What are the Types of Animation?

What are the Types of Animation?
types of animation

Animation is displaying sequential images to create an illusion of motion. By manipulating pictures frame-by-frame, animators can breathe life into inanimate objects and characters to tell creative stories. Ranging from classics like Snow White to modern shows like Spongebob, animation has entertained audiences across the globe for decades.

What is Animation?

Animation is a technique in which a sequence of still images that are systematically displayed one by one within a specific time frame creates an illusion of motion that appears as a moving image. These frames or pictures are drawn, painted, or even computer-generated on transparencies or on film, which when run in a rapid sequence at around 12 frames per second or higher, this visual illusion of motion seems natural to our eyes.

Why is it being used as a Marketing Tool?

Animation is used as an effective marketing tool for various reasons

1. Captures Attention

Animated videos are incredibly attention-grabbing due to the movement and visual stimulation involved. Our eyes are naturally drawn to motion, so animated advertising immediately catches people’s focus even if they are multitasking. Marketers leverage this by creating visually appealing animations with vibrant colors, intriguing characters, or mesmerizing visual effects that maintain viewer attention. Even simple techniques like zooming in on key details help keep audiences engaged. Animation also attracts curiosity since people tend to watch something animated to its completion to understand the story or message being conveyed. This makes animated ads far more watchable than static images or videos.

2. Clarifies Complex Ideas

Abstract concepts, processes, mechanisms, scientific principles, or workflows that may be complicated to explain with just words or static graphics can be simplified and broken down well through animation. By demonstrating the steps one by one or showcasing internal functions piece by piece, even sophisticated ideas become easy to comprehend. Industries like engineering and technology extensively use animated explanations to describe difficult machine movements, product designs, or software features in an intuitive visual manner. Enlivening educational content through animation aids faster learning and knowledge retention.

3. Improves Understanding and Recall

Visuals have been scientifically proven to enhance understanding and long-term recall compared to just text or audio. Incorporating animation into illustrations further cement learning by adding dynamism to static images. When information is supplemented with animation that presents concepts in a flowing sequence, up to 65% of an audience can recall the message after three days compared to only 20% through text alone. Videos are two times more likely to be shared than other written or pictorial content since the visual stimulation of animation leaves a deeper impression on the mind.

Additional read

What is 2D Animation? Everything You Should Know

4. Increased Engagement and Sharing

Animation has an innate entertainment value that attractively packages any information being imparted. This makes animated videos far more engaging and share-worthy on social platforms than just text or pictures alone. Even during the short attention spans online, creative animation techniques keep audiences glued to screens. Playful characters, amusing scenarios, and aesthetic motion designs elicit feel-good emotions that motivate viewers to complete the watch and spread the video further. Stimulating explainer animations entice audiences to share them organically with their networks.

5. Global Audience

While language acts as a barrier to communicating globally, animation overrides this limitation. The visual storytelling of animated videos can resonate across cultures without requiring translation. Animation emerges as an inclusive medium understood by diverse international demographics. Even abstract or culturally nuanced concepts translate effortlessly through visual aids without depending on a common language. This helps brands reach wider global audiences with the same creative animation assets.

Types of Animation

Below are the different types of animation that you can consider and gain significantly out of it. 

1. Traditional animation

Traditional animation, also known as cel (short for celluloid) animation, uses physical drawings or paintings on transparent sheets (cels) to create the illusion of movement. It involves illustrators drawing and inking each frame by hand which is a labor-intensive process. Classic Disney movies like Snow White utilized this technique.

2.2D Animation

2D animation uses digital software to create animated sequences within a 2D space. Instead of paintings on cels, animators use tools like lines, colors, shapes, and textures to design animated characters and scenes. Examples include cartoons like Tom and Jerry.

3.3D Animation

3D animation utilizes 3D modeling and rendering to bring digital 3D objects, environments, and scenes to life. It involves complex 3D character rigging and can be combined with motion capture. Pixar blockbusters like Toy Story are prime examples of 3D animation.

4. Whiteboard animation

Whiteboard animation depicts concepts and presentations through illustrations drawn on a whiteboard in a sketch note style accompanied by narration. It is widely used in explainer videos online as the hand-drawn method aids conceptual understanding.

5. Motion graphics

Motion graphics involve using animation and other effects to stylize elements like short films, title sequences, logos, etc. It can feature 2D or 3D assets with text, images, and videos. Opening credits of movies are common applications of motion graphics.

6. Stop motion animation

Stop-motion animation brings real-life objects like plasticine models, puppets, or even legos to life through tiny positional changes between individually photographed frames. Examples include Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep.

7. Typography

Typographical animation styles text dynamically to create visual impact and enhance storytelling. It is often used for credit sequences, film titles, and promotional videos. Movies like Harry Potter feature striking title sequences with typography animation.

8. Animation with Live Action

This hybrid type superimposes animated elements onto live-action footage to seamlessly blend both mediums. Movies like Who Framed Roger Rabbit? merge cartoon characters with real sets.

9. Frame-by-frame

Frame-by-frame animation involves manually positioning and photographing articulated character models, cut-out figures, or objects for each frame. Classic TV shows like Thunderbirds used this technique.

10. Claymation

Clay animation, also called Plasticine animation or clay-shooting, brings artwork crafted from malleable materials like plasticine to life through stop motion. Wallace and Gromit are popular examples created using claymation.

Final thoughts

From traditional hand-drawn cel animation, which brought imaginative stories to life, animation has evolved into diverse forms spearheaded by technological innovation. Whether 2D or 3D, used for movies or marketing, animation continues to enchant audiences and remains a potent creative tool. With widespread tools now, experienced and amateur artists alike can craft animated pieces. Its ability to blend with other mediums ensures animation will keep developing fascinating new avenues in the future.


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