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Different Types of Animation

Animators are able to communicate the most complex messages in the simplest of terms and, as if by magic, bring stories to life!

There’s nothing new about animation – it’s been around in one form or another since 1892. But now, technology and, of course, the internet,  has driven it to new heights.

The possibilities are endless, especially for businesses, who can customise and tailor their message  to the minutest detail to reach their audience.

Here’s a bit more about the types of animation available today:

Whiteboard Animation

This is a process where a creative story is drawn on a whiteboard by an artist. Sometimes the videos created in this style, are called explainer videos or doodle videos. The style is often used to simplify complex ideas and to talk about the subject in an easy-going and fun way.

Whiteboard animation is very popular among businesses to advertise and promote their company. Generally there is a very specific call to action in these types of videos, which is why the popularity is so high. People watching the videos get a clear message of what to do, which website to visit, and therefore potentially buy from the company as the end result.

Industries where whiteboard videos can be especially useful, are insurance, startup businesses and training organisations. That is because usually these types of businesses offer complicated services, which could be made more accessible by explaining them in a simple manner. Not every video style hits the mark and is great for businesses, but whiteboard animation truly is the best bridge to communicate with potential customers and start conversations with them.

This is an example of a whiteboard video:

2D Vector Animation

Another extremely popular style is 2D – computer-generated images as opposed to hand-drawn cartoons. This means that however much you enlarge the image, the quality still stays the same and it is easy to manipulate. 2D animation focuses on creating characters, storyboards, and backgrounds in two-dimensional environments. This particular style has a very smooth, clean and dynamic look.

One of the benefits is that the creation process is less time consuming and less expensive than most other animation styles, which is why it is so popular. The fact that 2D animation is so flexible, is the reason why it is still so popular despite of newer technologies.

This is an example of 2D animation:

Traditional Animation

Think of the old classic Disney films that you or your kids used to watch religiously. Snow White, Little Mermaid and many more films like that are created using traditional animation style. This means that everything is drawn by the hand of an actual person. It is almost like creating a flip book, but essentially repeating the process thousands of times, eventually making an entire film.

3D Animation

This is the type of animation you see in the newer Disney films like Frozen, and in most video games. It all started with Toy Story in 1995, directed by John Lassetter. The details are very realistic and everything is created via the computer, which makes the work quite time consuming. This works in an entirely different way than traditional animation, because the technical skill set is not the same. While traditional style expects you to be an amazing artist, 3D style does not, because it’s more similar to building and playing with puppets, but it doesn’t mean that it is any less difficult to do.

Stop Motion

In stop motion, the artist takes a series of photographs that create an animated action in sequence. Each and every object has to be carefully and slowly moved around to create the feeling of flowing movement. Each second has about 20 images in it and many animators use clay-like materials to form the characters like Shaun the Sheep. However, you could also use cut-outs, silhouettes, puppets, Lego characters or action figures to create a film by your own preferences.