If you’ve come across services for both motion graphics and 3D animation videos for business, you may be wondering what the difference is. Though there are some similarities when you look at them, the production mechanics are very different, but that is completed behind the scenes by production teams. Those production mechanics are going to matter in terms of quality and style when you’re producing your video. Quite often, there will be a single method that is most suitable for animated marketing videos for business, and that method is going to depend on your marketing message. Learn the most common uses of animation for business, the process, and how you should choose if 3d animation is right for your specific project.
The Difference Between 3D Animation and 2D Motion Graphics
Today, both 3D animation and 2D animation are likely going to be done on the computer. So what makes one different from the other? 3D animation generally involves simulation. It involves creating 3D objects inside of a computer and then modeling how they would react in certain situations, such as if rain falls on them, or if they fall down. A lot of computer processing goes into this, but there’s also a lot of existing content that can be used, such as renderers, ray tracers, particle effects, and so forth.
2D animation, on the other hand, is more akin to traditional animating features. Rather than “simulating” anything, lines and shapes may simply be drawn and moved around to convey a sense of motion. But when there’s a large 3D library, 3D animation actually becomes a lot easier. With the right library, 3D animation can just pull from existing assets, and existing animations can be used. Because of this, many advertising firms and other high volume companies do use 3D animation from time-to-time.
Which Is Best for Animated Videos for Businesses?
While both 2D and 3D fall under the blanket term “animation,” there’s likely a clearly better answer for your business video project. If you’re looking for animation, you’ll know it: You’re going to want a character that moves and looks real. If you’re looking to provide an engaging message, it’s more likely that motion graphics are suitable. If you simply want to create short animated videos for business purposes, it’s more likely to be motion graphics. And if you want to create something that really has a strong look and feel, you might want to look into stop motion.
When you can get away with illustrative motion graphics, it’s probably better. Motion graphics are also well-suited to larger and longer presentations, because it’s unlikely to be able to animate a fully-featured film. Animations can be reserved for shorter, high value projects. And, of course, motion graphics and animation aren’t mutually exclusive.
It takes the right project to really take advantage of stop motion, unless you’re doing very simple things such as animating letters on a screen. Stop motion takes such a huge investment of time and preparation that it’s really best suited to video that’s going to feature its unique style. This is mostly arts and entertainment films. But at the end of the day, the difference between all these types of animations is also what makes them so well-suited to specific projects.
Because both motion graphics and 3D animation can be expensive, it’s usually ideal to get a few quotes first. You can then get a feel for how much this type of animation costs. Any type of animation is going to start with a script and a storyboard, so you can start there and then try to get a feel for how you want to visualize everything. Use our video production estimate form to get started on a proposal with DMAK Productions.
More Information About Motion Graphics
You’ve seen explainer videos, which use slideshows, presentations, explainer videos, and commercials to explain a product or service, for example. Explainer videos are an example of motion graphics. . Motion graphics involve moving items to give them life and animation, such as animating a pie chart to slowly expand, or animating text across the screen. In the animation industry, motion graphics can refer to more. Motion graphics can refer to almost any type of animation, but they usually refer to two things: illustrative motion graphics and stop motion graphics.
Illustrative motion graphics are what happens in slide shows when slides fade from one end of the screen to the other. These motion graphics are intended to create engaging and compelling presentations, because they call the viewer’s eye towards movement. Something that doesn’t have motion graphics in it might as well be a document: there has to be some flash and pizazz to keep the viewer interested.
Frequently, motion graphics are used in commercials. This cuts down on the budget for a commercial significantly because motion graphics are very simple and affordable to do. Of course, that also limits what motion graphics can be used to do.
Most option graphics are going to be 2D, due to their nature, and they’re going to be far more affordable than 3D animation. If your project simply needs to be more engaging, you should probably consider motion graphics rather than 3D animation.
Cartoon Character Animation
The spectrum of animation that people are most familiar with: character animation. 3D animation can be used to animate characters for commercials, television, and movies, creating unique actors that can be used to do just about anything. And, like a 2D cartoon, these animated characters can supersede their actors, potentially lasting for generations to come.
CGI used to be extremely expensive, but advances in animation technology, motion capture, and digital rendering have made it far more feasible for characters to be created and animated even on lower budgets. This has opened the door for smaller businesses and smaller productions to create and utilize animated characters of their own. Animated characters can be memorable and dynamic, and can be set in scenes that would simply not be feasible in real life.
3D animation is only becoming a more open industry with time. Because of the rapid advances in technology, we are looking at more and more ways to utilize 3D animation not only in video production but also in everyday life. Moving forward, 3D animations are likely to be seen more in VR and augmented reality, and will likely pervade many additional industries.
