The many flavors of Animation

Just like ice-cream comes in many flavors, animation comes in many techniques, trends, and art styles. These are some of the most popular terms that you may had heard of.

 

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2D animation is the oldest technique and probably the one you are more familiar with; It is made by manually drawing frame by frame every element on the screen. Animated Disney  movies and cartoons like The Flintstones, Mickey Mouse and Spongebob Squarepant were made using this technique.

 

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3D Animation
3D animation or computer generated animation is relatively modern technique, where objects seems to have depth and computers take care of calculating the object’s movement. It’s more common for cinema, video games and advertisement. Movies like Frozen, Lego or most of the video games nowadays are made with this technique. It’s also very common to show how complex things work, like a car engine or a health procedure.

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Motion graphics is a technique where digital text and shapes move to focus the attention and transition between content Is very common for logos, tv shows banners, presentations and demonstrations of simple processes.

 

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Realistic animation is an style of animation where the digital objects try to “look and feel” as similar possible as their counterparts in real life. It takes a lot of work and time to achieve a realistic look. It’s commonly use to integrate 3D objects or characters with real footage. Examples are Golum from Lord of the Rings or almost everything on the superhero movies.

 

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Limited Animation contrary to realistic animation, tries to tell the as much as possible, with the less resources possibles.  This means simplifying the way objects and characters look or behave to reduce cost without losing effectivity. It’s a great solution for projects short of time or budget.

 

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Whiteboard animation is a new trend where graphics look like an explanation of a teacher on a white board. And of course,  it is commonly used to explain how thing work. It could be made by hand-drawing the content on a board while narrating it, or simulated with the help of digital software (which is cheaper and allows you to make changes later).

 

All of these styles and techniques can be adjusted to any variety of aesthetics to match your objectives, budget and the audience you want to reach.  Educative kids content, corporate project presentations, sports videos, news banners, health care explanations, politics schemes or just entertainment; everything is better, with the right type of animation.

If you have any question, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

 

Melina Obando

UI/UX Designer, Digital Animator and advocate of the Maker movement.