Types of Animation: Different Types OF Animation Styles You must Know

Types Of Animation

Animation which is actually an illusion of eyes and is often regarded as the craft which brings reality to From many years we are watching movies, tv serials commercial and opening websites too. There is one thing common which is to make things interactive, they are using graphics and animation, still, there are a lot of types of animation in multimedia and few ones from them can be understood very well and practiced too as it is not possible to learn every variety of animation to become an animator. If you know about What Is Computer Animation then it’s time to know about the type of animations.

cell animation
Image Source – Flickr

It is normally hard to explain the different types of animation in a single course, so what anyone should do is try to grab the basics of animation from any institute or art school where they can learn what is pose, how people sit, walk, stand and try to understand different types of postures and gestures, understanding human body structure, movements etc. Anyone good in sketching and pencil work can start with traditional animation and learn by creating basic shapes and later on animating them on the lightbox and then on any 2d animation softwares to practice different kinds 2d Animation styles. Even though there are many ways to do animation the most popular ones are 2d animation and 3d animation (which is huge demand). Below are few of the animation types which can be seen in real world or tv or internet.

  1. Cell or Traditional Animation
  2. 2D or Flash Animation.
  3. 3D Animation.
  4. Motion Graphics Animation.
  5. Motion Capture Animation.
  6. Clay Animation.
  7. Typography Animation.
  8. Stop-motion Animation.
  9. Puppet Animation.

Mainly Animation can be done by paper, pencil or in animation softwares. There are some other forms as well which requires a lot of effort like puppet animation, clay animation but it is not very popular like 2d and 3d animation.

Cell animation: Cell animation is a form of animation which is done on paper with the help of the pencil. Everything is drawn and created in 2d space and artists need to draw every single frame along with providing rotation and movement in the paper. A lot of creativity is needed to describe what your output is trying to show to the viewers. It needs a lot of hard work and patience to master this craft. In older days of animation, there were no computers, so pencil animators were in huge demand and they used to work on movies like Bambi, Snow White and seven dwarfs, Peter Pan and famous cartoon series Tom and Jerry, Bugs Bunny, Coyote, and Roadrunner are perfect examples of this.  Later on, computer animation become in huge demand and cell animation got takeover by 2d computer animation. Still people who love cartoons remember old Disney movies when entertainment was depending a lot over pencil works.

Learn about: International Animation Day

2d animation
Image Source – Flickr

2D or Flash Animation: Flash Animation is a vector based animation which becomes famous with the evolution of 2d animation softwares like Flash, Toon Boom, Photoshop, and Flipbook. Anyone looking forward to mastering 2d softwares should learn cell animation for better understanding, should learn about animation, watch lot of 2d movies, study some animation basics book and then learn how these things work in 2d environment in flash software (which is one of 2d animation styles)and apply their fundamentals and basics into experimenting with features o=and tools and create stunning colourful animation renders using 2d space work area provided inside these 2d softwares. Used at a big scale in entertainment industries, they are producing stunning 2d animation series which are well appreciated by audiences all over the world.

Softwares used in 2d Animation are as follows:

  • Adobe Photoshop.
  • Adobe Flash.
  • Toon Boom.
  • Flipbook.

Some famous masterpieces created in 2d animation are:

  • The Simpsons.
  • Manga animation by Japanese Animation industry.
  • Justice League
  • Ninjai.
  • Gotham Girls.
  • Golden Blaze.
 3d Animation
Image Source – Flickr

3D Animation: 3D Animation is actually working in a 3d interface where objects can be created and rotated and there is no requirement of drawing every frame just like in flash and cell animation. Frames are generated by setting key between frames and is animated using timeline from Frame X to Frame Y. The way 3d software works is by studying every aspect in details if you want to become a 3d animator, knowig how a model works to understand character workflow using rigging, skinning and a bit of texturing and shading can also help in working with the 3d interface.

Softwares used in 3d Animation:

  • Autodesk 3D Maya.
  • Autodesk 3D Max.
  • Softimage.
  • Lightwave.
  • Zbrush (for adding advanced detailing in characters with millions of polygons).

Famous 3d movies: 

  • How to train your dragon.
  • Cars.
  • Ice Age.
  • Robots.

Motion Graphics Animation: With entertainment industry growing at a very fast pace. There is an animation variety which is created by using vectors, images, cartoons along with adding effects and sound inside software like After Effects. This is called as Motion graphics animation which is often seen on news channel intros, promotional videos or presentation videos and are often blended with different types of colours, shapes and mixed together in such a way that a small story is created which can be used to share knowledge, features of a product, provide entertainment and even intros for anything like music video, product launches, songs, animation rhymes, video games and much more.

Software used in motion graphics:

  • Adobe After effects.
  • Adobe Illustrator.
  • Adobe Photoshop.
  • Autodesk 3D Max.
  • Cinema 4D.
Motion Capture Animation
Image Source – Flickr

Motion Capture Animation: Recording live motion patterns and recording them for future use in any character on a  digital plattform is what motion capture all about. There are many games and movies which are using motion capture technology when a actor’s performance is captured and stored in form of refrence. A video of Tyrone Jordan, motion capture director from one of the most reputable universities Full Sail University explaining motion capture technology and related topics to it. It can be used to create complex movements and actions which are very close to real animation and can be cost effective as compared to hiring team of full time animators for producing keyframe animation. AVATAR movie is the perfect example of understand motioncapture animation alsoc alled as MOCAP.

Softwares used in motion capture technology:

  • Xsens.
  • OptiTrack.
Clay Animation
Image Source – Flickr

Clay Animation: Clay animation is one of forms of stop motion animation. Used not on a very large scale like 3d animation or 2d animation, this variety of animation is often done by creating characters and models using clay and their shapes are often changed and deformed using hands and pictures are clicked one by one after doing small changes. This is a manual technique which requres a lot of patience and hardwork to learn. Pingu is  the most popular example of an tv series using clay animation.

Along with that there are many other types of animation like Stop Motion Animation, Typography Animation, Puppet Animation etc which are a nice way to get entertained by their work. They can be seen in tv commercials, advertisements and small series of animations.

Final words: We are glad to provide you a glimpse over the different types of animation techniques used all over the world. Animation is a medium to experience your dreams and see them turning real in front of you. So keep enjoying movies, games and tv series which are entertaining us and keeping us excited for what more technology can bring to us. Stay tuned, Thanks for reading this article.

I am a former Animator and Graphic Designer who has worked on many International and Domestic projects and Tv series and E-learning projects. I created Animation Alerts so that people who are struggling to learn animation can learn this craft and grow together.