The 11 Different Types Of Animation Styles With Examples

Types Of Animation Styles
Looking for the best animation styles? Here are the 8 top different types of animation and styles that you can use for your marketing videos.

Animation is perhaps one of the most creative avenues when it comes to modern art. It’s fun, it’s engaging, and it has revolutionized the art of storytelling and has developed a whole new genre for visual entertainment.

With so many different types of animation, animation techniques, and their unique implementations of the different styles of animation, it is important to know about the difference between them to make a wise decision for your next animation project.

Or maybe you do not have a massive project to work on, and maybe you just want to know more for the sake of it. Whatever the case is, this is the right place, to begin with.

So, without any further ado, let’s begin exploring the types of animation.

#1) 2D Animation

The pioneer of modern-day digital motion pictures is the art of 2D animations. 2D animation has been popularized by Disney, which through this art form introduced us to the very famous and much-loved Mickey Mouse with iconic animation examples. But what exactly is 2D animation? The formal definition of 2D is as follows:

“Traditional animation is a form of animation in which each frame is hand-drawn. Before the advent of computer animation, this was the most popular type of animation in movies.”

2d Animation Style 1

Let’s simplify things a bit. Each picture a 2D animation artist will draw is called a frame, and since it’s drawn by hand, it’s called a hand-drawn frame.

In 2D animation, the focus of the frame is in the background and the foreground, hence why it’s called 2D because of the consideration of 2 dimensions.

The birth of Mickey Mouse via 2D animation

The styles of animation within 2D animations are simplistic. However, they are very effective elements when it comes to visual storytelling. A great example of this is the early animations presented by Disney, which include none less Mr. Mickey Mouse himself.

Here is the video of one of the first-ever animations coming from Disney studios hand-drawn by Mr. Walt Disney.

#2) 3D Animation

When we talk about different types of animation, we can’t skip 3D animation. 3D animation is an improvement of the 2D animation process and realistic animation style.

3d Animation Style 2

In 3D animation, the focus is around revolving the frame around all three dimensions to give it a more realistic effect or more visual capacity. The addition of the third dimension is what gives the whole scene creative depth, according to 3D animators.

Pixar Studio’s Toy Story

Toy Story from Pixar Studios is one of the best examples of 3D animations and computer animation. When you view this movie, you understand the depth 3D animation brings. Fun little fact, Toy Story was the first computer-animated movie to win an Oscar in the year 1996.

#3) Stop Motion Animation

Stop motion animation is far away from other simple animation styles. It has been reported by many new animators that stop motion is perhaps one of the most tiresome styles of animation.

Let’s break down what exactly is stop motion animations and how does it all works?

Stop Motion Animation Style 3

Stop motion animation is a traditional animation technique in which individually photographed frames, objects are physically manipulated in tiny increments such that they appear to move or shift independently when the sequence of frames is played back.

Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride

One of the most famous examples of stop motion animation is the classic 2005 movie called Corpse Bride, which was produced and directed by the legend, Mr. Tim Burton.

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#4) Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI)

Computer-generated imagery, or CGI for short, is what makes the world of movies today become so spectacular and grand. CGI is a way to bring computer-animated images to be morphed or become a part of the physical world.

Computer Generated Imagery Style 4

CGI is a mix of many types of animation, including 3D animations. The way it all works is by first generating a computer animation image and then placing it within the shot frame of the real-world object. Perfect CGI is hard to achieve and hence why it’s super expensive as well.

Motion detection sensors are heavily used to mimic human motion so that animators and CGI software can replicate it.

Marvel’s Avengers

Without CGI, we won’t be able to have movies about superheroes or any other fantasy elements. CGI is what makes these movies come to life, and with the popularity witnessed by these movie productions, it’s safe to say that CGI will only grow bigger.

#5) Flip Book Animation

Flip Book Animation is the old-school style of animation that started it all. It’s one of the simplest types of animations to do; however, the more elements you add to your pictures, the more difficult it gets. However, it’s still one fun way of making visual art.

In fact, traditional flipbook animation was the predecessor of 2D animation, and many early 2D animations followed the same logic as flipbook animation.

Flip Book Animation Style 5

In flipbook animation, you draw different sequences of a scene on the notebook, and once you finish, you start turning the pages very fast to give the pictures motions.

What does Flip Book Animation look like?

The flip book animation is quite simply one of the easiest yet difficult to do simply because of the labor-intensive nature of it all. Here below is a view that goes through the creation and final execution of the animation style.

#6) Minimalistic Animation Style

When we talk about minimalistic style, we are talking about making sure that we strive for short animation with maximum simplicity and color addition. This allows the animator to be more flexible when developing such animations.

