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The Difference Between 2D and 3D animation (What does it mean to animate in 3D?)

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The Difference Between 2D and 3D animation (What does it mean to animate in 3D?)



Do you know “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was the first animated film by Disney that had sound and colors?

It used the traditional 2D animation method that existed since the late 1800s.

2D Animation

This needs the creativity and proficiency in drawing. The animator first has to draw the key pose of the character followed by other poses on a series of frames that are then painted onto clear plastic sheets called ‘cels’. Thousands of cels were then photographed and compiled together to run as a film in 24 frames per second to show as if the character is moving.

These animations are generally used in films, advertisements, games and TV shows.

3D Animations

Introduced to overcome the disadvantages of 2D animations, it is the representation of geometric data in the three-dimensional space for a realistic effect.

You need to be proficient in handling computer software.The models used are not confined to virtual space and they can change properties such as position, rotation, and shape.

3D Animation Designing

It’s all about graphs and curves. Here Interpolation plays an important role in constructing, controlling and manipulating the 3D curves.


  • In 2D animations, the animator should know how to draw but for 3D animation, it is not compulsory.
  • The 3D models are fully programmed and can be controlled easily, wherein 2D animations are mostly handmade.
  • You can change the textures and lighting in 3D to make the object look solid.
  • You can seamlessly integrate 3D into live video elements.
  • In 2D animation, 3-4 frames can be drawn in one drawing but in the 3D animation, every frame has to be different otherwise it would look as if the character is still and something is wrong.

To know more about 2D and 3D animations and their differences you may take the assistance of the video.


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