelike characters, realistic lighting effects, and environments that closely resemble their real-world counterparts.

Pros and Cons

Each animation technique has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

2D Animation


  • Quicker production time due to simpler techniques
  • Lower production costs compared to 3D animation
  • Well-suited for stylized and expressive character designs
  • Wide range of artistic styles and techniques


  • Limited in creating realistic 3D environments
  • Requires advanced drawing and animation skills
  • Not as immersive or visually dynamic as 3D animation

3D Animation


  • Can create realistic characters and environments
  • Offers greater control over camera angles, lighting, and texture details
  • Widely used in movies, video games, and visual effects
  • Simulates real-world physics and interactions


  • Longer production time due to complex modeling and rendering processes
  • Higher production costs, requiring specialized software and hardware
  • Steeper learning curve for mastering the technical aspects

Do You Also Want to Learn More About 2D and 3D?

If you are willing to learn more about 2d and 3d animation then opt for an animation course. Starblast Animation provides you with one the top 3d and 2d animation courses in Kolkata. We are the leading 3d animation company in Kolkata. By enrolling in Starblast Animation, you'll have opportunities to connect with successful alumni and learn from their experiences.

Recommended Post: Animation Made Easy: A Beginner's Guide


In conclusion, both 2D and 3D animation techniques have their own unique qualities and applications. 2D animation offers simplicity, artistic freedom, and stylistic diversity, while 3D animation provides a more immersive and realistic visual experience. The choice between the two depends on the requirements of the project, the desired visual style, and the available resources. Whether it's the classic charm of 2D animation or the cutting-edge realism of 3D animation, both techniques continue to captivate audiences and push the boundaries of storytelling. As technology evolves, we can expect even more incredible animation innovations in the future.

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