This style of animation is more of a modern take on animation and has been popularized by popular culture over the internet. Because the style strives for simplicity, many new animators go for it plus, this style is very useful for explainer videos as oftentimes, explainer videos do not need to be induced with a lot of color or motion presentation.

Minimalistic Animation Style 6

Examples of Minimalistic Animation Style

Examples of a minimalistic style of animation can be found below. As you can see, the color editions and relevant pictures are not much graphic-dependent.

#7) Clay Animation

Clay Animation or Claymation is one of the popular animation techniques. It is a super creative style of animation that works by developing objects from clay, and then their movements are created using the stop motion animation technique.

This style has at least 2 to 3 types of animation techniques working in sync to make the whole production work.

The creative way of including clay in animation has surely garnered this style of animation its fair share of popularity.

Chicken Run

The 2000 movie Chicken Run is a commercial film that was produced entirely by integrating the process of Claymation into its production and development.

#8) Augmented Reality Animation

The world is changing, and digital space is being integrated into our day-to-day world, and this is why Augmented Reality Animation is becoming one of the most lucrative styles of animation.

This is a creative way to make digital objects morph into reality. Much like CGI, Augmented Reality Animation focuses on replicating the object on the surface without it having any real physical existence.

Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go is a video game that heavily uses Augmented Reality Animation within structure and execution.

#9) Motion Capture Animation

Motion capture is one of the advanced types of animation. The process of motion capture animation is held by capturing people, objects, or animal’s movements, transferring them into a 2D model or 3D model, and then translating them into computer-animated images. In this manner, motion capture animation is aimed to produce 2D or 3D models that imitate the realistic movements of objects.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Here is the best example for motion capture animation we could extract out:

#10) Keyframe Animation

In the world of animation, keyframes are actually the starting and ending points for all the actions in animation. So, what is meant by keyframe animation?

In the beggining days of animation, eachnproduction frame had to be hand drawn. Now animators use digital keyframe animation in software to highlight the different graphic elements and select themovement of them in animation timeline. It saves them hours of work.

Example Of Keyframe Animation In 2D

here is the comprehensive example of how keyframe animation is created using hand drawn illustrations

#11) Animation Mixed With Live Action

Any type of animation that is used with live action scenes for enhancement is called animation mixed with live-action or mixed media. 

One can define live action videos as the inclusion or involvement of real people (actors) or any living objects like animals, fish or insects. It is totally opposite to animation production where computer-generated effects are used to create fictional content.

Mostly live-action is mixed with animation in feature films in which both computer generated animation and live-action are used to show fictional characters characterized by actors through motion capture and then animators animate or and model them.

The Little Witch – 2D animation integrate with live action

Here is the simplest example of how one can add an animation in live action video to enance it

Frequently Asked Questions

How many types of animation are there?

There are many types of animation, however, most commonly Motion graphics, 2D animation, 3D animation, Stop motion animation and traditional animation are used. There are unique set of benefits and drawbacks for each type of animation and they’re used differently for various purposes.

What is the easiest animation style?

Flipbook animation is one of the easiest and oldest animation style that have been used lately to create 2D animation for storytelling. This animation technique involves the multiple drawings or illustrations on book pages with a minor difference in all of them.

What is the hardest animation style?

3D animation is the most complex animation type that brings ideas to life. It requires a lot of work, efforts, advanced software and tools & knowledge of computer graphics including 3D surfaces, modeling, rigging, animating, 3D rendering, and VFX and learning curve is a steep.

What type of animation looks real?

3D animation, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are the type of animation that look real. It is because 3D characters and models in them look more real-life.

Which animation is trending now?

Despite the availability of 2D animation and 3D animated content, 3D animation is still a prominent trend now. The growing use of 3D animation and motion design has dramatically increased over time and that is all for a good reason.

Why animation is difficult?

Animation and creating animated videos is quite difficult and tricky. It is because it requires a lot of know-how of technology, creativity and imagination, and flawlessness. Animators must be efficient in using different animation software, know the Animation fundamentals, and proficient in sketching or modeling complicated 3D models.

Ready to Get Your Own Animated Videos? – Hire BuzzFlick

No matter which animation style you choose, you need to abide by the principles of animation. Of course, if you’re new in this industry, it might be a daunting task for you.

However, you can still get your animation projects done if you outsource them to any 2D animation company like BuzzFlick.

We have been working in this industry for decades, and we offer a variety of animation services, including 2D animation, 3D animation, cel animation, cut-out animation, and stop-motion animation, to name a few.

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Eich Eyf

An animation enthusiast who enjoys explaining complex animation techniques, mediums, and videos. Her love for animated films drives her. In her spare time, she enjoys watching animated films from Pixar, Disney, and Illumination productions.

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