3D Animation & Motion Graphic Video Uses in Business
How Military and Police Use 3D Animation
As 3D technology has become easier and faster to use, it has also become useful for military, police, and even self-defense courses. Through the use of 3D animation, military and police training can be completed successfully without the potential for injury. 3D animation can be used for everything from teaching soldiers special tactics to strategizing on the field, and is also used throughout military engineering services.
When paired with virtual reality and augmented reality, 3D animation can be used for missions, drills, and other standardized military and police force training. On the engineering side, the military has been looking towards 3D printing robots, drones, and other engineered products on site. This allows for better machining and engineering overseas, rather than having to rely upon products to be shipped as needed. 3D animation makes it possible to engineer, test, and modify equipment on-the-fly.
3D Prototyping for Engineering and Technology
3D prototyping and industrial 3D animation have become common for two reasons: it allows the prototype to be viewed before materials are wasted and 3D printing has made it possible to create rapid physical prototypes from a 3D file. In the areas of engineering and technology, industrial 3D animation is being used to create and test machinery that can then be constructed, allowing for faster and more efficient innovation. Previously, engineers and techs would have needed to work in a physical medium and would need to machine out their prototypes in order to see them animated and working.
The ability to take prototypes directly from 3D files to physical 3D prints is changing the engineering industry in many ways. 3D printing makes it easier to customize and modify prototypes on-the-fly, and also makes it easier to get technology into areas such as third world nations. In recent years, 3D prototyping has become especially popular for replacement limbs. 3D prototyping can be used to print a replacement limb that is custom tailored to an individual and many times less expensive than a conventional medical device. But 3D prototyping is also being used on complex machines such as cars, as a way to change designs quickly and to test out new concepts and ideas.
3D and 2D Architecture and Design Proposals
What’s better than a building design proposal that you can walk through? Rather than drafting in pen-and-paper or in a 2D drafting program, many architects are instead choosing to utilize 3D animation. 3D modeling and animation gives an architect the ability to experience their buildings and structures as though they have already been built — and new augmented reality and virtual reality systems are going to enhance this experience even further. Being able to see designs in three dimensions without having to build a physical model can be very valuable for pointing out design flaws
But animation adds an entirely different spectrum to architecture and design. Not only can a proposed design “come alive,” with trees, grass, plants, and water features moving, but architects are also able to experience their building at all hours, to see how the light reflects on it and how it looks during both night and day. They can even replicate how people might walk through the building, to identify points of congestion or areas in which people are most likely to loiter.
How Motion Graphics Are Created
Here’s the process of creating motion graphics for an illustration:
- The graphics themselves will be created, which could be things such as title text, icons, statistics, and so forth.
- Effects will be added to these graphics. Effects can cover a wide range of things, such as the graphics moving across the screen, fading into nowhere, getting larger, or even spinning across the screen.
- Sound effects will also be added, which can often smooth out a graphical effect and make it more interesting. Sound effects are key components to both motion graphics and 3D animation.
Usually, these graphics are put into a production in post, with the rest of the production being planned first. For instance, a slide show would be completed, and then motion graphics would be added in.
But that’s all illustrative motion graphics. What about stop motion graphics? Stop motion photography uses common items and then takes a sequence of pictures of them while they slowly move. This gives the illusion of movement in items that are still, and it’s very similar to illustrative motion graphics.
Stop motion can be used in complete commercials and full videos, but it’s a very lengthy process. Because it takes so much time, it’s also expensive. It can be just as (if not more) expensive than a fully-featured CGI film.
Usually, stop motion uses clay. Clay can be moved and shaped between frames. But other things can also be used, such as electronics or robotics. Stop motion is a skill in itself, and there are many animators who specialize in it.
How Stop-Motion Graphics Are Created
- A complete storyboard will be created for each scene.
- Props will be made and characters and scenery will be tested.
- Characters will be placed in a scene and they will be moved once, photographed, moved once, photographed, and so forth.
- The less the items move between scenes, the smoother they will look.
- Sound will be added to give the scenes more realism.
- The film will be played back quickly, to make everything blend together.
What are the advantages of stop motion? It has a very unique appearance, which is eye-catching, and it can be a more natural way for some animators to work. Animators don’t need to worry about whether something looks “authentic” in 3D space because it is an actual 3D item.
3D Animation Process
- Storyboarding the entire process, just as any other type of animation.
- Creating characters and “rigging” them, so they can be moved in a lifelike way. Rigging essentially gives a character an internal skeleton which controls how they can be used.
- Animating the characters scene by scene, and capturing the scenes like a cinematographer, by choosing where the camera is positioned and how it moves.
- Adding voices and sound effects to bring the scenes to life.
- Rendering the scenes in high quality.
Often, 3D animation requires advanced technology, as it requires a lot of processing power and memory in order to render the scenes. The more advanced the scenes are in terms of complexity, the more power the system will need to have. Some movie companies take a day to process a minute worth of time!