2d verses 3d


I’m a newbie trying to decide between 2d and 3d. They obviously look different, but what else? From the outside looking in I can only make assumptions. I find 3d to be more appealing visually, but it’s probably more painstaking and time consuming. I think 2d would have more freedom (like warping objects).
Can I get your opinion on the differences of the two? …or show me a link with this topic? I’m sure it has been discussed before.


I really dont’ understand your question… do you not understand the difference?

If you plan on becoming an animator, then I would start with 2d for reasons too numerous to list and once you have a good grasp in animation, start dabbing into 3d and see if you take to it. there are many free rigs and characters out there to use in 3d.

you can’t really judge one which is more fun because as new software and technology allows for much further freedom than before and will continue so don’t already feel 3d is limited, it just requires some knowledge on how to achieve the results you are looking for.

do a search for animating in 2d vs 3d and you will see some large discussions on the topic.

again, i’m not sure really what your questions is asking so i hoped i gave you some help?



I work with 2d and 3d. If you are a newbie and wants to get right into animation. Then i suggest go with 2d animation. 2d is so fast and very easy to learn. The only problem is, you will have a hard time animating in 2d if you don’t have drawing skills or can’t draw on the computer. But 2d can be alot of fun especially when you are puting sounds in for your characters.

3d would take you months and years to be able to work with it. In 3d there are million steps to it. It’s so time consuming and hard to learn. But once you get it, you are good to go. I’ve been working with Maya(3d) for over 4 months but i have only went as far as finishing the rigging process. So in that four months, i have learned to model and rig. I still have to learn how to do UV texture( pretty dam hard),hair,fur,fluids,blendshapes,animation and much more. So you can see, i have a very long way to go.

In 2d animation, i don’t need to know most of the stuff i’ve mentioned above. Therea are no rules in 2d. In just hours you can start making great animations while in 3d, it would take you years to actually get the point of animation following all the steps before it.

Over all, 2d is simple but can be alot of fun to work with( especially when you add sound and music in it). 3d is really cool too. It brings up into the next level. But it’ll take you time to learn all the stuff.

And hey who says you can’t do both? Try them out. For 2d animation, i recommend using Flash Mx. That’s what i use.

For 3d, well try dozens of them to see what you like. But i would pick the most popular one which has a future. Right now these two are on the top. Maya, and 3d studio Max. Pick on and your set to go.


It’s easier to land a job as a 3D animator nowadays.


I agree with frontjibi and recommend to make very “short” workings with flash. Even any one minute 2D film may need to assist one or two animator or “inbetweener” connected with the theme of the film.

If you understand the basics of “real” animation, start and learn with 2D animation technics. According to me, 2D technics and mentality are totally apart from 3D technics.


Uh… WHat?

Animating is animating. Doesn’t matter if its drawn, or done on a computer, the thought process behind it is exactly the same.

werd up.


Which one? 2D or classical animation are too natural way with drawing. 3D is too “robotic”. 3D animation are completed by computer. Contrary, 2D or classical technics are planned and completed by HUMAN MIND or thought process! This is the difference.


Well, seeing as I’ve worked in both industries you’re just going to have to trust me on this one.

If you let the computer “complete” your animation then yes it looks robotic, but thats not really animating is it? A software package is just a tool. You have to plan your animation exactly the same as you would in 2D animation.

There is no difference.


If you are computer savy, and like a challenge, start with 3D. I personally am better with computers than I am at drawing. I find it easier to build a model and control it, rather than imagine the perspective of each pose and draw it.

Though, as stated – the same principles apply to both 2D and 3D – so just pick what you think you’ll feel most comfortable with – you have to start somewhere.


There are too differences…

1- The inbetweens draw by human but less than 3D one…

2- Pictures between minimum two exams are completed by computer and can draw more and more in 3D.

One is completely humanist, another is partially. Meanwhile, of course, all software packages (2D and 3D) are just a tool. Like an animation drawing pencil or eraser or animation desk… I would try this to 3D animators here, for a long time. But, 3D technics are not only basic tools. Too complex and complementary for human.


