Know your dimensions: 2D v. 3D

Posted by | 28th November 2017 | Uncategorised | No Comments

There are many decisions to take into account when looking to create an animated piece of marketing content. What storyline are looking to follow? How do you want certain information to be presented? One of the biggest decisions you could possibly make is whether to use 2D or 3D animation.

It’s a battle of the dimensions, and we’re here to present their cases.

What’s the difference?

2D animation is known to many as the traditional form of animation. The use of 2D animation actually dates back to the 1800s. This sees an animation storyline presented in a 2-dimensional environment, which essentially means that they can only move up, down, left, or right. TV cartoons are a typical form of 2D animation.

Traditional 2D animation was previously hand drawn and transferred to clear sheets called ‘cels’, these were then layered over one another to create character movement. Many of the classic Disney films that we know and love were created using this method. Nowadays, most 2D animation is created on highly sophisticated computer software.

3D technology began to rise to prominence in the late 1990s, particularly in the film industry but has now got a solid footing in many aspects of graphics, design and production. When it comes to design production, film, or gaming, 3D animation is often preferred as it immerses viewers in a more realistic environment enhancing their overall viewing experience.

This is a completely computerised form of animation, not including stop motion, and allows you to see a full 360-degree rendering as if it were a physical object. After being initially created, these animated objects can be edited to alter positioning, and lighting based on scene requirements.

Production Time/ Cost

In terms of overall cost at the time of production, 2D animation is cheaper as as a rule of thumb it takes less time. 3D animation takes longer. With both styles there is a level of re-use and re-apply, should amends or future films in the same style be required.


With 2D, the only boundary is your imagination, if it can be drawn, it can be done. Quality of content with regard to movement, realism, and overall complexity is unparalleled in 3D, however, with a greater opportunity to experiment with lighting and colour depth. This is the most up to date form of animation technology, which means it is also increasingly in demand.


2D animation works brilliantly for simple and informative projects that are looking to present key information without all the bells and whistles. If you want your project to be completed quickly, and on a budget, then 2D animation is definitely the way to go.

For something a little more dramatic, 3D animation can help you to present immersive content for campaigns that need to engage audiences. Production time is longer, and the cost is higher, but if you have the time and budget, and are looking to wow, 3D animation is the one for you.

Consulting with a knowledgeable and experienced animation and video production company will help you to identify the perfect form of animation for your business and marketing needs, and The Giggle Group are just that. We create exciting and content that will get your business noticed, and most of all, put a smile on your face.

Let's talk. contact us.