2D vs. 3D Animation: Which is Better for Your Campaign?

March 2, 2023

Through Igloo Creative House and the Magic Media group’s experience, we’ve learned that the world of animation is subject to limitless creativity and approaches, with the vast majority of it falling into the category of 2D or 3D. Both styles are perfectly viable no matter what product or service they’re being used to advertise, but there are important considerations when deciding between 2D and 3D animation.


It’s not as straightforward as it may seem to choose between these two distinct styles. Examining the benefits and drawbacks of both 2D and 3D animation will help determine which style should be used as part of your campaign. There is no incorrect choice between the two options, but depending on your campaign and budget, among other factors, one style is likely to be more beneficial than the other.


Choosing 2D Animation

Owing to using one less dimension compared to its counterpart, 2D animations tend to be more straightforward to create. Because of this, 2D animation can sometimes be much cheaper and quicker to produce, which can make it a more attractive option for organizations with tight budgets or young companies. It’s important to note that some 2D techniques can be more complex and costly, even more so than 3D, such as frame-by-frame animation, especially if the design is elaborate.


Due to how cost-effective and efficient it can be to produce 2D animation, it makes the style ideal to iterate on. Considering this, 2D animations can prove to be cheap for advertisement testing. Depending on the ad campaign, there can be a lot of testing involved to understand what resonates better with the target audience. This can be a costly process using 3D, as testing would necessitate changing the ad’s content to focus on testing different aspects of it. With 2D animation, this is less of an issue.


2D animation can be perfectly suited to performance marketing campaigns for this reason. Performance videos are traditionally short and attention-grabbing and designed to be iterated on to address different pain points and showcase different aspects of a product or service. Using 2D animation for performance videos makes this process more efficient and cheaper compared to using 3D animation.


Another advantage 2D animation has over 3D is that it’s easier to reproduce for web and print formats, especially if the design uses vector formats. 2D animated video content can be a helpful resource for further material for websites or even event flyers and brochures. With one less dimension to consider, 2D animation is inherently flat looking and ideal for adapting to other two-dimensional formats.


Choosing 3D Animation

There is a perception some hold that 3D animation is more impressive looking than 2D and can be associated with higher quality. This isn’t strictly true, of course, as 2D animation can look as polished and professional as 3D, but this perception is worth considering when deliberating between 2D and 3D styles.3D animations can be more expensive to produce, but if your project has the budget, 3D animation can be an impressive asset for any marketing campaign.


In theory, there are more creative possibilities with 3D animation because of the extra dimension not present in 2D animation. For instance, a 3D character model allows you to show a character from every angle, whereas with 2D the character would need to be created from scratch for every angle. There is a sense of depth achievable with 3D that isn’t usually accomplishable using 2D animation. This can cultivate a sense of size and scope that helps 3D animations feel awe-inspiring and truly memorable. 3D animation can be more dynamic compared to its two-dimensional counterpart as well. The third dimension allows for movements, actions, and scenes not possible otherwise.


For some industries, 3D animation simply makes more sense in some cases. For instance, creating a 3D animation advertisement for a 3D-animated show is the obvious choice. Using 2D in this case could cause a disconnect in viewers’ minds between the show and its marketing material. Similarly, in the gaming industry, our colleagues at Igloo Gaming would be more likely to craft a 3D animation to advertise a 3D game.


Blending 2D and 3D Animation

An interesting option is using 2.5D animation. This style of animation at its core is 2D, but with added effects to create a sense of depth that’s absent from traditional 2D animations. This technique is commonly seen in side-scrolling platform games which have a distinct layered look and feel to their 2D world.


This option can be visually compelling and is an option worth considering if you feel that regular 2D animation won’t work for your video content. If you have an abundance of resources and budget to create 2D animation but not 3D, 2.5D animation is an eye-catching median style that can bring the best of both worlds.


Looking for an experienced animation partner? Make sure to look at our reels today and get in contact with us today! With our experience and expertize, we can help ensure your video projects are of the highest quality possible.


Being part of the Magic Media group means we can be your one-stop solution for all your projects in the gaming and entertainment industries. We can offer services including cybersecurity, full-cycle game development, video ad production, and more. Get in contact today, and let’s create magic!