I’m sorry, but you quite simply don’t understand how animation in a 3d package works. You can’t just let the computer inbetween for you. Animators place every inbetween, breakdown, favour etc by hand. You are trying to argue a point in which you have no experience.

werd up.


Sorry, but it still seems a ROBOT! Have it got a SOUL?

OK, some or more scenes made by hand… But why it is used scripting elements or other automatically parts in 3D animation? Like Euler etc.

Mr. “Craiger”, I understand 3D and have any experience but do not EXALT it. Nor 2D or classical technics… Because ANIMATION IS AN ART (totally)!


Oh man… I’m totally against your reasoning Terezin. Atleast the last post.

The differences I know is the following;

With 2d you have to be able to draw decently. In 3d you can have someone model the character for you and rig it. With 2d you have to ‘draw’ each single frame, in 3d you move the character in position, you don’t have to care about proportions and keep your mind on poses and movement instead. About 3d being robotic? Don’t make me laugh… Tell me if The Incredibles looked robotic. <.< Both 3d and 2d is art, it’s up to the animator to make it happen. Honestly, I think 2d gives a better base to start from. It’s more easy to play around with 3d and concentrate on the movement. With 2d you have to care about proportions and mumbo jumbo.

But as I said, start out with 2d. It doesn’t hurt being able to draw and animate that way. :slight_smile:

Btw, it’s up to the animator to give the animation a ‘soul’… Nothing else. Your reasoning about tweening here and there is just crap-talk. Give 3dsmax to a kid (who knows nothing about it) and see if he can make something. NO, he CAN NOT.


In the context of the thread, I just read Terezin as recommending against 3D for a beginner because a beginner can easily confuse “making things move” with actually animating, and because the software itself has its own learning curve.


Just because we 3D animators use different tools to generate certain type of animations doesn’t make our life easier. It’s not like you click the “he’s wearing a cotton shirt” button and your cloth simulation is perfect.

Procedural animation lets the computer run a simulation but you still have to know what you are doing.

Just my personal point of view :wink:


Klasky-Csupo Animation Lessons

Larry’s Toon Institute

Firstly, learn REAL animation (with DRAWING) and THEN, choose your technic: 2D or 3D…

Do not move this discussion over very absurd points.


Firstly, “real” animation is something you’ve just made up. You can animate across a whole bunch of mediums. We’ve got articulated maquettes (3d traditional) (and “claymation” sorry for the buzzword), 2d pencil/traditional medium animation, 2d computer animation, 3d computer animation, and to some extent: puppetry (hands, strings, sticks etc), and a load more.

These are all mediums that you can animate, or if you like, “give life to”.

Giving life to something isnt something which you can only learn in one specific medium. It’s a big mix of a lot of different things, ALL of which stem from real life and a lot of practice and studying. Being an actor, being a cinematographer, understanding motion, understanding the medium, understanding physics, understanding clarity, understanding storytelling, emotion, design, movement, conflict, weight, personality, mass blah blah blah. These things are apparent in animation no matter the medium. So when an animator has a firm grasp on all of these, and has a great creative mind, then he is a great animator, nevermind the medium.

Stop ranting about your skewed views of what you think animation is. Youre comming across as an elitest moron and you’re frankly offending people, telling them they arent proper animators because it isnt using pencils that earns them the paycheque, or gives life.


You seem to be confusing 2D character creation with animation. Animating has very little to do with creating the characters that will be animated. Not every animator starts by drawing poses for the character on paper.

For a simple animation. The bouncing ball example, whether its 2D or 3D, is a great way to go. It gets you to think about what type of actions make an object appear ‘real’.


PS: My animation knowledge is in optical motion capture, you don’t see me recommending everyone buy $900US mo-cap suits and Motion Builder licenses though. :wink:


simply put…


I’d tend to agree with the guy. If you’re serious about animation, you should spend at least some time with pencil and paper, it is the most basic of all visual media and only gives you a stronger foundation as an artist. Not that it’s absolutely necessary, but it is extremely helpful.