2D? 3D? That is the question … And What the Heck is the Difference?

With High-Definition (HD) now the new standard in any video production, it’s easy to get tangled up trying to also determine if 2D or 3D animation will also be beneficial to the message you are trying to convey to your audience. Let’s sort it out.

First, let’s define the “D’s” – each represent the dimensions we can perceive, and therefore turn into identifiable images in our mind’s eye – height, width and depth. Those are your “Ds.”

2D animation can be impactful and an excellent alternative to illustrate certain complex concepts that are difficult to shoot using people or locations. Diagrams and infographics are often represented with 2D animation. However, 2D only allows images to be rendered with height and width – not depth – often limiting the impact of the message.

3D animation produces a far more realistic image because it covers all the “Ds” – height, width and depth. The main benefit of 3D animation over 2D, beyond the obvious ability to create a more lifelike image, is that 3D images can be treated much like a physical object, or an actor. 3D images are often used for high impact messaging, like football broadcast bumps, where the team logo flies in before or after a commercial break. Once a 3D workflow is setup, our team of artists can change the lighting or move the camera relative to the 3D object. With 2D animation, the options are much more limited.

A 3D animation work flow is considerably more render intensive and takes artists and editors with years of experience and a variety of specialized equipment, but the flexibility and production value 3D animation brings to messaging can be a game changer.

Now that you have the low down on the “Ds”, let me know if you have any other specific issues that you’d like me to address. In the mean time, I’ll be back next Friday with more tips.