Here’s our list of different types of animation. Which is your pick?

As a beginner it is essential to have knowledge on the different types of animations. It is the way you would know which style and workflow resonates with your storytelling the most. Below mentioned are different types of animation acknowledged globally. However, these should not be considered any form of systemic ‘classification’. Each one has its own aesthetics and purpose of being used as a medium. Also there are no boundaries to which anything comprising art can be contained. ‘Spider-Man into the spider verse’ is a great example of how different visions of the same animation could come together.

Hand drawn/Traditional animation:

This classical technique is from where it all started. Here the animator draws frame by frame series of a scene. No software, no mock-ups, just the animator moving the pencil across the sheet is what hand-drawn or traditional animation is. Maybe that’s why it is the most intuitive and natural way of story telling. Hand drawn animation requires a really trained eye and incomparable consistency to capture the slightest movements of the prop or character. Disney’s last hand drawn animated film was Winnie the Pooh (2011) whose live action film released was Christopher Robin (2018).

Image credits: © Baianat.com

Computer generated 2D animation

These involves width and height in a 2-dimensional space. The digital drawings are vector based hence they have a clean graphic appearance. Apart from the movies it has applications in PowerPoint presentations and flash animations which are basically low data user interactions. It has seen a significant trend recently due to the rise of video content on streaming platforms. Mobile apps such as Snapchat are using 2D animations in their micro animated niche content.

For example, Rick and Morty and South Park are some of the wildly popular 2D animated series.

Image credits: © Renderforest.com

3D animation

This type of animation has contributed much to the evolution of animation into a billion dollar entertainment industry. People started choosing animation as a career when 3D came to the light. Adding depth to a two dimensional animated scene has opened up innumerable possibilities. Lighting, texturing and camera movement in a three dimensional space has allowed much photorealism in animation. 3D animation helps the viewer to visualise clips and that’s why it has found use in more practical fields like medicine, biotechnology and aerospace. Unlike other types of animation, 3D animation has a series of rigorous phases like modelling, rigging, rendering etc. So likewise the cost of this animation technique and demand of 3D animation artists are more than the rest. This is probably the reason why students have started choosing a career in Animation.

Image credits: 3D-ace.com

Stop motion animation

In this technique an object is physically moved and photographed at certain intervals. The photographs are then run back to back to produce a seamless fluid motion. Depending on the kind of the object used, stop motion could be claymation, puppet animation and cut out animation. Although the process could be long and tiring as it has an edge over the digital animation as it displays a degree of realism due to the texture. Production of stop-motion is also cost effective. ‘Kubo and the two strings’ is a beautifully made Oscar nominated stop motion animation.


It’s the most popular subtype of stop motion animation. Here the main prop used is a pliable material i.e plasticine clay. The challenges to do claymation is that it is hard to keep the shapes intact and its resistance to withstand environmental conditions. Also, one has to make sure that the clay doesn’t get dirty with finger prints or dust in the process of filming it.

Image credits: © Laika Studios

Out of these different types of animation, which one do you prefer to watch? Do share your interest with us in the comment section below. Wish to be an animator yourself? Join a 3D animation course at MAAC for a bright career in the industry.



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