Based on the techniques used and the styles followed, the animation effect can be classified into a number of varieties of which, the following four are the popular ones
- The 2D animation technique (Digital version)
- The 3D computer animation technique
- The stop motion technique
- The motion graphics technique
The 2D animation technique (Digital Version)
In a digital or modern 2D animation technique, the frames or the images are created using the help of computer software and these ‘flat images’ have only the two-dimensional perspective and therefore the objects or the characters depicted will not possess the near-realistic appearances. In the traditional 2D technique, these similar ‘flat images’ were hand drawn by the able artists and therefore painstakingly time-consuming. But, after the introduction of various computer software and tools, the similar effect can be created more quickly and appealingly as per the project’s requirement.
The 3D computer animation technique
So, here again, the computer and its associated software are used to create the animation effect but, the main difference with the 2D digital technique is the models or the objects are depicted in a three-dimensional format thus, providing them the multi-dimensional perspective. That is, the models look and move in a similar manner as their ‘real counterparts’ and are, therefore, very realistic.
To explain it more clearly, in order to show all the possible perspective of a conventional 2D flat image, the artist has to produce a number of drawings related to those perceptions and all these drawings have to be produced in rapid successions to create the required effect of animation. Whereas, in a computerized 3D technique, since the object of interest is already depicted in the 3D form just by moving the camera you will be able to portray what you want out of the object/model.
Thus, the 3D technique is more advanced and less time-consuming and undeniably eye-capturing too! Hence, no wonder it is being favored by the film/media industry, whose main intention is to produce eye-capturing animation effects to woo their audiences.
The stop motion technique
In this technique, the object of interest is photographed in different intended ways and the photographed sequences are introduced in rapid successions to generate the animation effect. That is, consider the interested object has to walk/move from left to right destination then, the object has to be photographed inch-by-inch and produced in rapid successions to create the fluid sequence of animation. Hence, the process involved is lengthy and of course tiresome too! Nevertheless, a number of movies were produced based on this technique, of which ‘The Night Before Christmas’ movie is a popular one.
The motion graphics technique
Unlike the other animation techniques that are mainly character-driven, the motion graphics are used to depict the abstract form of the images in animation effect. That is, the object of interest here are the pieces of digital footage that create the required animation effect. Motion graphics are predominantly computer-driven but, there are non-computerized versions too, such as the flip book, stroboscope etc. Mostly the motion graphics technology is used in promos videos, explainer videos, movie titles, commercials and so on.