2D and 3D Animation
In recent years, the use by brands of 2D and 3D animation as their main video style have been consistently increasing. One of the biggest factors for this rise is the popularity of social media and together with this, the trend of businesses using social media marketing to find new customers, establish a brand presence and engage with their target audience in a visually appealing and more effective manner. This growth is projected to hit $270 Billion in 2020, with 76% of marketers saying that they generate more traffic as a result of an animation video.
Animation is a method in which figures are manipulated to appear as moving images. It’s the technique of photographing successive drawings, or positions of puppets, or models, to create an illusion of movement when the movie is shown as a sequence. Because our eyes can only retain an image for 1/16 of a second, when multiple images appear in fast succession, the brain blends them into a single moving image. The effect of animation is achieved by a rapid succession of sequential images that minimally differ from each other.
Traditional Animation & 2D Animation
In traditional animation, images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent celluloid sheets (“cels”) to be photographed and exhibited on film. In order to create the animation sequence, the animator must draw every frame. It’s the same mechanism as a flipbook just on a bigger scale. The technique was the dominant form of animation in cinema until the advent of computer animation. Painted cels are rare today as the computer moves into the animation studio and the outline drawings are usually scanned into the computer and filled with digital paint. instead of being transferred to cels and then colored by hand. The drawings are composed in a computer program on many transparent “layers” much the same way as they are with cels, and made into a sequence of images which may then be transferred onto film or converted to a digital video format.
Traditional animation is a two dimensional type of animation but not all 2D is traditional. 2D animation comprises characters or objects only in height, “X” axis (horizontal dimension), and width, “Y” axis (vertical dimension). The way we draw and animate those characters (by hand or by computer) is going to determine if it’s a traditional 2D animation or not.
A very popular 2D computer animation technique is vector-based animation, where the motion is controlled by vectors rather than pixels. Images created by pixels cannot be enlarged or shrunk without affecting image quality. Vector graphics don’t need to worry about resolution. Vectors are characterized by pathways with various start and end points and lines connecting these points to build the graphic. Vector-based animation uses mathematical values to resize images, so motion is smooth. These creations can be re-used so the animator doesn’t need to keep drawing the same characters over and over again.
3D animation comprises objects in height, width, and depth. In 3D animation, you animate your characters and objects in a tridimensional environment using a 3D animation software, where you can manipulate these characters and objects. In 3D animation, the animator uses a program to move the character’s body parts around, setting their digital frames when all of the parts of the character are in the right position. They do this for each frame, and the computer calculates the motion from each frame. Once the main animation is calculated, animators will spend hours and hours adjusting and tweaking the curvatures and movements their characters make throughout. From Toy Story in 1995 to today’s Coco, 3D animation has become synonymous with “animation.”
Computer-generated imagery (CGI) is the application of computer graphics to create or contribute to images in art, printed media, video games, films, television programs, shorts, commercials, videos, and simulators. The images may be dynamic or static, and may be two-dimensional (2D), although the term “CGI” is most commonly used to refer to the 3-D computer graphics used for creating characters, scenes and special effects in films and television, which is described as ‘CGI animation’. The evolution of CGI led to the emergence of virtual cinematography in the 1990s where the vision of the simulated camera is not constrained by the laws of physics.
3D animation has been trending since the arrival of Pixar. All the big animation film studios follow the same path and the Western world is already used to this aesthetic. We believe that this trend will pass and just like in fashion, old customs will become popular again, although not in the same way as in the past, but by merging the best of each technique to tell more and better stories. Creativity thrives when influences and techniques are combined, when we leave our comfort zone as creators, leaving prejudices and common places aside.
We are gladly noticing how past artistic languages and expressions are making a comeback, being supported by the power of current 3D animation. Numerous animation studios around the world are already working on this, far for now from the flashees of Western cinema, buy very present in alternative artistic and cultural space, and even in advertising. Let’s hope that audiences begin to open up to new styles and that we begin to see more diverse proposals on the big screen.
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2D and 3D Animation