Top 10 Animation Styles For Inspirations

May 10, 2023. 8 min read

Are you an animator or just an animation enthusiast looking for inspiration? Look no further! This article will dive into the top 10 animation styles and explore what makes them unique. We will cover everything from traditional hand-drawn animation to the latest computer-generated graphics. So, let’s get started!

best Animation Styles

Animation styles refer to the various techniques and approaches used in creating animated content. These styles can range from traditional hand-drawn animation to computer-generated graphics and everything in between. Each animation style has unique characteristics that distinguish it from others. Animators often experiment with different animation styles to create a visual experience that matches their vision for the project.

Top 10 Animation Styles

Animation is a vast field, and it can be challenging to categorize all styles. However, after researching and analyzing various animation styles, we have come up with the top 10 animation styles used in the entertainment industry.

1. Cel Animation:

Cel animation, also known as traditional animation that involves creating hand-drawn images on transparent celluloid sheets, called cels, and then photographing those images in sequence to create the illusion of motion. Each cel contains a single frame of the animation, and the frames are arranged in a specific order to create the desired movement. This technique was widely used in the animation industry before the advent of computer-generated imagery (CGI) and digital animation. Cel animation is still appreciated for its unique artistic style and charm, and it continues to be used in some modern productions.

2. 2D Animation:

2D animation is one of the oldest and most traditional animation styles. 2D animation refers to creating two-dimensional illustrations or moving pictures in a two-dimensional space. This type of animation typically involves drawing characters and backgrounds frame by frame to create the illusion of movement. 2D animation can be done using traditional hand-drawn techniques, digital tools, or a combination of both.

In 2D animation, characters and objects are typically represented as flat shapes with limited depth and dimensionality. The movement of these objects is achieved by creating a series of drawings, each slightly different from the last, and then playing them in sequence to create the illusion of motion.

3. 3D Animation:

3D animation introduces a third dimension and refers to the creation of moving objects in a three-dimensional digital environment. Unlike 2D animation, which is created on a flat surface, 3D animation uses computer graphics to generate images that can be viewed from different angles and perspectives.

In 3D animation, objects and characters are created as 3D models, which are then manipulated using specialized software to create animations. The models are composed of a series of interconnected polygons, which are textured and lit to create the appearance of three-dimensional depth.

Creating 3D animation involves several steps, including modeling, texturing, rigging, animation, and rendering. Each step requires specialized skills and software, which can be time-consuming and complex.

3D animation is used in various applications, including film and television, video games, advertising, and virtual reality. It allows creators to bring their visions to life realistically and dynamically and has become an essential tool in the modern entertainment industry.

4. 2.5D Animation:

2.5D animation is a type of animation that combines 3D elements with 2D animations to create the illusion of depth. In 2.5D animation, 2D characters or objects are positioned and manipulated in 3D, allowing for more complex movements and camera angles than traditional 2D animation. This technique is often used in video games, advertising, and animated films to create a more visually dynamic and immersive experience for the viewer.

5. Motion Graphics:

Motion graphics are animated videos that are based on infographics. They involve the creation of animated graphics, text, and other visual elements for use in movies, TV shows, commercials, and other digital media. Motion graphics can be either 2D or 3D to convey information, promote products, and create visual effects

6. Whiteboard Animation:

Whiteboard animation is an explainer video where a story or message is conveyed through animated drawings on a whiteboard. Typically, it includes animation with a voice-over narration, text, sound effects, and music. The whiteboard animation style is often used to simplify complex concepts or ideas and is popular in education, marketing, and training.

7. Typography Animation:

Typography animation is a type of animation that involves the manipulation of text to create dynamic and engaging visual content. It is the art of animating written or typographic content, such as headlines, titles, and text overlays, to create visually compelling animations. Typography animation uses various techniques to animate text, such as scaling, rotating, fading, and morphing. This type of animation is often used in marketing videos, explainer videos, social media content, and other forms of digital media to convey information.

8. Stop Motion Animation:

Stop-motion animation involves manipulating physical objects and photographing them in different positions. These photographs are then played in sequence to create an illusion of motion. Stop-motion animation is used in movies, TV shows, and commercials. Examples of stop-motion animated movies are The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline, and Wallace and Gromit.

9. Anime:

Anime animation refers to a style of animated entertainment that originated in Japan. It is characterized by its distinctive visual style, which typically features colorful graphics, exaggerated characters, and emotive facial expressions. Anime covers various categories: action, romance, comedy, horror, and science fiction. It has gained a significant following in Japan and worldwide and has become a major part of popular culture.

10. Cut-out Animation:

Cut-out animation involves creating characters and objects using paper or other flat materials. These characters are then moved and photographed to create an illusion of motion. Cut-out animation is used in TV shows, commercials, and short films. Examples of cut-out animated movies are South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, and Team America: World Police.


In conclusion, animation is a diverse and evolving art form with many developed styles over the years. From traditional hand-drawn animation to 3D computer-generated imagery, each style brings a unique approach to storytelling and visual expression.

Each animation style has strengths and characteristics, allowing animators to convey moods, emotions, and ideas through their work. Some styles, like traditional hand-drawn animation, have been around for centuries, while others, like 3D computer animation, have only emerged in recent decades.

Regardless of the style, animation remains a powerful medium for storytelling and artistic expression. It will continue to evolve and adapt to new technologies and artistic movements in the future.

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