2D vs 3D Animation: Which One Works Best?

2D and 3D animation can be found practically everywhere we look today, and this miraculous achievement can certainly be attributed to animation’s talent for capturing our imaginations and depicting things both real and fictional in a way that is impossible to achieve with filmmaking or mere explainer videos.

Let’s discuss, which one is better between these two animation styles?

2D Animation

The easiest way to understand 2D is to think of a box on a blank sheet of paper. A square has 4 sides, a width and a height, but no other dimensions or depth to speak of.

Since it has a width (1) and a height (2), it is considered a two-dimensional (2D) object. 

Typically, 2D animation often has other characteristics, such as color and movement, but does not change the “flat” appearance of objects and animation in general.

Advantages of 2D animation

  • Easy to learn
  • Relatively low production cost
  • Quick to create compared to 3D
  • Greater artistic freedom

Disadvantages of 3D animation

  • It’s hard to achieve a high level of realism
  • Highly dependent on creativity and originality
  • Relatively smaller demand

3D Animation

As you probably understand by now, 3D stands for 3-dimensional. Although 2D uses the width and height dimensions of objects, 3D adds another dimension — depth (sometimes also called length).


If the analog used to describe 2D is a square, then the accurate analogue for 3D is a cube. A cube (as an example of 2D vs 3D animation) is not visualized as flat, has a perceived depth and volume, and appears to occupy space, despite the fact that the surface it is on is flat.


3D animation allows the addition of very realistic visuals, such as lighting effects, small details, textures, and this is considered to be the main difference between 2D vs 3D animation.

Advantages of 3D animation

  • Superior movement visualization and accuracy
  • Great detail and realism can be given to all animation elements
  • Complete 3D models can be reused and applied elsewhere
  • Good prospects for future modernization

Disadvantages of 3D animation

  • Production costs can be high
  • More creative boundaries for movement and action
  • It takes longer to learn and master

2D vs 3D Animation: Which is Better?

After analyzing the differences between 2D and 3D animation and their role in various markets, we can confidently say that there is no clear winner. That is, it all depends on the needs.

You can post both types of animation on YouTube. Never forget to manage your YouTube dashboard as well to gain the best result.

In addition, it is clear that 2D animation is safe and lasts for a long time. 3D may be a newer technology and is certainly starting to develop in the entertainment industry, but people will always love the creativity and convenience that 2D animation provides, and continue to use it.

As mankind’s technological prowess advances, we can also expect 2D and 3D animation to continue to grow and develop side by side. This is in line with industry estimates (2D vs 3D animation prognosis).

Author Bio

Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order). 

Twitter: @breadnbeyond


LinkedIn: Andre Oentoro

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