What Is The Difference Between A 2D Animator And A 3D Animator?

Animation has made different and amazing worlds come to life in film, video games and television shows. In the course of their work, they come up with story boards, create characters and backgrounds and infuse graphics and visual effects that make these stories exciting. Aside from entertainment, animation is also used for educational purposes.

In the world of animation, there are two types of animators that make these sketches and graphics—2D animators and 3D animators. In essence, both of them do the same work: They come up with ideas with other animation professionals, do research to make their drawings more engaging and realistic and execute these with the use of pen and paper or computer software tools. They are also responsible for editing their work based on the feedback they get from their colleagues and clients.

Both types of animation professionals also have differences as doing their work is concerned. The first is in the kind of drawings they do and how these are created. 2D animators work on creating flat images that have height and width but don’t have any depth. If you want to be more technical about it, the action in 2D animation takes place only on the x-y planes. In order to create the illusion of movement, 2D animators before the advent of computer software made these drawings by hand. The movements are drawn one by one, with every minor change reflected in each image.

The next steps involve transferring each drawing into a transparent sheet called celluloid, coloring it and then photographing it with a background scene so that frames can be created. The movement in 2D animated films is created by animators by running these pictures at 24 frames every second. The advent of computer animation software has allowed 2D animation to be created using these programs although in some cases, the initial drawings are still done by hand.

3D animation is the newer, more realistic type of animation which is created with the use of computer software programs. While 2D animators only create characters and movement that have height and width, 3D animators add the dimension of depth to create more lifelike characters. In technical terms, 3D animation works on three planes—that of the x, y and z axes. 3D animators still begin with 2D drawings of the characters in various views. Using software programs, the texture, lighting and color of the characters as well as the backgrounds can then be changed as needed.

It is also easier for 3D animators to make modifications to a scene since the process only involves moving or transferring the object. In 2D animation, the animators have to draw the entire scene again if any changes are made during editing.

No matter what kind of animation you choose to focus on, artistic skills are going to be a must. Both 2D and 3D animators today also have to be very well-versed in manipulating computer animation software if they want to create engaging images and graphics.

Career Spotlight: 3d Animator

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