What Is the Difference Between 2D and 3D Animation?

Feb 29, 2023. 9 min read

Whether you’re an artist, a designer, a gamer, or simply a curious individual, you’ve probably come across the terms 2D and 3D Animation at some point. But what do these terms really mean? And what’s the difference between 2D and 3D?

In this article, we’ll explore the fundamental differences between 2D and 3D graphics. We’ll cover their definitions, applications, advantages, disadvantages, and much more. So, let’s dive in!

3d animation

What Is the Difference Between 2D and 3D Animation?

The best way to comprehend the difference between 2D and 3D Animation is to look at cartoons, animated shows, and video games.

2D Animation concerns height and width—”flat” characters in two-dimensional environments. Examples may be seen in classic Disney films such as Pinocchio and The Lion King.
Meanwhile, 3D Animation is used in Pixar and DreamWorks movies such as Finding Nemo and Frozen. They are more realistic because the visuals have depth, making the animations appear to move in a three-dimensional environment. It’s also used in video games like Call of Duty and City Racing.

These types of animations are also being utilized in marketing. 3D product animations, for example, are videos that employ 3D animations to bring products to life, showing their unique features and functions to help buyers better understand their value and how they work.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of 2D Animation.

2D Animation is less expensive than 3D Animation, costing about half the price. Its simplicity also allows them to be produced more quickly. You should expect results in six to eight weeks or even sooner if you have a speedy turnaround.


They’re also more flexible than live-action shootings (and even 3D animations), which means they have a longer shelf life. You may also use the same pictures for posters, infographics, and business cards when translating 2D animations to print and web-based marketing.


Unfortunately, 2D animations are limited. While this medium may be used to deliver themes artistically, it lacks the realistic element that live-action and 3D media can provide people.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of 3D Animation.

Since 3D Animation involves graphics moving around 3D areas, it captures real-world functions and movements more accurately. Some high-quality 3D animations can appear incredibly realistic, adding to their dynamic and compelling nature.

Companies may utilize 3D Animation to present their products from all sides, emphasizing their benefits and purposes. A realtor, for example, may use 3D animations to show properties without ever having to step inside!

Even so, 3D Animation may be expensive because it often takes more than one animator and high-powered equipment to operate the required software. Compared to 2D Animation, it also requires more time for a turnaround.

The Price Difference Between 2D and 3D Animation.

The overall cost will be determined by the complexity of the Animation, the length of the video, and the number of resources needed. An animated video costs anywhere from $3,000 to $100,000 per minute. Even so, 2D animations are often less expensive than 3D animations because the latter requires more expertise, ability, and resources.

Pay more per minute (about $10,000 to $20,000), which may be available for higher-quality videos. Simple animations, generally employing just 2D methods, can be expected at the lower end of the range. They also rarely include creative direction and add-ons from the animator or studio, such as scripting, voice-overs, etc.

3D animations become possible for around $20,000 to $50,000 per minute. Animators can use this area to create more complex animation effects such as depth and motion. You may expect a quality range and high-quality videos displaying hyper-realistic movement to greater degrees. Animators will offer everything from storyboarding to writing to advanced Animation at this pricing bracket.

Which Is Better, 2D Animation or 3D Animation?

Both 2D and 3D animations can be utilized to effectively promote things to buyers. The decision between the two is based on how you want your message communicated, your money, and your timeframe.

If your idea is simple and you want it to communicate better in other “flat” mediums like online and print, 2D Animation is a cost-effective choice. Even so, if you want something that thoroughly impresses and emphasizes the most significant characteristics of your products, 3D animations deliver on that promise while also promising a higher return.

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